With the San Antonio Spurs Game 5 victory over the Miami Heat in the Finals last night, the 2013-14 NBA season has officially come to a close.
Then again, there are only some 4 1/2 months until the regular season kicks off once again. And the draft is a week from Thursday. The NBA rolls on…
Take a moment to reflect on just how thoroughly the Spurs spanked the two-time defending champion Heat, not to mention the best player in the world in LeBron James. In fact, think about it this way: the Spurs beat the second-best player in the game in the Conference Finals, and enialated the absolute best player in the Finals. Talk about a run.
And on top of all of that, the Spurs finished with the largest point differential victory in NBA Finals history, as SI.com’s Ben Golliver notes. A +70. Against a team coming off back-to-back championships and featuring LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh. Unreal.
This was an utterly convincing shellacking, as startling as it was thorough. And it’s not like it was completely unexpected; we all saw the Spurs handle Portland in the second round and Oklahoma City in the Conference Finals after squeaking by Dallas in the opening round. We all knew just how well Gregg Popovich’s bunch was playing, just how synergistic the whole thing really was.
But even knowing all of that, I’m not sure anyone could say that they expected the rapidly aging Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili to hang on and overcome LeBron James and Co. Or that Kawhi Leonard would step up exactly how he did in winning the Finals MVP award.
We knew the Spurs were good. But a series victory in five games and a +70 point differential? Over the Heat? Wow.
On the Wolves front, expect the next week and a half to be chock-full of Kevin Love trade speculation. With the playoffs over, the national pundits and rumor mongers simply won’t have anything to do. It’ll be combined with NBA Draft rumors and “news”, so we’ll get a healthy dose of it to be sure. Brace yourselves, Wolves fans, if you haven’t already.
Take a moment to check out Tom Powers’ piece over at TwinCities.com. He sums up the Love situation about perfectly. It’s a good take, and one that I largely subscribe to myself. If the Wolves are not blown away by an offer by the time of the draft, hang onto Love and see what happens.
Is that what Flip Saunders will choose to do, however? At this juncture, it’s anyone’s guess.