Two teams have gone home and only 2 remain. It all comes down to the stars from the Conference Finals onwards as rotations are shorter and players start going the distance with 48 minutes next to their names. Simply the higher you rise the harder you can fall and the results decide whether your a Hero or a Villian.
HeroesJames Harden It wasn't Derek Fisher and his famous 0.4 seconds shot against the Spurs 8 years ago, it was James Harden coming up in the Clutch in games 5 and 6. Two big three's put a dagger in the Spurs comeback hopes in both games. Remember at the start of the series Harden had 2 awful games which was highlighted by the fact he didn't make it to the free throw line once in game 1. It was Manu Ginobili taking over his slashing and serving some of his own but credit Harden for getting back on track for the rest of the series as he proved the difference now it is all said and done. Photo Credit: www.bleacherreport.com Lebron James It was the LeBron show that closed out the series against the Boston Celtics. It looked similar to the big games he would have during the regular season and now it is starting to translate into the playoffs. LeBron James also won the NBADU Player Of The Week for his efforts, lifting his side out of a 3-2 defecit to victory and the NBA Finals. Can LeBron weave his magic around Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder? It proves to be one compelling matchup. Photo Credit: www.sltrib.com Kevin Durant The Durantula put on a dominating display that looked calm, confident and professional. It was a trademark on how to close out games in the Conference Finals. He looked to get his teammates going by mainly distriuting the rock throughout the first 3 quarters. Then it became Durant time in the 4th to unleash hell and walk into the locker room with another win on the board. Now he has the ultimate test in facing LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Photo Credit: www.leaderpost.com Chris Bosh His impact coming back from injury provided an X-factor to say the least. Bosh is usally the recipient of a ton of Heat bashing but I'd be curious to know what those Miami fans think of him now that he was a really difference maker against he Celtics. The playoffs have brought Chris Bosh to life as he looks like he is playing with a lot of purpose out there. It's going to be a one man fight against the Thunder for Bosh as there is nobody else as good as him on the Heat roster to compete with Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. Photo Credit: www.zimbio.com Manu Ginobili Yes the Spurs did lose in the Conference Finals but you can't put that down to the play of Manu Ginobili. When their backs were against the wall only Manu Ginobili proved he still has the legs and the desire to dig his team out of a hole and power them on a comeback. It was similar to last years playoffs when he was the only shining light against Memphis when the Spurs went down in the first round. Photo Credit: www.guardian.co.uk
VillainsTony Parker After 10 years in the league and being behind Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili this was Tony's year at the front of the team. During the regular season he was the man that was there every game taking the Spurs up the court and providing them with the best record in the west. But where was he in the Conference Finals? Maybe thinking about a nice offseason in Paris as Thabo Sefolosha took away all of Parker's dribble penetration leaving the Spurs offense dead. I guess that daunting word "Rebuild" is coming closer and closer everyday. Photo Credit: www.bleacherreport.com Brandon Bass Playing 30 minutes a game and being the best opportunity to shine in his career to date Bass should have been more affective against the Heat. Especially because of the lack of size the Maimi frontline posseses he should have had a field day, similar to what Roy Hibbert didn't do in the previous series against the Heat. If Brandon Bass has the right attitude he will pick up a more affective role in the Celtics rotation. Photo Credit: www.bleacherreport.com Danny Green Another Spurs player that fell to the adversity of the Conference Finals. In his second year as a pro Danny Green displayed promise throughout the regular season and early rounds of the playoffs. His 3's weren't falling at the high caliper they were falling at earlier in the year and it lead to the demise of his minutes against the Thunder. He went from a starter with 20 minutes a night to sitting on the bench next to Dejaun Blair. But even he got minutes in games 6 and 7. Green is a good regular season player and not much more than that. Photo Credit: www.bleacherreport.com Ray Allen There isn't anything that you can blame on Ray Allen. The injury bug hit him at the wrong time and it was noticeably affecting his ability to shoot the ball and play defense. You can't really say a healthy Ray Allen would have pushed the Celtics over the line against Miami because there is nobody on that team that can handle Dwayne Wade or LeBron James. It was unfortunate for such a great player to be a non factor in the playoffs, I think we would all have wanted to see the leading 3pt specialist in the NBA playing some of his best basketball. Photo Credit: www.victoria222.pnn.com Tiago Splitter Apart from Tim Duncan Tiago Splitter is there next best defensive big man and he had an awful series. Known for setting solid picks for Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker they were nowhere to be found. Likewise on defense the Thunder would expose the Spurs in the paint putting layup after layup on when Tiago was on the floor. It's clear the Spurs need another all around big man that can at least help them now and maybe replace Tim Duncan when he goes. Photo Credit: www.bleacherreport.com
Villains after the NBA Finals will be seen to have lost the city a championship Photo Credit: (top) www.bleacherreport.com