Blogtable: Rust Vs. Rest In Finals

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Week 32: The Heat turn it on | Game 1 lookahead | Finals intrigue

The Heat were taken to the limit in the conference finals. The Spurs are well-rested after a sweep. What do you expect from Game 1 of The Finals?

Steve Aschburner, I anticipate a double-digit Miami victory in the Finals opener that will have people jumping to conclusions they probably shouldn’t. The Heat are all lathered up and in rhythm, and the adrenaline of a third straight Finals trip, with the home court and crowd, should carry them through the opener. Then things can get interesting in this Finals.

Fran Blinebury, There is no such thing as too much rest for a team that relies on a 37-year-old, a 35-year-old and a 21-year-old (Kawhi Leonard) with an aching knee. It was just what the Spurs needed. That’s not guaranteeing they’ll win Game 1, but that rest will pay dividends over a long series.

Jeff Caplan, This is so hard to predict. We’ve seen Miami come out flat after a long rest before the Chicago series and San Antonio, too, against Golden State, only to complete that remarkable Game 1 comeback. The Spurs, no doubt, are going to have to shake off the rust, get a good sweat going and get back into the swing of things — and hope they’re not down 15 after the first quarter. The Heat paid a physical price for going seven games against the Pacers, but the fact that they didn’t have to travel after Game 7 and have two days off before Game 1, I don’t expect them to be too taxed. Once we get past the first 12 minutes, I expect a highly entertaining and competitive game.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comSan Antonio will not have its ideal rhythm, but the Spurs will be able to deal with it. The problem won’t last the entire game. That is the benefit of experience. The LeBron James problem will, however, last the entire game for the Spurs. That is the Miami benefit of having the best player in the world.

John Schuhmann, It’s probably good for the Heat, because they struggled early in Game 1s against the Bulls and Pacers after long layoffs. The Spurs will likely be out of rhythm early, but that won’t be too big of a deal, because the Heat aren’t as good in the first half as they are in the second half and both teams will be feeling each other out in those first 24 minutes on Thursday.

Sekou Smith, It’s The Finals, the best of the best going at it for all the marbles. I expect both teams to find a groove early and trade blows. I assume the rest has done the Spurs’ bodies good, even if they have to shake off a little rust to start Game 1. The Heat didn’t strike me as a team that was fatigued by what the Indiana Pacers did to them in the Eastern Conference finals, they were simply being challenged by a worthy opponent. They’ll get all that and more from the Spurs, a team that executes like no other in this league. What do I expect? How about a triple-overtime thriller with a game-winning shot at the buzzer to set the table for six more thrillers?

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: I am going to go with a tactic I’ve learned over the last decade covering the NBA: Forget conventional wisdom. The Spurs have had this long break, they’ve had the chance to rest and scout and game plan. Meanwhile, the Heat will be tired and their effort inconsistent. So the Heat will probably win Game 1 going away, right?

Pawel Weszka, NBA Africa: Way too much rest for the Spurs, but an awesome opportunity to study the defending NBA champions for coach Gregg Popovich. I expect an early Spurs lead with the Heat stealing the opener at home eventually. San Antonio will move the ball a lot, but the Heat will be ready to force some turnovers down the stretch and test Tony Parker’s creativity. Tiago Splitter and Duncan will dominate the paint and it will take LeBron to bail out Miami again as coach Erik Spoelstra will be getting ready his big men for Game 2.

Aldo Avinante, NBA Philippines: Watching Gregg Popovich for a long time now, I believe he could not ask for a better scenario for his squad. Pop is known to rest his players in the regular season in favor of protecting their health for the brutal postseason grind. With Miami taking seven games to dispatch a very tough Indiana squad, it will have an effect — minimal or not — on their mental and physical stamina. Meanwhile, the Spurs have had a chance to recuperate and rest their older players. Pop will never let his squad be out of sync and their offensive and defensive game plan will be perfect for the upcoming series. They may struggle in the first few minutes of Game 1 but once they remember it’s just another basketball game, the machine-like approach of the whole Spurs system will kick in.


