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NBA Finals Prediction

Danny Green
A year later, we are here in early June with a very similar story. The Miami Heat enter the Finals for the fourth straight year, hoping to add their third NBA Championship to their legacy, while the San Antonio Spurs hope to get revenge after dropping this series in seven games last season. Both teams looked similarly dominant on their road to these Finals, with the Heat sweeping the Bobcats, handling Brooklyn in five and then taking down Indiana while the Spurs were fantastic in victories over Portland, Dallas and then Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals. These two teams appear to be very evenly matched but one has to come out on top when everything is said and done. Is an extremely deep bench the difference to guide San Antonio to a title, after they fell just short last season, or are the Heat too talented to stop?

Every single year for the past couple years, we have said the same thing. The Spurs are too old, too slow and NBA defenses are adjusting to their smooth-flowing offense. But, yet here they are in the Finals, after putting together a 62-20 in the regular season. They will obviously rely heavily on their old core of stars, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. Ginobli, who was a nonfactor throughout much of last year's Finals, has played just about 25 minutes this season. This should help him though, as the earlier rest will keep him energized and healthy for this series. Tony Parker has been great all season for San Antonio and if he stays healthy he should make a major impact, running the Spurs' offense. Even with those Big Three making a big impact as usual, it is no secret that the San Antonio bench will be even more pivotal. The best and deepest bench in the NBA, it has allowed Ginobli, Parker and Duncan to play less minutes during the regular season and keeping them healthy, a major reason why they are here right now. Sharpshooting Danny Green, who set the record for three-pointers made in Finals history, will hope to follow that up with an impressive encore and hard-working guys like forward Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills should help keep the Spurs running late in games.

When they first arrived in South Beach, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James proclaimed "Not one...Not two...Not three" assuming they would bring a lot of titles home to Miami. After losing in their first Finals showing, the Heat are on a groove, hoping they can complete a three peat. They will also be led by the same stars, Bosh, Wade and of course, LeBron. If D-Wade can stay healthy during these Finals, and Bosh becomes more aggressive offensively, the Heat will have more effective scorers surrounding LeBron after those two were inconsistent throughout last year's series. Ray Allen off the bench is something to love and the Heat will also present Mario Chalmers and a much deeper bench than they had last year. Though, the big issue I see with Miami still remains: they are a small team, undersized and it could hurt them against San Antonio and Tim Duncan. They signed Greg Oden this offseason but does anybody actually expect him to play more than 10 minutes in this series?

These two teams are very similar, but they play a much different style. San Antonio will slow things down and be smart and efficient, well the Heat will get out and run and beat opponents down the floor. In case you forgot, last year's Finals between these two teams were fantastic and back and forth but the Spurs really outplayed Miami and nearly won the series before the huge three downed by Ray Allen. Motivation is going to be a huge factor for the Spurs, they wanted another shot at Miami and now they get it, they won't waste this opportunity. San Antonio is a deeper team and a more balanced team, they should get the job done this team around even though it certainly won't be easy.

Spurs in seven

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