Numbers preview: The Finals


VIDEO: GameTime: Finals Preview

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Considering how dramatic last year’s Finals was, now’s the perfect time for the first rematch in 16 years. The last time two teams faced each other in The Finals in back-to-back years was the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz in 1997 and 1998.

We’re also returning to the 2-2-1-1-1 format for the first time since 1984. In the 29 years of the 2-3-2 format, the lower seed won all three games at home only three times (though the Heat did it in 2006 and 2012).

In these playoffs, the Spurs (9-1) and Heat (8-0) are a combined 17-1 at home, each scoring more than 116 points per 100 possessions. That’s ridiculously good offense, and we’re sure to see some more of it over the next 4-7 games.

These were two of the top six offensive teams in the regular season and have been the two best offensive teams in the playoffs. Comparing their offensive efficiency in each round with their opponents’ regular-season defensive numbers, both the Spurs and Heat have improved offensively during the playoffs.

The Heat (11th) are the first team since the 2006 Mavericks (11th) to make The Finals after not ranking in the top 10 in defensive efficiency in the regular season. And they’re aiming to be the first team since the 2001 Lakers (19th) to win the title after not ranking in the top 10.

The Spurs ranked in the top four defensively for the second straight season after sliding out of the top 10 the previous two. That they played more consistently on that end of the floor over the last seven months could give them the edge, as the team that can most consistently slow down the other over the next two weeks will win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

But postseason series are often about matchups, and the Heat have the ultimate trump card in LeBron James. If it seems like this series could be decided by a possession or two, you only have to look back at last year’s to confirm that it certainly could.

Here are some statistical nuggets regarding these two teams’ paths to The Finals, their two regular season meetings, and last year’s scintillating series.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions
Stats and rankings are for the playoffs.

San Antonio Spurs (62-20)

First round: Beat Dallas in 7 games.
West semifinals: Beat Portland in 5 games.
West finals: Beat Oklahoma City in 6 games.
Pace: 96.2 (4)
OffRtg: 111.2 (2)
DefRtg: 101.0 (2)
NetRtg: +10.1 (1)

Regular season: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups
vs. Miami: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups

Spurs by round

Round Opp. OffRtg Rank AdjO DefRtg Rank AdjD
First round DAL 110.2 3 +4.3 106.8 9 -2.2
Conf. semis POR 112.3 2 +7.5 93.9 1 -14.3
Conf. finals OKC 111.4 2 +10.4 100.7 1 -7.4

AdjO = OffRtg – opponent’s regular-season DefRtg
AdjD = DefRtg – opponent’s regular-season OffRtg

Playoff notes:

  1. Opponents have attempted just 25 free throws per 100 shots, the lowest opponent FTA rate of the playoffs. But their opponent free-throw rate has increased in each round, from 0.217 against Dallas to 0.233 against Portland and 0.303 against Oklahoma City.
  2. Their defensive rebounding percentage has improved each round.
  3. Their rate of 9.7 turnovers per 100 possessions in the conference semifinals against Portland has been the lowest turnover rate for any team in any series so far.
  4. According to SportVU, they lead the postseason with an effective field-goal percentage of 59.5 percent on catch-and-shoot opportunities.
  5. They’ve scored 124.0 points per 100 possessions in the second quarter, more than any other playoff team has scored in any quarter.
  6. The Spurs have outscored their opponents by 15.2 points per 100 possessions with Danny Green on the floor. That’s the best on-court NetRtg of any player that has logged at least 20 minutes per game in five or more playoff games.
  7. Kawhi Leonard has the best raw plus-minus of the playoffs at plus-111.
  8. Marco Belinelli is the only Spurs rotation player with a negative plus-minus. They’ve been outscored by 42 points in his 296 minutes on the floor and are a plus-186 in his 572 minutes on the bench. In the regular season, Belinelli had a better on-court NetRtg (plus-7.3) than Tim Duncan (plus-6.6) or Tony Parker (plus-6.7).
  9. Green has an effective field-goal percentage of 63.4 percent in the playoffs, a jump of 7.2 percent from his regular season mark (56.2). That’s the biggest EFG% jump of any player who has attempted at least 75 shots in the postseason.
  10. Duncan had 14 more rebounds than any other player in the conference finals.
  11. Manu Ginobili shot 15-for-30 (50 percent) from 3-point range in the conference finals after shooting 2-for-14 (14 percent) in the conference semifinals.
  12. The usage rates of Ginobili (28.9 percent, 25.9 percent, 23.8 percent) and Parker (31.8 percent, 30.4 percent, 25.0 percent) have decreased in each round. The usage rates of Duncan (19.9 percent, 20.2 percent, 25.4 percent), Boris Diaw (14.4 percent, 16.2 percent, 21.4 percent) and Green (11.7 percent, 17.1 percent, 17.8 percent) have increased in each round.
  13. Parker leads the postseason with 195 drives and 10.8 drives per game.
  14. The Spurs have outscored their opponents by 27.1 points per 100 possessions in 114 minutes with Ginobili, Leonard and Tiago Splitter on the floor together, the best three-man NetRtg among 194 trios that have logged at least 100 minutes.
  15. Patty Mills has traveled at the fastest average speed in the playoffs, 4.9 miles per hour.

