During the NBA Finals, #BTHype keep just as close an eye on all the happenings on the bench & chronicle all the highlights in the daily segment, #BenchWatch.This year, #BenchWatch was as one-sided as the results on the court, with the San Antonio Spurs mirroring their score in the actual games by taking home an emphatic 4-1 victory over the Miami Heat.
The Spurs produced a great team-effort. There was everything from towel moves, ‘hold me back, hold me backs’, through to over-exaggerated high-fives. It was really a thing of beauty. On the other end, the Miami Heat really missed the over-exaggerated high-fives game of Juwan Howard that had proved to be so successful to them last year… Relying on Norris Cole‘s ‘stand & clap’ game… Let’s be honest… ‘Stand & claps’ aren’t going to win you #BenchWatch titles.
The Spurs key-man on the bench this series was easily, Aron Baynes.
Today, we’re proud to announce that Baynes has taken out the 2014 NBA Finals Bench MVP.
Baynes, who’s marquee move ‘the #TowelPump’ has been the ‘Batman to the Robin’ of Patty Mills’ #TowelWave over the last two seasons, really had to step up his game due to Patty now taking up so many more minutes on the court. This series he really broke through & came into his own as a ‘Bench Celebrator’.
Arguably, Baynes’ best move all Finals series was after a Tim Duncan dunk in Game 4… Baynes produced a clinical “Chest out for the boys – into shimmy – into chest bash”, with his towel in the traditional ‘pump position’.
One of the great things about what Baynes brought to this series off the bench was the fact that his celebrations weren’t exclusively to dunks & big threes… Which are the go-to moments that we find bench celebrations… But, Baynes was delivering consistently throughout games. Whether it be huge stops of blocks on the defensive end, through to beautiful passes, mid-range jumpers or offensive rebounds on the offensive end… Baynes delivered at least a #TowelPump in almost every circumstance.
In fact If you check his chart, you can see that he’s the first ever bench guy to finish an NBA Finals series in the ‘green’ on the bench, since Mark Madsen in the 2002 NBA Finals.
One of my favorite moments from the big Aussie came in Game 5… The Spurs took the lead in the 2nd quarter & that lead to Baynes producing a classic ‘low-pump into-Hulk Up’ move… Showcasing his power & athleticism, plus the ability to produce original moves late in a series.
Aron Baynes’ performance this series means that he’s a sure-fire first ballot Bench Celebration Hall Of Famer… However, I’m sure that this series may be his swan-song as a leader of the Bench mob in San Antonio.
His game has been coming on nicely over the last couple of seasons & I’m sure that moving forward, we’ll start to see more of Aron on the court… Which would be awesome. What he’s brings to the Spurs as a physical defensive presence & an important offensive role-player… Especially as a role-man in pick & roll situations & grabbing offensive boards… is important to this Spurs team & he’s becoming a key part to ‘Generation Next’ in San Antonio.
But, one final time… Congratulations, Aron… NBA Champion & Bench MVP.