By Brandon Robinson, WARR Contributor
The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will duke it out in what will be a must-see matchup in this year’s NBA Finals between two respected franchises.
The San Antonio Spurs have won four NBA championships in 13 years, their last victory coming in 2007 with a sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James’ former team. James still has a sour taste in his mouth from his first trip to the NBA Finals in 2007.
Tim Duncan told James after the Spurs’ 2007 championship win that this will one day be his league.
LeBron returns to the Finals in his fourth trip, hoping to avenge his 2007 defeat and with a great deal more talent and more experience than the Cavaliers had.
The Miami Heat are making their third straight trip to the Finals since James took his talents to South Beach in 2010. The Heat won the NBA Championship last year by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1, awarding James his first title and the Heat its second in six years. The NBA’s reigning two-time MVP has been nothing short of spectacular this season in averaging 26.8 points per game, eight rebounds and just over seven assists. LeBron put up 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a convincing Miami win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals at home against the Indiana Pacers.
This series is widely expected to be a Miami Heat win, kind of a slight to a San Antonio Spurs team who went 58-24 this season and who swept the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that had a better looking roster on paper. Tony Parker has played spectacular for the Spurs all season, the 12-year veteran proved to be a step above all in the first round matchup against the Lakers. Outplayed at times by Golden State’s Stephen Curry in Round 2, the 31-year old came back into form in the Conference Finals against the Grizzlies. For as much praise as NBA point guards like Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams and Chris Paul get, Tony Parker has proven himself more steady and progressive throughout his career.
The coaching matchup between the Spurs’ Greg Popovich and the Heat’s Erik Spoelstra is intriguing — a young and seasoned Spoelstra versus the experienced, instant Hall of Famer coach Pop. Look for this series to go seven games. Chris Bosh and Tim Duncan will have their work cut out for each other while matching up in the post and Dwyane Wade, fresh off a solid performance in Game 7 against the Pacers, will need to replicate that performance in order for the Heat to win. The Spurs’ Kawai Leonard has his work cut out for him in guarding James in this series.
Prediction: Miami Heat wins in 7 Games.
Follow Brandon on Twitter @scoopb.