The NBA Finals gets started on June 5th, 2014 at 9 pm, there is plenty of excitement for this rematch. The Miami Heat are looking to three-peat as they have made it now to four consecutive NBA Finals, while the San Antonio Spurs are looking for a little revenge, they feel they allowed last years championship to slip away.
Both Teams come into the finals battle tested, both teams made it seem easy arriving to the finals as they both disposed of their opponents quite easily. The Miami Heat bring a certain swagger and confidence, while the Spurs always maintain an even approach a lunch pale mentality of just another day at the office. When you look at the rosters for both squads there is talent, experience and championship pedigree, most people will say that players are the ones who win it all for you, but in my opinion when the talent pool is just about equal on both sides you have too look at coaching. This match up pairs up two of the best coaches in their profession, on one hand you have the veteran even keeled coach in Greg Popovich, who in coaching and player circles is respected, admired for his basketball IQ and basketball brilliance, then you have the young Erik Spoelstra who to this day in my view is still highly underrated, many people outside of the Heat locker room struggle to allow themselves to believe in Spoelstra, because they can not get past Lebron's greatness or if it is Pat Riley's influence in the back ground. Spoelstra has not been given enough credit for his in game adjustments, his ability to inspire, motivate his team and the most important the way he stays calm in the face of adversity, this will be a great series to watch and observe two of the best maneuver throughout the series.
My expectations for this series is that both teams are disciplined, experienced, talented, poised and there will be plenty of ups and downs for both sides it will come down to execution. The Spurs starting five of Tiago Splitter, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are a formidable one that has size, strength and the ability to play with anyone. We know that the Spurs will play set basketball, they will make the extra pass, they will drop the ball down low to Tim Duncan and with their size they will do a good job rebounding. The key player in my opinion will be Kawhi Leonard who will mostly be guarding Lebron James on defense and when on offense can play with his back to the basket as well as shoot it from the outside. The Spurs have a solid bench that contributes especially from the three point range such as; Marcos Belinelli, Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw, Patty Mills and Danny Green. I believe the Spurs success in this series will highly be predicated on how much assistance can the starting five receive from their bench and up to now in these playoffs they have answered the bell.
The Miami Heat Starting five of; Chris Bosh, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem or Shane Battier will have their hands full with an equally talented team in the Spurs. The Miami Heat need to come out in game one aggressive, set the tone of how they want to dictate the flow of the game to go, they must not fall into playing the Spurs game which is too slow it down. In my opinion the Heat need to run as often as possible, find ways to cause turn overs and score off of them. Dwayne Wade will be a person to keep your eye on, the Heat need Wade to attack the basket and to keep shooting his mid-range shot at a high percentage, so in turn he can have easier attempts heading to the rim. Another name that jumps out at me that needs to step it up in this series is Mario Chalmers, he was not at his best in the Indiana Pacers series he seemed frustrated and not his typical confident self. Mario Chalmers defense will be needed to stay in front of Tony Parker and deter him from penetrating to the basket, also he needs to reestablish his three point shot which will be called upon with Lebron and Wade driving to the basket. The Miami Heat must understand that the San Antonio Spurs are a mentally strong team, a team that plays together and as previously discussed a well coached team. Execution on offense, defense will be imperative, rebounding must be kept close considering the size Spurs offer, in game adjustments by Spoelstra will be a key, the Miami Heat bench will be tasked with providing energy & fire power when called upon, that means Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Norris Cole, Chris "Birdman" Anderson and Rashard Lewis must find ways to contribute consistently and ultimately in a series that is pretty much equal, bottom line is whoever impose's their will and who's game plan is executed better will come out victorious.
My final thought is that we are in for one heck of an NBA Finals, both teams are evenly matched, it is said that match ups make a game, well this series has a little bit of everything in store for us. If the Spurs are allowed to pass freely, run their offense at the slow pace that makes them efficient and Tony Parker penetrates unchallenged then the heat will be in some trouble, but if the Heat can run up and down the court, cause turn overs and efficiently stop the Spurs pick an roll offense then the Miami Heat have a really good chance to three peat, once again stay tuned for game one live from San Antonio on Thursday June 5th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.
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