This year’s NBA Finals reminded us what is possible when you have two legitimate and established teams which have been through the NBA Championship battles.
While the outcome may not be the one that San Antonio Spurs’ fans wanted, the team’s showing was nothing to be ashamed of or anything that merited any criticism. All seven games were tightly contested for three plus quarters or longer. Each game was decided by a key run or a key shot that put the game out of reach.
The series contained individual performances that were not seen previously, such as LeBron James in the final two games back in Miami or Shane Battier’s three point barrage in Game 7 along with Danny Green record breaking three point shooting.
The commitment shown on the defensive end ensured that double digit leads were created and erased through execution, along with tenacious defense being played critical shots.
With all games being so closely contested, both teams were constantly being asked to work on ways to take away what the other team did well in the previous game (i.e. Miami taking away the pick-and-roll in Game 2, Gary Neal and Green shooting lights out in Game 3). As a result, each team’s coaching staffs dug deep in to their bag of tricks and at times chose to make uncharacteristic moves.
For Eric Spoelstra and the Heat, this meant putting his MVP small forward on the opposing teams MVP caliber point guard or putting out a team on the floor with no true point guard when the Spurs put up a front court comprised of Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw and Kawhi Leonard.
For Greg Popovich and the Spurs staff, these games caused them to shorten their bench rotation and leave some fans scratching their head as to why Matt Bonner didn’t receive more playing time or have Dwayne Wade being guarded by a center. He also experimented with keeping members of the"Big Three” on the bench during critical end of game situations.
After looking back at the 2013 NBA Finals, the Spurs and the Heat gave us a series that we will be talking about in the future. So fellow Spurs fans, how will you view the 2012-13 Spurs? Failure or success?