The biggest prize in the NBA, the Larry O’Brien trophy, has been awarded to the NBA champion since 1984. And on Thursday night, the San Antonio Spurs will either be winning their fifth Larry O’Brien trophy, or the Miami Heat will be winning their third.
Taking a look back at how we got here, the Spurs went 58-24 in the regular season, good enough for second best in the Western Conference. The Miami Heat went an NBA best 66-16 to clinch the top spot in the East. For San Antonio, this will be their 103rd game of the season, while the Heat will be playing their 105th.
Despite being 28 seconds away from a fifth championship, the Spurs don’t seem down. Well, that’s according to the local media. The national media was saying completely different things. But regardless, what’s done is done. There’s no sense in rehashing Game 6. I’ve replayed the last couple possessions so many times in my own head, that I’m close to checking myself into a psychiatric ward.
The one thing we need to remember about Game 6, is that the Spurs led for most of the game. Despite the 13 turnovers, eight of them were from Manu Ginobili alone. Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard arguably played their best game of the Finals, but Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker also played at their worst. Danny Green was a non-factor. Tiago Splitter’s played his way out of the rotation. There’s so many different factors to why the Spurs are facing a Game 7, but one thing is for certain – the Heat still don’t have the Spurs figured out.
“We are where we wanted to be at the beginning of the season, still,” said Manu Ginobili during today’s shootaround. “It’s up to us. We have to have our best game.”
Only three teams have ever won a Game 7 of the NBA Finals on the road, which hasn’t been done since 1978. No team has done it since the NBA switched to the 2-3-2 format. But if any team is going to make NBA history, why can’t it be the Spurs? No matter how cliché it is, anything can happen in a Game 7.
So no more singling players out for what happened in Game 6. You win as a team, and you lose as a team. Nothing but positive thoughts and vibes from here on out. Because I’d rather deal with the stress and anxiety of being in this situation, instead of watching some other team, while our Spurs are on the couch watching just like us.
All I ask the Spurs to do in Game 7, is take some advice about dealing with pressure from former-Spur Stephen Jackson: Make love to it.
Make love to the damn pressure. Go Spurs Go.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
Tony Parker – Mario Chalmers
Danny Green – Dwyane Wade
Manu Ginobili – Mike Miller
Kawhi Leonard – LeBron James
Tim Duncan – Chris Bosh
Key Bench Players
Boris Diaw, Gary Neal, Tiago Splitter – Ray Allen, Norris Cole, Shane Battier
Gregg Popovich – Erik Spoelstra
GAME AND BROADCAST INFORMATION
When: Thursday, June 20th, 2013. 8:00 PM Central Time
Where: American Airlines Arena – Miami, Florida
Television: ABC (National) Radio: 1200 AM WOAI (Local)
For perspective on the Miami Heat, head over time Fansided’s own All U Can Heat.