Everyone talks about the Heat’s big three, their plethora of talent, and their team speed and athleticism. The reality is that when people discuss the team from South Beach, they are almost exclusively painting a picture of their big three: Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. While my detest for these three players is second to only some of the Los Angeles Lakers, one must respect their talent. They have finally figured out how to coexist in a way where they increase the collective sum of their parts– unlike their first couple of years together when they struggled to figure out how their overlapping approaches to the game could be culminated effectively.
Long story short, this team has been a shoo-in for the eastern conference title for quite some time, as the Knicks sustained an injury to Stoudemire and the Celtics had their leader Rondo go down with an ACL tear. They are currently up 2-1 on the Indiana Pacers, who work together to become a formidable squad, but I suspect they talent discrepancy in the end will rear its ugly head, and the trio under Pat Riley will figure out a way to pull it out.
This leaves the San Antonio Spurs, who just swept the Grizzlies to advance to the finals and are one step closer to obtaining the Larry O’Brien trophy. The problem being that the previously discussed Heat stand in their way.
Many say that it is Miami’s title to lose. Many are right. But here is why the old big three from San Antonio have a chance:
- The Spurs have a point guard in Tony Parker who can penetrate the paint, forcing rotations from the other Miami players and opening up three point shooting for behind-the-arc marksmen in Danny Green, Matt Bonner, Kawhi Leonard, and Gary Neal. This team can drain threes with the best of them, and they often times move the ball better than any other team– leading the league in team assists during the regular season. The Heat will have a challenge in defending the young point guard, as the Frenchman has a knack for disrupting game plans.
- As shown in the series against the Pacers– the heat struggle with interior scoring. They have yet to have an answer for Roy Hibbert and David West in the deep post, and the Florida team will only have it tougher with the Big Fundamental– Tim Duncan around the corner. Again, his deep-post threat makes him a tough match-up for the vertically challenged Heat, who will rely on the typically unrelieable Chris “Birdman” Anderson for much of their center responsibilities. Bosh or Haslem will most likely be starting off defending Duncan, but he should be able to make relatively quick work of either of those two with his crafty post moves and pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop with the previously mentioned Parker.
- So that is the offensive end of the floor for the Spurs, but the defensive end is another story. Unfortunately the Heat have the best player in the world. Fortunately San Antonio has one of the best defenders to put on him– Kawhi Leonard. The young small forward is, on my makeshift list, one of the top five players to defend King James.
- The Spurs are old. Everyone knows this, but with the old knees and tired bodies comes great wisdom. San Antonio’s core has been together for 10 plus years and have won three championships. The Heat have still only come out victorous once.
- Lastly, Gregg Motherfucking Popovich, the best coach in the NBA.
Not predicting a win, but a team even having the slightest of realistic chance to knock off the Heat in the finals makes me giddy.