Yes that is correct, the “finals”. It is the final for the Stanley Cup, finals for the NBA. So here we are, same time next year. Spurs vs Heat for the belt. The Heat going for 3 straight, the Spurs looking for their 5th title and to exact revenge over the Heat for what happened last season, and what happened in game 6 in particular when the Spurs straight up blew it and gifted the Heat the NBA crown.
Lebron James said yesterday that he is feeling slighted because most people view last year’s finals as the Spurs giving it away, not the Heat winning. Well, yeah! That’s exactly what happened as I’ve already said. Game 6, the Spurs had a 5 point lead with under 24 seconds left. 98% of the time (no idea what the actual number is) the team with a 5 point lead will win that game. It was especially shocking because the Spurs simply aren’t “that” team. That is something you would expect out of the Knicks, not the Spurs! But I do like that James is channelling his inner MJ and looking to manufacture criticism to get him going because he will need to be at his absolute best.
It’s funny that after the finals last season, the Heat looked to be in their prime and the old broken down Spurs looked to have missed their last chance. Here we are a year later and the Spurs come in as the favourites and the Heat are the ones who could be looking at their final chance at a title with the big 3 possibly breaking up this summer and 4 other key guys possibly retiring (Battier, Allen, Haslem, and Lewis).
The Spurs are the favourites because of their ridiculous depth above all else. This team is just filled with guys who simply buy in. Sure they have their own big 3 in Duncan, Parker and Ginobli (who enters this series much more healthy than he did last season), but Kawhi Leonard, Marco Belinelli, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph (Canadian), the depth on this roster is ridiculous.
Adding to this is the fact that even if you take away the Spurs depth is that Duncan can dominate Chris Bosh down low, Parker is miles ahead of Mario Chalmers at the point, Ginobli can hang with Dwayne Wade most nights, and then Leonard is the big key because he gave James fits last year and looks to be even better this season. And if all that wasn’t enough, Gregg Popovich is one of the best coaches of all time and while Erik Spoelstra is a good coach, he simply isn’t in the same class as Pop. It just doesn’t look good for the Heat.
But the Heat are the champs for a reason and they have more depth than people let on. The big 3 are great, but Mario Chalmers is serviceable, Ray Allen is incredible off the bench for them even at 38, Shane Battier can still come in and lock guys down, and while Michael Beasley and Greg Oden haven’t done much all year this is the finals and guys with big talent can really step up their games with a title on the line.
To me it is a must that the Heat split in San Antonio. If they do, they’ll have a shot. But this is how I think it breaks down. Spurs take the first 2 games, Heat take 2 of 3 in Miami, Spurs win it in 6.
Just to close, if you’re reading this just because you are a fantastic person and you thought you would do me a favour, watch this series. I know most of you aren’t basketball fans but you should like this. Game 6 of the finals last year was the best basketball game I’ve ever seen and these 2 are capable of playing 6 or 7 more games this year just like that. The Heat are flashy and have big names, the Spurs are understated and play the ultimate team game. Big market vs small market. It is just the perfect matchup and should be an incredible series.
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