NBA Bubble Week 10 Recap: One More Win

LeBron James Jimmy Butler

After 10 weeks inside the NBA Bubble, by this time next week, there will be an NBA Champion, which is something that seemed impossible back in March.

Top Story: Lakers Are One Win Away From The Title

When we last spoke, the Los Angeles Lakers dismantled the Miami Heat in Game 1, 116-98. After the Heat jumped out to a 23-10 lead, the Lakers went on a remarkable 75-30 run to seize control of the game. Since Game 1, the contests have been a lot closer, but some things like LeBron’s dominance haven’t changed.

In Game 2, the Lakers proved they have the best duo in the game with James and Anthony Davis. The pair combined for 65 points and 23 rebounds as the Lakers came out on top, 124-114. Even though the Heat missed both Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo, Miami played pretty well all things considered. They shot 50% from the field, 40% from 3, and 91% from the line. However, they couldn’t stop James and Davis with the latter making 14 of his first 15 shots.

To describe Game 3, use one name and one name only: Jimmy Butler. What Butler did was one of the most impressive and inspiring acts I’ve ever witnessed on a basketball court. Without Dragic and Bam, Butler said, “Guys, get on my back and get out of the way.” Butler accumulated a triple-double with 40 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. Jimmy Buckets joined LeBron James and Jerry West as the third player in NBA history to record a 40+ point triple-double in the NBA Finals.

Game 4 was the ugliest and grittiest game of the series. It was back and forth throughout the entire game. Then, the King put on his crown and asserted himself in the final quarter, scoring 11 points (7 of them from the line), 5 rebounds, and 2 assists to secure a 102-96 victory. The biggest takeaway was Davis’ defense on Butler, who personally held the Miami star to 1 of 7 shooting, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

LeBron knows a thing or two about 3-1 leads so I don’t expect the Lakers to take their feet off the gas in Game 5.

The MVP Is…

Before Game 3, there were some rumblings that AD was making a case for Finals MVP if the Lakers took home the title.

Heading into Game 5, let me be the first to tell you that Anthony Davis will not win MVP as long as LeBron James is on the court. Coming into the series, there was a path for Davis to edge out LeBron for MVP. It would take something along the lines of 30+ points, 10+ rebounds, and pure domination on the defensive end. That being said, AD’s performance in Game 3 threw out his chances for MVP. Had Butler not had a historic showcase, the biggest story would revolve around AD’s “no show” because that’s exactly what happened. Davis had a mere 15 points on 9 (!!!!) shots from the field to go along with -26 +/- rating. This is the difference between Davis, a top 5 player in the world, and LeBron, the best player in the world. Even in LeBron’s “bad games,” he’s usually in the neighborhood of 20+ points, 6+ rebounds, 7+ assists. LeBron’s averaging 27/11/8. If the Lakers win it all, it’s his MVP.

If the Heat do the unthinkable and come back from a 3-1 deficit to win it all, Butler will be the unanimous MVP.

Week 10 MVP: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

KCP, I’m sorry. I used to slander your name. Now, you’re shoving that slander right in my face. KCP’s been a godsend for the Lakers this series. He’s third on the team in scoring with 11 points per game. However, KCP’s clutch scoring has been the difference. In Game 1, when the Lakers had no answers in the first quarter, KCP ignited their offensive surge with 10 points in the quarter. With under four minutes left in Game 4, KCP scored 5-straight points to increase the Laker lead from 2 to 7. KCP, you have my respect. Danny Green, you’ve lost my respect until further notice.

Week 4 LVP: Tyler Herro

This hurts, but I have to call it as it is. Tyler Herro is having a productive series, but he will live forever in Internet history after LeBron bodied the budding star.

I still love you, Herro!

Week 11 Storyline: A Champion Will Be Crowned

Will the title belong to the King or will it belong to his former employer in South Beach?

What are your top storylines from Week 10 inside the NBA bubble? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

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