Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for June 5, 2014. For two NBA teams, the time has come. The 2014 NBA Finals start tonight with the San Antonio Spurs hosting the Miami Heat in Game 1 of a rematch of the 2013 NBA Finals, in which the Heat won in seven games. We should be so lucky as to have another series like that one. These games will be contentious, snippy affairs between two teams that both feel that they’re the favorites.
The most recent talk has been of dynasties, legacies and respect. Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs haven’t won back-to-back titles in their reign. They’ve been one of the most dominant teams of the last 15 years and have won four championships, but they’re often overlooked by the glitz and glamour of teams like the Heat. Gregg Popovich is a Hall-of-Fame coach without question and is just padding his resume as potentially the best coach ever. Guys like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are looking to beef up their resumes and have set the standard for what teams should strive for.
Consider the fact that the Spurs drafted Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. Only Duncan was a top pick, with Parker and Ginobili going much later. They built their team by drafting well and bringing in valuable role players who could fit into their system. They also turned excess (George Hill) into Kawhi Leonard, whom was thought to be a “C” player at best. They’ve built their team with smarts, kept them together by creating a supportive (and winning) culture in the locker room and want ever-s0-badly to win their fifth championship.
The Heat are after a different kind of history. While their time together has been relatively short, it’s been filled with the kind of domination one would expect if you went out and acquired the best trio you could. Between LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, only one of them was actually drafted by the Heat. The Heat went the Pat Riley superstar route, knowing that veterans like Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen would flock (heh heh) to Miami. They were absolutely right.
Going to four consecutive NBA Finals hasn’t been done in almost 30 years. Winning three straight championships has been done a few times in the modern era, but the Heat would be just the third franchise to claim that. Not to mention — these guys aren’t 30 yet and would certainly have a legitimate shot at four straight if given a chance.
This series is bound to be one for the ages on paper. In a basketball sense, it’s the star power of Miami against the team-oriented attack of San Antonio. We can only hope to get seven games out of what is bound to be one of the best Finals in recent memory.