By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
A lengthy run in the NBA bubble set up in Orlando since late July might end Friday evening for the last two remaining teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. The Lakers up 3-1 aim to win the best-of-seven series in five games and capture the 17th championship in franchise history.
“I’ve been victorious after having that mindset,” said LeBron James referring to prevailing in 16 out of the 17 previous postseason close-out contests of his career, “But that’s just who I’ve become and how I’ve challenged and channeled my mindset. Living in the moment and not taking it for granted and just channeling that desperation, just knowing that the opponent and the man that’s across from you has that same feeling. That’s what it is.”
Apart from the sense of urgency in James-leaded teams towards opponents on the ropes, the Lakers will wear the Black Mamba uniforms in Game 5 in tribute to Kobe Bryant. They were victorious in all four previous matches sporting the special jerseys.
“If we come out and do what we’re supposed to do, then we can remain undefeated,” mentioned Anthony Davis, “We just think that for all the things that happened this season, with our team specifically and our organization, that to be able to close it out in the Black Mamba uniforms will just make it all worth it. Obviously, his legacy in the NBA and then just with the organization, period, is something special, and for us to, like I said, close it out in his honor is something that we look forward to, something that is an insane amount of pressure for sure, but we don’t want to lose, we don’t want to let him down.”
“It means something. Something more than just a uniform. It represents an individual who gave the franchise 20 years of his blood, sweat, and tears and his dedication to his craft, both on and off the floor, to make that franchise be proud of him, and hopefully vice versa,” added James.
On to the Heat. Goran Dragic is doubtful once again, this time with the 2019-20 season on the line for the first time. Forcing a Game 6 and going on from there is the mindset for Jimmy Butler and teammates.
“I don’t think it’s pressure. I think it’s just win,” he claimed, “Ain’t nobody thinking about going home over here. It’s just win, so there is no pressure. We’re expected to win. That’s our job. It’s not win or go home, it’s win or win. That’s how we think about it.”
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