N.b.a. Finals preview: Miami Heat v. S.A. Spurs!

#3 R.P.I. Miami Heat @ #1 R.P.I. San Antonio Spurs:

Couple of fun things jumped out at me in capping the N.B.A. 2014 Finals, and a certain Hokie named Vernell Eufaye Coles used to ball for the Heat.

Spur of the moment...
Spur of the moment…

This one is Dynastic no matter how you slice it; as the 1999 Spurs dynasty may be the longest one ever painted and the Heatles can canvas their “3-peat” dynasty ticket with another victory over the San Antonio Spurs in back-to-back seasons.

I may not be seeing an all-time team here, no matter where I look, though it is not hard to imagine that you will be treated to 14 total N.B.A. Finals games in basically 365 days of work. That does not suck…

…though who will win and why? Now that one is a tough one, in one that virtually ‘caps out to EVEN or pick ’em no matter how you slice it.

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
Home is where the heart is: as the Heat are a mere 4 games above .5oo out on the road as the visitor (26-22), whereas the Spurs are a nearly stellar +17 games north of even when in your house (33-16). Now recall that the Association finally read the last rights to the 1980’s zombie relic otherwise known as the completely antiquated 2-3-2 format in favor of the far more balanced 2-2-1-1-1 docket.

The Spurs do have homecourt, though gone is the three in a row middle inning of one hosting distraction too many in the former 2-3-2 schedule. Or in other words, homecourt means more this time than it has since 1984.

Giving new meaning to: the low-post...
Giving new meaning to: the low-post…

Now we come to the fact that the M.v.p. of the 2013 Finals was Tony Parker of San Antonio fame. Well, at least he was in the first five games before suffering a limiting hamstring injury and suddenly the Spurs were never quite the same this time last year. Right now Eva Longoria’s social retread has the very same taunt hammie in tow and now he has a rolled ankle on top of -or should I say “below”- all of that. That’s not good even if the Spurs have a bench that has outscored the Heat 58-26 on average this post-season. When your best (and youngest) player of your lesser version of a Big-3 is south of 100%, one has to favor the healthier and somewhat more talented Big-3, unless of course they lack homecourt, rebounding (+4 for S.A.), and defense (S.A. is 3% better allowed from the floor and 11% better allowed from range). As that all conspires to even things right back out. Which suggests, and quite possibly necessitates, an A.B.C. approach to this one; Always, Be, Closing. Go one and take care of your game-five, game-six, or game-seven close-out game business when your team does enjoy home-turf.

If this one was a 7-game series on a neutral court, I’d have to pick ‘bron’bron and company on the virtue of prime-talent as opposed to aging-talent alone. A mildly lopsided 4-2 Finals in favor of the Heat. However, this season (unlike last year) the Spurs own the homecourt edge and they surely enjoy the payback or revenge motive in spades. One Timmy Duncan dunk or one Ray-Ray Allen miss and coach Pop’ and company are pacing for a chance to tie the 6-ring Jordan lead Chicago Bulls. Such is the fickle hand of fate indeed and such is the striking difference between prospect and retrospect; at least in the likewise fickle predictive trade.


NBA Finals 2014
Dynasty vs. almost-Dynasty 1o1:

If Tony Parker were only healthy, I’d have to pick the Spurs on the strength of their courting an all-time coach who is diagramming vs. a serviceable to quite useful decade caliber coach. Quite possibly the best head coach in N.b.a. terms in the last quarter century is coach Greg Popovich of the Spurs, and he is simultaneously a coach that is this ’14 Finals ring away from staking a very well done claim to being the best coach in all of sports over the course of the last decades, plural.

Nevertheless, the Association is all about the talent(s); as the best Big-3 I’ve ever saw was Jabbar, Magic and Worthy who are a couple of notches north of James, Bosh and Wade, who are at least a notch above Duncan, Ginobili and Parker. Not to mention being objectively younger and no less than subjectively healthier. So either Miami steals one at the Alamo and closes this one out in six, or Tony and the Antonio training staff somehow hold his competing aliments together and the homecourt advantage plus no small amount of revanchist get-back is enough to chill the Heatles out in seven games in a truly toss-up, even, push or pick ’em kinda series on paper. Take thy pick…

Miami wins series 4-2+4oo,
San Antonio wins series 4-3+3oo,

(51% confidence interval)
=4 Spurs=2, or the Spurs-4 and the Heat=3 (in that order of probability)




4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. -long post- and I do expect a response back from you Skreet

    B’Street – love to see the NBA post. As this years version of the Finals has the chance to write the end of an amazing story (Spurs) or continue the next chapter of an amazing story (Heat). I for one am pulling for the Heat as I am a huge LBJ fan, no matter what anyone may say about him. I think the one team that can take them down is the Spurs though. I think OKc is not quite ready for the big-time (as we saw versus the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals)

