Look Back: A few of the Most Thrilling NBA Finals in the Last Decade

We are still a month away from the beginning of the new NBA season. Nothing happens around the association for the moment. A good opportunity to take a quick look back to some of the most memorable Finals in the last decade of NBA basketball.


Heat over Spurs (2013)

This series offered drama in its purest form in its final games. The series kicked off in style too. Tony Parker pulled a magic trick, scoring on a one-legged shot in the final seconds to upset the Heat in Miami in Game 1. Spurs seemed on the verge of the triumph, leading 3-2 before Game 6. The contest was perhaps the greatest match of the decade. A bunch of highly uncharacteristic errors from San Antonio decided the regular time outcome. Ginobili missed a free throw, Popovich benched Tim Duncan in a few last minutes’ possessions and alos ran out of time-outs way too early. All these factors kept Miami in the game late and a miracle 3-point from Ray Allen discouraged Spurs. The Heat clung to a 103-100 win in overtime, setting up the scene for Game 7. Ray Allen’s heroics are usually the more remembered moment of the series, although the intensity of Game 7 was highly enjoyable back then.  San Antonio was in position to still grab the championship in the fourth quarter of Game 7. James and Dwyane Wade took the trophy to Florida with the game’s final 6 points. Bron’s elbow jumper over Kahwi Leonard is likely the most underrated shot of his storied career. Most NBA fans and watchers can tell you where they were exactly when they saw Ray Allen’s shot in Game 6. Paired with the drama of Games 1 and 7, 2013 Finals series is one of best Finals of the decade, if not one of the best all-time.



Cavaliers over Warriors (2016)

Cavs’ 2016 title remains the most impressive accomplishment of the decade. Warriors were heavy favourites to add another title in everyone’s eyes, including the bookmakers. James and Kyrie Irving put enormous performances each to close the series. This success marked a kept promise for James to finally bring a championship to his home franchise and a leap into superstardom for Kyrie. He logged 40-point efforts in Games 5 and 7, with his last points of the series winning the championship for Cleveland. James took the scene in Games 5 and 6, scoring 40 + points in each. He posted a triple-double in Game 7, adding the best block in recent memory on Andre Iguodala. The 2016 Finals was a defining moment for NBA. James’ fans used the series as a legit point for involving him into the GOAT argument, and the next season Kevin Durant arrived in the Bay Area ready to win his first title.


Mavericks over Heat (2011)

This series didn’t even go to full 7 games and still ranks easily among the best ones of the past decade. Miami appeared to be cruising to a 2-0 lead in the 2011 Finals with a 9-point lead in the final 4 minutes of Game 2. But James and Miami’s offense suddenly stopped, fully exhausted, while the legendary German Dirk Nowitzki torched them with 7 points in the final minute, evening the series before it moved to Dallas. James scored just 8 points on 3-11 shooting in Game 4, and it was all over in Game 6. Mavericks pulled 3 straight wins to claim the title, entering in the Finals as huge underdogs. The Heat sulked into their home locker room after a 105-95 loss in Game 6, Dirk erupted in tears upon entering the locker room. One more example that nothing is for granted in NBA, which is a repeating point in this year’s Finals too…


Raptors over Warriors (2019)

This series was only a few months ago and we all remember what happened. The series was dramatic, thrilling and enjoyable to watch, yet it brought even more impact through the league afterwards. A giant wave of player movement in July turned NBA on its head, and plenty of the Finals heroes are now in new locations. Kawhi, who brought Raptors to the Finals through the East almost single-handedly, is a now Clipper and KD is with the Nets, albeit missing the first year of his new contract. Danny Green and DeMarcus Cousins are now Lakers, though Boogie is also out for the season with a torn ACL. Klay Thompson will also miss the bigger part of the regular season, at least, and Warriors look a bit skinny this time round. The Durant era in Golden State ended miserably and Toronto won its first title. It’s not probable the Canadians will add another one anytime soon, but yet, the fact remains that another franchise added championship banner in its arena.

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