Spurs have already moved off the "Big Three" era.
The Finals are not over yet, but it’s easy to see why San Antonio is in the driver’s seat with a 3-2 lead.
People are still talking about the Big Three era with the Spurs, and rightfully so, since this could be the fourth NBA title for Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili over a span of 11 years.
Duncan could win his fifth championship, since he got one in 1999 before the other two arrived.
In reality, the Spurs have the edge because they’re not a Big Three team anymore. While Parker has taken over for Duncan as the team’s go-to player, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have become as important as anybody. Now it’s five players contributing, backed by some decent role players like Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw and Gary Neal.
Here’s a look at the Spurs’ scoring averages through five games of the Finals. The balance is impressive:
Green 18.0 ppg
Duncan 15.6 points, 11.2 rebounds
Leonard 12.2 points, 10.2 rebounds
Neal 11.2 ppg
Ginobili 10.8 points, but 24 in Game 5.
Green, who was without an NBA job for most of the 2010-11, has a chance to be Finals MVP.
He’s knocked down a Finals-record 25 baskets from 3-point range in 38 attempts.
Miami has gotten pretty good efforts from LeBron James (21.6 pts, 10.8 rebs, 6.8 asts) and Dwyane Wade (20.0 points, including 32 and 25 in the past two games).
Chris Bosh (14.6 pts) and Ray Allen (13.0) have been decent, but San Antonio has managed to shut down Miami’s role players.
Allen has shot the ball very well from 3-point range (11-for-17), but he hasn’t even taken half the attempts as Green. Mike Miller started out hitting 9 of 10 shots from 3-point range in the first three games, but hasn’t scored at all in the last two.
The Spurs have never trailed in this series and should be able to close things out barring a costly injury to Parker or Duncan. If it happens, don’t call it another victory for the Big Three.