You could kind of see this coming; after blowing their chance in last year’s NBA Finals the San Antonio Spurs achieved redemption with a 104-87 Game 5 victory over the NBA Miami Heat to win the 2014 NBA Championship.
In Game 6 of the 2013 NBA finals championship round, the Spurs were up 3 games to 2 over the Heat and led by 5 points on their home court with 28 seconds remaining. 29 seconds later they were headed to South Beach where they would suffer a Game 7 loss and Miami celebrating back to back titles.
A NBA Miami Heat three-peat was not in the cards for the Heats LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Instead there was the winning trio consisting of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. They became the winningest threesome in NBA playoff history.
However it would not have been possible without the contribution of Kawhi Leonard who was named the series MVP. Leonard scored at least 20 points in 3 straight games and defended Lebron James extremely well.
Tim Duncan now has 5 crowns to his credit.
Coach Gregg Popovich has led Duncan and San Antonio on all five occasions as well.
To the NBA Miami Heats credit this was their 4th consecutive trip to the Finals having won in 2 of them. That seemed to be enough for King James who after the game proclaimed “I’ll take 50% in 4 years in championships any day”. Gone was the bravado of counting up to 6, 7 or 8 crowns as was the case upon him taking his talents to South Beach.
This series was more indicative of his playing days in Cleveland when he had little help in achieving success.
This Finals was pretty disappointing for the Miami Heat. Wade and Bosh were virtual no-shows much of the time while James averaged 28 points on 57% shooting and 8 rebounds for the 5 contests.
San Antonio didn’t just win this final series, they dominated Miami. Their 4 wins were by a total of 72 points (an 18 point margin of victory per game). The lone defeat was by the score of 98-96.
In the 2014 postseason they won 12 times by more than 15 points, a new NBA record.
Miami had won 11 consecutive playoff series prior to succumbing in this one.
So now both teams have many questions to be answered after the Spurs celebration and Heats retrospection.
James, Wade and Bosh are all eligible to opt out of their contracts with Miami and become free agents. Even if they remain together, Wade will need a career resurrection and the bench will have to be revamped with younger, more capable role players.
San Antonio is, for the most part, an aged group of veterans who through all their success have played a lot of basketball the past few seasons. It has been 15 years since their 1st title in 1999. Duncan, Parker and Ginobili have attained 117 postseason wins while playing together.
Will 5 Larry O’Brien Trophies be enough for Popovich and Duncan? Parker and Ginobili have 4 each.
All and all the NBA Miami Heats were defeated by a great playing team….. the San Antonio Spurs!