NLL Insider - Spurs are the NLL Champions!
by spudspace, updated on Monday, June 12 2017, 07:09 pm EST
Congratulations to the NLL Champions, San Antonio Spurs!
Spurs are your NLL Champions! Who would have guessed a turn of events causing them to win one in New York to finish out the series! Leeroy had a genius move of David West to starting PF and Davis to Center to finish out the series in the final game. He moved his second-best player to the bench unit and it paid off!
The game was close for much of the 4th quarter in what was one of the lowest scoring games of the entire playoffs. Kyrie Irving had a couple of chance to go ahead or tie it with less than 20 seconds left, but he couldnâ€™t hit. There was some tension at the end of the game, as Mo Harkless missed the front end of two free throws. Had he missed the 2nd, the Knicks would have had the ball with 15 seconds left and the ability to go-ahead. Luckily, Harkless manned up and hit the 2nd, then Kyrie missed a 3 with 1 second left that would have sent the game into overtime.
A suiting end to a series that has been back and forth. This game was tight for almost the entire game. Neither team shot well, likely due to big game nerves. Paul Millsap got completely worked by David West after showing up in almost every game with Defensive Player of the Year Anthony Davis on him. Hard to figure how moving an aging, slower, smaller player onto Paul completely destroyed him today. This was a big difference was Westâ€™s defense.
Enough about the final game, letâ€™s talk player awards!
I feel this one was pretty easy, Davis averaged low for him, 24 points and 12 rebounds per game in the series. He got a lot of help from other teammates which didnâ€™t happen at other points in the playoffs. His defense in game 7 shut down the Knicks potent offense, leading to a late victory. Davis already won DPOY, will likely win MVP, and he should win Finals MVP here too. Not sure if Iâ€™m allowed to just hand that award out, but I think itâ€™s pretty obvious.
Best Role Player: David West
He didnâ€™t have the gaudy numbers other guys have, but his move into the starting lineup in game 7 was the catalyst for the victory. In the locker room after the game, guys were pouring champagne all over David saying things like â€śOld man ring-chaser finally got his ring!â€ť Clearly, he is beloved in this locker room, and can retire a happy man now. Itâ€™s unclear what his future is, but he still has it.
Best Player from the Losing Team: Kyrie Irving
Irving almost could have been the hero to this story, but he missed a couple of shots he makes routinely. He still put up 25 points and 9 assists though. His effort in a losing battle should be applauded though, as he is clearly the alpha dog on a team filled with #1 options. Heâ€™s still young and should have another chance for a ring in the future.
Best Bench Player: Will Barton
He exploded for 20 in game 6, and was one of the only guys who could score off the bench for the Spurs. His lackluster game 7 performance shouldnâ€™t bother him as his team won though. Barton is a pure scorer, and the ideal 6th man for any team. He knows he could start, but the team needs a go-to guy when Davis is on the bench. He accepted his role well and was instrumental in the win.
We are on to the offseason now, and thereâ€™s a lot of questions for different teams. Leeroy is drunk on victory right now, and probably wonâ€™t be thinking about the offseason for a bit. For Tim, itâ€™s bittersweet, another game 7 finals loss to the Spurs. He still has a bright future with the Knicks though, as they have a ton of all-star players coming back. The big question is; Will Paul Millsap stay after being the goat of game 7? These are questions for another day, for now, great series by both teams and GMs. Some good moves by both guys and both teams played great.