Before we get to our final grades of this season, and the Finals, we at Air Alamo would like to send a big congratulations to the San Antonio Spurs for their hard work this season. Many didn’t believe this team built with old players chances of making it back to the playoffs, let alone the Finals, would find themselves back. Well they did, and all the nay-sayers can now go on and talk about their beloved Miami Heat, because this is what they (ESPN, David Stern) wanted.
Great job to the San Antonio Spurs and the organization for another great year. They capped off the season with their sixteenth straight playoff appearance. They now will go to work as the NBA Draft is right around the corner, they will once again find the sleeper of the draft and they will come on and play an important role on the team like many have in the past.
Congratulations to the Miami Heat on winning their second consecutive title. They can’t say it was easy. San Antonio pushed them to the brink.
Now, onto the grades.
Who’s Hot. Kawhi Leonard. A season that was filled with many first for Leonard. His first NBA game, his first playoff series and now his first finals. For a 21 year old coming into the league, he surely played as if he been in that situation before. In game seven, you can say it was his National coming out party. Many may or may not of known who Kawhi Leonard is, but now they do. Leonard has the task night in and night out to defend the oppositions best player. In the NBA Finals, his task, guarding LeBron James. Many would shy away from this challenge but he [Leonard] lived for this moment, on the biggest stage in sports. Leonard scored 19 points and added 16 rebounds in his last game of the year. There are not many players that can come into the league, in their first year and do what he did. He still has a lot of room to improve. He has the best coach in all the NBA at his side, he had the chance of playing with future Hall of Famers, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The future looks bright for this kid. San Antonio fans are going to be in for a treat watching him grow.
Who’s Not. Tony Parker. Parker you would think would want a chance to forget about his game seven performance. With the bigger LeBron James on him all game long, he ended going 3 of 12 from the floor for 10 points. In a game in which the San Antonio Spurs needed their leader to come out and take the game over, he didn’t. Maybe bothered by a nagging hamstring, he will be the first to say it has nothing to do with his health. The Miami Heat adjusted well and took Parker out of the game. Also, the Heat made it
difficult for Parker to find open teammates as he did the first six games of these series. When he did pass it out, the Heat were there to deflect or steal the ball. It was not a game Parker wanted to have with it being the final game of the year.
Turning Point. With .48 seconds left in the game, Tim Duncan had a perfect opportunity to tie it up with a shot in which he hits more times than not. Well, this time, the ball did not bounce the way the Spurs were hoping. From that point on, the game seemed to be inevitable and the Miami Heat were on their way to their second consecutive title.
Use your arrows to slide through the player grades we handed out.