While the San Antonio Spurs and fans are still recovering from the NBA Finals loss, it didn’t take long before fingers were pointed, outside of the franchise.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who is no stranger to generating headlines, spoke to Syracuse.com recently about the NBA Finals. While Boeheim was very complimentary of the Spurs, he certainly seemed “unplugged” when speaking of Spurs guard Danny Green.
"Part of you wants the Spurs to win because they have such a great organization," he said. "They do it the right way. They did everything they could to win. But in the end, Danny Green proved why he's been in and out of the league all the time.”
You’d think North Carolina was in a heated, historical rivalry with Syracuse for Boeheim to go after the former Tarheel like that.
While Green has been the subject of quite a few linkbait articles recently regarding his whereabouts after Game 7, Boeheim’s description, and blame of Green for why the Spurs lost, is terribly inaccurate.
While people will continue to look at Green’s performances through the first five games, and then Games 6 and 7 separately, his effort was never in question even while he went off, scoring double figures in five consecutive games.
Green’s struggles in his final two games, had everything to do with coaching and defensive adjustments. When Miami’s stingy defense decides it’s going to stop giving you open looks, there’s not much you can do. Green’s defensive effort was consistent all the way through the Finals and his transition defense was especially good. Through the last two games, Green averaged 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks.
While it’s easy to blame a series on a player that struggled offensively in two key games, it’s also hard to count out what that player did to put his team in the position to play a Game 6 or 7 in the first place. Having some shots hit the rim is not enough to make anyone forget about Green, the Finals MVP candidate that lead the Spurs in scoring and then broke an NBA Finals record by knocking down 25 three-pointers.
While Green may not always be the picture of consistency, he’s far from the player Boeheim has mistaken him for and if you’re looking to find a reason why the Spurs lost, it runs more than one player deep.