Spurs postseason shot profile

Area FGM FGA FG% Rank %FGA Rank
Restricted area 286 445 64.3% 2 29.7% 12
Other paint 114 250 45.6% 4 16.7% 5
Mid-range 175 426 41.1% 6 28.4% 6
Corner 3 45 99 45.5% 1 6.6% 9
Above-break 3 103 276 37.3% 4 18.4% 13

%FGA = Percentage of total shots

Miami Heat (54-28)

First round: Beat Charlotte in 4 games.
East semifinals: Beat Brooklyn in 5 games.
East finals: Beat Indiana in 6 games.
Pace: 87.3 (16)
OffRtg: 113.7 (1)
DefRtg: 105.3 (6)
NetRtg: +8.3 (2)

Regular season: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups
vs. San Antonio: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Player stats | Lineups

Heat by round

Round Opp. OffRtg Rank AdjO DefRtg Rank AdjD
First round CHA 109.8 5 +8.6 99.6 3 -1.6
Conf. semis BKN 116.3 1 +11.4 108.2 5 +3.8
Conf. finals IND 114.3 1 +17.6 107.1 2 +5.6

Heat playoff notes:

  1. In the playoffs, the Heat offense has improved every quarter, from 98.9 points per 100 possessions in the first (13th among 16 teams) to 121.2 in the fourth (2nd). Over the last two rounds, they’ve scored 130.6 points per 100 possessions in the fourth quarter.
  2. They’ve been outscored by 28 points in the first six minutes of games and are a plus-133 over the other 42.
  3. But their defense has regressed every quarter, allowing only 99.8 points per 100 possessions in the first and 111.8 in the fourth.
  4. They are the best shooting team of the postseason, with an effective field-goal percentage of 56.1 percent.
  5. They are also the worst offensive rebounding team of the postseason, grabbing just 17.6 percent of available offensive boards. But their offensive rebounding percentage has increased each round, from 14.3 percent against Charlotte to 17.2 percent against Brooklyn and 20.4 percent against Indiana.
  6. Their effective field-goal percentage and turnover rate have also increased each round.
  7. They’ve shot 16-for-27 (59 percent), including 8-for-16 from 3-point range, in clutch time (last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, with a score differential of five points or less).
  8. LeBron James leads the postseason with a PIE of 21.1 percent.
  9. James has shot 81.3 percent on shots in the restricted area, best among players with at least 30 attempts. Chris Andersen ranks third at 76.9 percent.
  10. The Heat have scored 119.7 points per 100 possessions with Ray Allen on the floor. That’s the highest on-court OffRtg of any player that has logged at least 20 minutes per game in five or more playoff games.
  11. In the regular season, the Heat’s OffRtg dropped 8.9 points per 100 possessions (from 111.4 to 102.5) when James went to the bench. In the playoffs, it has only dropped 1.4 (from 113.9 to 112.5).
  12. Andersen has a defensive rebounding percentage of 32.2 percent, an increase from 21.4 percent in the regular season. That 10.8 percent jump is the biggest among players who have logged at least 150 postseason minutes.
  13. No Miami lineup played in more than three of the six games in the conference finals.
  14. Rashard Lewis (plus-58) had the best plus-minus in the conference finals. Udonis Haslem (minus-43) had the worst.
  15. Among 24 lineups that have logged at least 50 minutes in the playoffs, the lineup of Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, James, Haslem and Chris Bosh has been the worst, getting outscored by 35.4 points per 100 possessions in 75 minutes. It ranks 24th offensively and 22nd defensively.

