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The 2014 San Antonio Spurs Were Just Too Damn Good

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“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”

In the 2014 NBA Finals, it wasn’t about what the Miami Heat did, or didn’t do to lose their NBA title, it wasn’t LeBron James, it wasn’t because their too old and tired after going to four straight NBA Finals,  it wasn’t about Dwyane Wade’s “knees”, and it certainly didn’t have anything to with Lebron’s “supporting cast”. Cut away the story lines, and drama, the San Antonio Spurs were just too damn good.

Do you realize what you just saw? The 2014 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs will go down as one of the greatest teams in NBA history.

The Spurs ripped the Heats hearts out, they made the Heat look much weaker than they actually were. LeBron James and company didn’t know what the hell hit them.  This Spurs team made one of the of the most talented and accomplished teams in NBA history look soft, scared, old, slow and defeated throughout the entire 2014 NBA Finals. The Spurs simply destroyed the two-time, defending champions. All their wins came by over 15 points, they defeated the Heat twice on their home floor, they contained the greatest player in the world and shut his future Hall of Fame teammates down as well.

The San Antonio Spurs were on a mission, they simply wanted it more than the Heat, and it showed on every possession.

This Heat team came into the Finals as the back-to-back, defending NBA champions, they were in their fourth straight NBA Finals, yet the San Antonio Spurs made Heat look like the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers team they swept in the 2007 NBA Finals. The Spurs legitimately schooled the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals.

They moved the ball, they executed the offense, they used the shot clock, they hit the open man, they hit the open shots, they made every rotation defensively, they got after it defensively, they listened to their coach, their bench came up huge, they played their ass off on every possession, and they played with a passion and determination that was inspiring.

The 2013-14 Spurs are one of the most dominant teams in NBA Finals history. They shot the highest field goal percentage of any team in Finals history(52.8%), on the defensive end they were firing on all cylinders, it was one of the best defenses we have seen in the past decade. The start-studded Miami Heat didn’t score 100 points even once in the Finals. Whenever LeBron James would get past Kawhi Leonard, there would be a crowd of defenders under the hoop, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade had no impact whatsoever on this series and it was because of the Spurs defense.

The total point differential of the Finals was 70. This is the largest point differential in NBA Finals history.

The greatest basketball player of all-time, Michael Jordan once said “talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships” The Spurs proved this more than ever, they showed the world how beautiful the game of basketball can be. The Spurs played the game the right way all season long, but more than ever in the playoffs.

After their meltdown in the 2013 NBA Finals, the Spurs came back motivated and were looking to redeem themselves after their devastating loss. In a situation where many teams would crumble, and break apart, the Spurs came back to win an NBA-high 62 games this season, their 12th straight season with 50+ wins. In the playoffs the Spurs defeated a strong Dallas Mavericks team, followed by a stacked Trail Blazers team which featured LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, followed by the Thunder which featured the league MVP Kevin Durant and arguably another top five player in the NBA in Russell Westbrook. The Spurs were not the most talented team in the playoffs, but they showed us that it didn’t mean anything, they reminded us that basketball is a team sport, and no matter how much the NBA and media promotes individuals, at the end of the day it will always be about the team.

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This brand of basketball and the selflessness of the entire Spurs roster all starts with their franchise player Tim Duncan, the now five-time NBA Champion, the greatest power forward off all-time. Since day one Duncan has bought into head coach Gregg Popovich’s system, and it has always rubbed off on the rest of the team. The two have built a culture of excellence. There are no egos on this Spurs team, they play with respect and class, and that is what makes them so great. By winning his fifth NBA title, Duncan has solidified himself as the most accomplished player post-Jordan, he is arguably a top five player of all-time, as a matter of fact, he may just be on that Mount Rushmore that LeBron James talked about earlier this year. It would be great to see Timmy go out on top, but he doesn’t need to leave just yet, there is no reason to. Tim Duncan may have legitimately defeated father time, think about that.

Don’t forget, Duncan vowed that the Spurs would get it done this time against the Heat. He was right.

Gregg Popovich also wins his fifth NBA title, he out coached Erik Spoelstra from the moment this series tipped off. Earlier this season, Popovich admit that he thought about last years loss everyday, it was haunting him. Now Pops can relax, sit back and reflect on a legendary season and playoff run, he has nothing to worry about. Popovich is arguably the greatest NBA coach of all-time.

Than there is Kawhi Leonard. Who would have thought at the start of the 2013-14 NBA season that the 22 year-old Leonard would be the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 NBA Finals. Gregg Popovich’s system is a big reason for Leonard’s rise. When you move the ball, when you make the extra pass, good things happen, in this case, a star was born. Leonard guarded the best player on the planet for the entire series and went at him too. This guy is special. Watch out for Leonard to have a much bigger role next season, he may be the go-to guy in clutch situations for the Spurs. It was a beautiful moment seeing Leonard receive the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Trophy.

The 2014 San Antonio Spurs redeemed themselves in this years Finals, to come back from the devastating loss in last years Finals the way they did says a lot about the character of this team. Year after year, the Spurs have been doubted, and year after year they have proven their critics wrong. We are very fortunate to have witnessed this incredible run by this incredible team, it was truly a joy to watch them.

This group is hands down the greatest Spurs team in franchise history. The best apart about this team is they weren’t bought, they were built. We are in a day and age where superstars just want to join other superstars in order to win championships, for the past couple years it’s been all about having the most talented players on your roster. The Spurs may have put an end to that by giving the Miami Heat, the original “super team” one of the classiest ass kickings in NBA Finals history.

The 2013-14 NBA season has come to a close. The anticipation for the 2014-15 NBA season begins now. Teams will throw big money at “superstars” in free agency, the media will continue writing about them and their potential destinations, fans who have grown accustomed to the changing culture of the NBA be dreaming up their next big superteam.

But at the end of the day, there is only one “superteam”, the team that moves the ball, crashes every board, makes every rotation, executes the offense to perfection, listens to their coach, plays with respect and class, hits their open shots, that team is the San Antonio Spurs. The 2014 NBA Champions. One of the greatest teams of all-time.

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