Spurs Should Hope For Some Heat





HANG TIME, TEXAS – If you’re the Spurs, you have to stand up and cheer every time LeBron James spots Dwyane Wade slipping in through the back door and whips him another laser beam pass. You had to just throw your arms over your head and shout on Tuesday night as Bron-Bron and D-Wade took turns filling up the highlight reel with a parade of dunk after dunk.

If you’re the Spurs, you want the Heat. Actually, if you’re the Spurs, you need the Heat, for their heat and for your legacy.

Hold on. Nobody’s dismissing the other half of the Western Conference bracket in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden will give San Antonio’s Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all they can handle beginning on Sunday in a series that should be close, intense and dripping with entertainment.

But if you peek just a little bit ahead and if the Spurs are able to advance to The Finals for their fifth time, it’s only the South Beach Strutters who can finally deliver what the San Antonio dynasty lacks with the general public – respect.

Think about it. When the Spurs won their first title way back in 1999, it was the first lockout season, coming at the end of an abbreviated 50-game schedule that led Phil Jackson to attach an asterisk. What’s more, when they made it to The Finals, the Spurs met the Knicks, a lowly No. 8 seed playing without Patrick Ewing that they dusted off in five games.

When the Spurs returned to The Finals in 2003 for their second title, the site was a turnpike exit in New Jersey and the opponents were the feisty-but-not-up-to-the-task Nets. The third championship in 2005 was claimed in a tense, seven-game war, but over a Pistons team that was just as gritty and defensive-minded (and just as fatal to TV ratings). Ring No. 4 was a ho-hum, yawn-inducing 4-0 sweep of LeBron and the seven Cavs’ dwarfs.

The knock for years against the small-market Spurs is that they have been dull with all of their defense. Now they are up-tempo, high-scoring and entertaining and what they need is a Finals opponent that can bring in the national TV and provide a high-profile foil.

Enter the Heat.

No team in today’s NBA makes the blood boil more on the love-hate meter than Miami and no high-profile roster would provide a better canvas to paint their latest masterpiece.

Indiana? Please. A Spurs-Pacers series might get lower ratings than C-SPAN. If the Spurs were to beat Boston in The Finals, the knock would be that outside of Rajon Rondo, the Celtics’ offense requires a walker and oxygen tanks.

Beating Miami would get the Spurs all of the anti-Heat support that Dallas received a year ago. More important, the larger audiences that Miami would draw would be coming at just the time when the Spurs transformation into an offensive-minded team that shares the ball has hit its peak.

If it’s possible for a franchise that has already won four championships to be under-appreciated, this is it. But suddenly there’s a way to change that with triumph that would stamp their legacy.

Bring on the Heat. Nothing would make the Spurs hotter.

