- 05/31/2012, 04:11AM ET
Hyped78 said 05/31, 04:11 AM
For this TD we will assume that the NBA Finals will be between the Spurs and the Heat (both right now are up 2-0).
I am taking the Spurs over the Heat in the likely Finals (not need to specify in how many games).
While it's not easy to pick against the Heat (LeBron would lose his 3rd Finals, the Heat would lose 2 Finals in a row), the Spurs have been able to surge at the right moment.
20 consecutive wins, 10-0 in the playoffs, near perfect at both ends of the floor.
And they have faced some good opposition in the playoffs, Thunder, Clippers and Jazz. They've made those teams look mundane.
They've got one of the best coaches in the league and their traditional trio is healthy and producing as expected: Duncan (suddenly forgot his age), Parker (was an MVP candidate this year) and Ginobili (successfully came back from his injury).
And Poppovich makes the best out of his supporting cast, including Stephen Jackson (obviously happy to be back in San Antonio), big men Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw, Leonard, Green.
I will talk about the Miami Heat next and why the Spurs are a bad match up for them.
DJRoxalot said 05/31, 01:59 PM
The Heat aren't going to just lay down for SA and they present the toughest challenge for SA so far. They have a very solid chance at pulling the "upset," despite the people in the comments saying their is no chance.
LeBron James is playing like a man possessed this postseason. He is averaging 29.6ppg, 9rpg, 5.8apg while making 49% of his FG's and he is getting to the FT line nearly 11 times a game. He is playing aggressive and is going to be a matchup nightmare for the Spurs. This isn't the same team James played with the first time he went up against the Spurs when he was a member of the Cavaliers.
Stephen Jackson is a solid defender, but he isn't going to be able to shut down or neutralize James. James is just too strong for Jackson or Kawhi Leonard. Leonard is a rookie and despite a solid 1st season, James will expose him as just that, a rookie.
Boston was 1 of the best defensive teams in the NBA and the Heat have done an excellent job in 2 games so far. Paul Pierce hasn't been able to stop James and if he can't? I don't think Jackson or Leonard will be able to.
More to come.
Hyped78 said 05/31, 02:43 PM
I absolutely do not expect the Heat to simply lay down for SA. But that goes both ways, SA is going to give it all.
While I don't believe SA is going to breeze to the title unbeaten, I do think they have an array of intangibles which will lead them all the way:
- The current massive winning streak is no fluke. They peaked at the right time; sometimes that's all you need to turn an elite team into a championship one.
- One of the best coaches in the league
- They have been tested with flying colors in the playoffs so far. Utah, LA Clippers and most of all the Thunder are not an easy road. They have handled themselves better against these foes, than Miami against lesser competition in the East
- Size. With Bosh questionable this is a huge issue; and we all saw the problems the Indiana big men gave Miami
- The trio is healthy. Ginobili has made an incredible recovery from his injury, Duncan is having a re-energized year and Parker has had an MVP contender season.
- The supporting cast is deeper than that of the Heat and interested. The likes of Diaw and Jackson are motivated.
More to come.
DJRoxalot said 05/31, 03:05 PM
SA has been tested? They played a Jazz team that barely made the playoffs and a Clippers team that wasn't coached very well and was playing with a hurt Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
The Spurs have had an easy road to the NBA Finals while the Heat have had to face a veteran team has won a Finals in the past 5 years.
Bosh has been out since May 13 and the timetable for him to return was 4-6 weeks. He's already participating in light workouts he has been cleared to travel to Boston with the team as well. So, there is a very good chance he will be playing in the NBA Finals.
Miami struggled against Indy for 2 games, but the Miami offense has gotten better due to combined effort by Wade and James to play a lot closer to the rim. Since those 2 bad losses they have been playing a lot better.
I expect Wade to benefit from SA doubling James so he doesn't beat them. And while Daniel Green has emerged as a nice player, Wade won't have much problem with him. If they put Manu on him, I think Wade will beat him off the dribble since Manu isn't the quickest defender.
The Heat play better defense, allowing just 87ppg while OKC surrenders 95.3ppg.
Hyped78 said 05/31, 03:17 PM
Another intangible for the Spurs is homecourt advantage, which is obviously another added factor.
About the competition both teams have faced, and while the Jazz and the Clippers can be criticized for the things you have stated, the Thunder are (were?) a premier title contender, healthy and rested coming into this series.
And let's be honest, Miami faced the Knicks, who had a soap opera for a regular season, then were pushed by Indy (up 2-1) and are now facing a tired, beaten, weary and old Celtics side, who had a long series against the 76ers.
About Bosh, this much is certain: he may or may not return. If he does return, he may play up to his full ability, or not.
There's obvious uncertainty.
The Spurs will throw multiple bodies at LeBron and Wade, while having an overall stifling defense.
Their offense is in a type of pace and rhythm much different than that of previous Spurs' championship teams, but it's simply a different method of approaching it.
I believe the factors that I laid out in the previous argument, adding home court advantage, are spelling another title for the Spurs.
Plus, will LeBron be clutch when the team needs him to?
DJRoxalot said 05/31, 09:35 PM
I know you didn't want to bring this up, but the Heat own the Spurs the last few years since the Big 3 has assembled in South Beach.
On Jan 17th, LeBron James scored 33 points (including 1 in the 3rd quarter) and dished out 10 assists as the Heat beat the Spurs, 120-98.
On March 14th, 2011 Dwayne Wade scored 29 points as the Heat beat the Spurs, 110-80.
These games weren't close. Miami matches up well the Spurs apparently.
Say what you want about them struggling with Indiana, but they whipped off 3 straight wins to win the series pretty convincingly.
James was pretty clutch in game 1, making 13 of 22 FG's for 32 points as the Heat beat the Celtics, 93-79. And in game 2, he made 18 of 24 FT's. James and Wade combined for 12 of Miami's 16 points in overtime to pull out a thrilling win.
James and Wade will be just fine. Miami is also loaded with veterans like Shane Battier to play some defense and Mike Miller to hit open outside shots. Udonis Haslem is available to play defense and rebound.
The Heat beat the Spurs in a thrilling 7 game series.
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