San Antonio Spurs against Miami for NBA championship
MARCUS HENRY Special to the AmNews | 6/20/2013, 12:33 p.m.
It's the San Antonio Spurs against the Miami Heat for the NBA championship. Or should we refer to the matchup as the best organization in the game versus the best player in the game?
The question is rhetorical, but the concept is valid. The Spurs have proven year in and year out they are quite possibly the best franchise in all of American professional team sports, while LeBron James has proven he is the best basketball player in the world. Can one man conquer an entire team?
James got help in the Heat's 99-76 Game 7 win over the Pacers. Dwyane Wade (21 points) had his first 20-point performance since he scored 21 in Game 2 of the Heat's first-round series against the Bucks. Chris Bosh was a no-show for most of the Eastern Conference final, while Ray Allen was invisible until Monday night. If it wasn't for the Pacers' youth and offensive struggles, the Heat might have been home sitting on their couches watching the NBA Final.
The Spurs are going to put pressure on all of the Heat's starters. Thanks to the emergence of players like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter, the Spurs are as deep as they come. Gregg Popovich has six players averaging 10 or more points and a seventh in Gary Neal,who is scoring 9.5 points per game, to choose from. Much like the Dallas Mavericks, the Spurs have an abundance of talented players who can score from just about anywhere on the court.
Tim Duncan still has the muscle to score in the paint, while Tony Parker is having the best season of his career. Manu Ginobili isn't 100 percent, but thanks to the Spurs bench, he doesn't have to be.
This doesn't mean the Spurs will have it easy. As well as Green, Leonard and Splitter have played this season, will they wilt under the bright lights of the NBA Final? The young Pacers couldn't handle the inspired play by the Heat or the raucous fan base that supported them. However, the Spurs, despite the relative youth and inexperience of Green, Leonard and Splitter, won't play like rookies.They've been schooled by the best. San Antonio in six.