Heat postseason shot profile

Area FGM FGA FG% Rank %FGA Rank
Restricted area 228 326 69.9% 1 30.0% 11
Other paint 58 119 48.7% 1 10.9% 16
Mid-range 114 288 39.6% 9 26.5% 8
Corner 3 50 115 43.5% 3 10.6% 1
Above-break 3 90 237 38.0% 3 21.8% 7

The matchup

Season series: Series tied, 1-1. Home team won both games.
Pace: 95.6
SAS OffRtg: 110.1 (4th vs. MIA)
MIA OffRtg: 105.4 (7th vs. SAS)

Regular season notes:

  1. Diaw, Duncan and Parker were the only Spurs to start both games. Green, Leonard and Splitter each missed the January meeting in Miami. Wade came off the bench in that game (after missing the previous four), with Allen starting in his place. Shane Battier started both games against the Spurs as the other forward.
  2. Both teams scored less than a point per possession in Wade’s 60 minutes on the floor. Both scored better than 117 points per 100 possessions in Wade’s 36 minutes on the bench.
  3. Duncan averaged 23.0 points per game, his highest scoring average against any opponent this season.
  4. The Heat scored just 87.9 points per 100 possessions in Leonard’s 30 minutes on the floor, committing 16 turnovers. They scored 114.5 in their other 66 minutes against the Spurs.
  5. The Heat had an effective field-goal percentage of 63.1 percent in Parker’s 55 minutes on the floor.
  6. Heat players not named Norris Cole shot 34-for-44 (77 percent) in the restricted area. Cole shot 0-for-3.
  7. James shot 5-for-22 (23 percent) from outside the restricted area.
  8. Duncan (5-for-6), Belinelli (5-for-7) and Diaw (2-for-2) combined to shoot 12-for-15 (80 percent) from mid-range. Bosh (10-for-11) was even better.
  9. Bosh shot 73 percent overall (19-for-26), his best mark against any opponent.
  10. The Spurs shot just 5-for-18 (28 percent) on corner 3-pointers.

Last year’s Finals

Heat won, 4-3.
Pace: 91.1
SAS OffRtg: 104.5 (best vs. MIA in last year’s playoffs)
MIA OffRtg: 106.1 (best vs. SAS in last year’s playoffs)

Series notes:

  1. Seven different players (two Spurs and five Heat) hit at least 11 3-pointers in the series. Only one of them (James) shot threes at less than 40 percent.
  2. The Spurs shot 23-for-51 (45 percent) from mid-range in their three wins and 10-for-60 (17 percent) from mid-range in their four losses.
  3. James recorded triple-doubles in two of the seven games.
  4. The Spurs outscored the Heat by 54 points in Wade’s 254 minutes on the floor. The Heat outscored the Spurs by 49 in Wade’s 86 minutes on the bench.
  5. The Heat offense scored 119.7 points per 100 possessions in 152 minutes with Mike Miller on the floor and only 95.3 in 189 minutes with Miller on the bench.
  6. In the first three rounds of last year’s playoffs, James, Wade and Bosh took 34 percent of their total shots from mid-range. In The Finals, they took 44 percent (154/354) of their shots from mid-range.
  7. In Game 7, James attempted 20 of his 23 shots from outside the paint.
  8. Duncan shot 0-for-6 on clutch-time shots.
  9. Parker shot just 11-for-42 (26 percent) from outside the paint for the series.
  10. Chalmers shot 10-for-16 on corner 3-pointers and 3-for-16 on above-the-break threes.

