Latest Sports Scores

Scoreboard

  • MLB
  • 7/23 1:10 PM EDT
    Tor0
    Cle0
  • 7/23 1:10 PM EDT
    Mia0
    Cin0
  • 7/23 1:10 PM EDT
    Oak0
    NYM0
  • 7/23 1:10 PM EDT
    Tex0
    TB0
  • 7/23 1:35 PM EDT
    Hou0
    Bal0
  • 7/23 1:35 PM EDT
    Mil0
    Phi0
  • 7/23 2:10 PM EDT
    Det0
    Min0
  • 7/23 2:15 PM EDT
    CWS0
    KC0
  • 7/23 3:10 PM EDT
    Pit0
    Col0
  • 7/23 3:37 PM EDT
    Bos0
    LAA0
  • 7/23 4:05 PM EDT
    SD0
    SF0
  • 7/23 4:10 PM EDT
    NYY0
    Sea0
  • 7/23 4:10 PM EDT
    Atl0
    LAD0
  • 7/23 4:10 PM EDT
    Was0
    Ari0
  • 7/23 8:08 PM EDT
    StL0
    ChC0

Spurs prove there's more to team than the 'Big Three'

1 PHOTOS
Spurs
See Gallery
Spurs prove there's more to team than the 'Big Three'
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


By ANSON WHALEY
XN Sports

On Sunday night, the San Antonio Spurs captured their fifth NBA championship. Tim Duncan has been a part of all five, and guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have each claimed four. The Spurs' 'Big Three', along with head coach Gregg Popovich, are the ones most responsible for the franchise's success. However, San Antonio captured their most recent title with significant contributions from others.

Leading the way was the NBA Finals' Most Valuable Player, Kawhi Leonard. Leonard wasn't only contributing for the team but starring for them. The forward led the Spurs in scoring in each of the team's final three contests and after averaging a modest 12.8 points in the regular season, bumped that up to 17.8 in the series. He also did his part on the glass, particularly in the final two games, leading San Antonio in rebounds with 12 per night. The Spurs routed Miami in the last three games of the Finals and Leonard's play may have been the biggest reason.

While Tony Parker struggled in Game 5, his counterpart, Patty Mills, flourished. Parker missed his first ten attempts from the field before rebounding to score 16 points, but Mills had a big game with 17 points, including five three-pointers. Mills also contributed 14 in Game 4 and over those two games, was 9-of-14 from long-range.

Reserve big man Boris Diaw was another player who stepped up for San Antonio. Diaw scored less, but contributed big minutes and had a particularly good series on the glass. Diaw is often known as somewhat of a perimeter player, but was a monster on the boards, hauling in 8.6 per game - more than double what he contributed in the regular season (4.1). As if that weren't enough, he narrowly missed a triple double in Game 4 with eight points, nine rebounds, and nine assists.

Others also stepped up with big individual efforts. Center Tiago Splitter had a relatively light series, but had 14 points in only 23 minutes of the team's big opening win. Guard Danny Green also wasn't a huge factor, but had a big Game 3 with 15 points and five steals. In the five game series, Green also knocked down nine three-pointers.

In contrast, the performances of those players stood out even more when you consider what other key players on the Miami Heat accomplished. Starting point guard Mario Chalmers averaged a meager 4.4 points and had 10 turnovers to only 13 assists. The Birdman Chris Andersen, often a catalyst for Heat comebacks, was virtually invisible, scoring only 2.6 points a game. Ray Allen had a decent series overall, but shot only 41 percent over the five games and when Miami needed him most in Game 5, he turned in a 1-of-8 night from the field.

Not only did San Antonio's role players give quite a bit, but the Heat's were borderline non-existent.

Make no mistake about it - without the Big Three, the Spurs don't win another championship. After all, a team led by players like Leonard, Diaw, and Mills would look more like one bound for the NBA Draft Lottery. As role players, though, their big performances were key to the franchise's fifth title.

Spurs Pull Off Stunning Performance

RELATED LINKS

Boris Diaw gets his groove back in San Antonio

NBA Rumors: Bulls want to improve 'at almost any cost'

Vince Young retires, Jeff Fisher the reason?

GIF: Colombia goal celebration the best of 2014 World Cup

For more sports coverage, please visit XNSports.com

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.