The Heat are a balanced team of veterans and rookies with plenty of upside. With Iggy Igoudala, Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler providing the wisdom, the maturation phase for the likes of Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson look assured. Despite the lack of a top-level superstar now, the team has a strong winning culture that is anchored on aggressiveness and blue-collar determination. Expect this team to be very competitive, not just in this year’s Finals, but for the years ahead.
In the end, this was how the West was finally won. With a doggedly-determined defense. A smattering of fastbreak points. A support crew that blended well, faced against different opposition strategies. And of course, lotsa Lebron. Kudos for finally taking the Western pennant.
Coach Brad has taken the game to a higher level, battling an equally-cerebral coach Eric Spoelstra in a virtual cage chess match. He has been the perfect coach for this young dynamic team. Clearly, the team has upgraded its game from the purely physical to the higher, more intellectual level. Still, the Celtics need a win in Game 6 in order to shift momentum back to their side. How will they do it? Expect coach Brad to come up with a surprise of his own.
This should be the lesson and the big challenge for the Clippers next year. For all the talent, the beef and the basketball IQ they have collectively, nothing will beat a team that is cohesive and willing to dirty themselves deep in the trenches.
There is so much at stake for the Clippers in this game. After the massive investment to bring in Kawhi, George, Marcus Morris and the rest, a loss now will be a huge downer. Coach Rivers will have to get this team mentally and physically prepared to do battle. Failing that, this could be the end of the Clippers’ title dreams for the years ahead.
With this year’s uncertainties, NBA basketball has never been as unpredictable as it has now. Who knows? If they continue playing smooth Denver ball, this could finally be the year the Nuggets get to ball.