81 Comments

  1. oncomann says:

    Hey, how about the rematch in 2007-08 between the Lakers and the celtics?

  2. Peter says:

    I’m a Heat fan for years and I’m excited as a basketball fan to see these two teams in the Finals again. Everyone is talking about LeBron this and Parker that. In my opinion, This series will come down to two match-ups. First is the Spur’s shooting %age vs the Heat’s defense. When the Spurs shoot lights out, they will win no matter what. Also, if the Heat plays defense the way they can without taking breaks in-between, they can dominate. Second match-up for me is Leonard vs Allen. If Leonard’s defensive output is better then Allen’s offensive output, I see the Spurs edge out Miami. Of course, Miami will take the nod if Allen’s 3s drop.

  3. BO! says:

    If Miami wins the 1st game of the series then there is a big chance of winning it all because they’re both great home teams… Spurs has a home court advantage and that’s big in these series… that will pay at the end… Bosh improved his 3-point shooting, D-Wade is having his knees back, LBJ is a great player and Norris Cole and Ray Allen will give Miami Fire-Power of the bench…. Miami will win it in 7 Games…

  4. Alindoza says:

    Heat in GAME 6!!!!!!!! party people

  5. Prediction Book it says:

    Spurs in 5 …Miami fans are delusional. Miami is a team with a TON of flaws and even LBJ can’t cover up all of them.

    • Kalbo!! says:

      Delusional.. Perfe`ct word to support my comment below. I even forgot to mention that heat fans are mostly kids. Immature morons and naturally irritating as they usually don’t know what they’re saying and you have to understand since you’re the one mature. sigh.. pathetic people…

  6. Miami Heat Fan says:

    HEAT IN 6…It will be a sure 3PEAT!

  7. joseph says:

    Heat is not ready for what is coming, the teams they faced this year with exception to the pacers were less challenging, this is a whole new year and a whole different team with a greater purpose, not making any excuses for last year loss, although the spurs were hovaled with at least three players not playing at 100%, non the less that’s life in the NBA, they won then, but now it’s more evened out. Plus the Spurs proved they can win without Parker in the lineup! Can the heat do the same without LeBron, Wade or Bosh Against the Spurs, I think not, This year Respect will be given to the San Antonio Spurs!

  8. Kalbo!! says:

    most heat fans could only say they will win usually without grounds or reasoning when Spurs clearly has a lot more grounds and visible facts to reason and support that they are the favorite to win.. I’m not saying anything final as anything can happen just like last year when Spurs are clearly the better team but last seconds referee help + bad luck stepped in and they lost their morale. My main point is i believe this is the explanation why fans of opposing teams usually get in conflict.

    HEAT FANS = mostly showtime illiterate fools that irrationally base their comments and disrespects on sheer emotion from fascination of the shiny showoff superstars of the team blinded by dunks, individual talent or athleticism, superstar stacking and especially bandwagons to the media-hyped popular team; poorly never even having a chance of realizing the true meaning of team basketball fundamentals.

    SPURS FANS = mostly educated persons who have enough sense of reasoning and rationality to appreciate what team basketball truly means and knows how to RESPECT even opposing teams, especially respecting this team that never ever stepped on anyone’s foot.

    goes to show that most people really are emotional fools, always lets lets their heart take over their brains. I’m proud not to belong to that majority.

    • TJ says:

      You truly are a filipino! blame it on the refs! accept that your team lost and move on! Don’t make any excuses or start pointing yoru fingers! Just like when Pacquiao got knocked out by Marquez, filipinos were saying because Marquez step on Mannys’foot etc… My Gosh!!!!! such a sore loser!!!!

      if you are going to criticize HEAT fans being illiterate fools, make sure you have met them all. Because if not, then I don’t think you have the right to say that. take a good look at yourself and make sure you are better than them!

      • Bilbo says:

        You are so intelligent that yo do not look at the numbers. The figures above and team efficiency advantage goes to the Heat.The difference in the two squads is 1) young and smart and 2) old and smart. There is no such thing as luck, just repitition and timeliness.

