JAY DAVIS: Heat one win away from Miller’s second ring

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I do not watch the NBA and NHL finals with bated breath. The two series are, however, good entertainment when one settles in at the end of a summer’s night. The games are usually in the fourth quarter when all of the drama takes place.

Actually, if it weren’t for South Dakota connections, I wouldn’t be keeping up with either series. I’ve been keeping an eye on the NBA to see if Miami Heat player Mike Miller of Mitchell can win a second title. I’ve kept abreast of the NHL finals because my family in Chicago are Blackhawks nuts. I watched a game with them in suburban Chicago recently. They call the Blackhawks “we” and “us.”

The drama was thick in the NBA finals last night. It did not look like it would be when I tuned in and San Antonio had a 13-point lead late in third quarter. The Spurs blew that lead. The LeBron James-led Heat stormed back in the fourth quarter and even took the lead late. But just when it looked like the home standing Heat had turned things around, Spurs point guard Tony Parker took over the game and put San Antonio back in front.

Time was running out and it looked like the Spurs were about win their second title in three years, but two missed shots at the free line and a clutch James three-pointer later and the teams were tied and headed to overtime.

The Heat controlled much of the overtime and held on for a 103-100 win to tie the series and force game seven on Thursday.

If you like making a wager, take the Heat and give the points. I don’t think the Spurs can recover. They were within seconds of winning the title on the court of a very good team. They choked it away. If they can recover and pull off a game seven win, they have what one might call pretty good intestinal fortitude.

In a way it would be cool to see the Spurs pull off a game seven win. I like the chasing of records. If the Spurs do win, it would be four titles for the trio of Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. They would become the first trio of stars to win four titles that were not members of the Lakers or Celtics. In the NBA circle, that is a feat.

On the other hand, should the Heat win, it would be a second title for Miller. South Dakota does not have a great history in the NBA, not like the NFL and MLB, where South Dakotans have a rich and deep history. I could find only six South Dakotans in the NBA ever, most of them in the recent past.

No past South Dakotan has even worn a championship ring. Miller is looking for his second. Miller’s 15-year NBA journey has been a long one, but it has been a legacy for the next generation of our state’s hoopsters to aspire to.

By the way, the NBA draft will be soon and South Dakota will play prominently in the second round when Colten Iverson(Yankton and Colorado State) and Nate Wolters (St. Cloud, Minn., SDSU) will both be drafted.

 

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