I was thinking about this earlier with my dad, while we were watching the game. He, a Heat fan, was complaining about how Miami was unable to match the Spurs' intensity. He accused them all of bad passes, poor body postures, and lazy shooting, and I had no choice but to agree. But it's not because I have a bias against the Heat.
... Okay, it's because I have a bias against the Heat.
But it's true! You were there! You saw it!
Which made me think that maybe the Spurs are better this year, not just because they have the better team, but also because they had the better opponents. The Western Conference was virtually anyone's game and totally up for grabs. See this:
- First, the 8th seeded Mavs - the Spurs' Texan rivals and the only team able to push them to the brink, no thanks to Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter's efforts.
- Next, the Blazers, boasting the top-scoring LaMarcus Aldridge and promising PG Damian Lillard.
- And finally, the hyper-athletic Thunder, who have the spitfire Russell Westbrook and league MVP Kevin Durant.
San Antonio had to go through all that to make it to where they are now. For them to overcome all those teams is nothing short of phenomenal.
And then, on the other side, you have Miami and the Eastern Conference. The East was shit this year, let's not try to sugarcoat it. The Bobcats aren't even worth mentioning, while Brooklyn was a little off. Everyone knew it would be the Pacers and the Heat for the Conference finals. But even then, it seemed Indy was just not ready to take on Miami - not with all their infighting and playing slump.
So maybe, complacency played a factor in the Heat's sluggish play today. If this was the way they played all year, then it's almost no wonder the Spurs are blowing past them now. Thanks to Pop's timely adjustments and everyone stepping up, Miami's really looking like the lesser team right now. Maybe they just took this series for granted?
Of course, this may have been already mentioned before, and of course, there are other factors that are giving the Spurs the wins right now. Maybe this wasn't even worth a FanPost anyway. But I feel this is a legitimate point, you know? Maybe the Spurs were just fortunate the West was a literal bloodbath compared to the cakewalk Miami had in the East.