A lot of folks around the NBA have put an asterisk on the results of the 2020 postseason, as it took place in the NBA’s bubble in Orlando, Fla.
However, former Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso wants people to realize that three of the conference finalists from the bubble playoffs have already advanced to that stage again this season, and the Boston Celtics are one win away from making it 4-for-4.
“ BUT THE BUBBLE DIDNT COUNT !” 😭😭
— Alex Caruso (@ACFresh21) May 13, 2023
Interestingly, the two teams that made the 2020 NBA Finals, the Lakers and Miami Heat, had to overcome major obstacles to reach the conference finals this season.
Los Angeles was 2-10 to start the 2022-23 campaign, and the team’s playoff chances were in doubt for almost the entire regular season. However, a surge in the standings after the trade deadline gave the Purple and Gold the No. 7 seed and a spot in the play-in tournament.
An overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the play-in gave the Lakers a matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. After beating Ja Morant and company in six contests, L.A. earned the right to face the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors.
An impressive series from LeBron James, Anthony Davis and their supporting cast got the job done, and the Lakers are now back in the Western Conference Finals. They will feature in a rematch of the 2020 Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets.
On the other hand, the Eastern Conference has also seen plenty of exciting battles, with the No. 8-seeded Heat making believers out of doubters. Their improbable postseason, along with the Lakers’ own run, has some people clamoring for a Lakers-Heat rematch in the Finals.
Getting there could prove to be a difficult task for L.A., though, as Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets stand in the way. What James and his squad have going for them is that they were able to split the season series with Denver at two wins apiece.
As for the Heat, they aren’t sure yet who their opponent is going to be in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics will duke it out on Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers to see who will advance to face Miami.
Regardless of whether or not Boston makes it to the next round, perhaps more people have started to agree on the legitimacy of the bubble and L.A.’s championship that year.