San Antonio Spurs June 2014 NBA Finals Game 5

Recently, we all have just saw the well-built and oiled machine known as the San Antonio Spurs (which were built by genius general manager R.C Bruford and coached by the basketball mastermind in Gregg Popovich) had defeated the Miami Heat and their Big Three — who were seeking a three-peat that has always seemed to elude Pat Rile — in five games in the 2014 NBA Finals.

Many claim that it is fair to say that the Spurs commenced the start of this significant legacy when they had made a blatant effort at tanking away the 1996-1997 regular season where they went 20-62 (finished 62-20 this previous year).

As to nobody's surprise, the Spurs drafted 6-foot-11 big man Tim Duncan out of Wake Forest with the first overall pick — 2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard was only seven years old when this happened.

The Spurs broke an unprecedented amount of records during the postseason and Finals this season to cap off an ultimate comeback from a disappointing Finals series against the Miami Heat last year.

Here is an outlook on some of the significant numbers and statistics pertaining to the Spurs this season, from the formation of their legacy in 1997-98 and the Tim Duncan era.


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tim duncan spurs may 2014

The Spurs outscored the Heat by 14.5 points per game (NBA Finals record).

The Spurs had shot 52.8% from field (shot clock era record). The previous record was in 1991 when the Chicago Bulls shot 52.7% from the field against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals.

Tim Duncan became the third player to average 15 points and 10 rebounds in six different Finals appearances (Elgin Baylor & Bill Russell were the other two to do so)

Spurs had a 118.5 offensive rating (110.5 offensive rating during the regular season) and a 68.4 eFG%, which set an NBA Finals record ever since the three-point line establishment. It was the highest percentage and rating allowed by the Heat in the Big Three era.

Kawhi Leonard joins this list of Finals MVPs that did not lead team in points per game for Finals series: Wilt Chamberlain (1972), Willis Reed (1973), Bill Walton (1977), Wes Unseld (1978), Dennis Johnson (1979), Magic Johnson (1980, '82), Larry Bird (1986), Chauncey Billups (2004). Leonard was the third-leading scorer for San Antonio over the course of the 2013-2014 regular season (12.8 ppg in regular season, 17.8ppg during the course of the NBA Finals).

Tim Duncan has a 23-11 (67.7%) record in NBA Finals games and is 5-1 overall in the NBA Finals for the series.

The Spurs were +70 in five games, the biggest differential in NBA Finals history. The Boston Celtics were +65 in the 1965 NBA Finals against the Lakers.

Tim Duncan became the second player to win a ring in three different decades. Duncan joins John Salley as the only players to carry out this milestone. Unlike Salley, Duncan started in each decade.

The Spurs had a 528-458 point edge over the Heat, which made for a NBA Finals record. The Miami Heat did not score over 100 points in a single game in the series.

The Spurs had outscored playoff opponents by an average of 9.3 ppg and a NBA Playoff record 214 points total.

Only in 1999 did a member of the Spurs average over 25 ppg in a NBA Finals (Tim Duncan 27.4ppg). This shows indications of teamwork.

The Spurs have achieved a 0.695% win rate in the last 11 of 14 seasons, an average of almost 58+ wins a year.

Tim Duncan had become the all-time NBA leader in postseason double-doubles (158) and minutes played (8,901), beating out Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, respectively, for both records. Magic grabbed 157 double-doubles in 190 playoff games for the Lakers. Tim Duncan grabbed 158 double-doubles in 233 playoff games for the Spurs.

Tim Duncan has played in more postseason games than 17 NBA franchises. He has played in 234 playoff games. That’s more than Portland (223), Milwaukee (222), Indiana (215), Washington (203), Miami (201), Sacramento (187), Dallas (186), Denver (162), Cleveland (148), Brooklyn (136), Orlando (123), New Orleans (84), Los Angeles Clippers (77), Memphis (54), Minnesota (47), Toronto (38), and Charlotte (8).

The Spurs became the first team to win three straight NBA Finals games by at least 15 points.

The Spurs had twelve postseason wins by 15or more points, which set for a new NBA record.

The Spurs are the 23rd team in NBA history to win 75 percent of their regular season games and capture the NBA title the same year (62-20). That makes up for 33.8% of all NBA champions.

The Spurs are one of the last eight teams to win the NBA title in the last 31 years (five times).

The Spurs, Lakers and Heat have won 10 of the last 13 NBA titles.

The Spurs' Big Three (Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan) have the most career postseason wins for a trio in NBA history with 118. The former record was held by the trio of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Michael Cooper with 110 wins.

The Spurs had won 12 of their 16 postseason games by 15 points or more, which set for another NBA record. After their first three wins versus Dallas in the first round, the Spurs won their last 12 of 13 postseason victory games by 15 or more points.

