The Miami Heat punched their ticket to the NBA Finals in what should be an excellent matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. This series pits two teams that at some point this season could have laid claim to being the best in the NBA. They’re two teams that when playing their A-game, can be downright scary. They are, in my opinion, the most hated on franchises in the NBA at this present time (that sound you hear is Lakers and Celtics fans saying, “What about us? You are hating just by saying we are not the most hated on teams.”). It is my belief and hope that people should not spend this whole series hating on these teams, but appreciating the enjoyable viewing instead.
The Spurs have been one of the most hated on teams for years. People dismiss them as boring when they’re just playing crisp, fundamental basketball. Their ball and player movement is a thing of beauty when it’s clicking. People don’t like Tim Duncan at all because he comes off as uptight, aloof and boring, but he has been a true professional and one of, if not the best power forward of all time. Regardless of how boring he is, a win in this series and he joins elite company with a fifth ring. All have been well-earned with him being a vital cog in what the Spurs do.
Critics rarely mention Tony Parker when discussing the best point guards in the league. This is a mistake that I can acknowledge making too. He has been an excellent point guard for years and seems to be in his prime right now. He will be a match-up nightmare for the Heat. They hate the way that the Spurs–primarily Manu Ginobili–have flopped for years and gotten away with it. Well actually, that is one aspect I agree with wholeheartedly so I will move on.
The Spurs are a group that are in the twilight of their time together and we as basketball fans should appreciate what we are watching. It may be a while before we see another team this fundamentally sound, this well coached and one that works this well together.
The Heat became arguably the most hated team in the NBA on July 8, 2010 when LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach. Once Chris Bosh followed, people felt like the Heat bought championships for years to come. This led people from Cleveland to L.A. to pray hard for the Heat’s downfall. Even though he is the best player in the world right now, people still find ways to hate on LeBron’s game, getting excited to see him make a mistake or fail in the clutch. It is high time that people set aside their Jordan and Kobe biases and begin acknowledging that we are watching one of the best ever.
Fans hate the Hollywood drama factor that the Heat seem to thrive on. Things like Dwyane Wade playing like he’s hurt for an entire series then having a monster Game 7 do nothing to dispute that fact. Do not let that blind you to the fact that this is a good team that was built to get to this point. People spend time talking about how the Heat would not have been this good in prior eras. That fact may be true, but the focus should remain on the now. I know that comparison is 90% of sports-talk nowadays, but do not lose sight that this is a team that is built well for this era and has a chance to become a dynasty.
People hate how often the Heat flop and get away with it. Once again, I agree wholeheartedly with that one, so I will move on.
The Heat took advantage of free agency and put together a team that they felt could become a dynasty. Winning this series against an organization like the Spurs will be another step in building that dynasty. A second loss in the finals in three trips could cause it to crash and burn quicker than anyone expected. It will be fun to see how it plays out.
To everyone who will be tuning in to see how this Finals play out, please appreciate what you are watching. These are two teams that I believe will bring it on a special level for six-seven games. Look past all your preconceived notions of how the players perform, what the refs are calling and whether or not you like a player. Just enjoy the good basketball you will see. This is the best finals match-up in a long while and I would feel bad if you miss out on it due to your hate for the teams participating.
Feel free to comment on here or hit me up on Twitter.
I’m Jimmy L. Wilson, Jr., and I approve this message.