NBA Finals Predictions

NBA Finals Predictions
The NBA Finals are back around and once again we have a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals. The Spurs & Heat are back in the finals again this year and the Spurs are back with vengeance. Throughout the playoffs the Heat probably had it a lot easier than the Spurs. The Heat went through the Bobcats, Nets, & Pacers who all had major deficiencies coming into the playoffs. The Bobcats showed they still need more help and Al Jefferson suffered a nagging injury early in the playoffs. The Nets have been wishy washy throughout the season. With KG looking like he belongs in the senior tour and Paul Pierce who’s no longer equipped to guard elite wing players there wasn’t much that the Nets had to stop the Heat. Then in the Eastern Conference Finals you had an Indiana Pacers team who must have lost their magic shoes or something. Hibbert played to the quality of bench player, inconsistent play, turning the ball over constantly, and a lack of strong point guard play all were a part of the Pacers downfall. All of this made for a less than challenging path to the finals. The Spurs on the other hand went through the monsters of the West. They edged out a veteran Dallas Mavericks team, ran through a very live Portland Trailblazers team, and closed out the always dangerous Oklahoma City Thunder.
One thing that has really impressed me in regards to the Spurs is the adjustments they have made throughout the playoffs. I’ve seen solid games from players like Cory Joseph, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, etc. These are guys who if they were on other teams wouldn’t be receiving much playing time. Due to Popovich understanding his team and understanding the situation he’s plugged these role players into the game where they would be most effective and proved to be a vital cog in winning close games. Honestly, Pop is easily one of the greatest coaches of this era. In a close out game without their star point guard in the 2nd half they still were able to close out the Thunder due to making the correct adjustments on the floor. That’s been the most impressive thing I’ve seen from the Spurs throughout the playoffs.
 
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One thing I’ve noticed about Miami has been their execution on both offense and defense. While I don’t think Spoelstra is the same quality coach as Popavich the Heat have improved since the playoffs have started. I have to give credit to the Heat for limiting Wade’s minutes throughout the season because now he’s been playing up to the caliber that most people know him for. With the Heat having their big 3 playing well and guys like Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, and Norris Cole hitting their shots it will be very hard to stop the Heat.
 
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I do think this series will be extremely close and I think this series will really speak on the quality coach Erik Spoelstra really is. Will he make the adjustments needed to keep up with the Spurs? The Spurs are known for throwing out a variety of different looks and switching up the matchups to where it will cause a disruption in the Heat’s flow. Will we finally see Greg Oden in to help slow down Tim Duncan? Will the Heat play small ball and push the pace? We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
Overall, I think the Heat can pull off another championship only if Spoelstra doesn’t play it stubborn and makes the adjustments he needs to make to keep up with the Spurs. I think Wade is in a lot better shape this year than he was last year, I think Lebron has added more to his game, and the X-Factor of Ray Allen will be too much. Also, we have to keep an eye on Tony Parker’s injury. While I don’t think it’s that major we don’t know if he can re agitate that injury and I think the Heat are too much for the Spurs to do it without him.
Heat in 7 games.

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