      • Kalbo!! says:

        uhm, i think i had clearly mentioned “mostly” since it’s strictly based on my observation on many comments i have been reading. why are you so affected? guilty? also careful with your racism pal.. and you seem to be too blind on how many miami fans blame the refs.. they just stopped because miami won anyway.. a real indicator that they look for blames. Me, I don’t stop even if Spurs won/win because it’s not blame.. read my comments again, ref is just a small part of it and i don’t really care because they again have been dealing with the refs and the NBA ever since.

        I don’t care about pacquiao. We and the Spurs admit we lost and was bitter but we’re never gonna be sore losers. Not for a team like the them. Not that heat can ever get close to, even if they 3peat. Don’t forget how what they had to give up just to get to this point.

        My gosh!!! such a guilty idiot!!! look at how child-like immature your response is. Go do something else. you bore me to death. clearly one of the illiterates who gets overwhelmed by emotion over his brains. and you discriminate me as a filipino when i clearly outsmart you in comments?

    • Kalbo!! says:

      And this guy Bilbo doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.. what a piety for miami fans.. young and SMART???? hahahaha! sigh..

    • Kalbo!! says:

      these couple of reply clearly are real-time evidence to my first comment.. LOL thanks for the support, guys..

    • roger betancourt says:

      You got to be joking, look at the news from last yr. And this yr. Spurs fans show respect? Then tell me what happened last yr. With 2 deaths cause the victims were wearing heat jerseys. This yr. Woman stabs a man cause she felt that the victim was disrespecting the spurs. Also man dies after falling of a suv cause he was celebrating the spurs victory over okc. So please dont down grade any other teams fans cause spurs fan are not great.

      • Kalbo!! says:

        MAN! doens’t anyone around here understands the word MOST????

        another one belonging to MOST of the heat fans are… sigh…

  9. Mr says:

    Hello, does anybody actually know how good LeBron is? Lebron will destroy leonard, bosh is experienced enough to take on Duncan, wade is back, plus Norris cole and ray will show them who’s boss. Miami in 5 or 6

  10. jj says:

    Miami Heat will win the NBA Finals in 6 Games!

  11. Thompson says:

    Where is the prediction refered to on the front page? Buried in the videos only?

  12. GTJ says:

    I have been following the playoffs from a distance out of Europe and have noticed that in my opinion the Heat, being the defending champs, still have the biggest “drive” to go for it. Don’t get me wrong the Spurs are very talented and have some major “game changers” within their team, I surely beleive that LBJ will carry the trophy back to the Miami court this year.

  13. tim duncan says:

    miami in 4, believe that ;)

  14. aaron huskins says:

    Whichever team that is the first to win four games out of the series will be the champions AND the team to do that will be the team that outscores their opponent in each of the four said games. BANK ON IT!

  15. EJ Ruiz says:

    Heat in 4

  16. Leo says:

    The one who will blew a 1home game will lose.

  17. ajayine says:

    Miami Heat has won their games chronologically…4 – 0…4 – 1….4 – 2….. I see them taking the finals 4 -3…Heat in game 7

    • Thompson says:

      Spurs much better than those earlier opponents. The trend will not hold. Spurs in 5 or 6.

  18. Botro says:

    1 word, HEAT!

  19. Yusa says:

    I hope Parker’s injury will heal enough before game 1. It is interesting to watch how these two best teams in this era to have a rematch in Finals. Lebron is consistent, Duncan plays like his prime, Wade is looking solid, Ginobili stepping up his gear, Bosh found his rhythm and hoping a healthy Parker. With both teams having a deep bench. It would be a disappointment for us if Spurs-Heat series won’t go further Game 5.

  20. Vin says:

    Loved the 90s Bulls, 2000s Spurs and the Heat since Wade/Shaq/Mourning/Payton times.

    Dream Finals match up again. The Heat superstars vs. SA’s super bench.

    SA have a slight edge with Home court and with that sly ol’ bastard Popp. Much respected, fav coach of all time.

    Gonna be a great series. Would love to see James and Wade three-peat but would also love to see Timmy pick up his 5th. Good luck to both teams!

