San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan now has five NBA championships under his belt as San Antonio defeated the Miami Heat 104-87 in Game 5 to take the series going away. Kawhi Leonard, a 22-year old small forward, earned Finals MVP honors by averaging just under 18 points per game in a balanced effort by the champion Spurs.
The 500-pound elephant in the room is, of course, LeBron James. Many pundits will crack on him for losing this series in five and being blown out in each of the last three games, but the future Hall of Famer had absolutely no help from his Heat teammates.
LeBron James in now 2-3 career in NBA Finals.
• Michael Jordan: 6-0
• Magic Johnson: 5-4
• Larry Bird: 3-2 pic.twitter.com/DknZane5mC
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 16, 2014
Overall, LeBron scored 34 percent of Miami’s points over the course of the last two games. Miami’s performance was similar to what we saw with James and the Cleveland Cavaliers back in the 2007 NBA Finals. Basketball is a team game and there are five men on the court at all times. LeBron simply wasn’t able to do it all himself. Maybe some of the blame should go to Dwyane Wade, who shot 4-of-12 from the field in route to scoring 11 points while turning the ball over three times.
Back to the champions for a second, as we are sure to get our LeBron fill over the next few weeks while he decides whether to opt out of his contract.
Duncan earned his fifth NBA title over the course of the last 15 years. His level of dominance from a championship standpoint can be summed up by the fact that the 2013-2014 NBA Finals MVP was seven years old when Duncan won the same award for the first time some 15 years ago.
Speaking of domination, San Antonio was simply on another level throughout the final three games. It outscored the Heat by an average of 19 points per game during that span. Six different Spurs players averaged double digits in the series, while Chris Bosh, Wade and James put up 10-plus points per outing. It was this depth that ultimately led to a Spurs victory in five games.
Photo: Sporting News