Five questions about the NBA Finals

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 6, 2013 - 12:04 PM

Miami and San Antonio meet in the NBA Finals for the first time starting Thursday, but Heat superstar LeBron James has been here before, six years ago when his Cleveland Cavaliers were swept in four games by the Spurs.

Miami and San Antonio meet in the NBA Finals for the first time starting Thursday, but Heat superstar LeBron James has been here before, six years ago when his Cleveland Cavaliers were swept in four games by a Spurs team that won its fourth NBA title anchored by star center Tim Duncan.

Here are five questions about a Heat team looking to repeat in its third consecutive trip to the Finals and a Spurs team looking to get Duncan one more ring for his thumb:

Q Will the Spurs be rusty, or ready?

AThey haven’t played in 10 days since sweeping Memphis in the Western Conference finals. The Heat beat Indiana in the East final’s Game 7 on Monday.

That’s three days, sports and mathematics fans.

“I’m ready to play now,” James told reporters Wednesday. “I would rather have the two days.”

While the Pacers and Heat slugged it out, the Spurs sat home, rested their old creaky bodies and observed.

“We learned a lot watching those games,” San Antonio guard Tony Parker said. “I can’t tell you what we got from that, but we learned a lot. Hopefully, it will help us.”

Q Did the Pacers provide the blueprint for beating the Heat?

AYes and no.

Big Roy Hibbert demonstrated during the Eastern Conference finals what most everybody suspected all along: If you’re going to challenge Miami, you’ll do it with height, length and muscle.

Hibbert, and frontcourt mate David West, provided some of all three.

The Spurs have size, but neither Tim Duncan nor Tiago Splitter is Hibbert, a 7-2 shot-blocker whose presence tested the Heat.

The Spurs, like the Heat, will spread the floor more, with Parker’s ball handling creating space for three-point shooters Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, Gary Neal and Matt Bonner.

“It’s going to be a little different,” said Heat center Chris Bosh, who struggled to find his way against the Pacers. “It’s kind of like our practices playing each other.”

 

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Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2

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