NBA Finals Preview 2013
This year’s Finals maybe one of the most interesting matchups in years. The San Antonio Spurs is a team that has championship pedigree led by four time champion Tim Duncan against the defending champions Miami Heat led by the best player in the game in LeBron James. Many would think that the more athletic Heat should have no problem running the Spurs out of the gym. Not so fast. The Heat just survived a brutal series with the Pacers and now step into the Finals against a well-rested Spurs team that may have the best coach in the game in Greg Popovich. Let’s take a look how both teams matchup with each other.
What seperates the Miami Heat from other teams is their defensive intensity, athleticism, and role players that shoot the ball well. Look for the Spurs to limit LeBron James to get inside the paint the way the Pacers did. It will be important for role players like Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, and Ray Allen to constantly knock down shots. The focus has been on Wade and Bosh to heavily produce but the role players will be just as important because the Spurs will collapse the lane leaving shooters open from time to time. The Heat defense will need to be at the level it was in game 7 versus the Pacers for them to be able to win the Finals. The Spurs are a better overall offensive team then the Pacers. Maybe putting James on Tony Parker at times might be enough to slow their tempo.
Not only do the Spurs have health and rest on their side, but their offensive style should give the Miami Heat trouble. Using Tony Parker behind multiple screens could frustrate the champs. Parker is the best in the game at using screens. Having someone like Ducan to get easy buckets is also major. Kawhi Leonard may be the biggest x-factor in the series because he most likely will check LeBron James and the series may go on how well Leonard limits James impact on the game. Tiago Splitter will be key as well. He must try to duplicate the physical play against Chris Bosh like David West and Roy Hibbert did to him. That type of play proved to be effective.
Key Matchup to watch: Danny Green vs. Dwyane Wade. Can Wade mustard up enough to be effective offense while chasing around Green on defense?
Prediction: Series may be similar to 2011 series when the Heat lost to the Mavericks LeBron James is the best player in the league but he may not have enough from his supporting cast against the most complete team in the league. Spurs win in 6.