Spurs capable of denying Miami more glory

6Jun 2013

NBA

The San Antonio Spurs are back in the NBA Finals, and they will be looking to deny the Miami Heat consecutive championships. Sumeet Paul takes a closer look at what will undoubtedly be a thrilling series...

It has been six years since the San Antonio Spurs graced the biggest stage of all, yet despite their advancing years they possess the same "Big Three" that had previously led them to three titles in five years together.

Tim Duncan, 37, is enjoying something of a renaissance this season, delivering at both ends of the court on a consistent basis and has demonstrated exactly why coach Gregg Popovich has maintained faith in his ability.

In addition, Manu Ginobili is healthy and has been tipped to have a major say in this series, with the Argentine still a threat off the bench and is equally capable of dishing out the assists as he is of scoring in clutch situations.

However, most important of all this season has been point guard Tony Parker. The Frenchman has grown into a real leader of this Spurs team, with his tireless and commanding performances setting the standard.

He is averaging 23 points and 7.2 assists per game. While his scoring will be paramount to San Antonio's chances, his ability to open up the floor for his team-mates will be vital in order for the likes of Danny Green and Matt Bonner to be effective.

The younger players on the roster will undoubtedly need to step up, with Thiago Splitter providing presence on the inside, and Kawhi Leonard having the unenviable task of guarding LeBron James.

While the Spurs have secured two sweeps in the postseason thus far, Miami found life a little trickier in the Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers.

Nevertheless, the defending champions progressed after showing their class in the Game 7 decider, and will benefit from having home court advantage against the Spurs, with Games 1, 2, 6 and 7 at the AA Arena.

They are strong favourites to clinch back-to-back championships at 1.47, and with last year's Finals MVP looking even better this time round, it is difficult to argue against them.

James has been in scintillating form throughout both the regular season and playoffs, and is currently averaging 26.2 points, 6.4 assists and 7.3 rebounds in the postseason.

His ability to dominate games and deliver when it is most needed is another reason why he is the best player in the NBA, but to win this series he will undoubtedly need help elsewhere.

Miami also boast a "Big Three", which has now led them to three consecutive Finals appearances. Dwyane Wade showed a glimpse of what he is capable of in Game 7 against Indiana, while Chris Bosh along with their perimeter players have struggled for consistency.

It will be speed and explosiveness against ball movement and experience, LeBron vs Parker and Popovich vs Spoelstra.

It may be hard for many to look past the Heat, but given their depth and desire for one more epic triumph, don't be too surprised if the Spurs pull off a shock. Can Parker deliver on a promise to Duncan to get him another championship? Back the savvy of San Antonio to prevail in six.

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Keywords: San Antonio Spurs, NBA, Miami Heat

Source: Bet365

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