51 Comments

  1. Randall Hill says:

    The Spurs don’t lack public respect so much as they lack casual fan understanding. The casual fan looks at the nba and says “who has a big time shoe contract right now” or “who was on that gatorade comercial yesterday” and they run with it. Teams marred in controversy and off court antics tend to gain more attention from the casual fans because they play the name recognition game there. It’s like they may not even really like basketball or really understand the game but they hear the name Dwayne Wade and say “oh yeah he dates that actress Gabrielle Union doesn’t he?” and they garners their attention even if just breifly. Their games are filled with celebrities sitting courtside who the television cameras just so ironically manage to capture in little cameo shots during timeouts or on the way to commercial breaks and it pulls in people who are more interested in what their favorite celeb is doing as opposed to pure basketball afficionados. Now with that said of course the heat are going to be a team that is bigger for the media ratings and all the glitz and glamour that people expect the nba finals to be about. Same with teams like New York, and L.A., to be honest Boston also fits that bill because of it’s historic rivalry with L.A. as well. Michael Jordan took that kind of attention to Chicago but all in all it was about the glitz and glamour of it all, the vanity if you will. Now given those facts Miami holds up to that standard not because of Lebron’s dunks and showtime flare nor D-Wade’s, Miami’s prowess with the public comes from the fact that like L.A. and New York, they are popular Celebrity hot spots and hangouts!!! Southbeach is one of the most common places for celebs to gather, hang out, and go to have a good time. It’s a place full of pop culture chic just look at where the second season of Jersey Shore was filmed.. The setting of the blockbuster Bad Boys movie series starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. It’s needless to say Miami was the place to be well before Lebron or D-Wade but what makes it important for basketball now is that there are two players on it’s team whose names are as big as any celebrity you may see out in the crowd at their games. As far as talent is concerned the Spurs are by far the more talented team…… BY FAR!!!! I mean lets be honest, with the exception of Lebron and D-Wade the rest of Miami’s players are interchangeable for other “role players” throughout the league. The proof is in the fact that Miami cannot and I do repeat CANNOT and WILL NOT win a single game in the series if either Lebron or D-Wade sits out due to injury or some other unforseen reason. Truthfully their team has never fathomed much less prepared for such a situation. Need proof consider Miami’s 30 point blowout dealt at the hands of the Washington Wizards at the end of the season when Miami opted to rest their big 3 for a game!!! Now admittedly the Spurs snapped a few of their win streaks by resting their main key players at times throughout the season, but the difference was that they didn’t take any of those losses to the second worse team in the league and definitely not by 30 points to a team that was they would have so easily disposed of with their full team on hand. Pop prepares his team for all those situations so that they understand how to play without their stars if need be and still be able to compete and if by chance they don’t win it will atleast be a game where they seemed worthy of calling themselves NBA players in the end. Miami on the other hand… are struggling with the Indiana Pacers a team that has shown tenacity, teamwork, and most importantly DEPTH. Now the Spurs are pretty much like the Pacers on steroids in a weight room!!! And on top of all that that in the game of human chess that will be played by the two coaches… Greg Popovich makes Erik Spoelstra look like a toddler playing against Bobby Fisher!!! Ultimately the Spurs would have a tougher challenge against believe it or not the Boston Celtics than the Miami Heat in the finals and basketball purists can see that although Boston’s lack of depth would see them beaten as well. All in all the Spurs don’t need Miami for respect so much as the League needs miami for ratings, endorsements, and MONEY!!! The attention that a Miami return to the finals would bring and the revenue it would generate is all that would separate it from any other team going into this years finals and losing to the spurs for the championship. So with that said bring on whoever the east has to offer and just know that the Boys in Black & Silver will be there waiting to raise their 5th NBA championship trophy into the air when all the dust clears!!! GO SPURS

  2. Woffie says:

    As much as I’m impressed with this spurs team and would want them to win it all if the Celtics don’t make it to the finals, I think they’ll have a tough match up with the Heat, with the highest probability of losing against among any other team. The matchup against Thunder is SUPPOSED to be tough but on paper the Spurs are a better team than the Thunder so it’d be safe to pick the spurs as Western conference champions.

  3. Vincent P. says:

    Spurs will win it, Thunder team is not as good as the Spurs rigth now. OKC wont even win a title at all..

  4. Sammie says:

    so look th the matchups if spurs play heat dwade will destroy green and lebron will destroy leonard spurs will have to make 3s to beat the heat if not heat will win

    • RRam says:

      The sad thing is, You actually believe that.

    • crazy_ghost says:

      how bout duncan,,,he will destroy haslem…
      parker will destroy chalmers…
      wade will face ginobili instead of green…
      lebron will go through leonard and also jackson…
      ACTUALLY THE SPURS WILL DESTROY THE HEAT!!!

  5. dokman says:

    in every christmas tree there’s a star.

  6. Kamote says:

    Fran,

    Ever since MJ left, the East became the West’s “little brother”. But still, you can’t discredit the Spurs’ 4 championships by saying the East are weak opponents. Its like saying the Lakers’ Shaq-Kobe Dynasty isn’t worth mentioning as one of NBA’s best teams. And before getting to the finals, they still have to win the heavy Western Playoffs right?

    They need to beat the Heat to be un-underappreciated??? What did the Heat win anyway? Sure the whole Cavs-for-Mavs, Beat-the-Heat thing was crazy last year, but would you consider last year’s Dallas better than any of the Spurs team that won rings? I don’t think so.

    The truth is, IT IS THE HEAT THAT NEEDS THE SPURS in the Finals. With all the hype and media attention about the Heat, everyone knows that they haven’t won anything. And they need to beat a team like San Antonio to prove they can beat teams with a history of winning.

    Tim and the Spurs don’t need the media hype when they were younger, they certainly don’t need it now. They just want to win.

  7. MikeC says:

    Western Conference Finals determines the championship this year. (L)East Conference Finals determine third place. Heat would be swept by either OKC or SA.

