By Angel L. Quiles Jr.
The San Antonio Spurs avenged their bitter defeat in last years N.B.A. Finals by beating the defending champion Miami Heat yesterday 104-87, amongst a sold out crowd at the AT&T center in San Antonio, Texas. It is the fifth N.B.A. title in the franchises history, and the first time they have won the crown since 2007.
Budding star Kawhi Leonard was named finals M.V.P. averaging 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assist, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks. He shot an uncanny 61.2 percent from the field, and 57.9 from beyond the three-point line. He managed all this productivity while chasing around the best player in the N.B.A. LeBron James. Leonard is the youngest Finals M.V.P. since 1999 when his teammate Tim Duncan won the honor. Duncan said of Leonard, “I’m honored to be on his team right now, ‘cause he’s gonna be great for years to come and I’m gonna hold [onto] him as long as I can,” Leonard’s illusiveness, energy, fortitude, and resiliency were too much fuel for a fire the Heat could not put out.
The San Antonio Spurs were an absolute joy to watch play this year. They earned their victory, and showed everyone that the Western Conference was the better conference. The Heat looked overwhelmed by the amount of talent at every position the Spurs contained, and exploited Dwayne Wade’s lack of explosiveness. Miami’s bench who had been good in their championship years looked lost. They couldn’t make any adjustments to stop the offensive onslaught being shoved down their throats, and ultimately succumbed to a better team.
Coach Greg Popovich molded a team together comprised mostly of unselfish foreign-born players. The synergy created by the Spurs will have N.B.A. executives scrambling to find players with the same basketball acumen, and skill. Players who love the game, and have sound fundamentals. Players who believe in the concept of team, and aren’t happy just to be getting paid to play on one.
Congratulations Spurs on being the 2014 N.B.A. champions, and thank you for showing us what happens when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We had the Spurs in seven games, but they win in five.