Both the 2014 Eastern and Western Conference NBA Finals have been completed and as Yogi Berra once said “It’s déjà vu all over again”.
The last 2 teams standing going into the NBA FInals are none other than the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.
You may recall these same two teams competing one year ago for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
They got here again in similar fashion with the Heat having yet another déjà vu moment against their 2013 Eastern Conference Finals foe, the Indiana Pacers while in the West, the Spurs played the OKC Thunder led by league MVP Kevin Durant.
It is now quiz time.
Without resorting to “Googling” the info, can you name the 2013 Western Conference team that met San Antonio in the NBA Finals?
The correct and surprising answer is the Memphis Grizzlies met San Antonio in the finals.
What wasn’t a surprise were the 4 games to none sweep perpetrated by the Spurs.
EASTERN CONFERENCE NBA FINALS – Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers
This was the matchup the Pacers had expected and worked so hard at during the regular season to attain home court advantage.
So it was that Game 1 that took place in the Raceways City’s Bankers Life Field house on Sunday, May 18.
The initial result was, to say the least, a very encouraging one given Indiana’s 107-96 victory. Paul George led the way with 24 points and even the oft missing (at least statistically) Roy Hibbert responded with 19 points and 9 rebounds. His presence in the paint also affected the Heats ability to drive to the basket.
Well it was nice while it lasted. Indiana promptly handed home court back to South Beach by being beat 87-83 in Game 2. For the most part LeBron James and Dwyane Wade passed the ball to one and other in the 4th quarter outscoring the entire Pacers squad 22-20 in the final frame.
The Heat then held serve at Miami’s American Airlines Arena in Games 3 and 4 winning them 99-87 and 102-90 respectively.
Indiana did show some resiliency. Once again it was behind Paul George and his 37 points, with a 93-90 win to force a Game 6 back in Southern Florida. Hibbert who began to fade away in the previous game with only 5 boards literally and figuratively rebounded to grab 13 in this one.
But as is usually the case the basketball Gods, not to mention the better teams prevail and thus the Heat routed the Pacers 117-92 to capture the Eastern Conference Crown in 6 games.
WESTERN CONFERENCE NBA FINALS – Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs.
This finals was the tale of 2 cities and one Serge Ibaka as the Spurs easily dispatched of the Thunder in Games 1 and 2 played in the Alamo City by the scores of 122-105 and 112-77.
In the first affair senior citizen Tim Duncan went unmolested in the paint and scored 27 points.
Game 2 found the Spurs Danny Green hitting 7 treys to lead San Antonio to the “W”.
OKC was without the services of Power Forward Serge Ibaka in the first 2 contests who then returned to his home court to spark the Thunder to victories of 106-97 and 105-92 in Games 3 and 4. A tip of the hat must also go to the Thunders Russell Westbrook in the latter game where he deposited 40 points through the cylinder.
Back in the Lone Star State it was more of the same as in the opening pair of contests with the Spurs once again dominating 117-89.
The end of the Western Conference NBA Finals came in overtime as, try as they may, OKC couldn’t contain the troop led by Gregg Popovich and succumbed 112-107.
The NBA Finals begin Thursday night (6/5/14) with the Spurs possessing home court advantage this time around and a bad taste in their mouths from the result of last year’s Championship round.