  1. john leo says:

    my bet is miami in game 6

  2. El Ueapo says:

    I just bet the wife/kids on SAS in six!!

  3. Heat fan says:

    It will be a Sweep by HEAT for sure.. Spurs don’t stand a chance. They only play well when they go small and Miami will eat them alive if they dare to go small

  4. kei34 says:

    Heat in 5. TP will get trapped in scr/rolls and not be much of a factor and everyone else will struggle like they did against the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies lack of offense killed them or they could have won the series

  5. Jay says:

    it will be interesting to see the heat go up against a team that likes to flop almost as much as they do

  6. famometer says:

    Heat will sweep Spurs, 4-0. All four games will be easy and convincing victory by Heat.

  7. thisguy says:

    so is MIA rust because they’ve been playing a lil rusty latley ,and SAS rest because they’re rested…or is it MIA rest because they need it, and SAS rusty because older players(people) are thought of as “kinda rusty”

  8. Vanessa says:

    Heat in 6!!! Bosh and Wade will have better games and find their rhythm but it will be tough because Spurs is a great team. I just pray nobody on either team gets injured……talent vs talent!!!!

  9. Pam says:

    spurs 6

  10. Ball-out says:

    Some of your comments are great debate points while others leave readers rolling in laughter. We are undoubtedly watching the two best teams in the NBA battle it out. Sit back and enjoy the ride!

  11. Mark Geluk says:

    Very interesting comment About the teams. But what about The referee. My opion is that they always give Miami more credits.

    The best player ofThe world is also a flopper. In The days of MJ it was unthinkable.

  12. booyah says:

    spurs in 4! booyah!

  13. dvdjkfha says:

    I Expect LeBron to guard Tony for the second half. Manu Needs to step up as well as dwade. Kawhi Leonard needs to go on a tear when LeBron isnt guarding him. Ray Allen and Battier, as well as Rashard need to shoot the three more consistently and if that all goes to plan.
    Miami should win game 1. However Spurs will with game 3,4
    Heat in 6

  14. jipz says:

    … #heatchamp…

  15. John L says:

    I’m still pumped. The game is even attracting interest in Cuba! Even though there’s an embargo, Radio Marti will be broadcasting it there (1180AM)!

  16. Kobe Bryant’s scoring the buzzzer beater to win game six! #goheatgo #heatnation

  17. Miami Heat Fan says:

    It will take maybe 5, 6 or 7 games series winning by the HEAT. There’s NO WAY Spurs can win 4 games. It’s payback time for Lebron James. oh, by the way BOSH will have his rhythm back. He loves to play against the Spurs as he did on their last meeting.

    • Alphacuz says:

      Bosh has a weak low post game and Bron will out rebound him, Spilter and Duncan will clog up the paint and force Bosh on the outside. Wade will get fouled out trying to guard Parker, as Charmers 1 on 1 with Parker will get eaten up. If Allen and Anderson can fire then it will be tough for the Spurs. Heat and Spurs to split the 1st 2 games in Miami, Spurs to go up 3-1 at home and win game 6 or game 7 at Miami..

  18. J says:

    heat in 6!!!!!

    game 1 heat win by 11
    game 2 spurs win by 24
    game 3 heat win by 7
    game 4 heat win by 1 in 2 ot
    game 5 spurs by 4 in 1 ot
    game 6 heat by 2 in 4 ot

  19. MHS-Wester Region.! Bisdak says:

    This will be a good NBA series.! Game 1 i think there will be more adjustment for both teams.! Miami has a good player, young guns will be test, but Spurs is better Experience Team if Leonard will do his Job definetely Spurs may win the Series.! 🙂 Go Spurs Go.!

