What This Finals Matchup Means For the Future of the NBA
Finally, after one of the most hard fought series in recent memory, the Miami Heat have vanquished the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Their next opponent? The San Antonio Spurs, a fading dynasty led by Tim Duncan, who is looking to win his 5th ring before his Hall of Fame career comes to an end. While these two teams may seem similar when looking at their respective rosters, the way they were assembled couldn’t be any more different.
The Spurs championship formula is from a different era of basketball. From Tim Duncan to Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs have made a habit of home-growing their starters through the draft and making smart trades for prospects, and it has paid off big. Amazingly, four out of five of the Spurs’ starting line-up have spent their NBA entire careers in San Antonio, with Kawhi Leonard being a draft day trade. They have been smart in free agency, signing good role-players for cheap and leaving the big contracts for the stars they drafted. This method of building a team is tried and true, but is in danger of becoming out of date if the success of their opponents sustains.
The Miami Heat, and more specifically their Big Three, represent what could be a new trend in building an NBA team. The way Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Lebron James conspired to unite as a so-called “Super Team” led people to believe that the days of parity in the NBA were soon to be extinguished. They built what some believed to be a dynasty over night by signing too much talent in one fell swoop than ever before. The people who believed the trio of James, Wade, and Bosh would spearhead the NBA’s next dynasty so far have not been proven wrong, as they have made the Finals in each of their three seasons together as teammates, and are looking for their second straight NBA championship.
To say this Finals match up is important would be a massive understatement. The Spurs will be doing more than playing for the NBA Championship in this series, they will be playing to protect the idea that a team that drafts well and is smart with their money can compete on equal grounds with these so called Super Teams. On the other hand, the Heat will be playing to prove that their idea of superstars banding together to win multiple championships was not just a dream, and could inspire future crops of free agents to do the same. Both teams will have their hands full with each other starting Thursday, and this series has all the makings of a classic. The winner of this series will not just win the NBA Championship, however. The winner of this series could very well change the game.
By: Cody Milford- Pass the Pill Contributor