Kawhi Leonard’s the New Kid on the NBA Block as Playoff MVP

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (Old-School Flava)

It’s not what the Heat would have ordered. After getting to the NBA finals four years in a row, they had a chance to do something rare. A 3-peat is no easy feat especially since the Spurs had a bitter leftover taste from last year’s loss. And yes, Kawhi Leonard’s the new kid on the NBA block as playoff MVP.

Leonard had the task of guarding Lebron James, arguably the best player in the world. He was roughed-up by coach Popovich for playing soft after games one and two. He stepped-up his game and the Spurs did the same with relentless offense. At times they were hitting shots everywhere from inside and outside.

The series began with a win by the Spurs on their homecourt. Then they lost to the Heat in game two. That must have been a wake-up call. They won three straight games after with outstanding defense. They maintained a lead in those games for much of the way. Their defense was more consistent than the Heat.

During the post-game press conference Lebron James gave props to the Spurs for their teamwork brilliance.  He said “That’s the brand of basketball, and that’s how team basketball should be played.” This is true for hopes and dreams becoming real on breakout teams as well. Teamwork makes dreams work.

Leonard as MVP and with the other guys delivered relentless offense. They were clicking in all spots. Their focus on improving their defense over the past few years paid off. It became more like a habit than an add-on to their game. Team sports are a great reminder of success life lessons on and off the court.

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (New-School Flava)

Not what the Heat had planned. But the SA Spurs took a stand. After NBA finals four years in a row. Heat didn’t expect a losing blow. A 3-peat is something rare. But that was the talk in the air. Spurs had bitter taste from last year’s loss. Ready to go at the ball toss. As Kawhi Leonard’s the MVP in the playoffs.

Leonard had to guard King James. No easy thing in full-court games. Arguably the best player as a pro. So you betta act like you know. Coach Popovich roughed-up Leonard for playing tame. So in game three he upped his game. Spurs did too with on-fire offense. Hitting shots inside and outside the 3-point fence.

Series began with a team Spurs win. Arena air so hot it felt like a sin. Then they lost in game two. Might have had them feeling blue. A wake-up call getting back on focus. With dazzling defense as their hocus pocus. Maintaining game lead the rest of the way. More consistent defense than the Heat’s play.

Post-game press conference was somber. James felt Spurs had their number. Saying teamwork brilliance came alive. For the Spurs to take series in five. It’s the brand of basketball that’s most effective. His take on the game by being reflective. True for hopes and dreams as well. Teamwork helps make dreams sell.

Leonard as MVP made sense. Spurs played their best offense. Clicking in all areas seemed easy. Team efficiency made it look breezy. A focus on defense after last year’s fall. Became more like a habit than a play call. Team sports a reminder of how to score. Another success moment on the game of life floor.

Tip: A balance of offense and defense in sports or vision and action in life helps teamwork and dreamwork come alive.

Talkback: Were you surprised that the Heat lost in five?

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Is Tim Duncan Playing with a Chip on His Shoulder or like a Man Possessed?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (Old-School Flava)

So they’re off and running! No, not the Belmont Stakes but the NBA finals. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are in a rematch from last year’s finals. Both teams have kept their big-three tandem intact and in good health. So, is Tim Duncan playing with a chip on his shoulder or like a man possessed?

It’s as if he’s rolled back the years to his early days. He’s got a bounce in his step and a glide in his stride. The Spurs try to feed him the ball or feed off of his energy. After some 18 years in the league, Duncan is not done quite yet. But some sports analysts think Kawhi Leonard got next as the face of the franchise.

Coach Gregg Popovich has high hopes for Leonard and the Spurs. Duncan and his teammates know that their loss to the Heat in last year’s finals went down like sour grapes with Popovich. Duncan even said it has given them added motivation in moving past the tears. That’s code for having some ‘leftover bitter!’

With the Spurs going up 2-1, there’s a slight advantage. The Heat are looking to turn things up on the Spurs. Leonard kinda did so in game three by his all-around performance. He showed the ability to raise his game by shifting gears to the next level. That’s true for sports, biz as well as in life.

A lot’s been said about their mutual respect. Duncan as the ‘old man’ on the court while James as the ‘main man.’ Their individual stats and status reflect a hardcore champion’s mentality. With champions there’s no panic. You get that edge in sports or life by handling the fears that can derail your success.