  20. christian says:

    miami will celebrate in san antonio..heat in 5

  21. Profit says:

    I hate Mondays , I do feel much better to go back to work after a few days rest. Even machines need rest. I think the Spurs take game 1 and loose game 2 don’t know beyond that. If i have to give an edge its to the SPURS they won’t make much mistakes like the younger Indiana Pacers, They have a coach that is in my mind the greatest in Today’s NBA. I think POP gives them an advantage that isn’t really thought of. Frank Vogel the Pacers coach made a few mistakes that cost them taking the series before game 7. I don’t think POP will make those mistakes, I don’t really see ERIK spolestra having the same control over his squad like POP does and that has to count.

    coach – spurs
    PG – spurs
    G – heat
    PF – heat
    SF- spurs
    C – spurs

    based on that I think the Spurs 4-2

    unless Haslem or or Anderson come out of nowhere in a game or 2 . I just see the Spurs having too much depth , I see POP resting his role players when he has a lead and can offered to take a chance, Not when the start losing by 4 then 6 then 10. and there is no way they will not capitalize like Indiana didn’t early on.

  22. jack23 says:

    FORTUNE TELLER is TRENDING, ill go with it,..HEAT in 5!!

  23. Franz says:

    The Spurs have an excellent record in game 1s after winning the previous series in 5 games or less. Since 2004, they’ve only lost once in such a scenario.

    Although most of these wins have come at home.

  24. What? says:

    Pawel Weszka, NBA Africa: Tiago Splitter and Duncan will dominate the paint? are you serious? I doesnt mean that Heat had a hard time containing West and Hibbert but Im sure Splitter is no West. Try to see there stats in conference finals, west 15 9 reb, hibbert 22 10.. splitter 8pts 4 reb, duncan 17 and 9. Duncan is good but i dont think he will dominate with his size than hibbert did to miami. spurs will win if there outside shooters connect. Seriously Splitter dominate the paint?

    • What? says:

      and defensively you mean Tiago Splitter and Duncan are better defensive players in the middle than d west and hibbert??

  25. LeBRONATIC says:

    LET’S GO HEAT….FATIGUE wh said that LeBRON is only 28 y/o in his PRIME….FATIGUE?lolz

  26. If Heat wins game one the next game will be two days later. I think Heat will have rest of playing 1 game in five days. So the rust and fatigue will almost balance out.

  27. Klynester says:

    The Spurs will have a little struggle in the first minutes of the game but like what most Spurs fans say they will get back on track and play the team game, The Heat doesn’t have that issue since they had 2 days off and they played game 7 at home anyway so that’s not a problem, biased opinion but still the Spurs will win Game 1

  28. LJ6DW3CB1 says:

    Miami on 6!!!

  29. becareful lebron says:

    This is RUST vs FATIGUE. It will take about 2 Quarters of the game for the Spurs to reestablish their rythm. The fatigued Heat will have rhythm immediately but will fade out later in the game.

    • Heatles Read Chris's FACE. says:

      you must not watch very many miami games. miami will do anything but “fade” out in the 4th quarter.. Late in the game is when they take care of business.

  30. the night striker ;) says:

    heye does anyone know if wilt chamberlain is still on the heat?????

  31. A.J. says:

    When is the first and/or media sycophant (that always means you and your puckering lips, Sekou Smith) going to finally raise the spectre of PEDs in this series. Pretending it’s not happening is just more of the same old, same old. I’ll bet one out of every three guys is on something. On both rosters. If they forced these guys to take blood tests as a condition to participate in the series, the lab’s machines would explode.

    • Ro says:

      Hahaha do you know anything about conditioning mate?! And at times through the Indiana series, LBJ looked a little fatigued. So if the ‘machine’ looks a little tired, i doubt he’s on the roids buddy

    • Nick says:

      I have always been suspicious of Lebron

      • Heatles Read Chris's FACE. says:

        lol, suspicious of lebron? He isn’t one to take ped’s you can tell by his character and if he was taking ped’s he would be a hell of alot bigger than he is now..

    • 34yr fan says:

      …..this is what you want to say … is all about ped’s……..really????

      • Aram says:

        @ AJ, Performance Enhancement Drugs? Are you serious? A little learning is dangerous. Read some books before speculating. This is isn’t boxing.

  32. miniminer says:

    overtime win by miami..BOOM!