Tony Parker’s 17.4 ppg in the NBA Finals (leading scorer for the Spurs) is the lowest all time for any leading scorer on a title team in the shot clock era. Four Spurs players (Parker, Duncan, Ginobili, Leonard) averaged 14 points or more during the NBA Finals this year.

The Spurs went 16-0 in the month of March this season (9-0 at home, 7-0 on the road).

The Spurs have only had five 30-point playoff games by an individual all-time. Shaquille O’Neal had six 30-point games in the 2000 NBA Finals (he averaged 38 points & 17 rebounds per game).

The Spurs have won titles in Games 4 (2007 vs the Cavaliers), 5 (1999 vs the Knicks and Heat), 6 (2003 vs the Nets) and 7 (2004 vs the Pistons).

The Spurs won Games 1, 3, 4 and 5 by an average of 18 ppg.

The Spurs had ranked first in postseason offense and ranked second in postseason defense during the playoffs this year. None of the earlier Spurs’ title-winning teams had accomplished this.

Tim Duncan is the all time leader in NBA postseason defensive rebounds with 1,838.

Tim Duncan also holds the record for NBA postseason blocks with 516.

The Spurs hold the current longest active streak for consecutive playoff appearances from 1998-2014.

The Spurs are 9th in franchise wins in NBA history.

During game 5, Miami had scored 29 points on its first 23 possessions, in which they were leading by sixteen points midway through the first quarter. However, the Miami Heat were then held to just eleven points over their next 26 possessions.

Kawhi Leonard, 22, became the third-youngest player in NBA history to win the Finals MVP (Magic Johnson won it twice at a younger age, Tim Duncan won it at age 23 in 1999). Kawhi Leonard also became the first Finals MVP to not be named to the  All-Star team the same year since Chauncey Billups in 2004.

The Spurs hold the highest win percentage in all major pro sports since 1997. The Spurs have won at least 60 percent of their games a season since drafting Tim Duncan.

The Spurs posted operating profits of $39 million last season despite playing in NBA’s 4th smallest market.

The Spurs are fourth in NBA titles for a franchise (Celtics 17, Lakers 16, Bulls 6, Spurs 5).

The TV ratings for Spurs’ games on Fox Sports Southwest had moved up by 15 percent this season, which had ranked the franchise at second in the NBA.

The Spurs posted a league-leading +8.1 net rating this season.

The Spurs posted a 16-7 postseason record with +11.7 net rating this season during the playoff, the best mark since the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers.

During the playoffs, the Spurs had eliminated three teams that won at least 54 regular season games this season.

No player on the Spurs’ roster had averaged more than 30 minutes a game in the regular season this season.

The Spurs had led the NBA in bench scoring and efficiency.

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are the only three players on the current roster that were members of the 2007 championship Spurs team.

Tim Duncan joins Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Scottie Pippen for NBA players with at least five championship rings.

The Spurs have only missed playoffs five times since their inaugural 1967-68 season.

The Spurs have as many titles (5) as seasons without making the playoffs (5). Only the Boston Celtics (17 titles, 17 years not in the postseason) and the Los Angeles Lakers (16 titles, 6 years not in the postseason) have posted much better records than that.

The Spurs have been to NBA Finals a total of six times. All had occurred within the Tim Duncan era.

The Spurs had won regular season games this year by an average of 7.72 ppg.


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Kawhi Parker Duncan Ginobili June 2014

Five titles in 15 years speaks for itself, especially when the Spurs have as many championships (5) as seasons without a postseason bid (5) since their inaugural season in 1967.

Back to when the Spurs' organization was purchased by an organization group led by Peter Holt for $76 million dollars in 1996 to being a projected $660 million in 2014, according to Forbes (possibly more now considering the recent transactions involving the Los Angeles Clippers being sold to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion dollars).

Overall, you have to sit back and admire the greatness over the current system built by GM R.C Buford and head coach Gregg Popovich, whether it was from winning the title in the lockout season of 1999 or avenging their game 7 loss to Miami in the 2013 NBA Finals to defeating the Heat in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA finals.

To think of the development of players like Tony Parker, who was drafted at No. 28 overall; Manu Ginobili, who was drafted at No. 57; and Danny Green, who was cut by the Spurs and Cavaliers before becoming a starter this year for the Spurs in the NBA.

Then there is the transition of players like Boris Diaw, who was cut by the worst team of all time (win percentage wise) in the Bobcats to becoming an NBA Finals star. Or a player like Patty Mills, who went 0-3 shooting for only 4 points in the 2013 NBA finals to shooting 19-35 for 51 points in the 2014 NBA Finals.

In all, there are not enough words available to accurately explain as well as summarize the astounding features of the San Antonio Spurs franchise.


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