Game 5 saw the shooters get hot again for the San Antonio Spurs, and they took down the marvelous Miami Heat, who simply cannot defend against such high scoring opponents. With the Spurs owning a 3-2 NBA Finals series lead over the Heat, the teams are headed back to Miami to settle to championship. The seesawing affair has provided brilliant individual displays, record-setting performances, and is setting up smartly for a dramatic finale.
For both teams, this NBA Finals has massive implications surrounding players’ legacies and the way they will be remembered. LeBron James has been unfairly compared to Michael Jordan since the day he entered the NBA. But, if he is to equal or surpass Jordan’s 6 NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls, James and the Heat will need to win nearly every year. For the team to stumble in the NBA Finals like they did in 2011, James would quite possibly be remembered for not coming through in the most vital of moments. Hoping to build upon his single NBA Championship last season, LeBron James needs this victory.
The San Antonio Spurs are more of a model of team efficiency. A dominant force in the mid 2000’s, the Spurs have won 4 Championships since 1999. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili combine exceptionally well on the court, and this NBA Finals appearance is a testament to the proud legacy they have created together. This current championship run represents probably the last time that these players will have the opportunity to win a championship together as age is beginning to catch up with them.
Nevertheless, the Spurs of tomorrow have several bright young faces who have emerged as playmakers this season. Danny Green, a former national champion basketball player with the University of North Carolina, has been on fire from beyond the arc. His 25 3-point shots in the series have already broken the NBA Finals record, and we still have potentially two games to go! This team is ready to win this championship, and have been playing incredibly well.
Is the Miami Heat up to the task? Sure, as dominating as Game 5 was for the Spurs shooters, Game 4 showed the Miami trio of James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh combine for 85 points as the Heat won big. With a sport so determined on who gets hot on what night, the NBA Finals is about to be decided on who comes to play on the biggest stage.
LeBron James has already shown he is a capable force in Game 7’s, but will the Heat even get there? The Spurs have not looked like a team ready to step aside and bless LeBron James with an easy second championship. They are focused and determined, and trying to improve their own legacies to the game of basketball. The thrill of victory has been long remembered since the Spurs’ last title in 2007, and they would surely want nothing more than to add to it.
However, I still like the Heat in this series. LeBron James has been put to the test routinely throughout his career, and he usually steps up to the challenge. While I do concede that the NBA Finals can now go either way, I do feel that he will be the star of the show by the end of it all. Games 6 and 7(?) will certainly make for an enthralling end to what has already been an incredible NBA Finals.
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