Game #67 Preview: San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat


Two of the best "Big Threes" in the league go at it in South Beach (well, technically they won't be on the beach, but...). Which stars will shine? Which role players will step up?


Take a look at the match-ups, the keys to victory and how to stop the league's so-called villains after the jump!

Much was made of the ballyhooed free agency signings of the Miami Heat last off-season. The fact that the Heat were able land such a talented core of players to play together for the foreseeable future seemed almost unfathomable, and, to many fans, almost unfair.

I heard people say they thought the Heat were ruining basketball by signing the "Three Kings." Former superstars such as Jordan, Magic, Bird and Barkley voiced their opinion of the South Florida alliance. They all said that back in their day, they were too busy trying to beat their peers to ever join them. Then again, they all played with Hall of Fame teammates, so take their words with a grain of salt, even if the way they joined those teammates wasn't through free agency.

I, for one, find nothing inherently wrong with a few friends taking less money to join the same team, but the whole situation spoke to a much larger league-wide problem: the balance of power. A small-market team, particularly one in a cold-weather city, will have a whale of a struggle to compete in free agency with the larger cities and vacation destination hot spots.

So, where am I going with this? Since this summer, many fans' fears that their teams will never be on an even playing field with the larger-market clubs have only increased. In large part, this is why the Heat have been vilified by fans and media (Read: Adrian Wojnarowski, who makes some good points, but will stop at nothing to make LeBron look bad) since before they ever took the court this year. Oh, and this didn't help matters, either.

Essentially, the Heat became the league's "bullies" - whether they wanted to be or not. And while they were met with hate from many, we Spurs fans meet them with what may be considered the true antonym of love: indifference.

We don't care about the Heat. WE. DON'T. CARE. Because we already drafted our own Big Three. And because we have a wonderful supporting cast of players after Tim, Tony and Manu. And, most of all, because we already know how to deal with bullies.

Roll the tape!


Plus our tactics from last game seemed to work.

We also mustn't underestimate the moves of Duane/Dwyane!


Videos via Bargain Bin of Oblivion

And just to be fair, I do recognize the talents of Wade and the Heat. So we'll give you a Dwyane move to go with Duane's moves.

Video via Everything Ball

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San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat
Where: AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA

When: March 14, 7 p.m. Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: ESPN


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By the Numbers

Data sources:
hoopdata.com | basketball-reference.com | John Hollinger's team stats

Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 109.3
(2nd)
101.4
(7th)
Rebound %
25.2
(20th)
74.3
(T-11h)
Field Goal % .475
(5th)
.450
(9)
3-Point % .401
(1st)
.372
(24th)
Free Throw %
.770
(12th)
.759
(12th)
Turnover %
12.96
(9th)
12.66
(25th)
Assist %
60.09
(9th)
53.74
(4th)
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 108.5
(4th)
100.6
(5th)
Rebound %
24.7
(23rd)
74.7
(10th)
Field Goal % .477
(2nd)
.430
(2nd)
3-Point % .371
(9th)
.338
(5)
Free Throw %
.765
(15th)
.749
(.749)
Turnover %
13.29
(15th)
12.69
(24th)
Assist %
53.00
(28th)
58.24
(19th)
Record Wins Losses
Overall 54 12
Conference 33 7
Division 9 4
Home 31 3
Away 23 9
Position Conference Division
Record 1st 1st
Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Antonio McDyess
C: Tim Duncan

Key Bench Players
George Hill
DeJuan Blair
Matt Bonner
Gary Neal
Tiago Splitter

Record Wins Losses
Overall 45 21
Conference 29 12
Division 9 3
Home 24 9
Away 21 12
Position Conference Division
Record 3rd 1st
Lineups

Starters
PG: Mario Chalmers
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: LeBron James
PF: Chris Bosh
C: Erick Dampier

Key Bench Players
MIke Bibby
MIke Miller
Joel Anthony
James Jones
Eddie House

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Starters

PG: Parker needs to dominate Fisher. He shouldn't have a problem with that.

SG: Yeah, I almost feel dirty giving the Spur to someone besides Manu, but this is a rare exception.

SF: It's Mr James. Enough said.

PF: Dice has almost a decade on Bosh. We'll see if that's a hindrance or an asset.

C: Although the Heat arguably have the advantage at three positions in the starting lineup, the Spurs have the two biggest advantages. The gulf between Parker-Chalmers and Duncan-Dampier is huge.

Bench

The Heat clearly miss Haslem. Plus some of their washed-up vets and other bench players have underachieved.

Coaching

Considering all the Heat (pun intended) Coach Spo has felt, he hasn't done a bad job. But there's no denying Pop is the clear winner of the coaching battle.

Intangibles

The Spurs chemistry may be unmatched in the NBA.

Mojo

Mojito (little mojo): MoHeatos? Espuelitas.

Prediction

Spurs, 99-95.

Key(s) to the Game

Key 1 - Outscoring the other team. We are 54-0 when we do that.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell

Spurs Planet - Our old middle-aged friend Wayne Vore is back.

Project Spurs

Spurs Nation

OPPONENT

Peninsula is Mightier (SB Nation)

Following Along

TV

ESPN

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.

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