Jerry Zgoda's NBA Finals preview

  • Updated: June 4, 2014 - 10:35 PM


Players to watch

LeBron James, Heat forward: Averaging 27.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 15 postseason games. He passed Larry Bird for eighth in the NBA’s career playoff scoring list.

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs forward: Spurs were 54-12 during regular season with Leonard in lineup. Averaging 13.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals during playoffs.

Chris Bosh, Heat center: Has averaged 15.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in the playoffs. The 6-11 center leads the Heat with 25 three-pointers in the playoffs.

Tim Duncan, Spurs center: Averaging 16.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists. During regular season had 30 double-doubles and 17 games with at least five assists.

Dwyane Wade, Heat guard: The former Marquette star has averaged 18.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists this postseason. Shot a career-high 54.5 percent from the field during the regular season.

Tony Parker, Spurs guard: Only player in NBA to average at least 16.5 points and 5.5 assists in 30 minutes or less during regular season. Averaging 17.2 points, 4.9 assists in playoffs.

Key statistics

The Heat won its third NBA title with a seven-game victory over San Antonio in last year’s finals.

The Heat is 8-0 at home in the playoffs this season; the Spurs have won seven consecutive home games by at least 15 points.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is one of five NBA coaches with at least four NBA championships. He’s led his team to 17 consecutive postseason berths.

The Heat is 33-1 when hitting at least nine three-pointers this season.

The Spurs are 41-11 in postseason when their Big Three — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — each scores at least 15 points.


Minnesota connection

The Wolves selected Mario Chalmers with the 34th overall pick of the 2008 draft, then immediately traded him to Miami for cash and two 2009 second-round picks. Those picks yielded Nick Calathes and Henk Norel. Chalmers is the Heat’s starting point guard, averaging 7.1 points and 3.9 assists this postseason. Ex-Wolf Michael Beasley is a deep reserve for the Heat, although he did average 7.9 points in 55 regular-season games.


The Quote

“We’re happy that it’s the Heat again,” Spurs star Tim Duncan said. “We’ll be ready for them. We’ve got some experience, obviously, from last year against them, and we’ll go back and look at some film. … Hopefully, we’ll be ready to take it this time.”


Jerry Zgoda Says

The Spurs came within five seconds of beating the Heat in six games last June. This time, San Antonio has home-court advantage … and don’t forget the name Kawhi Leonard. San Antonio in 7.


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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
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