In the end, this series is unquestionably about the Legacies of 2 of the best who have and will ever play the game. For who's legacy is the result of this series more crucial? Win or lose? For Tim Duncan, he's already the best PF ever and certainly in the discussion for top 10 overall of all time. In one of those instances, this title can't help him nor can losing it really hurt him. Winning it is basically a cherry on top so to speak.
Then there's Lebron. Heading to his 5th finals appearance with a 2-2 overall record and 1-1 against Timmy and the Spurs. Right now, Lebron is at the very least top 5 of all time and is undoubtedly still on the path for MJ's top spot. Sure, he'll never be 6-0 in the finals nor will he be the scorer MJ was but all other things considered, the overall body of work thus far with probably half of his career remaining, he can get there. But he can't get there by squandering opportunities. He knows what's at stake. He always claims to be a basketball historian so don't think for one second he doesn't understand the importance of this series.
Let's say the Spurs win the series. If they win it in 5 games or less, boom, LBJ and the #1 spot are history. You can't be the best of all time and lose in the Finals in 5 games in the prime of your career. If it goes 6 or 7 and the Spurs still win, #1 isn't out of the picture but he'd have to get 7 or 8 titles to make a legitimate case.
Let's say the Heat win the series. Lebron gets a 3-peat and completes four straight seasons in the Finals. Something MJ never did.(Probably would have if he didn't "play" baseball, but woulda, coulda, shoulda) This makes him 3 out of 5 overall let's say with 8 years left in his career, 5 of those at the highest level. He will probably be finals MVP which would give him 3 and he already has 4 MVPS. It's hard to imagine that being the best player in the world for the next 5-6 years won't win him at least 1 if not 2 or 3 more MVPS. Could the Heat scramble in the off-season to get a couple younger pieces and get 4 straight titles? Wow. Think about it. Four/five MVPs and FOUR straight titles? We are talking unprecedented. That would jump him to #2 instantly.
The point I'm making is that every playoff series for the rest of Lebron's career is going to be crucial and it continues tonight in Texas. Hater or not, you are in the middle of watching what could potentially be the career unfolding of the best basketball player ever. Jordan lovers be damned. Lebron is on his way. BUT, the train stops if the Spurs win 4 games first. THIS. IS. GOING. TO. BE. AWESOME!
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.
Heat in 6.
Time will tell. I hope I'm right.