The NBA finals start tomorrow, and there are a few interesting story lines. The Miami Heat will be looking to repeat as champions, led by the third year trio of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The San Antonio Spurs counter with their own three headed monster of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. The biggest difference between these two groups is age, although they way they were brought together has many fans hoping the Heat do not repeat.
All 3 of the Spurs "Big 3" were brought together through normal means. Draft and free agency paid of well for the Spurs, who have consistently been an elite team since Tim Duncan's arrival. On the other hand, the Heat's "Big 3" came together via suspect free agency. Dwayne Wade was the only player drafted by the Heat. When Wade, James and Bosh became free agents at the same time, they decided to take less than market value and team up together. Many fans and former players thought this was a cheap way to go after a title. Rather than lead a team to a championship as a singular star, these three teamed up to make the quest easier. While it has proved easy, it will tarnish their individual legacies. Wade was the only one of the 3 to win a title previously, and even that was done with the help of Shaquille O' Neal.
The San Antonio Spurs have defied logic over the last 15 years. With Tim Duncan as the leader, the team has consistently made the playoffs and gone on deep runs. Duncan and coach Greg Popovich have formed one of the greatest player coach combinations ever. While it would be nice to see them win another championship, the odds are stacked against them. The Miami Heat are the defending champs, have the best player in the game, and are overall a younger team.
The Heat are going to be favored to win, and it will be easy to see why. They have a remarkable collection of talent that can stretch the floor. Also, they have the games all time leader in 3 pointers made in Ray Allen. Add to that the Heat have been playing tenacious defense, and you have a recipe for disaster. The Heat are not perfect, but when firing on all cylinders, there isn't a better team in the league.
Personally, I would like to see the Spurs win. I would love to see Tim Duncan win another title because he is without a doubt the most underrated superstar in NBA history. Add to that the immense character and likability, its easy to root for them. Also, LeBron and company come off as spoiled and too expectant. They need to be humbled, so hopefully the Spurs can do it. Unfortunately, if I was a betting man, I would pick the Heat in 6.