Sports Minded rapid reaction video of the Game 7 in the NBA Finals series
(Video By James Williams)
Article by Hans Marin
This NBA Finals series is easily one of the best Finals series ever.
It’s one of those classic series where everybody is just playing their hearts out. It’s one of those classic series where a 7thgame is needed to determine the champion. It’s one of those classic series where no team is better than the other. It’s one of those classic series where champions are not only settled but legacies are also defined. It’s one of those classic series where legends stand out from the rest.
It had become not just a battle of the Spurs’ more experienced Big 3 and Heat’s more star-powered Big 3 as we had expected before the series started. It had become an encounter of a team at their prime and a team going back to their prime. It had become a showdown of Spurs’ deeper bench against the more veteran-packed bench of Heat. It had become a clash of the coaching prowess of Gregg Poppovich and a young, Erik Spoelstra making adjustments each game. It had become a battle of the will, and who really wants the championship the most.
I was about to write how kings rise and how kings fall when LeBron James turned to beast mode in the 4th quarter to put the Miami Heat back in Game 6 of the NBA Finals until he lived up to his “LeChoke” moniker turning the ball over that resulted to a 5-point lead by Spurs with just 28 seconds left in possibly the fading away of James’ dreams of a back-to-back title down 2-3 in the series.
I ate my words eventually and probably all his critics’ also when the 4-time MVP, King James pulled up a three to cut the lead to just two. After fouling Kawhi Leonard and just making 1 of 2 free throws, Ray Allen triggered a desperation three with his perfect signature shooting form to tie the game with 5 seconds remaining.
Tony Parker failed to convert a buzzer beater and Heat, with some of their un-loyal fans wanting to come back again after walking out with 28 seconds left, forced the game into overtime and won the game in the end with 2 clutch free throws by Allen and a big block by Chris Bosh in Danny Green’s three to put the icing on the cake, 103-100 and stave off elimination going in Game 7.
They successfully edged out the proud Spurs, 95-88 in that game which featured a perimeter shot dagger by James to be crowned back-to-back champions. LeBron James, who had 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 6 and 37 points and 12 rebounds in Game 7 was named the Finals MVP for 2ndstraight year and added another trophies to his ever-growing collection.
Neither of the team wanted to let the other team take-over the series. It can be seen as even if the Spurs drew the first blood, the Heat answered back, then the Spurs had a bounce back of their own and this had just been the alternate pattern until Game 7.
In Game 1 of the series, Tony Parker made an almost impossible circuit shot to set a dagger in the hearts of the Heat and got the 1-0 advantage. The Heat made no sign of letting go with the help of the spark of the streaky Mario Chalmers to scorch the Spurs and tie the series going back to San Antonio. Spurs bounced back thanks to the dynamic duo of Danny Green and Gary Neal who fired threes after threes to set an NBA Finals record of 16 threes in a game to dominate the Miami with a 36-point lead, the 3rd biggest deficit in NBA Finals ever history.
Just when we thought that the Heat are down and out, there’s still another gas left in their tank as Dwayne Wade returned to his superstar level of playing as he put up 32 points with 6 steals to make the series tied at 2-2. Manu Ginobili on the other hand stepped up and made a flashback of his old self tallying 24 points with 10 assists with a record-breaking 25 threes by Danny Green in the Finals to outlast the Heat, 114-104 to be one step closer for the coveted crown.
Game 6 of this year’s Finals rested the case of this series being one of the best ever. This game is hands down one of the most classic game ever. This is the game where we saw the heart of the true champions. It’s in these situations, when they’re backs are against the wall and when all the odds are against them, are where true legends and true winners. With Tim Duncan turning back the clock to his best playoff performance yet with 30 points and 17 rebounds, it was not enough to cool the Heat with LeBron having a 30-point triple double performance (first time since Charles Barkley in 1993 Finals) and a very calm and clutch Ray Allen shooting a three when it mattered the most. The momentum shifted to Miami Heat, forcing a do-or-die game 7 at their homecourt.
The 7th game proved to not only settle who will be the champions but to also define and lift legacies. Having his 2nd and a back-to-back title will really elevate his chances of being the GOAT or the greatest player of all time and a 3rd loss in a Finals series will not really help his case. Tim Duncan on the other hand will be the first player to win championships in three decades with a fifth title and will also be the greatest player of his generation beating Kobe, who had 5 rings but 2 losses in the Finals, with an untarnished record in the Finals of 5 titles.
With the Spurs down by 2, 88-90 and under a minute left in game 7, Duncan missed his signature post-up move against a smaller Shane Battier twice. Since that, Spurs did not get anything going. Tim Duncan said in an interview that Game 7 will haunt him forever. Of course, that shot which he can really make is really big and could put the Spurs in a position to win. But those things just happen. It’s probably nerves that made him missed the shot, or probably fatigue, age can also be a factor, or maybe it’s just meant to happen. Bad luck for Duncan if that’s the case.
Why the Spurs lost? A reason can be is that their Big 3 are way past their prime with Ginobili not being his usual daredevil self and a turnover-prone player except for Parker but he’s battling a hamstring injury. They’re all at their thirties and it’s just a matter of time before they’ll retire. A reason also is their too much reliance in the three-point territory. Heat decoded how to stop the threes from falling after Game 5 and Spurs was just not the same ever since.
Sad to say, but 2013 marks the end of the Tim Duncan era. It’s probably his last run for a title but it still ended great being engaged in one of the best matchups ever. But I still hope the Big Fundamental still have enough firepower left for another run in the next years to come for his fifth title. There’s still a good thing however for Spurs as Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green are both showing potentials to be true superstars in the league.
Spurs fans can blame the free throws that Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard should’ve made in Game 6 to win the title or the “coaching mistake” of Gregg Poppovich of getting Tim Duncan out in the last two key defensive plays in Game 6 also but we can’t really tell. Things like that happen, and sometimes, they just happen in the most unexpected time.
With the Miami Heat now in their prime, can they do a three-peat or a two three-peat like what the Chicago Bulls did in the 90’s? We never know. But with the level that LeBron is playing right now, I think he’s destined for this kind of moments. King James, The Chosen One as they also called him is destined for greatness.
(Video Photo by Kyle Fuller)
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