Four months have passed since the masterpiece was finished with a throwback flourish that had purists spouting superlatives and invoking sacred basketball institutions like the Red Holzman Knicks, the Jack Ramsay Blazers . . . Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, James Naismith. The Spurs joined the pantheon of great teams when they mutilated the Heat dynasty in the 2014 NBA Finals, playing a brand of team basketball that Naismith would have found ideal, even if it was unimaginable when he invented the
Wednesday afternoon, or evening depending on which northern hemisphere you were in, saw the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in their first preseason exhibition. Their opponent, Alba Berlin (otherwise known as the Berlin Albatrosse). It was, for many, expected to be a blowout in the champs favor, much in the same way that the Cleveland Cavaliers so easily dispatched Maccabi Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, fortune favors the bold. Alba Berlin, though seemingly outmatched in talent, kept the game within striking distance the
It might sound ridiculous to try to compare Aron Baynes, an undrafted reserve with four career starts, to Bill Laimbeer, a four-time All Star and NBA champion. However, the two have more in common than you would expect. Before Laimbeer became the ringleader for the Pistons’ Bad Boys and a namesake for a Super Nintendo videogame, he was an afterthought. Sandwiched in the draft between two players who never appeared in the NBA, Laimbeer – the 65th overall pick in 1979 – was forced to
The San Antonio Spurs and the organization’s two stalwarts, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich, are coming off a fifth championship and are poised for another title run next season – provided Duncan doesn’t retire. With five championships in a 15-year period, the Spurs have made a claim to be considered a dynasty. However, some people – most notably Phil Jackson – would disagree because the Spurs haven’t won consecutive titles. Jackson won three consecutive championships on three separate occasions (1991-93, 96-98, 2000-2002).
LeBron James and the Miami Heat were quickly dispatched by the San Antonio Spurs in five games in this year’s NBA Finals, so James is a pretty convenient scapegoat for his team’s failure to win a third straight championship. But LeBron is about as far from blame here as you can get. Just read James’ per-game averages in The Finals: 57.1 percent shooting from the field, 51.9 percent from the arc and 28.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. His
One of the obvious takeaways from the 2014 NBA Finals was that the San Antonio Spurs clearly have more good players than the Miami Heat. When the series began, it appeared to be a showdown of each team’s “Big Three” – Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker for the Spurs and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for the Heat. But as the Finals progressed, the talent gap separating the teams became evident. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich trusted his bench,
Lots of NBA news today, so let’s get right to the latest: FINALS WON’T DETERMINE LEBRON’S FUTURE Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com The Heat’s success or failure in these Finals will not affect LeBron James’ decision on whether to opt out of his contract by the end of this month, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. James and the Heat would be the first team in NBA Finals history to overcome a 3-1 series deficit and come back and win a title.
SAN ANTONIO — Ball movement. Two words. It’s that simple. When the ball moves, good things happen. When the ball stops moving, bad things happen. “You move it or you die,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. If you want to break down Game 2 into the one big thing that separated the two teams, you don’t have to bring up LeBron James’ 35 points. They were needed, of course, but the three biggest plays that James made came in the final 1:43 —