5 Takeaways from the 2014 NBA Finals

2014 NBA Finals: 5 Takeaways

2014 NBA Finals San Antonio Spurs Miami Heat
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On the whole, the 2014 NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat weren't close. The Spurs outscored the Heat by 70 in the five-game series, one of the largest margins in a championship round in league history. Here are 5 takeaways from the short-lived Spurs/Heat showdown.

5. Kawhi Leonard's Potential

Kawhi Leonard
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5. Kawhi Leonard's Potential

Kawhi Leonard
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Kawhi Leonard was one of the best players in the NBA Finals for the second straight season, playing as effectively on defense as is possible against LeBron James and contributing plenty on the glass and at the offensive end. Leonard looks more and more like a Scottie Pippen clone each and every game he plays; his potential and role in the Spurs' future is as exciting a storyline as there is in all of basketball.

4. Development of Patty Mills

Patty Mills
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4. Development of Patty Mills

Patty Mills
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Patty Mills was fabulous in the NBA Finals, especially in the series-deciding Game 5. His ability beyond the arc is something to behold, and he got better as a floor general as well in 2013-14. Mills' future, like Leonard's, is very promising.

3. LeBron James' Weak Supporting Cast

LeBron James Supporting Cast
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3. LeBron James' Weak Supporting Cast

LeBron James Supporting Cast
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This was the first instance during LeBron's time in South Beach that his Miami supporting cast didn't look all that different from what he had in Cleveland. James was one of the few Heat players to show up for the NBA Finals, but his efforts alone weren't enough to topple a truly great and deep team in San Antonio.

2. The Decline of Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade
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2. The Decline of Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade
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Dwyane Wade has been slowed down dramatically by injuries. He is a problem on defense, sometimes due to physical limitations and other times due to effort. Wade no longer consistently displays the wonderful athleticism that compensated for his lack of a long-range game earlier in his NBA career. He was nowhere near good enough in the NBA Finals and did almost nothing of note in the last two games.

1. The Miami Heat Are Tired

Miami Heat Tired
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1. The Miami Heat Are Tired

Miami Heat Tired
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The Heat looked exhausted for the majority of the series against San Antonio. Their blitzing defense — which, although it was toned down this season, is still easily the NBA's most aggressive — looked lame for long stretches and couldn't contain the Spurs' offense at all. Four runs to the Finals in a row has to be physically taxing; it's no surprise that the Heat looked spent.

Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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