The Miami Heat face off against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals for the second consecutive season. Last year the Spurs were on the brink of eliminating the Heat on their home court, but a miracle three point shot by Ray Allen along with a couple of key buckets from LeBron James, helped sealed the deal for Miami as they raised their second consecutive NBA championship banner. This season the Spurs will seek to avenge their 2013 NBA finals elimination and Tim Duncan even promised the Spurs would get “payback” this year. Nonetheless, both teams are highly talented which should make for an exciting series. Sports Unbiased writers Arnold Glass and myself weigh in with our series predictions.
Will the Spurs avenge their loss in the 2013 NBA Finals by defeating the Heat this year?
Arnold Glass: Yes, the Spurs have been simmering over the loss of last year’s championship all off-season and now they have made it back to the NBA Finals to play who? The team that they hoped would be there to redeem themselves, the defending champion Miami Heat. This will be the Spurs’ sweet revenge.
Jr. Williams: I think the Spurs have the better team and the better coach but its hard to bet against LeBron James. The Spurs will win this series only if the Heat have issues getting contributions from their bench. I think Tim Duncan will prove why he is the best power forward of All-time. So to answer the question, yes I think the Spurs will avenge their 2013 NBA finals loss to the Heat.
Who are the key players for the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs?
Arnold Glass: The key players for the Heat are Mario Chalmers, Rashard Lewis and Norris Cole. Chalmers has to show up because he has been MIA this postseason while Lewis and Cole need to continue playing like they have as of late.
Jr. Williams: Key players for the Heat: LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Norris Cole, Chris Anderson, and Ray Allen.
LeBron James is important because of his ability to pass the ball and involve his teammates in the offense. Chris Bosh – because of his ability to spread the floor and knock down shots from anywhere on the court, he can really cause issues for slow defenders. Norris Cole is the only player on the Miami Heat roster who can keep up with Tony Parker. Chris “Birdman” Anderson is important because of his defense and ability to guard the basket, I expect to see him play heavy minutes. Ray Allen is still one of the most deadly shooters in the league and he is there to make important shots during clutch time.
Arnold Glass: For the Spurs, my key players are Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Bois Diaw. Danny Green has shown more maturity and basketball savvy and that will definitely help the team. Splitter and Diaw has to continue to play at a high level because they play in the area that the Heat are most weak at, down in the paint.
I’m gonna cheat and give another key player for the Spurs. Kawhi Leonard has to play stifling defense on LeBron James. He has been defending against the best scorers on opposing teams and I believe he can step up to the challenge in this series.
Jr. Williams: Key Players for the Spurs: Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard
Both Parker and Duncan are the glue that holds this team together, without them, the Spurs would not have returned back to the finals. Tony Parker is the best point guard in this series and the best player coming off pick and rolls, he is very difficult to defend. Tim Duncan poses a solid threat in the post area, he can also rebound and defend in the paint. Boris Diaw is another player who can either post-up in the paint or spread the floor with his ability to knock down the three-point shot. Kawhi Leonard is strong, he can defend, add that with his ability to score and the Spurs have a legitimate big-three with him, Duncan, and Parker.
Series Prediction, which team will win the 2014 NBA Championship?
Arnold Glass: It will be a great battle between two talented teams; redux of last year’s Finals but with a different outcome.
Spurs in six.
Tim Duncan has never been the player to talk trash, his “payback” comment has garnered my attention. Spurs in seven.