King James will get another shot at the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. He’s grown up since his Cavaliers got swept in 2007.
Finally, a fair fight. This isn’t 2007. It’s not LeBron James and a bunch of nobodies against a veteran San Antonio Spurs team that was favored heavily.
No, this year is different. James is clearly the best player in the NBA (four regular season MVPs in the last five years) and now his team is the favorite.
The Miami Heat is playing in their third straight NBA Finals while the Spurs are returning to the championship for the first time since their sweep of the 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers. That was a very bad NBA Finals.
James was a young, promising player with not much help. No wonder the Spurs trounced Cleveland. Now, James has a title under his belt and he has Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to back him up. The Spurs still feature the usual suspects of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Gregg Popovich, arguably the best coach in the league, is the one guy you’d want on the bench not named Phil Jackson.
San Antonio is not washed up. Popovich has them playing consistently with the same veterans who seemed kind of old when they won it all in 2007. Expect Parker to run circles around the Heat’s guards. Duncan will be consistent as always. Ginobili has lost a step, however, if you play for Popovich, everyone can contribute. There are no stars on this team.
Which is why the Heat has an edge. The Spurs have a size advantage just like the Indiana Pacers. But they’re nowhere near as physical. And the Heat features the star of stars, James, a player who nobody can check.
Miami won both regular season meetings against San Antonio. Neither game featured both squads at full strength. This series will be a battle.
The team ball of San Antonio against the One Man Gang (and some excellent role players, one of whom was NBA Finals MVP in 2006).
Miami has home-court advantage and the versatility of James. Sometimes, there’s nothing an opposing team can do to stop a force such as James.
The pick: Heat in six.