Heat and Spurs face each other in NBA Finals rematch

Can the best player in the NBA lead his team to victory?
Can the best player in the NBA lead his team to victory?

In the NBA, generally rematches aren't loved but there aren't many fans who won't be relishing a Heat-Spurs rematch for the title.

Last year, the Heat entered the Finals with said home court and used it to their advantage as they ran out 95-88 winners in the seventh and deciding game at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. 

LeBron Raymone James, the undisputed best active basketball player on the planet, will go in search of a third consecutive NBA crown when the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs play their best-of-seven Championship series starting Thursday evening in Southwest Texas.

James, along with fellow stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, defeated San Antonio last year, but this time around, in a potentially crucial difference, the Spurs hold the home court advantage after an excellent regular campaign.

As with all significant North American professional sports, the NBA does not run the more familiar European style League and Cup competitions. Instead, the 30 teams are split into two Conferences of 15 teams apiece and play a gruelling 82-game regular season to whittle down the sides to the top eight in each Conference. These teams qualify for the post-season. 

Each Conference then plays best-of-seven elimination series between the teams, with the sides seeded based on their overall record in the regular campaign. In each series, the higher seed gets to host the first couple of games and should the series go the full seven games, they will host a total of four of them, including the final one. This is known as the home court advantage.

Last year, the Heat entered the Finals with said home court and used it to their advantage as they ran out 95-88 winners in the seventh and deciding game at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. 

However, this year, the two sides will begin at the AT&T Center in San Antonio as the Western Conference champion Spurs look to bounce back from the only Finals series defeat that the franchise has suffered, having won all five previous trips to the NBA Championship.

Much will depend on the health of San Antonio's point guard and team leader Tony Parker, who has been nursing both hamstring and ankle issues in his left leg throughout the post-season. A fully fit Parker, along with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, will make the Spurs a handful while also demonstrating that they have a much stronger bench than their opponents. 

San Antonio deploys Ginobili as their 'sixth man' - the player who comes off the bench and helps lead the second unit. Parker and Duncan - along with Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter - are the starters but Ginobili invariably ends up with as many minutes as his fellow stars. 

And the cohesiveness that the veteran Argentinian brings cannot be overstated as head coach Gregg Popovich uses his squad to the fullest.

Conversely, Miami rely almost exclusively on their Big Three of James, Wade and Bosh, with the occasional good performance off the bench from veteran Ray Allen. It speaks to the ability of the three Heat superstars that they have won consecutive titles with very little support as the likes of Shane Battier and Chris Andersen are often overlooked.

If Duncan, Parker and Ginobili can keep it even with James, Wade and Bosh then the title should return to San Antonio. The Miami bench just can't hang with that of the Spurs if the superstars cancel each other out. However, James is James and sometimes the single biggest factor is having the best player in the world on your side. 

Whatever the outcome, the only thing for certain is that the biggest surprise would be if the series went less than six games. This has gruelling written all over it.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles