The moment is here, this is what you have playing for ever since the NBA season started on October 31st. 82 games regular season games have gone and went. You have won 12 playoff games and just four more you will be crowned NBA Champions. Welcome to the NBA Finals Ladies and Gentlemen the stage where the stars shine brightest. This is the stage where Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls won six championships. This is the stage where Isiah Thomas’s ” Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons won back to back NBA Championships in 1989 & 1990. This is stage where Kobe Bryant has five won rings, where Bill Russell owns 11 rings, where Magic Johnson and the ” Showtime” Lakers won five rings. Just last year Lebron James sat upon his throne after winning his first NBA Championship.
The year started with 30 hoping and dreaming to win an NBA Championship but now were down to two teams. Were down to the San Antonio Spurs and were down to the Miami Heat. The Heat were expected to be in this position and some thought the Spurs were too old to get back into this position. Both teams are led by a trio of stars. For San Antonio their led by Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli and Miami is led by Four time MVP Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Both teams have excellent head coaches and suburb front offices. Miami is coached by Erik Spoelstra, who won his first NBA title after falling short in 2011 NBA Finals. Greg Popovich is the longest tenured coach in the NBA, because of his consistency and excellence the Spurs have brought home four titles during his tenure.
How they got here: The Miami Heat were # 1 in the Eastern Conference all season long and they dominated during the regular season posting a 66-16 record. They easily swept the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1st rd, beat the Chicago Bulls in 5 games in the 2nd rd and beat the Indiana Pacers in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The San Antonio Spurs finished with the # 2 seed in the Playoffs after posting a 58-24 record during the regular season. In the first rd they breezed through the LA Lakers sweeping them 4-0. In the 2nd rd they beat the up and coming Golden State Warriors in six games. The Memphis Grizzles were no match for the Spurs during the Western Conference Finals, sweeping Memphis 4-0.
Key Players: He might have a lot of haters but Lebron James is simply the best player on the planet right now and his third straight NBA Finals Appearance is speaking volumes to his critics and naysayers. Lebron scored just under 27 points per game (26.8) and during the Playoffs he’s averaging 26.2 points per game. Dwyane Wade clearly hasn’t been himself during the post season because of average play and injury. After scoring 21.2 points per game, his points per game has taken a seven point decrease (14.1) during the Playoffs. Chris Bosh one of the NBA’s most versatile forwards has seen a dip in his points per game average as well during the Playoffs. During the regular season he averaged almost 17 points per game (16.6), now his average stands at (12.2) during the playoffs.
Tony Parker is San Antonio’s best player and best play maker. He’s now one of the elite point guards in the NBA. He’s one of the best in creating his own shot and finishing at the basket. He can kill you in the pick and roll game plus if you lay off, he can burn you with his improved mid range game. This year Parker averaged 20.3 points per game but in the playoffs he’s averaged 23 points per game along with dishing out 7.2 assists per game. Tim Duncan is 37 and in the twilight of his career but he’s a great career to say the least. He’s the proud owner of four NBA Championships, three NBA Finals MVP’s and two NBA MVP’s. This year he posted 17.8 points per game and averaging the same thing in Playoffs along with pulling down 9.2 rebounds per game. Manu Ginobli is the 3rd piece to the puzzle for the Spurs even though he really hasn’t gotten it going during the Playoffs. His points per game average is about the same as it was during the regular season (11.5). The Spurs are going to need his scoring if they want to up end Miami in hopes of winning the Championship.
What to watch for:
Turnovers- Turn the ball over against Miami and it’s going to end up as a dunk or a lay up for either Lebron James or Dwyane Wade. If you turn the ball over against San Antonio they can finish with either Tony Parker or Kawhi Leonard . Whoever can keep the turnovers to a minimum will win.
Bench Play: You know about Wade, James and Bosh for Miami but their going to need members of their bench to step up in this series. They going to need key 3pt shooting from Ray Allen, Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier. They are going to need the hustle and energy of Chris ” Birdman” Andersen, Udonis Haslem and Noris Cole. On San Antonio’s side they are going to need the scoring of Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard to assist their Big 3.
Rebounding: As the great Pat Riley once said, ” No rebounds no rings”. Miami had a difficult time with Roy Hibbert and David West on the backboards in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Spurs got nasty rebounding wise against Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. They didn’t let them intimidate them and won the rebounding edge. Whoever controls the rebounding edge will go a long way in determining who wins the series.
Coaching: Last but not least is coaching. Whoever puts their key players in the best positions to make plays and can inspire their role players to play at greater heights will win this series. How is Erik Spolestra going to defend Tony Parker is the question they have to answer. Another question Miami will have to answer is are they mentally strong enough to have what it takes to repeat as NBA Champs. How is Greg Popovich going to defend Lebron James and Miami. We know Popovich is one of the best coaches in putting together a strong game plan in foiling what you do best. Whichever coach makes the necessary adjustments during the series will win the NBA Title.
This series is long mental test for both teams and i view this match up as a chess match. Are Lebron James and Miami Heat going to hoist their 2nd straight NBA title or are Tim Duncan and Greg Popovich going to add a fifth NBA title to their trophy cases. The Moment is here, the time is now and the stage is set. Let’s all sit beck and enjoy what’s about to unfold right in front of our very eyes.
NBA Finals 2013 San Antonio vs Miami begins now!