By Dave Daniels @AllDave_AllDay on June 1, 2014
I know Charles Barkley is betting on the Miami Heat, and so that makes me write this slideshow with trepidation. I have to go with my gut though, and after everything that has happened over these playoffs I am rolling with the Spurs. Everyone always says they are too old, but they have been saying that for the last five seasons. This would not be my prediction, but the Heat seem to have regressed (other than LeBron James) from last season.
He looked locked in against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and his overtime performance should go down as one of the all time best. Of course, it would look a lot better if the Spurs can beat the two time defending champs, and in my opinion this should be one of the highest rated Finals in basketball history.
Nobody seems to notice the Spurs in the Western Conference Playoff race, because they have become such a fixture. They managed to play their way to home court advantage throughout the playoffs, and that is now finally paying off for them.
This is really important to note, because the Spurs seemed all but done with game 6 after it was announced that Parker would not play in the second half. The back-up point guards brought a lot of energy to the game, and they were able to take the lead back from the Thunder by the start of the third quarter.
Ray Allen is a constant, but the Michael Beasley and Greg Oden pickups simply did not work. It was a cool sight to see Oden hold up that Eastern conference trophy after everything that the young center has been through, but the reality is that the Heat's bench is not as talented or prepared as the Spurs.
The Heat have gone to four straight NBA Finals. Repeat. THEY HAVE GONE TO FOUR STRAIGHT NBA FINALS! It has become a yearly routine for LeBron James to get to this point, but as a result of all that mileage, I think that he has shown signs of fatigue throughout the playoffs. I'll take the Spurs bench rotation over Miami's starters running on fumes any day of the week, and that is why my pick is on Gregg Popovich's team.
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