The list of things to say about Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs have pretty much been wrung dry by now around the Internet, on your Facebook feeds, and at your friendly neighborhood yosihan.
A spectacular game it was, and, more important, it set up the most climactic way any NBA season could end: a Finals Game 7.
Everyone ready? Do you have any sick leaves left to use up? Can your boss tolerate another unproductive day? Only you can answer that.
What we can tell you though are our thoughts regarding the upcoming epic conclusion to the 2012-2013 NBA Season. Below are our seven thoughts for sweet, sweet, Game Number Seven.
1) Which big star will shine the most?
Manu, Tony, Wade, and Bosh—we’re pretty certain they’re looking to leave it all out on the floor. Game 7 is going to decide just what kind of vacation they’ll be able to enjoy in the off-season.
But it’s the two biggest stars—LeBron James and Tim Duncan—whose legacy will likely be reshaped by this game. If James loses, he falls to 1-3 in the Finals, which will officially relegate him to Wilt Chamberlain status: the monstrous beast who couldn’t win enough. He wins, the Heat’s Big Three takes another step towards validation. Otherwise, this video becomes hilarious again:
As for Tim Duncan, a fifth title is the opportunity to gain separation from Shaq (he of the four titles), and validate that he’s indeed the best big man of his generation. He loses, and he’ll miss out on the chance to go out like (the 1998 version of) Michael Jordan did: on top of everyone else.
Numbers-wise, Duncan is 2-1 in Game 7s, the most memorable being Game 7 of the 2005 NBA Finals against Detroit, where he had 25 points and 11 rebounds. James is 2-2 in this setting, averaging a scary 33.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, the latest being his 32-points and eight-rebounds outing against their 2013 Eastern Conference Finals opponents, the Pacers.
There's also LeBron's performance in Game 7 of 2008 Eastern Conference Finals. One word: Epic!
2) Mental Notes
The Spurs were so close to the title, making that Game 6 defeat arguably the most painful loss in the proud franchise’s history. Ginobili, right after the game, said that he was "devastated" and "unable to think of ways they could recover."
He probably should take notes from teammate Tim Duncan, who, according to this Yahoo! Sports column, is approaching Game 7 as calm and collected as he has always been. “We’re ready to rock,” the Big Fundamental exclaims. For Spurs fans who haven’t recovered, those are some pretty encouraging words to take into the next game.
As for LeBron? Well, he must be feeling really good. He’s ready, and he’s appreciating the incredible moments about to transpire with a good measure of sensibility.
From Yahoo! Sports: "I understand the moment for me," James said. "I've been pretty relaxed, though. I've been pretty relaxed throughout the playoffs. I'm going to be antsy, I'm going to be excited. I'm going to have some butterflies. I'll be nervous–everything. That's how I should be.
"The moment is going to be grand. I'm happy to be a part of it."
So far, the top players for both teams are showing the kind of poise expected of them. Who can keep their composure when the game begins will go a long way in determining who wins the game.
Before that, a look back at Tim Duncan's first game in the Finals
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Editor's Note: Results are based on DOE's latest test