With a 94-91 win over the Chicago Bulls on May 15th, everyone was feeling deja vu setting in. The Heat had won 50 of their last 55, swept the Bucks, nearly swept the Bulls, and were rolling once again. Even with their recent grueling seven game series with the Pacers (which they won), its hard not to see this Miami Heat team repeating. They have the best player on the court every night, an incredible supporting cast, and just seem to be unbeatable in a best of seven series. But will they repeat?
After the jump, I go into detail on why the Heat will win the NBA finals, and why the Heat won’t win the NBA finals. There are plenty of reasons for both and a case can be made either way, but if you really want my prediction, I say Spurs in 7, Duncan MVP.
P.S. I’m hoping for an incredible series, Stern, so don’t let me down….I’ll surely be watching the foul/flop count…
Why They Will:
- LeBron James – When you have arguably the best player in the NBA, a 4-time MVP, and maybe the most athletically gifted player ever, you always stand a chance. LeBron has the capability to take a game over (Pistons 2007) and just simply will his team to victories. Along with this, he is a matchup problem for just about anyone and can become virtually unstoppable when in the open court.
- 3-Pt Shooting – Along with the “Big 3” the Heat have surrounded LeBron and company with an amazing supporting cast. Bringing in all-time three point leader Ray Allen to accompany Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, and Chris Bosh (48.4% 3pt percentage!!!), this crew is designed to simply blow out teams. They can easily stretch a 4 point lead into 14 or 20 in a matter of minutes and most teams don’t even see it coming. With this bench, and the Big 3, the Heat always stand a chance to win.
- Chris “Birdman” Anderson – Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine writing, or even saying, this statement. But Birdman has given the Heat something they desperately needed, an inside presence. He has been nearly perfect from the field (38/46) while averaging 7 pts and 4 rebounds on 15 minutes. But these stats barely scratch the surface of how great Birdman has been. He has provided low post defense, some attitude and energy, and has made this Heat team just that much better (if thats possible…). With Birdman playing this well, the Heat are looking mighty powerful all-around this postseason.
Why They Won’t:
- Gregg Popovich – The man is a legend, hands down. With Popovich at the helm, you know preparation and execution will not be an issue. He will plan for LeBron, limit the 3pt shooters, and find ways to expose this Miami Heat squad. Looking at his playoff history vs LeBron (4-0), I would be hard pressed to bet against Pop. He will find a way to control the pace and you can bet that he will find a way to score on the weaker Miami big men.
- Tony Parker – In case you didn’t know, Tony Parker is playing out of his mind right now. He’s averaging 23 ppg, 7 ast, and 1 stl per game during this playoff run and he has just been sensational. While this may be a surprise to most, we have to realize most people were actually favoring him as MVP up until around the All-Star game when he got injured and missed substantial time. With Parker playing at his best, and the Spurs playing at their best, this just seems to be the classic go out on top year for the aging Spurs.
- The Supporting Cast – Last but not least, I have to mention the Spurs bench and role players. While non of them carry the accolades that Ray Allen, or even Shane Battier, they all know their role and play it extremely well. Whether it be Manu Ginobli, Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, or Boris Diaw, this team knows what to do, who to give it to, and how to play in every situation. While most of the credit goes to Pop, we have to credit the players on how much they are willing to adapt and buy into this system.
Overall, this is bound to be an excellent series. With incredible match-ups all around, and the potential psychological battle between Popovich and James, this series could have huge implications about the future of the NBA. Who knows where the Spurs go from here with a win or loss, and who knows where the Big 3 will be a year from now with a win or loss, all I know is that I will be glued to the couch watching every second of this series. Until next time, goodnight.