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (New-School Flava)

They’re off and running! For an event that’s stunning. No, not the Belmont Stakes. But the NBA finals series takes. The Heat and Spurs in a rematch. From last year’s back-and-forth scratch. Both teams with good health of the big-three. And Duncan playing with passion and full-court glee.

As if he’s rolled back the time. To the early years in his prime. He’s got a big bounce in his step. A glide in his stride and pep. Spurs try to feed him the ball. Or feed off his energy in roll-call. After 18 years it’s a big bet. Whether his days are done yet. Kawhi Leonard may have next. That’s from a sports analyst context.

Spurs coach Greg Popovich is high on his team. As rising star Leonard is living his dream. Duncan and his teammates know last year’s loss hurt. Like sour grapes, Popovich has choice words he’d blurt. That’s given them the motivation to do better. By moving past the tears and having ‘leftover bitter.’

Spurs win game 3, series no longer tied. Heat fell short but no one cried. Spurs have slight edge in the round. Heat looking to raise their game by the pound. Leonard showed signs of doing the same. Taking it to the next level in his game. By shifting gears on the court. That’s true for biz and life as seen in sport.

They say both teams have mutual respect. It’s what the media likes to project. Duncan the ‘old man’ of the bunch. James the ‘main man’ in a crunch. Their individual stats and status reflect a reality. A panic-free hardcore champion’s mentality. Life’s about handling the fears. For much success through the years.

Tip: Starting from the bottom of your years and moving to the edge of your fears, life’s about getting past the tears with new success from shifting gears.

Talkback: Is Tim Duncan playing with a chip on his shoulder or like a man possessed?

Lebron James and the Heat Look to Join the Ranks of the Greatest Ever

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (Old-School Flava)

The Miami Heat are in the NBA finals four years in a row. That’s no easy feat when you consider the level of talent in the league. Now they’re setting their sights on a 3-peat. If making the finals consecutively was hard then a 3-peat is off the charts tough. James and the Heat would join the ranks of the greatest ever.

It’s been 29 years since the last 3-peat. Back then the game was different. Some think it might have been easier. But the level of play these days shows how much the game has grown. It’s still about putting a ball through a hoop. But James and the Heat have taken their skill for scoring and defending to another level.

In 2010 James, Wade and Bosh took on a mission. They set their sights on being the latest NBA championship standard. The first year was a bit rocky as they tried to jell. Since then, they’ve played their roles to create championship synergy. In sports and in life it takes skill and synergy to propel your game.

Indiana Pacers coach was quoted as saying, “They play at championship level. They have a way to raise it to the point that it’s too much to overcome.” That speaks to having more than a championship standard or championship synergy. It speaks to championship strength seen in their mental focus and toughness.

During the end-of-game interviews Heat Coach Eric Spoelstra pointed out that a key to winning is in stepping-up to the big moments. This means keeping yourself ready for having a major impact. That’s how James and the Heat players approach each game. It’s also how championship moments are made.

 

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Brandemonium’
Where Hopes & Dreams Become Real on Breakout Teams” (New-School Flava)

Four years in a row. The Miami Heat put on a show. NBA Finals here they come. Trying to 3-peat and then some. Not an easy thing to do. Even with the best big-three crew. Range of league talent is high. Other teams keep having to sigh. Looking to join greatest-ever ranks. With all their money in the banks.

Some 29 years since it’s been done. Others came close, “no can do” son! Back then different tempo to the game. Some say level of play wasn’t the same. These days game has surely grown. Takes big money for you to own. Still about putting ball in the hoop. But also about skill, scoring and rallying the troupe.

In 2010 James, Wade and Bosh announced their mission. Setting sights on a higher vision. For becoming the NBA championship standard. Taking no prisoners avoiding the hazard. First year seemed a bit tricky. Game didn’t jell and was sticky. Merging roles into team synergy. In sports and life propels game energy.

Indiana Pacers coach might have tried praying. Telling media “They play at a championship level… just saying! Raising their game to the point. Where it’s too much to overcome, just anoint.” More than championship standard and synergy as the fix. But about strength, focus and toughness in the mix.

End-of-game interviews were telling. From what Heat Coach Spoelstra was selling. Says key to winning is stepping-up in the fray. Minute by minute with “in the moments” play. Means keeping yourself ready to go. For a major impact if we might say so. That’s how champs do their thing. And strive to earn another ring.

Tip: It might take skill to win it once, but it takes synergy and strength to produce championship moments.

Talkback: What will a great game-1 by the Spurs have to look like?