The San Antonio Spurs Have Won Their 5th NBA Title

The San Antonio Spurs have won their fifth title in the last fifteen years, a remarkable level of achievement, especially considering the way that they’ve done it, winning with a mix of stunning international players, unexpected finds, and castoffs. And with Tim Duncan too, the greatest big man of his generation, easily one of the game’s best ever players.

In this year’s Finals, they won by blitzing the reigning Miami Heat in the Finals’ first, third, fourth, and fifth games. The Spurs simply destroyed the Heat. And in clinching the title, the Spurs did so by going down 22-6 in the fifth game’s first seven minutes, then outscoring the Heat 98-65 the rest of the way. It was almost as if the Spurs simply wanted to know how the Heat were going to play, then adjusted accordingly, then ran them out of the building. They did so playing the most beautiful basketball, moving the ball around in a way that most NBA teams don’t or won’t or can’t. Words don’t do it justice. Video does:

Here’s to the San Antonio Spurs, as good a team as there has ever been.

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A quick note about LeBron James – his usual critics are going to delight in his failure to three-peat and will note, with glee, that his Finals record now stands at 2-3 overall. But the people doing this are trolls and should be ignored. He played fantastically. But the beauty of basketball is that the game is about more than a singular player, even one of its best ever. LeBron was surrounded with players who stood looking at him to do literally everything, a frankly impossible ask. If you hear anybody insisting that this was LeBron’s fault, ignore them for-literally-ever about basketball.

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18 thoughts on “The San Antonio Spurs Have Won Their 5th NBA Title

  1. “And with Tim Duncan too, the greatest big man player of his generation…”
    ill
    Fixed it for ya.

    I’d have taken Duncan over Kobe even before this year, but the 5th title clinches it. Duncan bests everyone else whose prime overlapped with his… Kobe, Garnett, Nowitzki, Nash. Hell, even Shaq, who may or may not be of the same generation but still pales in comparison to Duncan.

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  2. People who will note things like LJ’s Finals record at this point mostly aren’t trying to say he hasn’t played fantastically in most of the Finals he’s been in, I don’t think. They’re simply noting the state of the race for Greatest/comparison with Jordan that he inaugurated with “Not one, not two…” and that the media took hold of and prematurely ran with with the clear agenda to see it get borne out.

    Lots of players have played fantastically in a number of Finals. Only two have done what Jordan did and only one has done it in an era comparable to this one. Lebron is more like the many – like, say, Tim Duncan – not like the Two. Further, he is now only on a track to remain like them, though he could still get onto a higher track. But for now he’s not on it).

    Perhaps some who point out James’ Finals record are trying to say he hasn’t played fantastically, but I deny that most are. They’re mostly saying he’s not on track to challenge Jordan’s level of greatness, and that’s not trolling. At this point saying that he is on such a track is closer to trolling than it is to say he’s not (though I don’t think either is actually trolling).

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    • Because they have a system, and it’s the way some of these guys have played together for, in the case of their 3-man core (Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili), more than a decade. They move to space without the ball, they look to pass first (so they don’t get themselves into trouble and then try to pass out of it), they sign players with good vision, and they have Duncan. While I don’t think Duncan is a better player than Shaq, because when Shaq was in his prime he was simply unguardable (and was, when he was young, a 7’2″ center who could lead a fast break), but he is probably the best passing big man of all time.

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      • Shaq could be stopped. Just had to send him to the line.

        In all seriousness though, Shaq was better at his peak as conventionally determined. So a team with no great players, or even one, would improve more in the first year with the addition of shaq compared to duncan.

        But Shaq couldn’t do what Duncan has done on a real “team”. Perhaps in part because he didn’t want to. He was the antithesis of team. A total “me” guy. And an average passer.

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      • And a guy whose fragile ego wouldn’t allow him to fix the biggest hole in his game by learning to shoot free throws underhand. (Rick Barry, he of the adamantine ago, didn’t have that problem and made 90% over his career.)

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  3. No one should focus on James because he did what he could. Instead you have to wonder why they are still called a Big Three in Miami when Dwayne Wade is playing basketball with a fork sticking out of his back.

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  4. The Spurs are also the best-run franchise in basketball. No drama, no demands to be traded, no holdouts, no salary cap problems, and a steady stream of good young players to complement the veterans.

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