Apr 3, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) attempts to steal the ball from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs Daily: Leonard Makes NBA All-Defensive Team

May 31, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) go after a loose ball during the fourth quarter in game six of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. San Antonio won 112-107. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat

Guess how much the cheapest ticket to Game 1 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio is?

According to Tickets Now, $220.00.

And that’s just nosebleeds.

Want to sit courtside? That’ll cost you $8,464. For one ticket.

God only knows how much tickets cost in Miami. (over $7,500)

Be it in San Antonio or Miami, one team has to come out victorious. FanSided’s own Brad Rowland previews the 2014 Finals and makes the correct a bold prediction:

Would anything surprise me in this series? Not particularly. To be honest, the only “shocking” outcome would be a dominant performance from either side, and with the track record on both sides, that seems incredibly unlikely unless a high-profile injury occurs.

The San Antonio Spurs are the best basketball team in the NBA. I feel comfortable in saying that, but there is a reason that the team with the best player in the world usually wins in this league, and Miami clearly has the best player in this series in the form of LeBron James.

Still, the Spurs have been the more impressive team throughout the regular season, and with a clean bill of health predicted for Tony Parker, they have to be the selection. Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich are incredibly tough to pick against, even in the presence of “King James”, and in this case, I just can’t do it.

Spurs in 7.

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In other news, Assistant Editor Rhys T-J explains how Kawhi Leonard made the NBA All-Defensive 2nd team:

Kawhi averaged 1.7 steals per game, despite playing less than 30 minutes (like all of the other Spurs). Had he played 36 minutes per game (a standard amount for a starter), he would have averaged 2.1 steals – an incredible number for a primary on-ball defender.

Advanced metrics also back up Leonard candidacy as his 97.7 defensive rating (points given up per 100 possessions he was on the court) shows. If he was a team on his own, his ranking would be second only to the Indiana Pacers’s overall defensive rating. Kawhi is both an intelligent team defender, and a tenacious on-ball defender.

Here’s the complete list of the All-Defensive teams from NBA.com:

2013-14 NBA All-Defensive First Team

Position | Player, Team | 1st Team Votes (2 pts) | 2nd Team Votes (1pt) |Total Points

Center | Joakim Noah, Chicago | 105 | 13 | 223

Forward | Paul George, Indiana | 65 | 31 | 161

Guard | Chris Paul, LA Clippers | 64 | 28 | 156

Forward | Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City | 54 | 44 | 152

G/F | Andre Iguodala, Golden State 57 | 34 | 148

2013-14 NBA All-Defensive Second Team

Position | Player, Team | 1st Team Votes (2 pts) | 2nd Team Votes (1pt) |Total Points

Forward | LeBron James, Miami | 57 | 20 | 134

Guard | Patrick Beverley, Houston | 44 | 24 | 112

Guard | Jimmy Butler, Chicago | 29 | 45 | 103

Forward | Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio | 16 | 57 | 89

Center | Roy Hibbert, Indiana | 15 | 46 | 76

Game 1 kicks off Thursday, 9:00 PM ET on ABC at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

 

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