The first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs is teeming with drama, which is mostly supplied by LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers and Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in their respective series. Neither the Lakers nor the Heat have homecourt advantage in the first round, as they entered the playoffs seeded No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Both teams also had to go through the Play-in Tournament just to get a seat in the NBA Playoffs.
But here they are, each just a win away from completing a stunner in the first round. LeBron James and the Lakers are up 3-1 in their series against the No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies, while Butler and the Heat are on the verge of pulling off a No. 8 over No. 1 seed upset as they are also ahead 3-1 in their matchup versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
It’s not always that such lower-seeded teams go up in the series with this kind of lead.
Via ESPN Sports & Info:
“The Heat and Lakers are both up 3-1. This is the first time multiple teams seeded 7th or 8th have a 3-1 series lead in a single postseason since seeding began in 1984.”
LeBron James had a sterling performance in the Lakers’ win over the Grizzlies in Game 4 at home, scoring 20 points to go with 22 rebounds and seven assists. Jimmy Butler, on the other hand, erupted for 56 points with nine assists to tow the Heat to a huge 119-114 victory in Game 4 against the Bucks in South Beach.
The Lakers and the Heat can each clinch a spot in the second round with a win this coming Wednesday.
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