Twistity Sports Exclusive: Superb Spurs handle Heat

  Depth before dishonor. That’s the lesson of the 2014 NBA Finals, won in swift and terrible fashion by the San Antonio Spurs. Their annihilation of the Miami Heat...

Depth before dishonor. That’s the lesson of the 2014 NBA Finals, won in swift and terrible fashion by the San Antonio Spurs.


Their annihilation of the Miami Heat in five games, only one of them close, was complete and total. Sunday night’s 104-87 win saw the Spurs trail by 16 early and then lead by 22 later in a turnaround that could have snapped Linda Blair’s neck. The MVP was Kawhi Leonard, who was nearly invisible in the first two games and invincible in the final three.

The Spurs won their fifth title in 15 years and avenged last season’s seven-game loss to the Heat. They did it with superior depth, a quality bench that gave them quality minutes, against a team that claimed a Big Three but actually had only a Big One.

When the Spurs led 56-42, their bench had outscored the Heat’s 26-2. Two of their starters, Tony Parker and Danny Green, had not even scored yet and combined they were 0-12 shooting from the field.With the score 65-48, the situation was even weirder because Parker and Green had yet to put up a single point and another starter, Boris Diaw, had just two points.


The Heat, however, had nothing. Or, actually, got nothing. Nothing from Dwyane Wade. Nothing from Chris Bosh, who was 0-for-5 on three-point tries.

Ray Allen, pressed into a starting role by the complete failure of point guards Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, shot 1-of-8 from the field. LeBron James scored and LeBron James rebounded and it was like watching a musical group where only one member could actually play an instrument or sing.

The Spurs were the better team from the outset. They’re deeper from the first guy to the 10th than the Heat, whose dropoff from the first guy (James) is frightening. Wade sat out 28 games this season due to balky knees and a bad hamstring and if he is 32 years old, then it’s in dog years. With the 6’11 Bosh on the floor, but generally 15 feet from the basket, the Heat have no center and no presence under the boards.

Give the Heat credit. Four appearances in the Finals in four years, with consecutive titles in the middle. Give the Spurs credit. Five in 15 years, with Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich as the reigning eminences amid a cast of, well, several.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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