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Why San Antonio May Defy The Odds

It was a long wait for the San Antonio Spurs, but they now know who they will be facing in the NBA Championship.   After going the full seven games with the Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat have advanced to the NBA Championship and will be taking on the veteran Spurs squad.

The Heat are the defending NBA Champions and are looking to tw0-peat but have the Spurs standing in their way.  The Heat are pretty big favorites to win Game 1 of this series with a point spread hovering around -5.5 points and a money line opening at -240 compared to the Spurs 214 money line.

No one seems to be overly optimistic about the Spurs chances of defeating the Heat for a reason, though it is not a good one.  Most analysts approach the Spurs with a cautious optimism at best, which makes a lot of bettors do the same.  The reason for this is last year everyone was talking up the Spurs.  Charles Barkley famously quipped that “old men win championships” last year when the Spurs were taking on a very young Oklahoma City Thunder squad.  However, the Spurs would not even make it to the Championship Game last year and a lot of sports “experts” were left feeling a bit stupid because of their overzealous support of the Spurs.

As a result, this year we have seen everyone being very cautious about the Spurs.  Now they are in the Championship game and despite what the odds say they currently look like the better team.

First, look at it like this, the Spurs have ran over every team in their way to this final series.  They swept the Los Angeles Lakers, they went 4-2 against the very impressive Golden State Warriors and took care of the Memphis Grizzlies in four short games.  Other than their predictable sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks, the Heat looked like they have had to struggle from behind.  Despite a 4-1 defeat over the Chicago Bulls, that series felt a lot closer than what it was when watching the games.  The Heat often had to fight back from way behind and had a lot of trouble closing out their series with the feisty Bulls.  Then the Pacers pushed the Heat to the very limit taking them all the way to Game 7.  Simply put, the Spurs look more like a championship squad than the Heat.

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four

Also, the Spurs are better than the Pacers on both ends of the court.  If the Pacers were able to shut down two of the “big three” and force LeBron James to carry his team to victory, the Spurs can defensively do the same thing.  However, unlike the Pacers, the Spurs offense should be able to match or better the Heat’s offense in this situation, which could spell trouble for the Heat.

Add in the fact that Gregg Popovich is the best Xs and Os coach in the NBA and Tony Parker has been near unguardable throughout the playoffs and one could see how the Spurs could easily take this series.  Heat fans can talk about how it is their team’s destiny to rival the 90s Bulls squad domination of the Championship scene all they want.   The fact is they have the Spurs standing in their way and they can easily derail Miami’s destiny.

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