    Whoever wins, I’m looking forward to more of the ‘Ray Allen Game 6 three pointer’ like moments throughout the series.

    Let the NBA Finals begin!

  21. charles says:

    spurs are the best road team this year heat struggle this year on the road spurs in 5

    • Jake says:

      Yes, but the heat are on an 11 game winning streak at home, and the spurs are not as solid at home as the Heat are… I say heat in 6.

      • Kalbo!! says:

        9-1 sat home is not solid? i think what you meant is there’s only one team solid for you which is clearly means another bandwagon

  22. William says:

    i have a strange feeling, this series will end in 4 games hope its Heat.

  23. Cain says:

    Spurs 5

  24. Marty says:

    Call the Spurs the fireman because they are going to put out the Heat in 6 games or less.

  25. ordinarynbafan says:

    Most of you are talking about SA to correct their mistakes from last year but you haven’t thought correctong their mistakes too? Motivation etc. If both teams correct their mistakes in this series i sèe miami become a better team basing on those facts. But every game/series is different. The who executes well and doesnt turn the ball over that much wins. For me game 1-miami, 2-spurs, 3-miami, 4-miami, 5-spurs and 6-miami. I respect everyone’s prediction but for me its the Heat in 6.

  26. jacko says:

    it will be Heat in 5-6 games! after the Spurs’ loss in this years finals I can see the Spurs’3 going each own way

  27. Tyshawn says:

    Wade was only good for the final two games, when he was playing through pain. The Heat did the smart thing and rested him way more, and so far its paying dividends in the playoffs. Heat in 6 if LeBron and Dwyane Wade play at their highest levels

  28. NILEMONS says:

    THIS SERIES IS ALL ABOUT TALENT, HEAT WILL BEAT THEM..LEBRON WILL DOMINATE THE PAINT, NO SHOT BLOCKER FOR THE SPURS.COLE WILL MAKE PARKER LIFE MISERABLE, WADE IS BACK AND ITS TIME TO SAY,”MY FAITH IS BIGGER THAN YOUR DOUBT..

    • Xordid says:

      Spurs have Duncan and Tiago to protect the rim. Kawhi is also EXCELLENT on defense. The fact that you think Norris Cole will shut down TP kind of invalidates your whole point, though. Saying it in all caps doesn’t make it true.

  29. mee(a)t says:

    Lol you people are starting to sound like ESPN
    “SPURS WILL WIN BECAUSE OF LAST YEAR DEVASTATING LOST, THEY WANT REVENGE”
    “HEAT WILL WIN CAUSE THEY CHASING HISTORY”
    “MY FEELINGS ARE RIGHT, YOURS WRONG. FEELS FEELS FEELS”
    You’re on an article where the author is presenting stats for both teams and how they match against each other. Get your “revenge” and “3peat” out of here.

  30. joe says:

    SPURS in 8

  31. NBA Fan from Sydney says:

    if all players are healthy, then it looks even on paper, however these matchups are usually determined by the star players – James, Bosh, Wade, Duncan, Parker, Ginobli. Heat have advantage in terms of stars, however this is offset by Spurs deep bench. I think the homecourt advantage will favour spurs slightly. Payback for last year’s Finals will mean the Spurs leave everything on the court – no mercy.

    I’m a heat fan and have been since Wade and Shaq when they won first championship – but I have to admit the spurs start favourites this time around.

    Look forward to some hard fought games – bring it on!

  32. qqq says:

    i’m seiing lebron haveing the best series of his career, wade and bosh has been playing very well. Id say Heat in 6 games here, but spurs are a great team, and I would love to see duncan win his 5th.

    good luck to both teams:)

  33. NSUK says:

    Heat in 6, bookit! It’s just funny that a lot put miami in a disadvantage against the mighty ‘spurs?’ or is it just because of the hate?=) Miami has always been in the finals since the big 3 era, each and every year they have proved that, so let us see,

  34. iamironman says:

    I don’t see this series going 7 games. It’s game 6 for either team. If one team gets the chance to close the other team out, they will do it. I just hope Miami will win again.

