Spurs and Heat will once again play for Larry O'Brien trophy and add padding to both teams respective legacies. So much is on the line for both teams but most importantly for LeBron James. A 3-peat will most definitely put him into the conversation with the elites. Not many have accomplished the 3-peat but Wade, Bosh, and Bronny are at the doorstep, it won't be easy though.
The Heat for the 4th straight time will be in the NBA Finals. LeBron's decision to take his talents to South Beach has without question paid off. They are the 1st team to reach 4 straight Finals since the Celtics did it back in 1984-87, taking home 2 out of the 4. None of this is shocking to me, I actually expected this to happen when LeBron made that decision. When you put 3 of the top 5 picks from one draft on the same team, including the greatest shooter ever, its hard to go against them. The Eastern Conference also has not made it difficult for these dudes either. To give you a idea of how weak the east was, the Mavericks would have been the 3rd seed had they played in the Eastern Conference.
The big 3 of the Heat has not been challenge so far this postseason. They had a cake walk with the Bobcats, even though the Bobcats put up a fight, they just didn't have enough offensive firepower to keep up. The Nets, who beat the Heat in 4 times in the regular season, couldn't string wins together in the postseason. Then came the Pacers. All season the Pacers made people think that they were mentally ready to dethrone the Heat. They completed one part of their goal which was to gain home court advantage but they forgot about the rest. The main reason why people thought they were going to beat the Heat was because of Roy Hibbert but Roy didn't want to play basketball anymore, 4 games in the postseason with 0 points and 10 games with 5 or less rebounds. And to me that has nothing to do with skill, that's just lack of effort.
None of those teams had a chance to defeat the Heat. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh will go down as one of the best trios in NBA history, win or lose. It's not another team in the league right now with 3 players in their prime that could compete with the Heat. Some teams may have 1 or 2 players to cancel out theirs but its always that x-factor (usually Bosh) that gives the Heat the edge. I honestly think without Bosh, this 3-way partnership wouldn't work.
The Heat on paper has the better team, you pretty much know every player on their team. They are more athletic than the Spurs and they have more shooters probably, who will have the most consistent shooters will be the ultimate question. The Heat as a team might be older but their star 3 players are younger than the Spurs big 3. Despite all that, I still wouldn't count the Spurs out.
I am very shocked that the Spurs have made it back to the Finals. I thought after last year debacle they were done for good but that was their fuel for the season. I will never forget how the Spurs loss game 6 last year. Never in my life have I seen the ropes assembled on the sideline while a team was leading and they still lose. For me, the story of that series will always be how Kawahi Leonard and Manu Ginoboli both missed free throws in the clutch.
Somehow, someway, the Spurs find themselves back in the Finals for the 6th time in franchise history. Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich have been apart of all 6 trips and until last year, never loss. Pop has solidified himself as one of the greatest coaches ever while Timmy D has become one of the greatest big men ever. Those two have made the Spurs one of the best franchises in the 2000s, but I know they want to beat the Heat before it's all said and done.
Timmy D, who is often quiet, has already expressed that they are happy to be seeing the Heat for another time saying, “We’re happy that it’s the Heat again. We’ll be ready for them. We’ve got some experience, obviously, from last year against them, and we’ll go back and look at some film. And we’ve got that bad taste in our mouths still. Hopefully, we’ll be ready to take it this time.”
Now my cousin thinks the Spurs shouldn't even think about what happened last year but I think otherwise. I will agree that last year is last year, but they had the title in their grasp and lost it because of two missed free throws and Jesus Shuttleworth in the corner. It's hard to just get over that and not think about it.
Both teams are a little different but both still have their core players there. Spurs are without Gary Neal, who averaged 9 points in the Finals last year, but replaced him with Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli. Patty has been apart of the Spurs for 3 season now but this year he has seen the court more than ever in his 4 year career, playing in 81 games and 18 minutes per game (Career highs). Bellini is new to squad and has been the sharpshooter for the Spurs. This season Belinelli posted career highs in FG% (.485) and 3-pt% (.430). Looking at the Spurs roster though, I'm still trying to figure out how they made it through a tough Western Conference, defeating the Mavs, Blazers, and Thunder, and I'm more curious to how they are going to beat the Heat.
Like I said though, you can't count these dudes out. They have a great coach and 3 hall of famers. All of them are passed their prime of course but they are still good players. Manu Ginoboli did not have a very good series last year so I expect him to be a factor this series. One thing I don't see happening again for the Spurs is Danny Green 3 point shooting. I don't see him being that hot again and if he is than that incredible but I doubt it. Kawahi Leonard has been looking VERY hungry this postseason will be the x-factor for the Spurs because he will have the job of defending LeBron. We all know he can't stop LeBron but he can agitate him and make it tough for him.
My heart tells me the Spurs are going to take it but my head is telling me the Heat. So instead of making a prediction, I'm just going to enjoy a good series.