The Beginning of an era began when the Miami Heat finally ended the overall dominant play of the Indiana Pacers in the 7th game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, turning the Pacers over 99-76.
Indiana put up a tremendous fight winning most of the quarters played in this series, but ultimately turnovers, bad timing and missed free-throws helped in their demise. In game 7, Miami executed consistent, strong willed, smothering and disciplined team defense that thwarted and eventually broke the spirit of the Indiana Pacers.
Except for a few glimpses during the series the Big Three, prior to game 7, was null and void, namely, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh . Through most of the series it was the Big One with Lebron James carrying the load of his Big Three partners and sometimes the bench. Wade was suspect to injury but Bosh was healthy for the most part.
Chris Bosh was being battered by Indiana’s big men inside and was defended well by the Pacers. Thank goodness, the Heat had a game seven at home. Yes, there was a game seven and the Big Three was in full throttle. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh showed up along with their bench and the Miami Heat was able to defend their championship land from the Indiana Pacers invasion. Miami is not done because a new invader, the San Antonio Spurs, are waiting to garnish the land Miami has conquered.
The Miami Heat with their controversial Big Three has positioned themselves to defend their first NBA Championship title against the San Antonio Spurs. The Heat could win their second consecutive NBA Championship, beginning a new championship era in the NBA.
The Spurs encountered an initial fight from the Memphis Grizzlies during their Western Conference Finals, but as the series continued the Tony Parker led Big Three and a stifling Spurs team defense shut down the Memphis Grizzlies. The Spurs defense put Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol on notice, forcing the duo to score from the perimeter instead of their normal post and inside scoring areas they own in their previous playoff games.
Outside shooting was not the Grizzlies’ forte nor did they have that player besides Mike Connelly who could consistently create their own shot and score down the stretch of games. The Spurs won the series and moved on with time to rest while setting their sights on the land, Miami still possesses. The San Antonio Spurs know that the land is available if they can defeat the Miami Heat in the NBA Championship Finals.
The San Antonio Spurs enter the NBA Championship Finals, with legacy strapped and girded around their waist. The Spurs have won four NBA championship titles during the Popovich, Duncan and Parker, Ginobili era. If the Spurs were to win the 2013 NBA Finals it would inject them into some rarified air.
A fifth championship for the Spurs would put them in the company of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar /Magic Johnson Lakers’, Pat Riley Show Time teams that won five NBA championships in the 1980s. A fifth San Antonio championship would also put them in the air of the Shaquille O’Neal /Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson/Kobe-Pau Gasol championship teams of the 2000s, who also won five NBA championships. If the Spurs win they would have won five of the ten NBA championship titles won in the last decade.
Individually, Timmy, (Tim Duncan), individually has four championship rings and a fifth would put him in the company of Kobe Bryant. Duncan is arguably the best power forward in NBA history and Kobe’s resume stands on its own. Lebron James is trying to get where Bryant and Duncan have gone and now James’ second NBA Championship is within his grasp.
Miami, San Antonio, San Antonio, Miami, either way the NBA Championship Finals series goes, it could be the beginning or the end of an era. Miami owns the title deed to the land until they are defeated.