The NBA Finals are here, and they’re only three-and-a-half months late. It’s the first year since 2014 that the Golden State Warriors aren’t in the Finals, but they’re still well represented: The Miami Heat feature 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, and the Los Angeles Lakers have two players who played key roles on Warriors championship squads: JaVale McGee and Quinn Cook.
The Lakers have been considered one of the favorites ever since acquiring Anthony Davis over the offseason to pair with LeBron James. Now they’re just four games away, but they have to go through the surprising Heat, who waltzed through the Eastern Conference playoffs despite being the No. 4 seed. Their run has been truly remarkable, including a dominant 4-1 win over MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
However, according to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, fans think that the Heat run is going to come to an end. Nearly two-thirds of fans expect the Lakers to win the series, with a majority of fans thinking it will only take five or six games.
James has won three championships, and been the Finals MVP in all three. He even received four of the 11 votes in a losing effort the year that Iguodala won. So it’s not surprising that fans expect him to win his fourth Finals MVP this year. And if the Heat can pull off the upset, fans are anticipating the award to go the player who will likely be tasked with defending James: Jimmy Butler.
Whatever happens, it’s going to be fun. Even if the Warriors aren’t there.
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