The San Antonio Spurs have dethroned the Miami Heat and are now the 2014 NBA Champions. During the early minutes of the 1st quarter, the Heat opened up a small can of whoop ass that lasted merely a few minutes. The Spurs closed a double digit lead in the 1st quarter and outscored the Heat in the 2nd quarter 25-11 to take the lead at halftime.
The Spurs then turned up the defensive pressure in the 3rd quarter and guard Patty Mills caught the hot hand scoring 14 points in the quarter, helping his team to outscore the Heat 30-18. The Heat tried to stop the bleeding by closing the lead to within 14 points, but Kawhi Leonard and company continued their stifling defense as the Miami Heat failed to chain together a string of baskets. Overall, the Spurs played better team basketball while the Miami Heats’ ball rotation was average at best. Their defense was the same as it has been throughout the series – missed assignments and defensive breaks-downs leading to three-point shots or layups by the Spurs.
The Miami Heats’ “Big 3” performed more like the “Big 1/3”, as Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have not shown up to play at all throughout the entire NBA Finals series. Bosh’s shot selection consisted of missed three-point shots when he should have been more aggressive driving the ball to the rim. LeBron James tried to carry his team but he simply couldn’t find the rhythm offensively. A Spurs player was waiting for him around every pick-and-roll or drive to the basket. Overall, the Heat were out-coached and the Spurs were the more hungry team. Greg Popovich deserves credit as many will herald him as one of the All-time greatest coaches in the NBA, while Tim Duncan will certainly be considered by many as the greatest power forward to ever play the game.
2014 NBA Finals MVP – Kawhi Leonard , (Youngest since 1999)
I wish the MVP was awarded to multiple players because Boris Diaw and Kawhi Leonard were the key players for the Spurs, but Kawhi Leonard deserves the 2014 NBA Finals MVP award. His defense on LeBron James was the x-factor in disrupting the offensive flow for the Miami Heat. Without his significant offensive and defensive contributions in Games 3 and 4, the Spurs would not be in the position they are in now — winning three games in a row and raising another NBA Championship banner.
Is this the end of the “Big 3” era? Will Tim Duncan return to defend his NBA title? I guess we will have to stay tuned until next season. I tip my hat to the Spurs organization, well done.