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  1. #1
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    San Antonio Spurs
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    I hope I'm wrong again. I hope beyond hope I'm wrong.

    I don't think I've ever wanted the Spurs to win a series as much as this forthcoming series against the Heat. It would be such an amazing story of hard work, persistence, teamwork, unity and everything else sports should be about. If San Antonio wins this series, no matter what happens in future years, you could bury me the happiest sports fan on Earth.

    Unfortunately, I don't see it happening. While watching the respective conference finals matchups, it was difficult not to fall in love with San Antonio's chances. But after taking a step back and analyzing everything, I truly think the Heat will win this series in five games.

    1. The Spurs can't replicate the Pacers
    It's true the Spurs are much better than the Pacers. It's also true that the Pacers were close to beating the Heat. Unfortunately, those two statements aren't related.

    Playoff basketball is all about matchups. Indiana, even though they aren't that good, matchup very well with Miami.

    First of all, Roy Hibbert is in a class of his own when it comes to protecting the basket. Advanced stats point in that direction and I wholeheartedly agree. He's tall, long, strongly built, fearless, smart and quick enough. While I'd classify Duncan as the superior all-around defender because he's better out on the court and better defending opposing post players, Hibbert is better than Duncan at defending the rim. Just as importantly, LeBron James was obviously intimidated by his presence.

    Hibbert has about three inches and 50 pounds on Duncan. Add in the rest of the length and athleticism on the Pacers (as Frank Vogel said of his team: "We're f**king huge!") and they're a totally different beast than the Spurs.

    Indiana also has a lot of interchangeable defenders, which further helps in terms of dealing with the Heat. The Spurs don't have that luxury.

    On offense, the Pacers can hit the Heat in their two main weak spots. First, their offensive rebounding takes advantage of Miami's iffy work on the glass. Secondly, the ability to put multiple post-up threats on the court at the same time takes advantage of their lack of quality true bigman depth. The Spurs, on the other hand, don't go after offensive boards and they only have one tried and true post-up threat.

    Long story short, the Pacers aren't very good but their areas of strength work very well against the Heat. Thus, the susceptibility of the Heat in the ECF was more a product of matchups than anything else.

    2. The Heat's pick-and-roll defense will slow the Spurs' offense
    The way Miami defends the pick-and-roll night in and night out is how the Thunder defended the pick-and-roll after the start of Game 3 in last season's WCF. They are going to blitz Tony Parker and force him to either play in a crowd or give the ball up. Most teams can't get away with this strategy but it works for the Heat (and worked for the Thunder) due to elite athleticism on the weakside when recovering to shooters.

    Plus, Miami is even better at this style of defense than OKC because they do it so often. I expect them to blitz Parker relentlessly in an effort to make someone else beat them.

    In the starting unit, there really isn't a pressure valve for TP. Can Danny Green or Tiago Splitter pop open and create plays after Parker gets trapped? Hopefully but obviously far from certain.

    The obvious solution for the Spurs would be to pair Parker and Ginobili as often as possible. Thus, when Parker gets trapped, he gives it to Ginobili so he can create with a 4-on-3 advantage. Again, hopefully that works, but at this stage of his career does the Argentine have the wherewithal and stamina to create consistently in a seven games series against an athletic and aggressive rotating defense?

    Boris Diaw is another possible remedy but will he be enough of a scoring threat for the Heat to respect his shot? If not, could Bonner come in and knock down the biggest shots of his life?

    I just don't have confidence in any of these scenarios.

    3. The Spurs will find it difficult to stay big
    Having Duncan and Tiago Splitter on the court is preferred when going against this team. The Pacers were able to punish the Heat by keeping David West next to Hibbert.

    But I don't think Pop is going to be able to go long stretches with that duo. On defense, Splitter would probably have to chase someone like Shane Battier or Mike Miller out on the perimeter. That'll be difficult -- but not impossible.

    But the big difference between West and Splitter is on offense. West will absolutely punish smaller defenders. Battier, for example, had no chance against him. Splitter, on the other hand, really struggles to post-up smaller defenders. I don't think I have to remind Spurs fans how Derek Fisher was able to guard him in the post a year ago -- or Klay Thompson a couple weeks ago.

    Is Splitter going to be able to destroy Battier? I haven't seen any evidence to be confident he will. Hell, I'm not sure he could bully Miller. Splitter has a high center of gravity and has trouble when short players use strength against him. He's actually better against bigger, less mobile defenders.

    So, if Splitter can't make the Heat pay for going small by scoring in the post, it's unlikely having him roam around the perimeter chasing Battier or Miller on defense is going to be worth keeping him on the court. The result, IMO, will be Pop going more to Diaw, Bonner or small ball instead of the preferred tandem of TD and Splitter.

    4. The Heat have been coasting
    During the regular season, the Heat were one of the best teams I've ever seen. It's not much of a stretch to say this was one of the top 10 best regular seasons ever by any team. They've been a relative disappointment in the playoffs but I think they realized what we all knew: the East was terrible and getting to the Finals was a formality from the beginning.

