Both teams are well rested and rehabilitated after highly competitive Conference Finals showdowns. The Spurs took down the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games and Miami made sure that there wasn’t a Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers.
The Spurs had the best record in the NBA during the regular season, while the Heat secured the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The two game regular season series between the two teams ended in a tie.
Maimi won the first game at home by 12 points. Chris Bosh was the star, scoring 24 and grabbing five rebounds in 26 minutes of play. Weeks after the first meeting, San Antonio blew out the Heat. Led by Tim Duncan’s 23 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one block, the Spurs won 111-87.
The “Big Fundamental” is happy to be facing the Heat again in the Finals. He said, "We're happy that it's the Heat again. ... We've got that bad taste in our mouth still," via Kevin Ding’s twitter account.
To the delight of San Antonio fans, the veteran power forward has been playing lights out in the playoffs. He “is shooting 51.3% from the field so far this postseason, the highest playoff FG pct for him since 2009-10 (52%),” via ESPN Stats & Info.
Spurs fans will also be delighted to know that point guard Tony Parker is ready to go after suffering an ankle injury against Oklahoma City. The 32-year-old said, “I trust my body to hold up for the whole series,” via NBA twitter page.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Parker said, “Today, I spend my days in treatment. But the good news is that I will play the first game of the Finals on Thursday against the Heat. I may not be 100 percent but I'll be there. In 13 years, I played seven conference finals and I have the chance to play my fifth Finals with Spurs. This is really great. I continue my dream, this is really something great.”
Miami is back to full strength after Chris “Birdman” Andersen returned to the team in Game 6 against Indiana. The power forward was 100 percent from the floor, scoring nine points and grabbing 10 rebounds in just 13 minutes.
Miami’s big three comes into the series with a full head of steam. Bosh has extended his game to the three point line, Dwayne Wade was more aggressive against the Pacers and Lebron James silenced his critic with a sublime performance in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Gregg Popovich and Erik Spoelstra will rely heavily on their bench to secure the victory in what should be a crucial Game 1.
Game time: 9 p.m. ET on ABC
Prediction: Spurs 103- Heat 95