  35. Armour says:

    I fee like spurs will close the deal in 7, shoot me if series ends in 6 games.

  36. izenheart says:

    let us hope that every players of both team is healthy, so that we can have a great basketball match this finals. Those two teams deserves to be here. Who will win? We don’t know that for sure, because there are so many factors that can affect this series. All I know is that whoever wins this series is the better team than the other. Give us another great finals games!! – spurs fan

  37. ohyea says:

    Uh yea, just love it when people say SPURS will win in 5, 6, or 7 just like last year. Heat is motivated and ready, they are aiming for the History,

    Going to be a great series. I can feel the Heat. Heat in 6

  38. Silver Lining says:

    Regardless of the outcome, Miami will still be the elite team in the weak Eastern Conference for years to come. As long as the Big Three commit to staying long term, they continue to bring in veterans and young legs and manage their key players to preserve their health, few, if any, teams in the East can seriously threaten them. I don’t think I need to explain the Indiana and Brooklyn situation.Toronto, Charlotte and Washington have shown growth and promise in this year’s playoffs, but they are still too young. All other East teams are in full rebuild mode, and that takes a few years before they are worthy to be called title contenders, provided they have all the necessary ingredients.

  39. Peter says:

    Miami needs to prove that it wasn’t a fluke that it wasn’t one free throw and that they are the better team period
    Heat in 6

    • Will says:

      Fluke? No one thinks it was a fluke. The three only tied the game. They went in OT and handled business. The best team earned it and wanted it more. Don’t listen to the Heat haters!
      One that note, I don’t think the Spurs will accept 2nd place this year. To have the trophy rolled out for you and it get snatched away…they are better on defense this year, and Ginobili isn’t the turnover machine he was last season. It won’t be easy, but the Spurs ain’t losing this Finals.

  40. emmshin says:

    Spurs in 5.

  41. Miami takes this in 6. No doubt.

  42. i just feel like Heat in 6 or 7, I can tell you this its gonna be interesting watching these two teams going at each other but I think heat have the motivation to 3 peat

  43. Kimmy says:

    I hope the Spurs win. No reason, just because.

  44. mikmaks says:

    Miami in 6 or spurs in 7. I’m hoping it’s heat of-course.

  45. lakers says:

    GOING TO B GREAT SERIES…..DEPENDS ON PARKER HEALTH..SPURS IN 7

  46. MR210 says:

    Nothing like revenge as the biggest motivator.
    Look for Spurs to close out the Heat in 5 – yes – 5 games.

    Spurs will come focused heavily and make sure last year doesn’t happen again.

    Spurs are hungrier than Heat.
    Spurs have better: all around team/Coach/Bench/3pt shooting/team ball/Home Court
    Heat have best player in the world: LBJ

    Heat don’t have enough to take down Spurs this year.

    GO SPURS GO – DRIVE FOR FIVE!

    • Bobby says:

      What makes you so confident? I admire that

    • Game Time says:

      You left out that Tony Parker is slightly injured. That alone could affect your theory. Did you see what happen in games 3 & 4 when OKC defended Parker better? Also, Miami is a lot more resilient, and resourceful than OKC. Look at the game vs. Indy (away) where the barley lost and James was in foul trouble. As a long time fan I say there’s no way this goes anything less than six either way.

      • Giovanni says:

        Tony parker was slightly injured last year also. No excuse. ..and he still one game 1 for them last year. Spurs in 6

  47. celentano says:

    It’s very simple Spurs in 6,or Cheat in 6!

  48. SpursInFour says:

    Get ready for more of the same pre-finals games from the Spurs this year–Blow-out City. The Spurs will make LBJ feel like he’s back in Cleveland. Last year, the Spurs were playing with what, four hurting players and two that the Spurs had to drag along? Not this year. Only TP9 is questionable and with a bench that could be starters for any NBA team, the Heat’s reign is over. The only way for this series to not go 4-0 for the Spurs is if the NBA prolongs the series for viewership. Read that any way you like.

    • Game Time says:

      You know, when you claim the NBA can “prolong” games, you are taking away the credit from the team you support if they happen to win. Or do you feel that the NBA would only prolong a game in favor of Miami? Is so, that would make you a hypocrite.

