Here we go again, two NBA heavyweights throwing down for the championship of the world.
Coming out of the Western Conference wearing black and silver with a regular-season record of 62-20, the four-time world champions coached by Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio “Grump Old Men” Spurs.
Coming out of the Eastern Conference wearing red, black and white with a regular-season record of 54-28, the three-time world champs and current two-time defending titlist coached by Erik Spoelstra, the Miami “Big Three” Heat.
So which team will be left standing to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy?
Will it be LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh for a third consecutive season? Remember how we all laughed an rolled our eyes when Miami paraded its new three-headed monster in the summer of 2010? James grabbed the microphone and predicted Miami wouldn’t stop at one world title, “not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven … hey, when I say this I really believe it,” James said.
What’s not to believe after the Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 and the Spurs last season? It’s Miami’s fourth consecutive trip to the Finals and there is no reason to believe that streak will end as long as the Big Three stays intact.
For the Spurs, time is running out on Tim “Old Man River Walk” Duncan at age 38. Along with Manu Ginobili (36) and Tony Parker (32), San Antonio features one of the best threesomes in NBA history. The Spurs’ trio has won 114 playoff games, surpassing the Lakers’ 1980s Showtime of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper, which won 110. But the last time the Spurs won the title in 2006-07, Ginobili wasn’t in the starting lineup. The team the Spurs beat? The Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James.