The Los Angeles Lakers are one win away from securing their 17th championship in the long and decorated history of its franchise. It hasn’t been easy for the Lakers in these 2020 NBA Finals, as the Miami Heat have enforced their reputation as one of the toughest and most talened teams in the entire NBA. Jimmy Butler had a historic 40-point triple-double in game three with Bam Adebayo returning from injury in game four, as it seemed that the Heat had a real chance at evening the series at two games at piece, putting immense pressure on the Lakers. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had other ideas.
Although his game has ebbed and flowed in the past couple of games including some errant turnovers, LeBron has been great this series and is probably on his way to his fourth NBA Finals MVP trophy if the Lakers can close the series. He’s currently averaging 27.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game on an efficient 54.1% from the field.
Who knows how the Lakers’ confidence would have changed if they were going into Friday tied 2-2, but one thing is for certain…Lakers fans would have been extremely stressed out. LeBron seemed to realize the importance of winning game four, as he apparently texted his teammates early in the day on Tuesday that game four would be a “must-win” for the Lakers even though they were up 2-1 (reporting by Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll).
LeBron just called this "one of the biggest games of my career" and says that's why he texted his teammates before the game that tonight was "must-win."
— Finals Faigen (@hmfaigen) October 7, 2020
Faigen followed that report with the fact that Anthony Davis said that LeBron hadn’t ever texted them saying a playoff game was a must-win during these 2020 NBA Playoffs. That shows the sense of urgency that LeBron was feeling while being two wins away from his fourth NBA championship. The Heat are also a resilient team that you don’t want to give any hope to, which the Lakers promptly took care of by winning 102-96 on Tuesday night.
In regards to LeBron’s claim that game four was “one of the biggest games” of his career — well — game seven of the 2016 NBA Finals still exists. He probably will not have a more meaningful game in an NBA Finals than that game that completed the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-1 comeback against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Still, the more championships LeBron wins the more he can inch closer towards proving to the haters that his legacy genuinely is equal to — or more substantial — than Michael Jordan’s. You get the sense that The King is really feeling this at 35 years of age, so maybe that’s the reason that LeBron sort of ignored his previous successes to describe the importance of game four last night.