So Much at Stake Tonight in Miami

LeBron and Parker
I believe one of these two men will ultimately be the difference tonight in game seven.

I feel bad for ‘real’ Miami Heat fans. These are the ones who have been fans since the team arrived twenty-some years ago and have stuck with them through thick and thin. These fans have been unfortunately grouped in with what I like to call “LeHeat” fans. These are the people who couldn’t have jumped on the LeBron James-to-Miami bandwagon soon enough and were probably the ones who gave up on their team in the waning moments of Tuesday night’s game.

If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, with the Heat staring a Finals’ loss in the face, fans streamed out of the American Airlines’ Arena and then were videotaped trying to get back into the building when they realized the Heat had come back and had forced overtime. As Chris Bosh said to those fans, “Don’t come to game seven.”

Chances are that many of those fans will be at game seven tonight on South Beach and like the rest of us, they’ll be expecting a classic final game where either the San Antonio Spurs or Miami Heat will be crowned champions.

Danny Green
Green needs a hot-hand again for the Spurs to have a shot.

How the Spurs Win Tonight… This is easier said than done, but the Spurs have to put the game six loss in the past and I think they will because of their veteran leadership. It’s tough knowing the trophy is just seconds away from being yours only to see it put back in the case. I really believe the Spurs will put this game in the hands of Tony Parker and let him take it from there.

The gameplan was as expected in game six. With Danny Green hitting so many threes, Gregg Popovich knew the Heat would have to attack the perimeter and that left Tim Duncan more room to operate and he didn’t disappoint. As far as Green is concerned, he was just 1 for 7 from the field and 1 for 4 from three-point range on Tuesday night and must hit some more shots to keep the Heat honest.

How the Heat Win Tonight… My first thought is that they need to come out aggressively and hot right off the bat. They have so much momentum right now and they must capitalize on that and keep the Spurs on the ropes. Should they come out flat and let San Antonio gain the upper hand early then I have my doubts that they’ll be able to make the run they did in game six.

In part, that could be on LeBron to keep the fire lit. He has not started well in most of the games in this series and should he warm up early that could spell doom for San Antonio. Much like Parker can’t do it all, neither can James. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh don’t have to be brilliant but they have to contribute and knock down shots when they are there.

Typically in games like this we see a guy come through who isn’t always known as a superstar. Will it be a Norris Cole or a Mario Chalmers for Miami? Perhaps a Boris Diaw or Gary Neal comes up big for the Spurs? I’m not suggesting a massive amount of points from these ‘non-stars,’ but big shots and big defensive contributions could make the difference.

Prediction: Miami enters as a 6-point favorite tonight and I think that is going to be right on the spot. Looking at the overall health of the two teams, both are tired and worn down but Miami’s stars are a little younger and I think that will make the difference in the end. I like a big night from LeBron who desperately needs to win to avoid a 1-3 record in the NBA Finals and I think you’ll see a game of runs tonight but in the end, I like the Spurs to keep it within six, but look for the Heat to win the title.