While everyone seems to have already moved on to how the draft and free agency will affect NBA teams next season, I'm still catching up on my thoughts from one of the best NBA Finals series ever. What's the point of speculating so early on, when there's still a few months until the next season tips off? We can at least wait until July 10th, when all the "leaked" trades and signings can become official.
This is the 2nd of 3 posts recapping the NBA finals. I discussed game 7 in the first one. This post will focus on the entire series as a whole. So let's start by revisiting my predictions in my preview post.
I identified key players who needed to step up in Mario Chalmers, Chris Bosh, and Danny Green. In addition to key plays each of these players made, the difference in the numbers between the games where Miami won and the ones that the Spurs won also stood out:
Heat wins (games 2, 4, 6, 7)
Mario Chalmers 14.8 ppg
Chris Bosh 10.5 ppg 10.3 rpg
Danny Green 8.8 ppg 11-22 3pm-a
Spurs wins (games 1, 3, 5)
Mario Chalmers 5 ppg
Chris Bosh 13.7 ppg 7 rpg
Danny Green 21 ppg 17-28 3pm-a
I also wrote that "if San Antonio manages to steal one early, it might be too late for Miami to adjust and come back." That almost turned out to be the case as Miami and San Antonio alternated games, with San Antonio almost winning it all in game 6. That back and forth alternating of games is what made the series so compelling in my mind. While there have been other NBA finals that have had closer games throughout, the constant adjusting between the teams on the coaching side meant that what worked one game was no longer going to work in the next. While this resulted in a few blowouts, it also meant that the two teams kept bettering themselves throughout the series, which made for a more complete experience for fans of the game of basketball, as opposed to just the current superstar-driven NBA product. Fans, especially casual ones, too often associate a close game with being a good game.
But even for those fans just looking for drama and excitement, there was the amazing game 6, featuring one of the most improbable comebacks in NBA finals history. The entire series as a whole just seemed to have something for everyone. There were instances of basketball being played at the highest level on both offense and defense. There was a record breaking performance in Danny Green's run of 3 point shooting. There were tight games filled with drama and excitement. There were poster-making blocks and dunks. There were moments of uncertainty and moments of inevitability. This was an instant classic of a series, and that is why I am still writing about the NBA Finals, even though many have moved on to the next thing.