NBA Finals 2013 Preview: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs

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I’m intrigued by the NBA Finals this year because I think the two best teams are here. Before the playoffs I thought it would be the OKC Thunder, but once Russell Westbrook hurt his knee I knew it would be the Spurs. Now that the matchup is official who will emerge as the champions?

Right now I’m leaning towards the Heat for one main reason: LeBron James. This is third trip to the Finals in a row (fourth overall) and he’s coming off the best season of his line. All the work he’s put in this season is for this matchup right here. The question is what kind of help is the league MVP going to get? He needs more production from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Or is it Christina Bosh due to the lack of rebounds? I don’t know. They are All-Stars and they will need to play like it for the Heat to win. The Spurs are better than the Pacers because they have more depth. They have much better three point shooting too. Against the Pacers, Miami didn’t have to worry about the threes. Against the Spurs that’s what they have to worry about the most. If you double on Tony Parker in the lane or Tim Duncan in the post their spot up shooters will kill you.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Heat need to play team basketball meaning pass the ball around and find the open shooter. There will be times when they can definitely play isolation ball with James or Wade at the top of the key, but they are at their best when they move the ball around to hit the easy shot. That depth of the Spurs that I mentioned means they don’t get tired. They run ten guys deep. The Pacers had a short bench, so you could tire them out. The Spurs are built differently. As long as James has help from his team I know he can do enough to guide them to the series victory.

What I’m interested in most is how will Miami defend the Spurs? LeBron James is their best defender. There’s no question of that. Do they keep him on somebody like Leonard, Ginobili or Green on the perimeter or do they put him against Spurs All-Star PG Tony Parker, who is playing as well as he ever has. I think he’ll likely start off on the wing players, but once the 4th quarter starts he’ll be on Parker. If James can neutralize Parker then the Spurs offense will stall a bit. It’s not Tim Duncan that is the main focus of the Spurs offense. It’s Parker. When he sets up his teammates and scores 25 PPG they are difficult to deal with. I think James will be able to make things difficult due to his size and his ability to block shots from behind too.

I’m going with the Heat because I think James will rise up to the challenge of guarding Parker and also averaging his usual 27-7-7 as he leads his team to their second straight NBA Championship. He’s the best player alive. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen. As long as his supporting staff is ready like I expect them to be then they will jump on the King James train to win their second straight NBA Title.

Prediction: Miami Heat wins 4-2.