For some games, there are just no words that do it justice.
Game 6 of the NBA Finals was one of those games.
Tuesday's game in Miami will go down in the annals of history as one of the greatest ever. When LeBron James describes it as "By far the best game I've ever been a part of", you know that it was something very special.
The San Antonio Spurs were seconds away from an NBA title, so much so that the arena staff had even surrounded the court with yellow rope for the trophy presentation. The Heat staged a miraculous turnaround, James and then Ray Allen hit consecutive three-pointers with just 5.2 seconds left to force overtime.
To their credit, the Spurs picked themselves up and had a chance to force a second overtime, but Danny Green's three-point attempt was blocked by Chris Bosh and the Heat emerged with an improbable 103-100 victory.
Now, it's winner-take-all in a monumental Game 7.
Or as Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra put it "The two best words in sports".
When the San Antonio Spurs defeated the defending champions the Miami Heat 114-104 in game 5 of the NBA finals Sunday it was a big game and a must win game. It was almost predictable who would win game five, because the only formula anyone needed to know was which team needed the game the most, and that was the San Antonio Spurs.
Neither the Miami Heat nor the San Antonio Spurs have been able to win a must win game when the must win game is the opponents. Each of the five NBA final games have unfolded with the must win team delivering the knock out punch. Now that is no longer the case, it takes two, back to back wins to secure an NBA championship title!
The Spurs were walloped by the Miami Heat in game 4, 109-93 and a loss in game 5 at home would have sent them on the road to Miami for the final two games, down 3-2 in the finals. The Spurs wanted nothing to do with that scenario and they came out playing the type of defense they faced against Miami in game 4. The Spurs were able to keep Miami from starting game 5 with the defensive and offensive aggression they ended game 4.
Welcome to the NBA finals, Manu Ginobili.
The Argentinian rolled back the years in Game 5 of the NBA finals, giving a virtuoso performance that has the San Antonio Spurs on the brink of their first NBA Championship since 2007.
The perfect time for his best game of the season.
Coach Gregg Popovich pulled another masterstroke on Sunday night, giving Ginobili his first start of the season, much to the delight of the capacity crowd. Ginobili repaid his Coaches faith in him with 24 points and 10 assists, his highest totals of the campaign.
More importantly, he was the driving force behind the Spurs' 114-104 victory over the Miami Heat, leaving them one game away from an NBA Championship.
Shortly after the Boston Celtics were eliminated from the 2013 NBA playoffs, ESPN sports personality Steven A. Smith stated on the network’s program First Take that his sources told him the Los Angeles Clippers wanted to work with the Celtics to potentially send Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and head coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers in exchange for forward Blake Griffin and other Clipper players. Smith’s proclamation was widely dismissed at the time by everyone in sports journalism. Furthermore, Celtics’ President of Operations Danny Ainge stated May 9th on WEEI’s Silk & Holley show that the rumor was “silly”.
However, fast forward to the middle of June and Smith’s proclamation doesn’t sound so silly anymore due to the lack of information coming from the Celtics regarding if Rivers wants to finish out his contract as head coach and their plans for Pierce and Garnett next season. Smith’s assertion has become the foundation of much speculation in sports media. Stories have begun to pop up daily on websites such as ESPN, Yahoo, Boston Herald, and the Boston Globe that the Clippers and Celtics are looking to do exactly what Smith stated they were attempting to do in May.
When Jason Kidd retired from a 19-year playing career just a matter of weeks ago, I doubt even he expected what was to come next.
Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets.
Wednesday's announcement sent shockwaves through the Basketball world. The 40 year old has no coaching experience whatsoever, yet he did enough in his interview to convince the Nets that he was the right man to take the franchise forward. He subsequently signed a three-year deal and will start immediately.
Certainly a bold move, very much in-keeping with their new philosophy since their arrival in Brooklyn under Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
There is very much a 'Boom or Bust' element to this hiring. Despite a glorious career in the NBA, which will no doubt make Kidd a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, he has zero coaching experience at any level. Kidd has stated he has been studying for the role for some time, but there is no substitute for experience and many feel this is too large a step for Kidd, who may have been better off taking an assistant coaching job first to learn the ins-and-outs of the game.
However, with big risk comes big reward.