NBA Finals Game 5 open thread: Is this the end?

Andy Lyons

The Spurs have a chance to close out the 2014 NBA Finals with a win in San Antonio against the defending champion Heat.

It's probably not fair to say that the San Antonio Spurs winning the title would be surprising in and of itself, but the dominant fashion in which they've beat the Miami Heat would probably linger as one of the more surprising NBA Finals outcomes in recent memory.

SB Nation's Paul Flannery made a comparison to how the Detroit Pistons did in fact shock the basketball world by beating the L.A. Lakers - although this matchup is quite different (beginning with the fact that the Spurs entered as the favorite), the sudden flame out of a team that most people considered dominant entering the season feels similar.

Look, only a fool would dismiss Miami's chances of pulling off the first Finals comeback from down 3-1. Wade could go off. Bosh could get hot and that's still LeBron, who is eminently capable of winning a game or two all by himself, which he basically did in Game 2...Right now, Miami is looking like a team that's spent. Like the Lakers in 2004 when they were overrun by the Pistons or any other in the long lineage of historic teams, when it inevitably goes, it goes fast. One minute, you can't fathom them losing and the next, you're left wondering where it all went wrong.

Despite the Heat looking like a team that really is just spent, LeBron James is the lone reason it's hard to just dismiss them altogether: if there's anyone who could make the kind of history required to change the direction of this thing, it's LeBron. That's why, win or lose, a point ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin made about LeBron in his piece about Finals MVP rankings is worth considering:

He’s not going to win it, nor should he, especially if the Heat are knocked out in five games. But if you had a three-slot ballot he should be in one of those slots (for the record it’s not, it’s a one-person ballot). He has simply been the best player in this series — 27.5 points a game on 60 percent shooting, shooting 61 percent from three, grabbing 7.5 rebounds and dishing out 3.5 assists a night. You can’t ask more of him, he just isn’t getting enough help.

If you're looking to give out a single award for an individual performance, it's hard to disagree that LeBron James should be in the conversation given that the Spurs' performance has almost been antithetical to individual awards.

Anyway, talk of the MVP is premature - we've still got a Finals series going on...for now.

Give your thoughts on the series in the comments below. For updates during the game, check out SB Nation's Game 5 storystream.

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