On Sunday June 16, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in Game 5 to win their fifth NBA championship.
The Heat’s hope of a building a dynasty was ended as the Spurs added to their own. Up-and-coming star Kawhi Leonard was named Finals MVP. The 22-year-old became the youngest player to win the award since Tim Duncan in 1999. Leonard, who had 22 points and 10 rebounds in the decisive victory, averaged 16.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists across the series.
Duncan, who’s won titles in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014, became the only player in NBA history to win multiple championships over the course of three decades.
This year’s Finals didn’t quite match last year’s seven-game battle, and right from the get-go, it was clear as to who was the much stronger side. In the four games they won, San Antonio accumulated a 72-point differential, each game a blowout.
As the offseason approaches, the future of Miami’s Big Three–who will all be free agents–hangs in the balance. Wade has has already mentioned that he won’t accept a salary deduction, which makes keeping the star trio and acquiring new talent difficult.
As for the Spurs, it remains uncertain how many years Duncan (38), Manu Ginóbili (36) and Tony Parker (32) have left in the tank; although, each and every year critics question whether the Spurs’ core trio can go the distance. That said, the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Boris Diaw (same age as Parker but had an impressive series) should be enough provide Spurs fans with excitement for a few more years.