LeBron James could not single-handedly push the Miami Heat to a win against San Antonio despite his triple double in game 1. The same could be said for the efforts of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker throughout this series. Regardless of age, talent, athleticism, focus, or competitiveness, both the Spurs and Heat are too deep for any one player to completely take over the series.
What this NBA Finals has come down to is role players, as it so often does. The Spurs needed every bit of Manu Ginobli in game 5 as he silenced his critics. He struggled the first four games, but helped the Spurs win critical game 5 at home. Ginobli’s double double, combined with Danny Green’s hot shooting from beyond the 3-point line, gave San Antonio a convincing 10-point win. And I must give credit to Kawhi Leonard’s solid all around performance throughout this series. He has made LeBron James’ life tough all while continuing to score second chance points for San Antonio.
The Spurs had their fifth title on their fingertips, literally five seconds away from being called world champs. Then Ray Allen, as he has done throughout his hall of fame career, hits a big time corner 3-pointer to tie the game. The only ones more upset than Spurs fans were the Heat fans who left the American Airlines Arena to beat the traffic.
The San Antonio Spurs left home needing one win. Game 6 was that win stolen by clutch plays by James, Allen, and Chris Bosh in regulation and overtime. Just like that ugly Christmas sweater from Aunt Jean, the Spurs do not want it, or a game 7 on the road. They will need Ginobli’s sixth man play, hot 3-point shooting from Green, and Leonard playing as aggressive against James as he can to come out victorious.