10 Key Thoughts on the Greatest, Most Insane NBA Finals Game in Years - Grantland
Geege Schuman stashed this in Basketball
<But in terms of the stakes at hand, the palpable urgency, and the overall quality of play, this was the greatest Finals game since … I’m not sure when. There are a couple of Utah-Chicago games from the 1997 and 1998 Finals that have a place in the discussion, especially the Jordan Flu/Food Poisoning Game, but if you prefer last night’s elimination thriller to that legendary non-elimination game, then you have to reach back into the peak Jordan-Bird-Magic years to find something that compares. That’s how great this game was. I can still barely process it.
1. What LeBron James did in the fourth quarter … holy hell. All non-Spurs fans should be glad he came through like that, even though he was indeed in attack mode almost from the opening tip, because the volume on the “WHAT IS LEBRON’S LEGACY!!!???” talk can shift down a couple of notches heading into Game 7. We can just enjoy the freaking game. Because Game 6 is part of LeBron’s legacy now; almost nothing that happens Thursday, short of some John Starks/Kenyon Martin–level choke job shooting, can take away Game 6. If the Heat had found a way to win last night despite a “blah” James performance, LeBron Mania would be the dominant story line heading into an epic winner-take-all clash between two historically great teams with at least seven Hall of Famers between them.>
Definitely worth reading the other nine. Tons of great gifs too.
I can still barely process it too. Which are your favorite gifs?
This would be one of them.
This wasn’t an isolated thing, for Wade or the Heat. Watch them snuff out a Parker/Duncan pick-and-roll on the right side on this third-quarter possession behind a semi-aggressive trap of Parker and a very early rotation from Wade:
My favorite memories:
1. LeBron holding Tony Parker to a measly few points.
2. Tim Duncan taking advantage and racking up 30something points.
3. Miller taking that three pointer while only wearing one shoe.
4. The missed free throw that will haunt Leonard's dreams.
5. Ray Allen's jumping 3 pointer with 5 seconds left to tie it at 95. Damn!
Miller's shoeless shot was amazing and Allen's three pointer made me believe in the power of prayer.
I did not know LeBron does yoga but that probably helped him stay calm last night when they were down by 13 in the fourth quarter and nothing seemed to be going right.
Somehow, miraculously, he pulled out of that tailspin.
Ray Allen's three pointer did feel like divine intervention. That's the move that made him famous.
Norris Cole approves:
The big worry now is that they're so shattered from Game 6 that they won't recover emotionally for Game 7. And those worries grew last night when Manu Ginobili made some startling postgame comments.
Here's what he said at his press conference (via SI):
"I have no clue how we’re going to be re-energized. I’m devastated. But we have to. There’s no Game 8 afterwards."
That's the exact opposite of what every Spurs fan wanted to wake up and read today.
Think about all the chances San Antonio blew last night:
- They were up 10 going into the 4th quarter
- They were up 4 and shooting free throws with 28 seconds left
- They were up 2 and shooting free throws with 19 seconds left
- They were up 3 with 5 seconds left
- They had a 100-97 lead with 2:42 left in overtime
They were one play away from the title over and over again last night, but they couldn't seal the deal. They came as close as you can possibly come without winning.
Gregg Popovich is the best coach in the NBA, but he now has the nearly impossible task of making his team forget what happened last night.
The Heat are significant favorites to win Game 7, based on Vegas odds.
Bill Simmons on the gravity of game 6: