ForexTV NewsDesk | June 6 2013 2:16 EDT
ForexTV.com (New York) by Kyle Henry
Flashback for the reigning MVP Lebron James who finally has a chance for revenge against the San Antonio Spurs team that swept him in the NBA finals in 2007. Now 6 years older Lebron has improved all parts of his game and is riding in with a much more talented Miami Heat team at his back.
`He'll be a lot more of a problem than he was in `07, that's for sure,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Wednesday.
James has led Miami to its 3rd straight finals, grabbing the title of champions last year over the Oklahoma City Thunder. That will be a difficult task to repeat against the Spurs who have 4 championships in 9 years and are 12-2 this postseason, their only losses coming in the first round against the Warriors.
Lebron is definitely hoping for a better outcome than 2007 when the Spurs dominated the Cavaliers who put up the worst offensive performance in finals history. King James shot just 36 percent in the series, going 10-30 in game 4 and committed 23 turnovers. A lot has changed since then as the MVP is shooting 56.5 percent on the season, and has vastly improved his post game after working with hall of fame center Hakeem Olajuwon.
Now let’s take a look at some of the matchups for tonight’s game:
Point Guard: Mario Chalmers Vs Tony Parker
Mario Chalmers is having a pretty average off season when compared to his regular season numbers, averaging 8.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. His counterpart Tony Parker is currently playing some of the best basketball in the post season averaging 23 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game. Advantage Spurs.
Shooting Guard: Manu Ginobili Vs Dwayne Wade
Although Jeff Green will likely be starting in tonight’s game, when based on game impact, Manu is a better assessment of the possible outcome. Despite dealing with injuries Ginobili is having an impressive post season averaging 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. Wade, who is struggling with his knee, is averaging 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. If Wade was playing at his regular season level averaging 21.2 points he would have the clear advantage however the knee issues seem to even the score. Advantage: Neutral
Small Forward: Kawhi Leonard Vs Lebron James
This matchup is pretty much a no brainer but let’s look at the statistics anyway. Kawhi who is a young defensive minded player has actually improved his game this post season averaging 13 points, 8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. While in no way are these poor numbers, the 21 year old will have his hands full trying to stop King James who’s impressive numbers have continued this post season, averaging 26.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game. Advantage: Heat
Power Forward: Udonis Haslem Vs Tim Duncan
Haslem, who is coming off a not so productive regular season has seen a slight improvement this post season averaging 6.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and .4 assists per game. He will be going up against probable future hall of famer Tim Duncan who has won four championships with Coach Greg Popovich and the Spurs. This post season Duncan is averaging 17.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game. Advantage: Spurs
Center: Chris Bosh Vs Tiago Splitter
Both of these centers have seen a performance drop in the post season so it will definitely be an interesting matchup to watch. Bosh, coming off a poor series against the Pacers, is averaging 12.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game in the post season. Bosh is likely breathing a sigh of relief not having to face 7 foot 2 Roy Hibbert of the Pacers anymore but now will have to take on Splitter. The 6’11 center from Brazil is averaging 6.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and .9 blocks per game in this post season. Slight Advantage: Heat
Although these matchups will likely be the main focus of the series, the role players are going to be crucial for both teams. The Heat have proved this season that when their bench comes to play they are a difficult force to try to stop on offense. Key role players include Norris Cole having an impressive post season shooting 57.7% from behind the arc, veteran defensive ace Shane Battier, and the all time leader in 3-point field goals Ray Allen. Chris Anderson will also be a crucial piece of the puzzle on both the offensive and defensive ends. The birdman brings both physicality and energy to the Heat’s lineup recording 1.3 blocks per game and shooting a ridiculous 82.6% from the field this post season.
San Antonio’s role players will be essential also as the Spurs have one of the deepest lineups in terms of talent in the NBA. The frontcourt bench that the Spurs have can cause problems with Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw, and Jeff Green (starter) all being able to hit shots from long range. If they can execute they will be able to stretch out Miami’s defense and allow Tony Parker, one of the best penetrating point guards in the league, to get into the paint, which is an area where Miami struggles.
Both of these teams have their strengths and overall this is stacking up to be a very exciting Finals series. Will the Spurs be able to dethrone the reigning champs or will Lebron finally be able to claim his revenge on San Antonio from 2007? Too difficult to call so we will just have to wait and see.
Game 1 tipoff is tonight at 9 p.m. ET in American Airlines arena on ABC.
Forex research by ForexTV.com