The NBA Finals, which start June 6th, will be featuring the San Antonio Spurs against the Miami Heat. The majority of NBA fans expected the Miami Heat to be here, but as for the Spurs, they were believed in less I would say. The Heat are looking to repeat last years championship while the Spurs, who are getting very old, would like to add one more trophy before the likes of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli retire. The match up is set, so lets take a look at how each team got here.
The Spurs defeated the Lakers in 4 games sweeping them right out of the series. It never really even was competitive with an average of victory by 19 points. The Spurs then matched up against a young and feisty Golden State Warriors, who were able to pull off 2 wins on the Spurs before the experience proved too much and the Spurs advanced 4 games to 2. The Western Conference Finals matched the Spurs with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies came in as a team many people expected to beat the Spurs, but again the Spurs just played their game sweeping Memphis in 4 games. San Antonio appears poised to hoist their 5th NBA Championship Trophy.
The Heat started their playoff run with the Bucks, which was never really close, in a 4 game sweep. LeBron shot 62.7% in the series and when he does things of that nature, I think it’s safe to say no one in the NBA will beat Miami. The Heat moved on to a series with the Bulls where they looked to be in trouble after game 1. The Bulls, who battled injuries throughout the entire series, stole game 1 in Miami. The critics were all over the Heat, but that didn’t faze them, as they won the next 4 games in a row. The Chicago series was, for sure, a gut check for this Heat team as it seemed each game was physical and a test for the Heat in some way. Miami then advanced to a 7 game series with the Pacers, where everyone was ready to write the Heat off. It’s all been said Wade is done, Bosh sucks, and LeBron is not clutch, well they proved everyone wrong in game 7. The series could have gone either way, but in the end the Heat advanced to the finals where they will play the Spurs. Miami is ready to go back to back and hold up the NBA Championship Trophy.
HOW THE SEASON GAMES HAVE GONE
Spurs 101 Heat 104
Spurs 100 Heat 105
Spurs 86 Heat 88
The season games have all belonged to the Heat but have all been close with a margin of victory of approximately 3 points. These games don’t really tell us a whole lot as we’ve seen stars from each team rest at different times.
KEYS TO THE SERIES FOR EACH TEAM
I have decided on two key points that each team will need to focus on if they are going to win the NBA finals. First, the Miami Heat has to get support from other players than just LeBron James. James is the best player in the NBA by far, but the talent of the Spurs will out-weigh him if the Heat roster doesn’t step up, which they didn’t for most of the Pacers series. The key for the Spurs is to win the battle inside where they have a clear advantage. If they can get stellar play from Duncan and Splitter it will leave no other option than for the Heat to go small and force the Spurs to run which may make it tougher on the Heat in the long run.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
I fully expect Kawhi Leonard to be on LeBron James. We know he can’t stop LeBron, but Leonard has the athleticism to stay with James and if he’s able to slow him down then the Spurs could be in great shape. On the other hand if he can’t, we’ve seen what LeBron can do.
I’m going with the squad that plays as a team and has the better head coach. Yes, I’m taking the Spurs to win the NBA Finals 4-2 with a series MVP of Tony Parker!
Article by: Matt Bell