Saturday, June 22, 2013

Miami Heat Win NBA Title #2 in the LeBron James Era

The Miami Heat win their third NBA title with a game seven win over the San Antonio Spurs.  LeBron had his best game of the series and cemented his title as King James despite a "lackluster" series in which he averaged 25.3 points, 10.9 boards, seven assists, 2.3 steals and almost a block a game and "only" shot 44% (35% on threes).  While his performance could be picked apart for the first five and a half games, the last quarter of game six and game seven he was on and carried this team to a championship.

Game 7:  To me this game came down to depth and LeBron and Wade stepping up.  Combine an effective three point shooter, in this case Battier, with those two having good games and they are tough to beat (i.e. the regular season).  Chalmers didn't have a great game but added a 30 foot three point shot to close out the third quarter.  To me that really hurt after Manu had gotten the Spurs up by two with 5 second left in the quarter.  I thought having Parker on the bench at the end of the game and Ginobili's really quick/forced three point shot with 28 seconds left doomed the Spurs. 

I think this was a great series even though some of the games weren't close.  Spurs fans will always replay the  "what if" scenarios in their mind as will the players.  The fact they didn't win shouldn't be a detractor from what Duncan, Pop and the rest of the Spurs have done for what seems like forever.  Should they have won it?  Probably.  But I think most people believe Miami was the better team going in and San Antonio was the sexy pick.  It just wasn't to be.  It was either LeBron or Spoelstra who said it takes a little luck to win games like game six and it went their way.

What I did enjoy seeing after game seven was the respect the players and coaches all showed each other.  The series was notable for the lack of trash talking, chest thumping,  and players getting into other player's faces.  I liked that.  It carried over after the series as you saw Pop taking time to actually say something and embrace the Heat before leaving the floor (and he did it with a smile on his face).  The Heat gushed over the Spurs as a team every time they spoke.  Again it was very refreshing to see two teams who were professional to a player just go out and play very hard with the intent to win and not to show anyone up or play the fool.  Good job.     

Like many I was really rooting for the Spurs.  Luckily I'm not a die hard Spurs fan because this series was so hard to watch and I know those fans are hurting.  "The agony of defeat..." probably puts it most apt...

Random series related links...
Yaj - Game 7 Recap

Interview with LeBron After the Game Seven Win

Spurs Thoughts on Game 7 Loss

48 Minutes of Hell Look at the Spurs Loss of the NBA Finals

Random gripe:  I get why teams will roll the ball up court to preserve time on the clock.  It annoys me when teams do it as much as Miami did in this series.  They did it early in the game when there was no reason to.  They didn't know if they needed extra time on the clock.  In some games they did it when they were winning.  Were they preserving time for Spurs?  Just a little thing that annoyed me.   

One of the great things about this series is I was able to watch the last three games with my sisters and their families to include by brother-in-law Curtis who got me hooked on the NBA in the late 70's with a game called Statis Pro Basketball.  We played a gazillion of those games and watched many a game together which was a blast.  Doing so again this last week was awesome and a great memory I'll always have of this series.   

Next is free agency, the draft, and hope that our teams will be challenging for a championship next year.  Or in the case of Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazer fans that each at least made the playoffs...

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