Call it “The Rematch.” Call it whatever you want, but this is what fans deserves. Anytime you get two all-time legends, and multiple Hall-of-Famers on the same court for two NBA Finals in a row, it's time to rejoice. How can the Spurs and Heat top their 7-game classic from last season? The total score of last year's series was 684-679, with the Spurs on top. There were 47 ties and 42 lead changes. It really couldn't have been much closer. However, with such razor thin margins, it may only take a tweak or two for us to see a completely different outcome. So, what do the Spurs have to do to hoist the title in 2014?
First, the play of Manu Ginobili is paramount. Aside from his rookie season, the Argentinian had the worst postseason of his career in 2013, averaging fewer than 12 points and shooting just 30% from beyond the arc. The fact that San Antonio came within a defensive rebound of another title, while Ginobili played so poorly, has to be a silver lining to still-bitter Spurs fans. Ginobili has picked up his play this time around, hitting nearly 40% of his three-point opportunities in these playoffs. He'll be the driving force behind San Antonio's second unit, which has to make its mark when LeBron takes a seat on the bench.
Another key player for the Spurs will be Boris Diaw. Tiago Splitter played more minutes than Diaw in last year's Finals, but expect that to change this time around. After the Spurs lost all momentum in the Western Conference Finals when Serge Ibaka returned to the floor, Pop turned to the veteran Frenchman for some big minutes to close out the Thunder. Diaw can space the floor better than Splitter, which will prevent Miami from packing the paint against San Antonio's big lineups.
What are your keys to this series? Sound off and tune into SnapCall's coverage tonight starting at 9pm for all the action!