Yesterday, the Miami Heat finally came together as an unit to win the series in a Game 7 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Heat have now reached the NBA Finals for the third straight year, and it will either be a second straight victory or a second loss in three years.
Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs, the winners out the Western Conference, have already punched their ticket in for the Finals. As a matter of fact, the Spurs have had almost two weeks of preparation and rest, awaiting on their opponent to come out the Eastern Conference. The Spurs advanced after a 4-0 sweep over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rest vs Rust
The time off from basketball may have helped the Spurs. With that older core of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, this team needs all the rest they can get. However, these guys haven’t played a game in two weeks, but that shouldn’t be an issue for San Antonio. I believe that Coach Pop has performed the proper protocol to keep the Spurs ready, since Miami is a team that likes to push the tempo and get up and down the floor.
After coming off that Game 7 rout of the Pacers, the Heat has something to work with going into Thursday’s match-up vs the Spurs. Therefore, some may argue that the Heat has the upper-hand because they came off that tough series against Indiana.
I don’t think Mario Chalmers has what it takes to take on Tony Parker. Although Chalmers is a great defender, Parker is playing out of his mind right now. Nonetheless, Parker is playing like a MVP, and no one can knock that.
The match-up between Danny Green and Dwayne Wade is an interesting one. If D-Wade shows up like a Superstar, then he will be a tough cover for Green, who is a legit defender. Wade has not played at his best, particularly during the last series between the Pacers, but we will see which Wade shows up in the Finals.
Referring back to the Conference Finals games, the Spurs have excelled in the frontcourt department, while the Heat struggled in the post, depending on LeBron James’s post play to prosper in the paint.
The Spurs big men are furious and physical up front, making it hard to penetrate and score in the paint against them. Not to mention, they get up and down the court efficiently. I know you all saw how great Duncan was running! At 37, he’s beating guards down the court on fast breaks! Amazing. In addition, Spurs’ SF Kahwi Leonard needs to have a great series, particularly on defense to slow James down
If the Heat want to win, they need big games from Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem. Because the Spurs are tougher, they have to step up. Bosh and Haslem are at their best on offense when they are on the baseline, giving the option of a baseline side jumper that they both love to hit. Plus, Bosh can step out and hit a three if possible. I don’t have to discuss LeBron’s effort because as we all know: James will always be dominant and hard to stop.
The play of both team’s benches is critical.
The Spurs have Manu to depend on, but he has been more of a playmaker this postseason than a scorer. However, do not negate the fact that he can shot the ball as well. Plus, the Spurs have the big men to compete.
Miami’s bench has the advantage, if, and only if, they come out to play. Norris Cole and Ray Allen both will shoot the lights out, which is a big lift. In addition, Chris Anderson will bring the energy to amplify his teammates with his electrifying play. If Joel Anthony gets playing time, it could benefit the Heat well.
With the 2-3-2 homecourt set-up, it is in the advantage of the lower seed. From beginning to end, this will be a fight. A battle for the ages.
With that being said…..
Heat 2. Spurs in 6.