My prediction: The Spurs are the slight favorite in the series and have clearly the better team as far as average potential and depth goes. The Heat will need consistent output from a role player or 2 in every game to win. I just feel like something special is going to take place in the next couple of weeks. Even though I know the Spurs are a better all around team, I would be Shocked to see the Heat lose this one. When Lebron and Co. kick it into high gear, look out. It looks like they're playing with 8 guys on the court. The catalyst for all of that is Lebron and I can't see them losing this one. I think the series goes 6 games with Miami winning it at home."
The Spurs are the slight favorite in the series and have clearly the better team as far as average potential and depth goes. Hello understatement of the freakin' century!!! My goodness gracious were the Spurs clearly the better team. I don't know if there's enough space on the internet to describe how good the Spurs just played. Take Lebron off the floor(which could really open happen to cramping because everyone else was essentially useless so he HAD to be on the floor) and man for man, position by position, top to bottom, the Spurs were better than the Heat. I knew coming in, as evidenced above, that the Spurs were clearly a better overall team but I didn't think it was to this extent. At PG, the Spurs back up Patty Mills outscored both of Miami's PG's by himself... Ill just stop there. That's embarrassing.
Beyond the "small 2" the rest of the Heat cast provided similar output. Not so super Mario decided to have the worst 5 game stretch of his NBA career. I'm a big fan of Chalmers but boy was he awful. The spark plug Norris Cole didn't do a whole lot better as his replacement. The other guys you would expect to get a game or two out of would have been Allen, Lewis, and Battier. Lewis hit a few big 3's but nothing major. Shane...did Shane Battier even play? Ray Allen, the greatest shooter ever, couldn't have missed more wide open shots. I don't know the stats and I'm not going to look them up but I'll make a stretch and say that Ray missed more wide open 3's in this NBA finals than he missed all season. Every time he let the ball go it was a brick. That game 6 corner 3 from last year must have been his last gasp. That used up all of his good mojo I guess.
In the last 3 games of the Finals, the Spurs forgot that the other team was suppose to go on runs. They took them all. They'd get up by 15 and as soon as Miami would hit back to back shots and you'd think, "Okay, here come the Heat. They're going to get on a roll here," the Spurs would hit a dagger 3, get a steal and hit another 3, make a stop and hit ANOTHER 3. It was deflating stretch after deflating stretch for the Heat. They could do nothing to penetrate the will to win that San Antonio brought to literally every second of the game. The Spurs were an actual machine. They passed the ball with speed and precision. They took what Miami does best on defense(fly around) and made them fly way too fast, and completely out of control to the point that San Antonio was left with wide open shots for days...in which they made seemingly every one! It was absolute destruction at it's finest. After the series ended it was clear that the Spurs could have probably played another series or two if they wanted to and remember...they're old....
The result of these NBA Finals wasn't in any way a cause of Lebron's lack of...anything. In 2011 against the Mavs, absolutely. He was the best player alive and he came up as small as possible in that series. I would put 90% of that series loss on him. The 2014 Finals? Lebron couldn't have done more. In fact this article >>Lebron James Should Have Been the 2014 Finals MVP by Russell Peddle explains it with numbers far better than I could. It's excellent. The combination of the Spurs all-time play and the Miami roster outside of Lebron playing like complete scrubs was the story of the series. Does this loss hurt Lebron's quest for #1 status? No doubt. I would say he'll need to win 6-7 titles at the very least to get his name up there. Had he won this one, who knows how history might have been altered. Only time will tell.
What it comes down to is this: We treat MJ as a god. He was our childhood hero. He won those championships. He made every buzzer beater and made every defensive stop. The reality is Michael didn't do it alone and neither has nor can Lebron do it alone either. No one ever has and no one ever will. Michael was the best but he also had the best wing defender of all time, the best rebounder of all time and one of the best 3-point specialists of all time. He also had the best coach of all-time. No Jordan fan wants to admit it, but he didn't do it alone. This could turn into a whole big thing and I'm going to start rambling on but as a final thought, Jordan kind of got lucky that he played the generation right before social media. He would have been ripped apart in his early years. And how about quitting basketball to play baseball and all of the gambling accusations? Could he have dealt with it? Of course the answer is yes to many because in our minds Michael was untouchable. Lebron is not. He's made mistakes and he plays during a time where every smart guy, know it all, moron, hater, fanatic can voice his/her opinion to the world instantly. And for some reason the mass media then puts stock into all of those opinions and sadly they will largely help mold the legacies of our current and future stars.
No matter what Lebron accomplishes, someone will have something negative to say. I say, and I say this to myself as well, let's let things play out. There's no telling where every thing ends up but I've had an amazing amount of fun talking about it for the last 11 years and I can't wait until next season already! Lebron will be back and have a chance to go to a 5th straight finals...not bad for a choke artist who can't play through leg cramps!