By Nicholas Knoth
The Los Angeles Lakers Win the NBA Championship
In a highly anticipated game six of the NBA finals, the Los Angeles Lakers secured their seventeenth championship title. Led by Lebron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 106-93, ending the series at 4-2.
The Lakers had a strong start to the game, keeping the Heat to a mere thirty-six points in the first half. With a score of sixty-four at halftime, the Lakers had an impressive twenty-eight point lead. In fact, this was the second-largest halftime lead in NBA finals history. After a close third quarter, the Lakers outscored the Heat by sixteen points in the fourth quarter. Even with the help of basketball star Jimmy Butler, the Heat could not catch up to the Lakers.
Securing a triple-double, James scored twenty-eight points, fourteen rebounds, and ten assists. Davis also had a solid performance with nineteen points, fifteen rebounds, three assists, two blacks, and one steal. There is no doubt that when paired together, Lebron and Davis become a lethal duo.
At thirty-five years old and after seventeen seasons, Lebron James continues to dominate the NBA, breaking records and impressing the world. This year, James won the Most Valuable Player of the finals award. He has also been in nine of the last ten NBA finals. This season marks his fourth NBA championship and his tenth finals appearance. His legendary performance this season continues to advance him in the argument against Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time. For more on this debate, read this article.
Despite having to shut down operations during the season because of the health concerns of the rapidly emerging Coronavirus, the NBA managed to provide players and fans an incredible experience. The organization was able to restart the season by moving the games to a massive facility at Disney World in Florida and implementing a large bubble with only necessary individuals such as players, coaches, trainers, cooks, and doctors. In addition to an initial fourteen-day quarantine, players got daily COVID-19 tests. Over the course of the season, the NBA reported zero positive cases of the virus. It goes to show that with enough planning and cooperation, many aspects of the world can continue to function amidst the Coronavirus pandemic
Rafael Nadal wins the French Open (Roland-Garros)
On Sunday, Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic (6-0,6-2,7-5) to claim his thirteenth French Open title. In a decisive victory, Nadal beat Djokovic in three straight sets. Never before has Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 ranked tannis player, not won a single game in the first set of a Grand Slam final. The Spaniard won consecutive games for over an hour until the Serbian finally won his first game of the match.
Looking at the statistics, some of the reasons for this outcome become clear. While his opponent hit four unforced errors in the second set, Djokovic hit seventeen. It is important to recognize that when returning shots from someone like Rafael Nadal, it can be far-fetched to classify them as unforced. Nevertheless, it is an exceptionally high number of errors for the Serbian tennis star.
Despite the unexpected score, it was not unexpected for Nadal to win this particular tournament. Throughout his lengthy career, the Spaniard has amassed over one hundred wins and only two losses in the French tournament. Additionally, he remains undefeated in the finals. Nadal has become well known for his incredible clay-court performance. Indeed, he has earned the nickname of being the “King of Clay”.
The 2020 French Open marked Nadal’s twentieth Grand Slam championship, tying him with Roger Federer in terms of major titles. This sets Djokovic three major titles behind the two. In addition to losing this tournament, the Serbian was disqualified in the recent U.S. Open for recklessly launching a ball and injuring a line judge. For more on this incident, read this article. There is no doubt that fans will tune in to the 2021 Australian Open to see if Djokovic can catch up to Nadal and Federer in terms of Grand Slam titles. As these three tennis hall-of-famers slowly approach the ends of their distinguished careers, it will be exciting to see who comes out on top in terms of Grand Slam victories.