This is for all the marbles. The big cheese. For the right to be either slurped or lambasted by the resident curmudgeon ESPN “First Take”, the one and only Skip Bayless.
What I love about this series is that this is a rematch of last year’s Finals. I mean, you gotta love rematches… right?
At any rate, let’s preview the 2014 NBA Finals – shall we?
Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs
Regular Season Series: Both teams split the season series on their home floors (both resulting in blowouts).
Analysis: I love the fact this Finals is a rematch for the following reasons.
First of all, the Spurs have been seething from the disappointment of not winning their fifth world championship. The Spurs were up five and were 28 seconds away from winning the Finals in Game 6. How in the hell did they lose a game where they were up 5 with 28 seconds left in the game?! That’s the question the Spurs have been asking themselves since last summer.
Second, you know that the Heat will be ready for the Spurs to try and take what is theirs. LeBron James is a two-time champion, and will not get overwhelmed by the San Antonio crowd during the series (the Spurs have homecourt advantage this time around). When Tim Duncan was mouthing off before the series by saying “we are going to get it done”, Dwyane Wade just sat back, smiled as if to say “okay, bring it on playboy.”
Lastly, you have to figure that the chess match between coaches Erik Spoelstra and Gregg Popovich will be epic. While both coaches did amazing jobs in last year’s Finals, it was Spoelstra who made better adjustments while Popovich was too stubborn in sticking with a struggling Manu Ginobli.
I’ll say this: while the Spurs appear to be the deeper, younger (gasp!) and better team, I can’t go against the defending world champion Heat (as much as I’d love to). LeBron is, well, LeBron. I do not see any of the Spurs checking him, and that includes young stud Kawhi Leonard. More importantly, Wade is FINALLY FULLY healthy. I am willing to bet that San Antonio fears Wade more than LeBron.
The key to this series will be how Chris Bosh performs. At times he has played like a role player while being paid as a max-out superstar. If Bosh is on his game, I do not think the Spurs have any big men who could check Bosh on the perimeter.
Yes, I know the Spurs have homecourt. Yes, I know they have wanted the Heat again since last season. Yes, I know Duncan is STILL putting in work.
However, with an ultra-motivated LeBron and a healthy Wade, I can’t underestimate the heart of these champions.
Prediction: Heat will become only the fifth team to three-peat by winning this series in 6 games.