NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat
The Best In The West
After a year of waiting, the San Antonio Spurs are finally going to get their rematch with the Miami Heat. It was this time last year that the Spurs were just seconds away from winning the NBA Championship, before Ray Allen hit a 3-pointer that added to one of the most historic comeback in league history. Spurs player Tim Duncan has made it no suprirse that they’ve been waiting for this rematch and this year is their chance to show that they are the best team in the league.
The playoffs didn’t start out so hot for the Spurs. As the top seed in the West, they were matched up against a Dallas squad that just barely made the playoffs on one of the last days of the season. However, that didn’t stop the Mavericks from pushing San Antonio to seven games, before the Spurs eventually were able to get a dominating Game Seven win and advance. In the Conference Semifinals against Portland, the Spurs were able to win in five games, which was much less than many projected after the Trailblazers had such a productive season. And then in the Western Conference Finals, the Spurs were able to get a huge road win in Game Six against Oklahoma City to advance to their second straight NBA Finals.
There is no denying that Tim Duncan is the leader of this squad and has been for nearly the last two decades. Duncan is averaging 32.6 minutes per game, putting up 16.5 points and pulling down 8.9. San Antonio is led in scoring and assists by Tony Parker, who puts up 16.7 and dishes out 5.7 per. However, Parker missed the second half of Game Six against the Thunder and it’s uncertain as to how productive he’ll be in the finals. If Parker misses any substantional amount of time, guys like Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard and even Boris Diaw will have to step up big if San Antonio hopes to win their first NBA Championship since 2007.
The Spurs are currently listed at 5/6 odds to win the NBA Championship this year.
The Beasts of The East
While the Spurs have been looking for a chance to prove that they were robbed last year, the Heat are looking to show that they are deserving of being back-to-back NBA Champions. There may be not better way of proving that, then by getting their third straight title in a row.
The Heat have had a much easier road to the finals than the Spurs. They started things out with a sweep of the Bobcats, before beating a battered Brooklyn Squad in five games. People expected things to be a brawl between Indiana and Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Pacers hardly looked to be the team that dominated throughout the regular season. Instead, it took the Heat just six games to dispatch Indiana and now Miami has been waiting for nearly a week to start this next series. Some may argue that the Heat have had plenty of time to rest, but the real question could be as to whether or not they are mentally prepared to take on San Antonio. They certainly haven’t had the same type of competition that the Spurs have, so the Heat will have to rev things up in a hurry to show that this is going to be the series everyone hopes.
LeBron James may not have won the league MVP Trophy this year, but he has certainly shown in the playoffs that he is by far the most dominating player in the NBA. He leads the Heat in scoring with 27.1, assists with 6.4, and rebounds with 6.9. Even with all of his production, the Heat can still rely on Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who have had their shinning moments as well during this series. The key player to watch in the finals could be Chris Anderson. The Birdman has noticed increases in both minutes and production, making him an integral piece of the Heat’s puzzle off the bench.
The Heat currently sit at 1/1 odds to win the NBA Championship.
Throughout the remainder of the NBA Finals, you can check with sportspicks.com handicappers for insight into each game. Game One will tip off on Thursday and Game Two will be Sunday, both in San Antonio. We’ll then head to Miami for Game Three on Tuesday and Game Four next Thursday. Unless some miracle happens and one of these teams sweeps, it’s likely that we could be in for a long series between the two teams who have proven themselves to be the best in their respective divisions.
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