    Sure, they needed to try a little bit to put the Pacers away but I don't think they've even taken it out of first or second gear yet. They have a ton of room to improve entering this series -- and now that they can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I expect them to play by far their best basketball of the postseason.

    As far as Wade and Bosh are concerned, I think they realized a LeBron-led team could make it to the Finals by himself. Where they injured? Yeah, maybe a little bit, but I think their struggles were more to do with coasting. In these Finals, I expect both at or near 100%.

    5. Miami has the more trustworthy shooters
    This series could very well come down to which team's role players are hitting their three-pointers. And looking at the respective resumes, it's difficult to not side with the Heat. They haven't shot well in the playoffs so far -- but let's not forget how well they shot in the Finals last year.

    When the lights got bright, they seemingly couldn't miss. For example, take Battier. Like this season, Battier struggled in the Eastern Conference portion of the bracket in 2012. But come the Finals, he shot 57% from deep. His has hit less than one-fourth of his threes so far in these playoffs but I wouldn't be surprised if he snaps out of that slump in the Finals.

    Battier, Ray Allen, Mike Miller those are some of the players you'd most want taking pressure shots.

    The Spurs on paper have very good shooters but is anyone really confident in Bonner in the Finals? How about Kawhi Leonard after spending so much of his energy on D? Green doesn't exactly have a sparkling resume in this department. Ginobili has been streaky -- to put it kindly. Neal? Yeah, no.

    6. The Heat have LeBron James
    More often than not, the winner of a playoff series is the team with the best player. LeBron James is that man. He's not only the best basketball player in the universe, he's a top five talent ever and he's in his absolute prime. Which players in history would you rather have on your team than 2013 LeBron? Personally, my list probably begins and ends with Michael Jordan.

    I don't think I need to explain how great LeBron is right now. When the best athlete in the NBA is also the best passer in the league, the best finisher and now suddenly one of the best shooters, that's a recipe for a monster. Add in his experience and his newfound maturity and it's going to take a Herculean effort to beat his team four times in a series.

    Don't get me wrong, Parker is damn good. I've called him the second most dominating player in the league when he's healthy. But there's a wide gulf between first and second on that list. Current LeBron is in that class of superstar that is impossible to stop regardless of defensive gameplan. Prime Jordan, Prime Duncan and Prime Shaq are three other examples.

    Parker, for as great as he has become, lacks that final trait to move him up into that rarefied air. You can slow Parker if you make that your team's No. 1 objective. You can't slow LeBron. That will, unfortunately, prove to be a gigantic difference.



    Again, I pray to all that is holy and/or mighty that I'm wrong. Against the Grizzlies I proved to be dead wrong about Parker (I thought he was hurt; turned out he had the best series of his life) and Splitter (I wasn't sold with his toughness in the middle; turned out toughness wasn't an issue at all -- he was great in that regard). Hopefully I'm wrong about a couple of the above items. I would be the happiest S.O.B. on the planet if I'm wrong again.

    But if the series plays out like I suspect it to, I see Heat in five. Miami wins the first two games. Spurs win Game 3 after Pop replaces Green in the starting lineup with Ginobili. Heat win Game 4 in heartbreaking fashion (for us Spurs fans) and then close out S.A. in Game 5 with their whole team hitting on all cylinders at that point.

    That's my honest view. Let's hope the actual result makes me look stupid again.

  2. #2
    Ya'll Ready For This? G-Nob's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for this.

  3. #3
    Believe. TrainOfThought5's Avatar
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    fuk yo reasons, clown

  4. #4
    I want some nasty GaryJohnston's Avatar
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    Kori has 21 reasons you're wrong...

  5. #5
    All Hail the Legatron The Reckoning's Avatar
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    keep up the good work
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  6. #6
    808s & Heartbreak Kool Bob Love's Avatar
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    San Antonio Spurs 2013 NBA champs U.O.E.N.O

  7. #7
    Lottery Pick jaffies's Avatar
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    I like when you're wrong.
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    R.I.P. Whottt

  8. #8
    Embiid, Parker, & Kawhi TheGreatYacht's Avatar
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    I'm new to theses boards. Is this the so called "reverse jinx" and "timvp" that everyone has been talking about for the past week?

  9. #9
    Veteran Spursmania's Avatar
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    Awesome anti-jinx thread
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    "The Spurs do not beat you so much as they grind you into tiny shards of psychological wreckage." -Denver Post (2005)

    Where winning happens

  10. #10
    5 Rings, Faggot baseline bum's Avatar
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    I think Wade still looks a little iffy, and because of that the Spurs might steal one of the first 2 in Miami. Unfortunately, I think the Heat are a way better team and will probably win 2 of 3 in San Antonio and then close it out Game 6 in Miami.
    _____________________________

  11. #11
    The Golden God Mugen's Avatar
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    thank you, timvp.

