Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs: 2013 NBA Finals Predictions From Section 215


The 2013 NBA Finals is upon us. Can LeBron James with the help of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh lead the Miami Heat to an NBA Finals repeat? Or will Tim Duncan get his fifth ring as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili help him dethrone LeBron James and the Heat? The staff of Section 215 is divided on who will win the Finals, and who will be Finals MVP. Here are the predictions from the staff of Fansided’s Philly affiliate.

Tim Kelly-Section 215 Senior Editor @KashKelly_TRST

I understand full hardily why people are going with the San Antonio Spurs to win the NBA Finals. The problem is that in the Eastern Conference Finals everything that could go wrong for the Heat, did go wrong. And yet they still pulled through and won the series. I think that the Pacers were the biggest mismatch for the Heat, and they were able to escape that series by the skin of their teeth. In the NBA Finals Tiago Spliter still has the upper-hand on Chris Bosh, but he won’t be able to dominate him the way that Roy Hibbert could, on both offensively and defensively. Still we may see times this series where LeBron James is asked to defend either Splitter or Duncan, if he isn’t already defending Tony Parker. I also think that Dwyane Wade will give the Heat 16 points a game in this series, which coupled with LeBron James should be enough for the Heat to win the Series. As long as the Heat can control Tony Parker, and Chris Bosh doesn’t completely get shut out, LeBron and the Heat will finish off the season with not one, but two NBA Finals rings. And three in the case of Dwyane Wade.

Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction: Heat in 6

MVP: LeBron James

 Akiem Bailum-Section 215 Staff  Writer @Li495Akiem

These are two teams with plenty of championship experience. The Miami Heat are playing in their third consecutive NBA Finals and it is LeBron James’ fourth finals for his career. The San Antonio Spurs are in their fifth NBA Finals since the Gregg Popovich/Tim Duncan era began when David Robinson was on the team. Both of these are veteran franchises, even though the Heat’s average age is slightly more than that of the Spurs. While the Miami Heat look like the sexy pick because of their flashy offense led by LeBron and Dwyane Wade, Popovich is undefeated in NBA Finals for a reason. The Spurs will win this series with Tony Parker winning MVP. It can be argued that he is one of the league’s top five players not named LeBron, Durant, Kobe, or Carmelo.

Prediction: Spurs In 7

MVP: Tony Parker

Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Somers Price-Section 215 Staff Writer @Sprice15

While the NBA playoffs have been just as exciting as any other year; once again, the two prohibitive favorites from each conference will meet in the Finals to decide who hoists the Larry O’Brien trophy. Both the Heat and the Spurs have faced difficult challenges along the way, having weaknesses exposed and dealing with extreme adversity. That being said, each squad has utilized the same formula that put them in a position for a championship run and rarely strayed from what their respective roster does best. San Antonio has their offense clicking like it’s the early 2000s. The immortal Tim Duncan, once again, took a dip in the fountain of youth and has provided the sort of quiet leadership that his him poised to cement himself as one of the greatest of all-time. As great as Duncan has been, Tony Parker is the engine that makes the motor run. His mastery of Gregg Popovich’s pick-and-roll offense was perhaps never as evident as it was in the Spurs four-game sweep of the defensive-minded Memphis Grizzlies. Everyone on San Antonio knows the importance of passing, as they lead the playoffs in assists per game (23.6). Yet it is Parker’s ability to know when it is best to be a distributor and a facilitator, and also when it’s best to take over and score the ball. As far as anyone not named LeBron James, Parker has been the best player in the playoffs and has his team battle-tested and ready for the challenge ahead. On the Miami side, the Heat have continued to wear the bulls-eye on their chest and, for the third straight season, find themselves with only one more hurdle to clear. While the test of time seems to be chipping away at the other two legs of Miami’s ‘Big Three’, LeBron James continues to find ways to take his game to another level. The Heat roster feeds off James’ apparent omnipresence and has allowed them to fight through the difficulties of two intense series leading up to the Finals. Miami is at their best when they are clicking defensively. The Heat take advantage of their supreme athleticism, anticipation, and aggressiveness on defense to turn opponents over at a blistering rate (16.6 per game). What makes things more difficult for the opposition, is that Miami can turn defense to offense as fast as anyone in the league, and nothing can provide a spark to a team that can sometimes struggle in the half-court offense like transition scoring. The determining factor in this series will be what stellar unit starts to show its ‘chinks in the armor’ first? San Antonio’s finely tuned offensive machine? Or Miami’s aggressive, attacking-style defense? As much as I appreciate the Spurs and what they’ve done over the past decade, and then some, they will be facing off against a team with a floor general whose presence is unlimited. While Tony Parker commands his team with absolute mastery on offense, LeBron James has taken his game to a level where he can control the game no matter which team has the ball. When James wants to be, he can shut any player down and throw off a team’s offensive rhythm to a near standstill. Neither team will feel comfortable at any point in the series with any lead, but I expect, at a certain point, that the Heat will do what they’ve done to multiple opponents the past few years, and that is put a stranglehold on what their opposition does best. In this case, I expect James to take on the challenge of guarding Tony Parker, much like he did in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals with Derrick Rose, and James will prove to be too much for the veteran Spurs point guard. San Antonio’s offense is as efficient a unit as you will see in the game, but they depend on Parker’s ability to facilitate and, when all is said and done, the Heat will take advantage of that. I expect this to be an epic series of contrasting styles, with a similar result at the end. LeBron James raising another trophy, etching another landmark to his stellar resume.

Prediction: Heat in Seven

MVP: LeBron James

Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Emily Gruver-Section 215 Staff Writer @EmilyGruver3

I think the San Antonio Spurs have the upper-hand heading into the NBA Finals. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have recently disappeared and Lebron James hasn’t been receiving much help. Not only that, but Miami has also been struggling on the boards as well. Despite the Miami Heat having James, the Spurs have several advantages when it comes to facing the Heat. The Spurs have the advantage with Gregg Popovich as their head coach, and having over a week of rest. There are also several player-match ups that the Spurs dominate in, mainly with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. The Spurs teammate chemistry has been huge, and Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili have stepped up and have played extremely well in the playoffs thus far. The Big Fundamental and the Spurs will get the job done, proving to the world once again, that you shouldn’t ever sleep on the Spurs.

Prediction: Spurs in 6

MVP: Tim Duncan

Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

So Somers and I are going with the LeBron and the Heat, while Emily and Akiem have Tim Duncan tying David Fisher and Kobe Bryant as the only active players to win five rings. The Finals gets underway Thursday night on ABC, and it should be a classic.

For extensive coverage of the NBA Finals, check out Tim and Akiem joined by Justin Godsey on The Real Sports Talk Network.