By Alex Lamport on June 2, 2014
New year, same teams. The NBA Finals are set, and once again the Miami Heat will face the San Antonio Spurs. The league’s two best teams have made it, and here are five storylines to keep your eyes on for the rematch.
Last year Miami’s home-court advantage proved to be a significant edge, with the Heat needing to win Games 6 and 7 at home. This year the format has changed. If necessary, Games 6 and 7 will be in different arenas, so the Spurs' home-court advantage won’t be as big a deal.
When healthy, Tony Parker is the Spurs’ best player and can genuinely challenge LeBron James as the best player on the court. As of now, Tony Parker is not healthy. His ankle injury could be the difference between another seven-game heavyweight battle and an easy series for Miami.
Would LeBron James really opt out if the Heat don’t win? The rumor is that he would, and if true, it puts a lot of extra pressure on Miami to win. The dynasty that is the Miami Heat only lasts as long as James plays in South Beach. And if he were to leave, they’d be competing with the likes of the Charlotte Hornets.
This could be the last time we see several of the game’s greatest. If they win, both Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich are rumored to be retiring. And on the Miami side, Dwyane Wade might be hanging it up as well. If this is the final overture for any of them, fans would be foolish to miss it.
Only the best of the best have three-peats in the NBA. Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Bill Russell have them, and now LeBron James has a chance to cement himself as part of that group. If he can do it, he’s in the discussion of one of the greatest players of all time. If not, well, he’s still pretty excellent.
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