Easier Said Than Done
“Easier Said Than Done”…..I was most definitely living that adage last week as I grabbed my phone and sent a congratulatory text…midway through the fourth quarter…to my sister, a Spurs fan! The message was sent because it was the right thing to do—the San Antonio Spurs had manhandled my Miami Heat in five games and started the summer vacay, of South Beach’s favorite team, off on a pitifully sour note.
Actually feeling it…the whole “done” part…was an entirely different story. It has taken this long to wrap my mind around the fact that the team I’ve watched over the course of the season opted out of the Finals. Spurs fans were elated and rightfully so….Heat fans were devastated and rightfully so…but for someone with no skin in the game, they had to have felt robbed by the lack of a nail biting series and rightfully so!
Although the conversation should be about the Spurs and their not one, not two, not three, not four, but five championships in franchise history, the postgame chatter has not unfolded that way. Even in defeat, the Heat organization has managed to remain at the forefront of discussions from coast to coast—so why not jump in with my two cents worth?
As disappointing as the series was, I’m not one who automatically resorts to blowing up the team. Let me go back….a team that has gone to four straight championship games, no less. On that note, it is hard not to chuckle when naysayers point to the less talented eastern wing of the league as the primary reason the Heat have been as often as they have. Ummm, let’s think back to a time when the western conference was considered the weakest link….correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t’ recall a western team dominating in such a fashion…four straight conference appearances, with two championships under their belt…even when they didn’t quite measure up to their colleagues in the east!!
Make no mistake about it though, tweaking is in order:
No doubt, LeBron James must’ve felt as though it was 2007 all over again…after all, he was facing Tim Duncan, Inc….and was doing everything but selling popcorn in the stands for his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers…no wait, he’d taken his talents elsewhere, right?
Dance with the one that brung you….the finals are no place to abandon the style of play that got you there in the first place. While the Spurs moved the ball with the precision of a seasoned surgeon…on the Heat side of the court, ball movement was either non-existent or in the stands as a result of yet another turnover!
Development….I have no qualms with the hodgepodge of lineups Coach Spoelstra presents. Yet, if players are going to mix it up to that degree, player development is even more crucial. Why Greg Oden was picked up and not developed is beyond me…even if he has physical limitations—either max the big guy out or let him go elsewhere. Same can be said for Michael Beasley…help him to become all that he can be or send him on his way.
Bear in mind all development isn’t physical….memo to Mario: less chip on the shoulder, more chipping in, thank you!
While I’m at it, my vote has been cast to have D. Wade come off the bench…and his contract to reflect that role…staying away from the latter though….never get between somebody and their money, it can get quite ugly—quickly!!
What I know for certain is (1) I trust Pat Riley…except that whole stick it out mumbo jumbo he was talking at his press conference—please—this is a business and folks will do what is best for them and their families…kinda like he did when he left New York…(2) I trust LBJ and appreciate his take some time away from it all approach—I ain’t never made at a well deserved vacay!. (3) I’m a fan of both, whether they stay married after this season or not!
Back to the Spurzzz....couldn’t resist the sleepy reference. Aside from all of the accolades rightfully bestowed on Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Coach Pop and the team’s phenomenal ball movement…an honorable mention has to go out to the role players—specifically sending congrats to Boris Diaw for a job more than well done!
And finally, if I had to pick a bright spot from the series it would hands down be watching the emergence of Kawhi Leonard…the kid looked every bit like he was born to do what he was doing—which was to have his way on both ends of the court. I’m stumped to easily recall when a Finals MVP nod was more obvious!!
As my text last week said….”Congratulations to the Spurs!!”…hard work and determination really do pay off in the end!!!