Thursday, June 6, 2013

The NBA 2013 Finals: It's Not All About Lebron

Photo credit: USA Today

Since the 2013  season opened 7 months ago, no doubt the main story has always been Lebron James. Will he again carry the Heat to the finals and the championship? That was the question. He obviously did on the road to the finals. But to the championship? Not yet.

Lebron dished out a stellar performance all season to cement his billing as the best player in the NBA today. No ifs, no doubts. But worth mentioning also is the performance of another great team in the West that should pose a great obstacle to Lebron's and the Heat's quest for a repeat this year. So this finals is not all Lebron and the Heat. It's also about the star of the West, the San Antonio Spurs.

There are a number of interesting similarities on both sides. Miami has its vaunted Big 3. San Antonio has also its formidable Big 3 . James, Wade, and Bosh against Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. Youth vs. Experience. Lebron has 4 MVP's.  Duncan has 4 championships. The Spurs has a veteran champion coach in Greg Popovich. The Heat has a youthful mentor in Eric Spoelstra aiming for another championship trophy. The young Spo vs the veteran Pop. The Heat is out to build a dynasty. The Spurs is aiming for its last hurrah before its Big 3 fades into retirement. The NBA indeed never runs out of exciting finals match up.

Photo credit: National Post

Tomorrow, the world will be focused on the American Airlines Arena, the Heat' home court. That's courtesy of being the No.1 seed in the eliminations. That home advantage speaks a lot. Especially if it reaches all the way to Game 7; like the Indiana Pacers semis showdown. Veterans as they are, the Spurs surely will not like to be put in that precarious situation.

The last time James and Duncan met in the finals in 2007, the Spurs demolished young Lebron's Cavaliers. Tim consoled Lebron then, saying, "Your time will come". True enough, that time has come. But Tim could not have thought that when that day indeed would come, he still would be there to stand in the way of Lebron's coronation.

It's now time to take our pick. Before the season opened, I predicted the Heat to retain their crown. I stand by this prediction. Gabo sees it for Heat in 5 or 6. I agree.


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