The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the NBA Finals for the first time in 10 years. To capture their 17th Larry O’Brien Trophy, LeBron James will have to lead Anthony Davis and the rest of the Purple and Gold past his old team, the Miami Heat, whose roster—featuring veteran stars like Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic alongside young upstarts in Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson—was put together by Lakers legend Pat Riley. While Frank Vogel’s squad prepares to finish the job of winning a championship in honor of Kobe Bryant, the Clippers are on the prowl for a new head coach, after parting ways with Doc Rivers in the wake of yet another epic postseason collapse.
All of that news left Eric Pincus and Josh Martin with plenty to discuss on this week’s episode of Hollywood Hoops. Our co-hosts tip things off with a recap of how the Lakers put the feisty Denver Nuggets to rest in the Western Conference. Whereas the Utah Jazz and Clippers couldn’t keep Denver down after building up 3-1 series leads, the Lakers managed to finish the job with smothering team defense and spot-on role play from the likes of Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo in support of LeBron and AD.
Eric and Josh then turn their attention to the Heat and the challenge they may pose to LA. The Heat have come together as a team inside the bubble at Disney World in Orlando, behind an abundance of speed, athleticism, playmaking ability and pure moxie. But can Miami’s young guns continue their Cinderella run through these NBA playoffs? Or will theirs be yet another one ended by a Lakers squad that has faced down a slew of seemingly resilient teams—from the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets to the Nuggets—and lived to tell the tale?
Finally, our co-hosts close out the show by noting some of the early rumblings around Doc’s potential replacement for the Clippers’ top job, and whether a coaching change is all that stands between Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and company and the championship contention for which they had seemingly been ordained.
00:00 – Lakers Finish Off Nuggets
16:05 – Miami Heat’s Path Out of the East
27:24 – Lakers vs Heat in the NBA Finals
48:46 – Who Replaces Doc Rivers For the Clippers?