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Best Player or Best Team?

There are not many National Basketball Association  fans out there that would argue the point that LeBron James is the best player in the game today. Love him, hate him or tolerate him, James is the best player of his generation.

The 2014 San Antonio Spurs were the best team in the NBA during the 2013-14 regular season. Owning the best record in the league (62-20), the number one seed in the West and doing all of this with a core of players advanced in years.

Now these two teams meet in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row. The Heat winning the title last year in dramatic fashion as the series went to seven games. This year the series sets at 2-1 as we prepare for game four in Miami Thursday night but this series might already be decided.

The first half of game three is the stuff legends are made of….. when you play video games. I have played basketball video games my whole life and have never shot 75.8 percent in a half before and these guys did it in real life….. in the NBA Finals. There were possessions in the first half when every player for the Spurs touched the ball but the ball never touched the floor before a shot was made.

If you would have made the statement that a small forward would set the tone early in the game, establish himself on both ends of the court and be the catalyst for a win for his team how many of you would have said Kawhi Leonard? Everyone that just raised their hand please stop kidding yourself. After back to back games of scoring just nine pints in each, Leonard was due for a big game but I don’t think anyone could have predicted the game he had.

Through three games it is pretty easy to see that the Spurs have a huge advantage in this series when it comes to depth and overall talent. Do you feel it is any coincidence that the Heat start mentioning their interest in making a run at Carmelo Anthony a day after getting soundly beaten by a better all around team?…..I think not.

Star players are important to have if you want to make a run at a title and the Spurs do have the horses in that regard, all be it older horses. With the regular season and now postseason he is having, Tim Duncan, in my opinion, has solidified himself as the greatest power forward to ever play the game. Manu Ginobili is in the conversation for best sixth man ever and one of the top foreign players to enter the league (via the second round). Tony Parker is a player that does it night in and night out but often doesn’t get the due or respect he deserves as one of the top point guards in the league.

The success of the role players in Game 3 (Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Patty Mills and Tiago Splitter) shows what the Heat need to do in Game 4 to make this an even 2-2 series heading back to San Antonio. The second unit for the Heat must step up and provide some sort of spark of the bench to counter what you know is coming when the Spurs start their substitutions.

The best player in the series is LeBron James. The best team in the series is the San Antonio Spurs. Which is needed to win the title is still to be determined.

 

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