After a hard-fought series with the Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat are heading back to the NBA Finals to defend their title.
Who will the Heat be facing in the Finals? The fundamental kings of basketball: San Antonio Spurs.
Each year the Spurs find their way back to the playoffs, but to say they were expected to represent the West in the NBA Finals would be false. The Oklahoma Thunder had been the favorites to return, however when Westbrook tore his ACL, the Memphis Grizzlies took full advantage, sending the Thunder home . Then the predictions shifted to the Golden State Warriors, or Grizzlies, but the small, quick teams just couldn’t send home the Spurs. Not this year.
The Heat swept the Spurs during regular season 2-0, but the infamous 2007 series sending LeBron James home is what is important here. That is what is lingering in everyone’s mind. Will James seek revenge? He says, “I’m 20, 40, 50 times better than I was in 2007 Finals.”
It will be an interesting matchup to say the least. Since everyone loves an underdog, the Spurs will be just that. Their roster is full of players who are unknown, aside from Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady and Manu Ginobli of course.
You have the Spurs, a team that plays the game the way Dr. Naismith imagined the game played, with flawless fundamentals, and high-efficiency shots, whereas the Heat… well, how many times have you picked up your jaw as James lobs a full court alley-oop to Dwayne Wade?
How will the Spurs guard James? Will they accept open jumpers from James and shut down the role players, or attack him from the jump, just to leave a pretty good squad of shooters wide open? If I was Coach Pop, I’d be putting Kawhi Leonard out there on No.6. His perimeter defense is up there with the best of them, and he is physical. Leonard will have a lot riding on his shoulders this series.
Who will guard Parker? We know Chris Bosh will take Duncan, and I’m really anticipating that matchup seeing they play pretty much the same game, but who is quick enough to guard one of the best point guards in the league? I’d say Norris Cole. yes, I have a lot of faith in Cole. Why not? He’s quick and a great on-ball defender. Mario Chalmers? He fouls too much, and doesn’t have the speed Cole has. We’ll have to wait and see the rotation Coach Spo uses, I’m sure they’ll be a few throughout the series.
Who are you going with? Miami or San Antonio?
I’ll say Miami in 6.
All games on ABC; Eastern Time
- Game 1 in Miami: Thursday, June 6, 9pm
- Game 2 in Miami: Sunday, June 9, 8pm
- Game 3 in San Antonio: Tuesday, June 11, 9pm
- Game 4 in San Antonio: Thursday, June 13, 9pm
- Game 5 in San Antonio: Sunday, June 16, 8pm
- Game 6 in Miami: Tuesday, June 18, 9pm
- Game 7 in Miami: Thursday, June 20, 9pm
via The BLACKout Mag