    The Spurs are old, no way around that, but Coach Pop is the best in the game not named Phil, and he knows his team and he knows how to use his subs/player rotation’s better than probably any coach, in any sport not named Bellichik (current coaches). I disagree with your backcourt analysis, I think the Spurs have an edge here, Miami’s PGs are mediocre at best, I know Wade is an All-Time SG, but Chalmers/Cole cannot match up with Tony Parker (hurt or not). Parker will get his, I also like Norris Cole’s game a little more than Chalmers, but Chalmers has gotten them there and Coach Spo is not gonna start Cole in game one at the Point.

    Obviously the Heat hold the advantage in the Frontcourt b/c they have the best player in the entire world at Forward. Timmy is a beast, but LBJ is on another planet. If Bosh can hit some early 3’s in game one it could change how the Spurs play defense, that is one thing I would look for early in game one. Because that would force the Spurs big men out of the paint and allow LBJ and Flash to slash and dish or finish at the rim.

    I do not know enough about Kawhi Leonard to know if he will have any effect on LBJs game, although everyone seems to thing he has the length and athleticism to cause some problems, but his he big enough? I just don’t know.

    Tony Parker > Chalmers or Cole
    D.Wade > I give him the edge over D. Green since he is healthy this go round
    LBJ > well, he I don’t think I need to explain
    Bosh > Splitter/Diaw/Bonner/Baynes; Bosh is just better than all of them
    Timmy > than any Heat Center; although I like what my man Birdman can bring from the weak side

    So with my math: starters 5 v 5 the Heat have the advantage 3 players to 2, in pure talent.

    But, the game is going to be won by matchups, coaching, and the bench (unless LBJ, or Timmy or somebody just take the entire series over MJ style, D-Wade 2oo6 style, etc.)

    Coach Pop has a lot of weapons on his bench and his bench has been playing arguably their best ball of the year; Paddy Mills, Baynes, Ginobolli, Diaw, Belinelli. They are a legit 10 deep squad.

    Coach Spo has some talent on his bench as well though; Cole, Ray-Ray, Rashard Lewis has been ballin’, Battier, James Jones and Toney Douglas can both fill it up if they get going, and then Haslem or Birdman (whichever one does not start).

    So both teams have good to great starting 5’s and both teams have multiple weapons on the bench, it will be interesting to see how Tony Parker’s and Birdman’s injuries affect the finals as both should be on the court a lot. Also the “revenge” factor for the Spurs and another outlook for the Spurs is the Timmy/retirement angle. The Heat have to re-structure their entire roster – save the big-3 as soon as this series is over, so can this group do something very VERY few teams in the past have ever done and 3-peat?

    My prediction is the Heat in 6 games. 4 games to 2. The Heat will steal game 1 or 2 in San Antonio making the series tied heading down to South Beach, the Heat will then take both games in the 305 and Spurs will win game 5 to make it 3-2 heading back to South Beach where Pat Riley, Coach Spo and the Heatles close out their 3-peat and LBJ gets a 3rd NBA Finals MVP and people finally start giving him the respect he deserves.

    – disclosure: I could see the Spurs winning in 7 just like you posted above, but I can’t see LBJ, DWade, Bosh and especially Ray-Ray letting this series get back to San-Antone’ for a game 7.

    I really hope James can put another ring on his finger and collect another NBA Finals MVP.

    1. Just a sec’, I’m back on something Finals and have a few thoughts to add.
      (thanks so much however!)


  2. Pop>>>Phil
    At least in terms of pure coaching X’s and O’s.
    Phillip=best N.b.a. ego manager, ever.

    IF you are right, it is because S.A. has homecourt. Green, Diaw, Parker, Manu et al will shoot better one extra game if this goes 7. (Cole is a sneaky guy here, I SURELY start him if Parker looks at all lame)

    Nice 3o5 gloss!
    I DNKT?

    Though yah; we are on the same page. Heat in 6 followed by Spurs in 7.


  3. I think Cole is going to see more minutes. LeBron is a HUGE Norris Cole fan and that will count for something and Cole has a sneaky quick step to the basket when a lane opens up. Tonight’s game with be interesting as the Heat have gone down quite a few times 0-1, only to turn around and sweep the next 4 or go on to win 4-2. If the Spurs want to win this series they MUST win both in San An (games 1 and 2).

    Going to be an interesting clash of styles, arguably the two highest basketball IQ teams going at it for hopefully 6 or 7 games and a few all time greats on both teams. I also think whichever of the two (D.Wade and T.Parker) hold up best/longest, that team has the edge over a longer series.

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