one not so well writed article... LeBron James, the Miami Heat Must Do 3 Things to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals
To Avoid His Ghosts from the Past, King James’ Heat Must Not Fall Short on These Strategies
By Bradley Ryder | Yahoo! Contributor Network – 18 hours ago
COMMENTARY | LeBron James and Tim Duncan square off in Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals Wednesday. The youthful Miami Heat and the aging San Antonio Spurs locked horns in 2007. While payback is on King James' mind, if Miami fails to do these three things, the former Cleveland Cavaliers star risks a repeat of six years ago.
Tame Tim Duncan
Duncan, like Hall of Famer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, has a mean hook and can call on his midrange when pressed out of the paint. Trouble is, not many players can handle his frenzied footwork even if it's not as funky as that of the former Los Angeles Lakers great.
Tim Duncan may be older, a bit weaker in the knees and, arguably, not a human highlight. But these are reasons why the Heat should be afraid, very afraid. Just look at his deer-in-the-headlights stare.
LeBron James recently said, "If I just look at the last 15 years, he's probably been the most consistent, most dominant player that we've had as far as 15 years all together. He's won four titles, multiple All Stars, MVP, and so on and so on."
A younger James, 22 at the time, was on the Cavaliers team that handed the Spurs their last NBA Finals title. Then, Duncan was 30 and playing some of his best basketball. Even at 37 when many ballers are considered "old," the quiet giant is as dangerous and nimble as ever.
Timmy, as Tony Parker affectionately calls his teammate, averaged 22.2 points per game, grabbed 11.5 total boards and blocked 3.1 shots in the 2007 NBA Playoffs. By comparison, this year Duncan is averaging 17.8 points per game, 9.2 total boards and 1.7 blocks in the postseason, according to Basketball Reference.
One can argue that Duncan hasn't lost much of his offensive prowess on the court.
However, when I looked a little closer at the 2007 Spurs, something jumped off the page: San Antonio's pace of 89.8 ranked 27 of 30. Yet, the Texas team still won a championship that year.
Six years later, the team ranks in sixth place with a pace of 94.2. In other words, they are getting more possessions and second-chance shot opportunities. On the other hand, the Heat's pace of 90.7 places them squarely in the 23rd spot.
Go to Manu early and often
While Manu Ginobili wasn't a starter when the Spurs met the Cavaliers in 2007, he was a key part of the offense in his rotation off the bench. Today, he is part of San Antonio's Big Three and has gotten better over time like wine.
It's beyond me why Ginobili hasn't gotten his basketball moment and the recognition he rightfully deserves. The unsung hero of the Spurs has an arsenal of weapons, either of which can turn around a slumping offense at the right moment.
Coach Erik Spoelstra will likely pair Dwyane Wade with Ginobili and use Udonis Haslem in traps to deny the lefty free strokes from downtown. The Spurs star leads the team in the postseason with 4.9 attempts per game from long-range.
Contain Tony Parker: Good luck with that
If LeBron James and the Miami Heat have any chance at winning the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, taming Duncan and going to Ginobili in transition is not enough. A plan to contain the explosive and elusive Tony Parker is the final leg of the strategy, albeit the most important.
The dude is bad to the bone; there's just no denying his game. Even on a bad day, the 12-year veteran puts up strong numbers.
This postseason, Parker leads the Spurs in average points (23.0), average field goals made (8.9), average field goals attempted (18.8) and average attempts from the line (5.6 per game).
His ability to sense traps while navigating through pick-and-rolls breaks down a team's defense especially if a player is late in rotation. Mario Chalmers will have a time keeping up with Parker. His best opportunity is to deny Tony easy trips into the paint to launch his slip and slide floater.
While a zone defense forces shots from outside, playing Parker in single coverage is fruitless. Gregg Popovich is likely weaving this into the team's strategy and Spoelstra will likely get Ray Allen and Norris Cole involved, which possibly helps Chalmers conserve energy down the stretch.
Face it; Tony Parker has a way of breaking down his opponent's stamina in 48 minutes.
As LeBron James and the Miami Heat prepare to do battle with Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs, the question on the minds of many fans is simply this: what team goes to Disney World when the smoke clears?