Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by sacniner:
The moves that Pop will make are going to make this thing interesting. I can't wait. I always underestimate the Spurs like many do. I think the Heat will probably win, but at this point it seems like a tossup. The last we saw the Spurs they swept a Memphis team that many people (including myself) chose to win the series. I'm looking forward to a great series that will go six or seven hopefully.
Yeup, Pop makes Spurs very dangerous. But, I don't fear the match-ups, like I did against the Pacers. Dealing with Duncan and Parker is going to be very very difficult. I like Kwahi and he is an under-rated defender. I know JC thinks Kwahi will slow down Lebron...but I don't see it. IMO, Lebron will have a huge series.
I believe most of the games will go down to the wire. Heat can go cold from 3 and still win games, I don't think Spurs can...and that can be the deciding factor in a close series.
San Antonio is interesting because they pose different problems for Miami. The biggest advantage that the Heat had over Indy, IMO, is their ability to ball pressure and either force turnovers, or difficult shots late in the shot clock. Indiana's one of the worst passing teams in the league, and San Antonio's one of the best. Miami also likes to trap the pick & roll, and that could be a problem for them. Duncan is like Hibbert (who averaged 1.16 PPP as the PnR man in the ECFs, which is a great number) in that he has great hands and body control coming off of the pick & roll. But there's a world of difference between George Hill or Paul George coming off of the PnR & Tony Parker or (to a lesser extent) Manu Ginobili doing so. Parker's one of the Top 3 PnR guards in the game, and if Miami covers the PnR the way that they did against Indy I think SA has a field day against it. The Spurs also won't turn the ball over nearly as much as Indy did.
The key to the series, IMO, is the Danny Green/Manu vs. Wade matchup. Miami loses this series if Wade plays the way he did in the ECFs.
The Spurs are playing better than the Heat are right now, so they certainly have a chance, but ultimately I think there's only one elite team in the playoffs this year after Westbrook went down, and I think Miami wins it in 6.
I agree with most of it. I think this will be a high-scoring series. I feel Miami will have a more difficult time stopping Spurs on defense, but they will also have an easier time scoring on them. Miami has been really good against PnR all season but didn't so well against Indy. IMO, Miami has tougher time against Centers with brute strength. Hibbert was pain in the ass because of his strength more than the length.
I fully expect Bosh to have a MUCH better series against Duncan than he did against Hibbert or David West (who is a very physical PF as well). Not suggesting that Duncan is a lesser player even at this stage of his career, but his game is different and something Bosh is familiar with. Not to put too much emphasis on regular season stats, but Bosh averaged 3.3 RPG against Indiana in the regular season. The one game he played against Spurs, he pulled down 9 boards.
Of course, Parker will get his. He is a top 3 PGs in the game, and this season one can argue he is the best. Hopefully, we will see Lebron take on Parker late in 4th quarter in close games. Miami must be physical with Parker, and that's the only way to stop him. Otherwise, Parker will put up 30ppg against them. If Chalmers and Cole are ineffective against Parker, I hope they make Parker chase Ray Allen. Those will be my first adjustments against Parker. I really like Cole as a defender...especially at going under the screen and recovering just in time to make a good challenge on the shot.
I agree that Wade is the key. He doesn't have to average 21ppg, but he needs to attack, rebound, play defense, and play with energy. If he does that, I like Miami's chances against anyone. If not, Spurs will be very tough to beat.
...and lastly, Leonard on Lebron matchup. I agree that Leonard is almost as good as Paul George, but he doesn't have Roy Hibbert waiting in the paint. That's a big change. IMO, Miami will attack often and freely inside the paint...especially Lebron. Against Splitter and Duncan - he can take the contact and finish. I feel, Lebron will have a huge series against Spurs. He missed a LOT of layups against Indy. Don't see him missing those against Spurs.
Honestly, am I the only one who thinks it is a bad idea to put Leonard on a player that's virtually unstoppable? It would be a waste of Leonard. I am a believer in putting the best defender on the teams 2nd best player. Lebron is great at making the players around him better so why not keep that from happening. Force Lebron to use up the clock more or be a one man team...which he can do at times...but in the long run, it will make their offense stagnant.
Now let's talk about Green. He is not an all around good defender like Leonard but Green has quicker feet and has the length. His job should be to keep Lebron in front of him and be a jump shooter while all other MIA players stand and watch. Spurs may also get some charge calls on Lebron as he is more of a pick one way and go full speed offensive player. He's not like Kobe who's built up a skill set to be able to put together moves upon moves.
I understand SA is the underdog and is facing a team with two players who have great talent. But I also feel some are undervaluing how Tim is playing this year and how Leonard, Splitter, and Green are playing and how comfortable they have gotten with Pop's system.
Not much as been talked about the benches and that will be very interesting. Manu had that hammy but his shot has been terrible as well. I hope the 9 days allowed him to get back at near full strength and cause havoc to defenses as Manu does. Ray Allen, as big as a threat he is, does not compare to having played against the Warriors shooting. Anderson may be the biggest issue for the Spurs and they really need to be focused on boxing out when he's in the game. As for Mike Miller, he is a slow one-dimensional player...probably slower than Bonner. The main thing that concerns me about the MIA bench is the experience of their bench.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if MIA stays fully focused and plays full speed to make the Spurs look old...but I don't think that's how you beat the Spurs. MIA has what no other team has and that's 2 players who could score in one second when the opponent has played great defense for 23 seconds. THIS will be the biggest factor if MIA wins. They will not win if they want to play the 3-point game, which is what they have built their personnel for. They will win if they get those bailout shots by their great players.
What I want to know is if most people are picking MIA because they played "tougher" teams, because they are the reigning champs, because SA is "old" or because they have Lebron?