  8. NBAfan says:

    This does not make sense. Whoever comes out of the West should hope for either Sixers or Pacers out of the four teams remaining….

    It wouldn’t be OKC or SAS’ fault if MIA can’t even make it to the finals with their artificially made team of superstars..

    SAS drafted Duncan, Ginobili and Parker. OKC Drafted Durant, Westbrook and Harden. TEAM-GROWN Big 3s…not like Miami.

    • Daman23 says:

      Then remove the trade and free agent rules so everyone can just be drafted just how you want it to be.. Stupid

    • BFoulds says:

      We the Spurs want the heat in the finals. Know why? To show the public what a real championship team looks like.

  9. NBAfan says:

    if some1 called the 2005 boring again that person dosnt know about basketball

  10. cherrypopper says:

    spurs-pistons was what basketball is all about, so they certainly don’t lack respect with the public that matters !
    …and for an encore they swept lebrick

    so SPURS-CELTICS would be the best possible :-D

  11. GRAJY says:

    Spurs won’t make it past OKC…

    Let’s go HEAT!

  12. sam says:

    this article published too early… should have wait even after game 2 of the west finals…

  13. Belizeboy says:

    Spurs have a flawless finals recored which is scary, but I think if Miami is back in this year that James and Wade will both be unstoppable.

    • NBAfan says:

      It’s scary…,but they also never went to the finals 2 years in a row….more like every other year after the first Laker 3 peat….NOT SO SCARY…kinda weird actually…

      They were also swept in the first round by an upstart Memphis team….not so scary…

      I really can’t’ make out the Spurs…they are good..but then not dominant. Consistently inconsistent, or inconsistently consistent…..

      Anyway…they look strong…not sure if they can beat OKC for sure though…gonna be a nice west finals….

  14. We have to go step by step baby because it remains game 6 in Indiana and Boston will face game 6 as well. In the other side San Antonio and Okc could be in 7.
    In the other hand, talking about basketball, Miami is figuring out to play as San Antonio has being doing since 1999.
    Miami gives showtime but at the same time is neutral as San Antonio is. Miami plays chill out and sober serious.

  15. el stone says:

    The problem with this article is that it focuses only on the finals opponent.

    Back when the Spurs won their championships the Eastern Conference was weaker than it is now.

    The Western Conference, however, was a battlefield.

    The Spurs had to slog through the likes of very good teams in Portland (yes they used to be good), Lakers, Utah, Phoenix, Sacramento (they used to be good too), Dallas and Houston.

    It takes a fairly ignorant journalist to claim the Spurs championships are anything but legitimate because of the Eastern Conference foes they vanquished. The Spurs earned their Championships the hard way and proved every time they deserved to be there representing the West.

    • Big Joe says:

      AGREE! In the years that the Spurs (AND THE KOBE+SHAQ Lakers) won their titles the West was a by far superior Conference. The spurs had to go through Shaq and Kobe in LA, a big , talented and deep Portland squad lead by Sheed…who was a beast back then. and dont forget about C-Webb, Vlade, Bibby, and Peja in Sacramento. Duncan had to go through some of the best power forwards to get his titles. C-Webb, Sheed, Dirk, Garnett were all in the same conference in those days, and he even had to match up with Shaq down the stretch in alot of games…….anyone who thinks Duncan and the spurs titles arent legit has a short memory.

      And I dont know why you dont try to throw the all mighty Lakers in this article? They had to battle through the same Western Conference but they won their titles against the same kind of inferior competition in the finals (Pacers, Nets, Sixers) the western conference finals might as well have been the NBA Finals for all of those years. The Spurs have just never been glamorous so they dont get the credit they deserve, I am not even a Spurs fan but you cant argue the facts.

      • crazy_ghost says:

        well said,,,i’m a purs fan and i agree totally with you!!!
        don’t they remember the detroit pistons dump the lakers in 5 games way back 2004 and in 2005 the spurs beat them in 7 games!!!
        laker,,a star studded team (shaq,kobe,payton,malone) even when we say the latter two wasn’t on their primes but chasing for their first ever championship…
        when lakers are winning they got much and overrated credit because they are globally icon through media hype,,,when they lose they still got attention by making so much drama because their players are not the same way before…like pau gasol,,,they blame their players instead of blaming themselves at all cost!!!