  12. #12
    808s & Heartbreak Kool Bob Love's Avatar
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  13. #13
    5 timtonymanu's Avatar
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    Gonna have to agree with LJ, again. Although I'm thinking Heat in 6. I think the Spurs are capable of stealing a road game and will win a home game, or lose Game 1 and 2 and win two home games.

    Looking back, it was probably silly to think the Spurs would lose to Memphis, but it is not silly nor unreasonable to think Miami is going to beat the Spurs.

    The Spurs really have to be playing perfect basketball to beat the Heat. I'm hoping I am dead wrong too. I really do want to see the Spurs win a 5th title, but Miami is just too much of a match-up problem for them.

    100%duncan, get in here.
    Last edited by timtonymanu; 06-05-2013 at 10:27 PM.

  14. #14
    5 Rings, Faggot baseline bum's Avatar
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    I have never seen LJ make jinx picks, and I have been reading his series breakdowns since the 1999-00 playoffs.

  15. #15
    Veteran
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    Don't want to read but thanks for the good job.

  16. #16
    5 Rings, Faggot baseline bum's Avatar
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    But seriously, this is going to have to be like Russell on his last legs outlasting Wilt, Baylor, and West for an historic upset in Game 7 of the 1969 Finals (the one Russell said he couldn't wait to see the Lakers have to take their celebration balloons down one at a time). Of course, Wilt was also acting like a spoiled drama queen in that series; don't really see James pulling a Rodman like that tbh.

  17. #17
    Veteran Libri's Avatar
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    I have never seen LJ make jinx picks, and I have been reading his series breakdowns since the 1999-00 playoffs.
    Well, we will see if he has more power than Lefty.

  18. #18
    Veteran hater's Avatar
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    Awesome anti-jinx thread
    I'm new to theses boards. Is this the so called "reverse jinx" and "timvp" that everyone has been talking about for the past week?
    at people believing the Memphis thread was a reverse jinx thread
    it really doesn't work if originally it was not a jinx thread.

    but let's hope the jinx Gods don't realize the Memphis one wasn't a jinx thread
    _____________________________
    To me, the most important thing in life after my mother... is money and hoes - El Patron




    Officer: Good afternnoon gentlemen. Could I please have the documents to the vehicle?
    Pablo: ...don't have...
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    Pablo: ...don't have...
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    Officer: ....ok.... you... you may go please....




  19. #19
    Veteran AFBlue's Avatar
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    If the Spurs stick to high PnR every time down the court then Miami's D has a shot, but I don't see the Spurs' O as being that predictable and repetitive. I think they learned from OKC series last year. Agree that this is a bad matchup for Splitter though, so hopefully he proves us both wrong.

  20. #20
    5 Rings, Faggot baseline bum's Avatar
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    So what kind of odds do you put on this series, LJ? I have been waffling between 85-15 Heat and 75-25 Heat, but leaning more towards the latter.

  21. #21
    Veteran hater's Avatar
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    I have never seen LJ make jinx picks, and I have been reading his series breakdowns since the 1999-00 playoffs.
    I don't think I've ever wanted the Spurs to win a series as much as this forthcoming series against the Heat.


    unfortunately timvps ramblings are actually more accurate than not this time


    my servers are still running scenarios and Heat in 5 is the most common so far

  22. #22
    One More for the Ages Calispursfan11's Avatar
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    Timvp going emo to avoid disappointment once again tbh. Not cool timvp. The Heat are not gods from Olympus. They're just some old punks with one great player. Minus LeBron, the Spurs are superior to all remaining 11 Heat. You will be wrong anti-jinx or not.
    _____________________________



  23. #23
    Believe. Floyd Pacquiao's Avatar
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    The Spurs are a team of destiny. They'll find a way to win...

    Believe
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  24. #24
    Veteran hater's Avatar
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    plus timvp just positioning himself to a win-win scenario

    Spurs lose - he redeem himself

    Spurs win - he is happy and it was all a jinx after all. move along



  25. #25
    GFY I. Hustle's Avatar
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    I can sleep now
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  26. #26
    Believe. pikkiwoki's Avatar
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    Excellent, excellent. Now all we need is a scathing rebuttal from roycrikside for the prophecy to be complete.

  27. #27
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    Your'e a huge big headed douche.
    Sounds painful, tbh.

    So what kind of odds do you put on this series, LJ? I have been waffling between 85-15 Heat and 75-25 Heat, but leaning more towards the latter.
    75-25 is reasonable. Probably between that and 70-30.

    Which, big picture, are odds we would have all taken at the beginning of the season.

  28. #28
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    plus timvp just positioning himself to a win-win scenario

    Spurs lose - he redeem himself
    Hate to break it to you but you don't get a ring for being "right" on a message board, tbh.

  29. #29
    Focused Chaos benefactor's Avatar
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    Greys with pitchforks are coming.

    Anyway, Spurs in 7.
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  30. #30
    Veteran hater's Avatar
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    Hate to break it to you but you don't get a ring for being "right" on a message board, tbh.
    hey I'll be sad right next to you bro

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