Game Preview: Miami Heat @ San Antonio Spurs - Clash of the Titans

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The two best teams record-wise in the league will go at it on Easter Sunday. Everyone's favorite Belgian is here with the preview.

(Yes, I do realize I'm the only Belgian you know.)

Previously on The Spurs

The Spurs are in a rough stretch of games, as they meet with the Nuggets, Clippers, Heat, Grizzlies, Magic (?) and the Thunder. That last game in OKC is probably best viewed as a schedule loss. It'll be San Antonio's fourth game in five nights (FOGAFINI) as well as their fifth game in seven nights (the somewhat rare FIGASENI), while the Thunder will have had four days of rest. This means that it's important they take care of the other games (actually, it's always important to take care of games, isn't it?). So, how are the Spurs fairing so far in their Exam Week?

The win against the Clips was the third game in a row that came down to the last shot. In two of those three games, the Spurs prevailed. If it wasn't for James Harden and his freakin' beard, they'd have won them all. In that view, I think it's safe to say that the Spurs (especially the young'uns) are gaining valuable experience in close games. This is in my opinion preferable over all the blowouts we saw last year.

Also... Timothy. Mother. Effing. Duncan.
I watched the game yesterday, and man... Tim was a beast. He once again led us to the finish line. We're going to need this Duncan in the Playoffs. Even more so than we need Manu (although we'll need him too).
When Timmy made that shot, after the whistle blew... I jumped up and yelled "AND ONE!"

I'm pretty sure my neighbors sometimes say stuff like "Yeah, the Spurs played yesterday."

Seriously, my spell-check just corrected neighbours to neighbors. I don't get Americans and their spelling. Favourite? Wrong. Realise? Wrong. Neighbours? Wrong. Defence? Wrong. (Actually, defence does look weirder than defense.)

Later that day, I sent a message to a friend of mine who roots for the Clippers, saying 'Wuk ist LAC b*tches!? And one Timmy D!' This boils down to You mad, bro?

Too bad, Clippers. I seriously dislike watching your kind of basketball. I get a strange vibe from Blake Griffin. It's like some part of me is convinced that he cares more about dunking hard than winning. Give me Timmy over Blake (or any other big) any day, twice on Sunday.

Next on The Spurs

The Heat are coming to town. You might have heard about them. There's this guy that came from Cleveland to help this team a bit. It seems to be working out. After having a 27 game winning streak snapped by Chicago, (and LeBron once again being called out for whining), the Heat started a new streak on Friday against the Hornets. Too bad their next opponent is the Spurs, and not some weak Eastern team per their recent norm. Yes, I just cast aspersions on Miami's recent schedule; I'm sure they'll survive.

I remember watching our first match-up against these guys. No big three, no Danny Green. I was so excited when Nando hit a three to go up by 7 points with like 4 or 5 minutes to go. Then LeBron happened. It was a far more fun game than I thought it would be, not to mention the moral victory.

That said, I don't know how Pop feels about these upcoming games. Today is the start of that FOGAFINI, with a game tomorrow in Memphis. If Pop decides that the Memphis game is more important, this could be a very different game than what you'd expect going in. Same with the games on Wednesday (Orlando) and Thursday (@OKC). Keep your eyes peeled: there's a good chance for another Restgate - Part II somewhere this week.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Tiago Splitter

Key Bench Players
Gary Neal is back!
Boris Diaw
Stephen Jackson

Head Coach
Gregg Popovich

Lineups

Starters
PG: Dwayne Wade
SG: Mike Miller
SF: LeBron James
PF: Chris Bosh
C: Udonis Haslem

Key Bench Players
Ray Allen
Birdman
Rashard Lewis

Head Coach
Erik Spoelstra

Key injuries

Spurs: Manu Ginobili will not play because of that freakin' hamstring.
Heat: Mario Chalmers did not play on Friday.

The Heat's perspective can be found here: HotHotHoops

Get your San Antonio Spurs tickets here!

Game Prediction: I just bought NBA 2K13 for PC (not "bought", I actually did pay for the game). I'd had it with playing against CPU, and wanted to play online. My first 6 games, I lost everything. Then I played against the Heat, and I won. Karma.
Spurs by 7.

As always, Tony must dominate Fisher, and 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.

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