After losing both games at home against the San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat were in a very dangerous must win situation coming into Game 5. Without wasting any time LeBron James started the attack against the Spurs, as Miami quickly took off with an 8-0 start. They would remain dominant through the early minutes of the first quarter, at one point leading by 16.
Miami looked much more fluid than they had in the previous two games, and the noticeable difference could have possibly been from the benching of Mario Chalmers. By opting to start Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen in the back court, Coach Spoelstra showed that he wasn’t above disrupting their line-ups. The shake up seemed to be the answer as Miami set the pace quick, and those that expected them to steal a win were looking right in their predictions.
Of course as Popovich and company have already proven, it takes more than an early lead to disrupt the Spurs. Their game plan continued to be the same, as they eased their way into cutting down the Miami lead. By the time the second quarter had gotten underway, the Spurs had already started tilting momentum back in their favor. Tim Duncan made sure that he was playing his part along with an energetic Manu Ginobli. Both veterans appeared as if they were at least seven years younger at times, dominating their respective match-ups against Miami. Miami executed some impressive defensive rotations in the first half, that were completely overwhelmed for the third straight game once the second half kicked off. San Antonio basically had their number, and the taste of revenge from last years Finals was evident throughout.
All the momentum Miami had begun the game with seemed to take a drastic hit once San Antonio started getting in stride. Tony Parker had an atrocious shooting night to start before he started slowing down himself. His 1-11 shooting start eventually turned into 7 for 11 as the game came to a conclusion. Still the Spurs triumphant game resulted in a victory that was brought about by the excellent play of Kawhi Leonard. The third year player shined once again with a 22 point, 10 rebound performance that climaxed in him being crowned the 2014 Finals MVP.
His performance in the early games of this series were underwhelming to say the least, but Kawhi more than made up for himself in these past three that allowed the Spurs to clinch the series. Despite comebacks and miracle stories being a thing that fans live for in sports, as the third quarter ticked away it became evident that nothing Miami did mattered. Popovich’s team remained disciplined and stead-fast on their attack, as the score escalated in their favor. LeBron James did everything in his power as he ended the night with 31 points and 10 boards, but the might of the Spurs was just too much.
The lack of help from Miami wasn’t just an issue, it was downright embarrassing. Wade has been atrocious on defense, and despite Spoelstra hiding him on that side of the floor, Boris Diaw proved to be the ultimate weapon in exposing him . Ray Allen couldn’t must much of anything on his end, and
The final score of the game was Spurs 104, Heat 87 and even that seems like a smaller margin than what it was.
In the end the Spurs simply proved to be the better team. They were more efficient at shooting, ball movement, and just overall domination. Tim Duncan performed in a way that is fitting for a future Hall of Famer that may retire. Popovich is surely proud of his team, and if this is his last season as well then they ended it in the best way possible. This marks the 5th title in 15 years for the team, and while their future is certainly uncertain, they can rest well as the new champions of the NBA.