Heading into Thursday night’s NBA Finals game we find two teams that have multiple talented players in the Miami Heat, who were the heavy favorite to reach the Finals, and the San Antonio Spurs, who have shown they are very deserving of the trip to the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida for game one. The NBA playoffs have been extremely exciting to all fans with teams and individuals stepping up and showing they are there for a reason. The Finals will bring the same intensity, if not more, and the best of seven series will surely be one to watch.
The Heat enter the game relying heavily on their star player, LeBron James. The 6’8” SF has been a dominant force throughout the playoffs bringing his team to the doorstep of the championship. If the Heat want to win this series, James is the player in control of their destiny.
The Spurs bring to the Finals a 37 year old PF Tim Duncan. Duncan has shown he is insistent on getting another championship under his belt. He’s averaging 17.8 PPG throughout the playoffs and has been an intricate part of his team in reaching the Finals. In a press conference about facing the Heat, Duncan stated: “I don’t know if there will be much to relax about, I think it will be a different type, different tempo, but the physicality will definitely be there.”
The first time James met the Spurs in the Finals he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers in which the Spurs ran over the Cavaliers in a four game sweep. James, now with another MVP honor and a championship ring to his name said: “I’m here to win championships, and you’re not always going to be on the successful side.”
The key to the Spurs ousting the Heat will be their interior play. The Heat have been prone to struggling against an interior style of play as the Indiana Pacers and Roy Hibbert exposed. For the Spurs to pull off the best of seven series they will spread the floor, use their pick and roll system and get the ball into the paint.
As far as the Heat are concerned, it seems their only game plan, which has worked well, is getting the ball into the hands of number 6, James. It’s as simple as that. The four-time MVP will need to be at the top of his game in each and every contest throughout the series.
The Spurs will win on their play from the post, but the hot hand of James will be too much for them to overcome.
Prediction: Heat in 6