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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

LeBron James: Heat feel ‘slighted’ by talk that Spurs gave them 2013 Finals

LeBron James trophiesThe San Antonio Spurs had a five-point lead in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals with 20 seconds remaining. They had a 3-2 series lead against the Miami Heat at that point, so they could practically taste the victory champagne. As you may remember, San Antonio missed free throws and made crucial errors down the stretch and blew the game. They made it clear the loss would be too much to overcome with their postgame comments after the meltdown.

Given the way the Spurs lost Game 6 last year, some would say they gave the series away. On Wednesday, LeBron James said the Heat are drawing motivation from that notion.

“I can’t sit here and lie to you,” James told reporters, via Ben Golliver of The Point Forward. “We feel slighted in the fact that … [the series] went seven [games]. It wasn’t like it was 3-0 [Spurs] and they had us in Game 4 and we took it and won four straight. … We did our part, they did their part. Both teams put themselves in a position to win an NBA championship, and we just happened to make one or two more plays to win it.”

There’s no better way — in my opinion — to determine who the better team is than a seven-game series. Regardless of how the Heat won, the fact of the matter is they won four out of seven. You can easily argue that the Spurs collapsed in Game 6, but the Heat still had to convert on their end and Ray Allen had to hit an incredible 3-pointer to keep the series alive.

“If you look at the numbers, the lead changes, the ties, and the points in that series, it’s almost even,” James added. “The numbers are very, very, very close. … But that’s last year. … This trophy belongs to nobody. It’s up for grabs.”

I agree with LeBron. The “we gave it away” talk is almost always a copout. You can’t put the ball in the basket for the other team. If the Heat are able to use something from last year’s victory as motivation, more power to them.

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