Unflappable: Spurs Take Game 1 With Mental Toughness and Heart

What a finish to the best overall game of the NBA season, which also happened to be Game 1 of the NBA Finals. How satisfying, that the biggest stage actually delivered an incredibly crisp and highly-executed game? Total number of turnovers: 12 (Each team had four going into the 4th quarter, but Miami turned it over four more times in the final frame. Total number of fouls (both teams): 24 (compare that with the 50 total fouls called in Game 7 of the East Finals).

I’ve been following the NBA with a different (and much more microscopic) lens this year, so it’s especially rewarding to see a match-up between two mostly evenly-matched, great teams with little personal history over the last few years.

Reasons to Root for San Antonio

How can you not be happy for the Spurs? Here are a few reasons you might reconsider, if you’re on the Miami wagon:

  1. In part because Kawhi Leonard is perhaps the most underrated player in the NBA. It’s easy to love Kawhi because of how much he impacts the game without scoring, plays incredible defense, and how he’s worked at his game, improving dramatically, while he’s only 21 years-old. Mike Breen keeps mentioning how quiet Kawhi is, but perhaps Breen has no idea why—five years ago, while his father worked at the Comptom, California Car Wash he owned–the car wash where he and Kawhi used to spend their weekends together–his father Mark was murdered, and Kawhi, naturally a somewhat reserved kid, let his game do all the talking from that point on. Read Sam Amick‘s 2011 story in Sports Illustrated here:
  2. In part because it’s the endlessly talked-about Heat, and…
  3. In part because it has been six years since the Spurs have been in the Finals, the endings of dynasties carry more weight, and…
  4. In part because I’ve always respected Duncan (even if I was bored with how consistently dominant he was, and…
  5. In part because I’ve started to realize that the NBA will not be the same without its Pop, and…
  6. In part because while ESPN and ABC and the sports media gossiped about the Heat, the Knicks and the Lakers all year, the small-television markets in Memphis, Indianapolis and San Antonio, flew under the media radar as usual, and…

To read the rest, click here:

Thanks for reading and Go Spurs,


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