2013 NBA Playoffs: The NBA Finals

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Thursday, June 06, 2013 with 3 comments
It has all come down to this, the San Antonio Spurs are set to square off against the Miami Heat and the winner will be crowned the NBA champion.  The Spurs and Heat, along with a third team (Lakers) have been involved in every NBA Finals Match-up since 1999 which is an incredible statistic.  The Spurs have been the model for how to build a team for the long run while the Heat showed the entire world that yes championships can be bought.  The media will make this a battle of good and evil, the Spurs will represent everything "right" with the NBA while the Heat will be portrayed as the evil empire, the team that everyone loves to hate.  In a way the same portrayal happened last year as the Heat faced the Oklahoma City Thunder but the Thunder lacked the pedigree of the Spurs.  Fans have had a longer time to grow attached to Tim Duncan than they did Kevin Durant and for some Duncan represents their final chance to stop the Miami juggernaut.

The Miami Heat won the season series 2-0 but both of those games can be thrown out due to both road teams resting their stars during the contests.  By the time the ball is tipped in the air for Game 1 of the Finals, the Spurs would have had 10 days off after sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies.  The Miami Heat moved past the Indiana Pacers in a grueling 7 game series that brought the defending champs to the brink of collapse.  The Heat are looking for the repeat and the Spurs are looking to win a fifth championship and their first since a 2007 victory over LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers.

Who Needs the win more?

The legacy's of the San Antonio Spurs and Tim Duncan are secure win or lose.  Duncan was the type of trans formative player that was drafted and helped a contender reach the next level.  Already having won 4 NBA titles has allowed Tim Duncan to live in rarefied air amongst the All-time NBA greats.  LeBron James also became a trans formative player who after being drafted turned the once laughing stocks (Cavaliers) of the league into contenders.  This is James' 4th trip to the NBA finals in 10 years.....not a bad way to start a career which is only entering its middle stages.  Despite the fact that James is 1-2 during his previous finals visits, the Miami Heat are heavily favored to capture their 3rd NBA title.

The San Antonio Spurs have never lost in the NBA Finals which says a lot considering they're dominance has controlled the league over parts of 3 decades by winning titles in 99, 03, 05, 07. and their latest finals appearance this season.  Tim Duncan's goal is to capture a title for the thumb and if the Spurs dethrone the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat, Duncan in the eyes of many will move ahead of Shaquille O'Neal as one of the greatest big men to ever play the game. LeBron James is simply playing for validity.  The echoes of "not1, not 2, not 3, etc" still reverberates in his mind and only capturing a multitude of championships will bring him peace.  The Decision of James to take his talents to South Beach has proven to have been the right decision but with that comes the stress of the world and a sense of unwarranted hate from those who feel that James, perhaps the most gifted player that the game has ever seen simply sold out.  it's quite simple, LeBron James needs this win more than Duncan, the Spurs, or even the Miami Heat.  This will be James' win or his lose and there's no other way to look at it.

Who Wins?

At this point all analysis are thrown out of the window.  It comes to no surprise that Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich shifted his team's philosophy as the Miami Heat juggernaut was being built.  Popovich had the foresight to understand that the Spurs' plotting style alone couldn't get it done against potentially one of the most lethal offensive teams of All-time the Miami Heat, who can create a run so devastating at any second that it can change the course of any series.  The Spurs had a 10 day layoff to prepare for the Miami Heat but the truth is that the Spurs have been prepared for the threat of Miami for the past 3 seasons and sensing that a potential clash was near guided Popovich's decision to send most of his starters home during a potential NBA Finals preview in November.

As the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers during the NBA Finals of 2007, Tim Duncan told LeBron James that one day the NBA will be James' and this years Finals will see that statement by Duncan come to fruition.  Both teams are good enough to win on the others home court but with that being said, having home court is the reason that the Miami Heat will hammer the final nail into the coffin that will allow the Spurs dynasty to rest forever more.  The Miami Heat will hoist the NBA Championship Trophy on June 18.