      • indifferent says:

        Nothing is guaranteed in the game of basketball. Too many random events can happen, but hey, that’s what we call – life. Fans can trash talk all they want, they are not the ones playing the game. They are, however, but small time investors (buying shoes, jerseys. tickets, etc) in their favorite team, and so it is understandable for emotions to run a little high at times. Is it necessary to turn this debate of essentially sports statistics into verbal abuse?

        Regardless of the outcome, Tim Duncan is NOT immortal – his era of dominance will END. It’s just a simple matter of whether or not he retires with the icing on top of his already illustrious career with really nothing more to prove.

        Regardless of the outcome, LeBron James is still making millions of dollars for being the once-in-a-generation player that he is and others can only dream to be. I know people ridicule his…ego, but don’t we all have ambitions? Can’t fault the guy for trying. No one is perfect, and no matter how hard you try, critics and haters will always be there…

        Lastly, regardless of the outcome of the matches, the NBA and owners are the real winners here. Think about all that revenue they are going to make off of TV commercial endorsements and ticket sales…

      • kek says:

        @indifferent

        Ofcourse the owners are the winners here, why do you think that atlethes makes so much money? its because the industry cashes in so much more, the players makes pocket money compared to the owners.

  49. spurs WILL WIN says:

    Spurs will get revenge from last year’s finals i say the spurs will right the wrongs of last year and win this thing in 6 #GoSpursGo

    • Kunjaymaster says:

      There’s no such thing as righting their wrongs, if you think Spurs are going to be better due to motivation of revenge i think you don’t know this Heat team. The Heat have a chance at something rare done only by 2 team in NBA history, that along is enough motivation to match whatever the Spurs can bring. I admit either team can win, but at the end of the day the best player in the game is playing for Miami, meanwhile the best player of the Spurs is not 100%.

  50. Stan says:

    The team with fewer turn around and better FG & focus will win the games.. expect some intense play from both teams…
    Spur may win if there is a game 7…. guessing a 4 2 win for spur

  51. Veesmoov says:

    Sa will win in 6 games

  52. Rematch says:

    NBA should release Miami and San Antonio dynasty series like they did for L.A. and Chicago years ago.

    • lepiv7 says:

      Miami is not a Dynasty … yet. The Spurs are one, being how good they’ve been for an entire decade.

  53. H3AT 3P3AT says:

    Heat are 3peating this year. No way they will let the Spurs come close to them again. The mistakes have been noted and corrected. H3AT in 5.

    • Chris says:

      You do realize The spurs spent an entire summer pretty much studying last years finals and burning their own mistakes into their minds while the heat were celebrating right? It works both ways, nothing is guaranteed in this matchup

      • Kunjaymaster says:

        Yes because the Spurs have more motivation than any team that has lost in the finals in NBA history right? Please be serious, the Heat is not your average team they will match any motivation or intensity the Spurs show, they have enough motivation at a chance of a threepeat

  54. theholyspectator says:

    i get the feeling spurs will win this in 7. but i also wouldnt be surprised if miami wins. they were much more drained last year coming into the playoffs with that 27 game win streak and havin a severely injured dwade…also bosh wasnt as much of an impact player as he is now..if tony is feeling good with his legs then spurs should be able to pull thru since they still have that bad taste from that loss last year..im sure miami knows this…well here we go!

    • Chris says:

      Bosh is still kinda inconsistent for a guy who’s supposed to be part of the big three. Once he gets going heat are almost unstoppable. Count on Duncan to try to limit Bosh’s effectiveness.

      Miami’s X factor this series is Dwayne Wade though. Lebron hasn’t shot very well against the Spurs, Bosh is the weakest link of the trio, (which says a lot considering how good he is) and Wade.. He could either drop 30 or get shut down, hard to tell at this point. If Wade gets going though, Ginoboli better be going too.

      Hoping Spurs in 5 but 6 sounds more realistic for both teams.

      • Mo says:

        Wade is much healthier than he was last year, Ginoboli is good but not as effective as Wade when Wade is 100%.