The NBA Finals start on June 6, but will be the “early bird” once again by bringing you in advance the most accurate 2013 NBA Finals predictions. We expect a very well balanced title battle between what have arguably been the two best teams in the league all season long. Interestingly enough, both teams rested their stars during the regular season matchups, so there are a lot of question marks surrounding our Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs predictions.
“NBA is a star-driven league.” – Dr. Julius Erving
When comparing the Heat and the Spurs, it’s pretty much obvious that the Spurs have the better team in terms of balance and tactical awareness. Popovich is the best coach in the world, and one of his best qualities is the minutes management of his star players. The Spurs might be a bit old, but the way Pop has managed their minutes has been tremendous. During the regular season, he gave his main guys important breaks in-between games and even had them miss some games, just so they can preserve their energy and be in their prime when it matters most. In fact, he got fined by the league quite heavily for deciding to rest Parker, Duncan and Ginobili during the team’s trip to Miami. Then the Heat played a similar trick when they rested LeBron and Wade in the second meeting between those teams in San Antonio, yet the Heat still won.
However, as Dr. J pointed out in an interview recently, the NBA is a star-driven league. In crunch time, teams usually rely on their go-to-guy quite heavily and the better and stronger he is, the higher the chances of winning. We all know that in this particular category, no one does it better than LeBron James right now. Of course, it’s not like Tony Parker, Duncan or Manu aren’t star players, but James is in a class of his own, and he will be the HEAT’s biggest advantage.
The Spurs got that great ball movement, and have all these sharp shooters lined up beyond the arc. Tony Parker with his dribble drives attracts defenders, kicks it out, then the ball stars to move as the Spurs look for the best shot. It’s a classic style of play, similar to how the Mavericks beat Miami in the Finals two years ago. According to our 2013 NBA Finals predictions, that’s what we are about see once again in terms of the way the West-side team will try to play against Miami.
Comparing 2007 to 2013
As you all know, back in 2007, Lebron James lost the NBA Finals against the Spurs, so how are things stacking up this time around? Well, for one, James is a much better player now. He is much more confident in every area of his game, particularly his outside shot. Back then, the Spurs made him a jump shooter, denying him his dribble drives to the rim. You give LeBron a good mid-range look now or even a triple, and he will knock it down without thinking twice.
Secondly, the world’s best player has a much better supporting cast time around, although D-Wade and Bosh need to step their game up. Still, even with his super friends struggling, this Miami team is much better compared to the Cavs of 2007. LeBron was pretty much out on his own back then, and now he is surrounded by players with championship experience, and basically four future Hall of Famers (Wade, Bosh, Allen, Haslem). Chalmers has stepped his game up big time. Andersen has been a major boost for them. Miller is starting to heat up. No-Cole is a good role player at the point guard spot. So one of the best 2013 NBA Finals predictions is that LeBron is in a much better position right now compared to what it was six years ago.
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