      • thejerr says:

        dont forget about doug christie Big Joe haha

  16. charles says:

    I tend to agree. Heat is a great match for Spurs. Although, i think they’ll deal fine with Indiana as well…

  17. Marcus says:

    West Finals – Spurs in five.

    NBA Finals (against Boston) – Spurs in six.

  18. googergieger says:

    The NBA, where ratings matter. More than fair basketball, apparently.

    • Jimmy Blevins says:

      just take a sec to read this article http://tinyurl.com/89bftjb put out maybe a week or two ago with david stern talking about the changes that will be being looked at over the summer. the bad calls, the flops, etc. is all discussed and in my opinion is so right, i mean like you say is the game really worth wasting over ratings?

  19. Bob says:

    Spurs or OKC will kick Heats butt. Everyone is bragging about LBJ and DW huge game against Indianapolis……get real… the Pacers are not even close to Spurs and Thunder. I watched LBJ in Cleveland for 7 years. He is a GREAT player when he is playing inferior competition, but when the BIG boys show up he disappears. Lebron cannot stand the pressure, and Dwayne can’t do it all himself. Won’t even help if overrated Chris Bosh comes back. The benches of SA and OKC will dominate.

  20. OXYGEN says:

    SPURS v CELTICS for the NBA FINALS… it would be a battle for the most oxygen tanks emptied.. LOL.. it will be Duncan and Garnett, Manu and Ray Allen.. Cool stuff! hahah

  21. Bring on OKC first…

  22. Are you counting out the Celtics? Most of you don’t respect the SPuRs anyway. You look up to the teams and players with flashy attitudes instead, not with talent and poise~ Need to double check these players where they can be a good example to the younger generation.. That’s where I figure out whom to respect.

  23. Alex Martinez says:

    I am so surprised to see these NBA writers saying SPURS will win the titles in every single article they write. Do you really take OKC that weak that you are already counting out them out and fighting with Miami in the finals? Do you guys know Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo are still playing? Not just playing they are playing tremendous basketball. It can happen Spurs go to the finals, but I see OKC has a better chance to advance to the finals. The final going to be epic between the Celtics and the Thunder.

    • This is the only time these writers believe in SPuRs. They have been wanting Lebron to win it since he joined the NBA. Other team even took him to play with their superstar but still, haven’t accomplished anything. Lebron just want his individual MVP Award, that’s all. If another loser/choker Melo would join him, there’s a hope there,, yeah right~ well, maybe~ It’s gonna be a team full of egos fighting for the ball and fame~

  24. John says:

    The problem isn’t that the Spurs aren’t getting respect because their Eastern Conference champion opponents were pushovers (the Lakers beat the Sixers, Pacers, Nets, and Magic during the Finals and they are always respected). The problem is their play has historically been labeled “boring” and their stars (Dunca, Ginobili, and Parker) don’t make the airwaves enough. Not that I have a problem with it at all…I’m rooting for them as the “underdogs” in these Playoffs.

    And calling the Spurs small-market has always been laughable as they are the seventh most populous city in the US.

    • pravdo says:

      markets are not based on population, they’re based on income, advertising and some other factors. I always thought the same that b/c san antonio is a large city they shouldn’t be considered a small market but the numbers say san antonio is middle to bottom of nba teams when it comes to MARKET size.

  25. Lil Jon says:

    As a heat fan I’m hoping for OKC. Spurs are the big boy version of the Pacers. We beat them by 20 something in 1 matchup in the season but now The depth is the most of any team and they have a great coach. OKC has star power but we already proved that we can contain star power with star power. Depth is hard for the heat to Beat. GO HEAT

  26. Larry O'Connor says:

    If I were the Spurs I would hope for the Sixers. lol
    I would want to give myself the best chance to win a fifth championship.
    5 rings will give you more respect than a tight 7 game loss to the Heat or Celtics.
    What about the Pacers? Naaaahh.

    I doubt they can get by the youthful Thunder, but if they do they will be too tired for the Heat or have their hands full with the equally mature/experienced Celtics.

    • Jimmy Blevins says:

      Come on we all know the Sixer’s not going so do you really believe the Spurs can’t win?

    • BFoulds says:

      Can’t wait to silence another Spurs doubter. Here’s a little fun fact for you.

      Spurs finals appearances – 4
      Spurs championships won – 4

      I’m not very good at math, but that looks like 100% finals wins to me.

      If we make it to the finals, you can kiss the ring good bye, cuz Tim will be taking it.