PHOENIX - The San Antonio Spurs have a chance to win their fifth NBA title Sunday night if they can beat an exhausted, tired looking Miami Heat team.
Already thinking about his pre-game speech, LeBron James says, "Why not us? History is broken all the time.”
James was talking about the fact that no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win an NBA title. The Spurs are the 32nd team in NBA history to hold a 3-1 lead in the finals and all 31 of the previous teams have gone on to win the championship.
The Spurs won big twice in Miami and with the new finals format (2-2-1-1-1) it would appear the odds are in San Antonio’s favor. With a 19 point win in Game 3 and a 21 point win in Game 4, the Spurs seem to be on a mission, playing better “team” basketball than the Heat.
In response to questions about the upcoming Game 5, Spurs forward Tim Duncan says, “They're (Miami) going to come out and give us their best punch possible. We know that they're back-to-back champs and they've been in this situation before and they have all the confidence in the world that they can win these games. So we have to do just the same.”
Interestingly, the Spurs have been shying away from talking about winning the title, especially after being so close a year ago in Game 6. With just 28 seconds to play, the Spurs had a five point lead and it looked like they would close out the series and win, but the Heat came back to win the game and the NBA title. So even with a 3-1 lead in the series, the Spurs aren’t ready to crown themselves champs!
Miami shooting guard, Dwyane Wade put it this way. “I have very good reason that everything could change. As I continue to say throughout the season, it's a game-to-game thing.”
Possibly, but not likely. Since adding Chris Bosh and LeBron James, the Heat have never been down 3-1 in a playoff series, so trying to climb out of the hole may not be as easy as “one game at a time.”
Out in San Antonio, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says it’s not always easy to determine why a particular team wins, sometimes, says Popovich, things just happen.
LeBron James, who looked tired and frustrated in Game 4, said he’d rather not even make the playoffs if he’s not going to win. “For me, it's like you either don't make the playoffs or you win a championship. There's no in between.”
We’ll find out Sunday night if the Miami Heat has any fight left in them. If not, the Spurs will celebrate their fifth title on the their home court on Father’s Day.