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NBA Finals Preview: Spurs Vs. Heat

"Not One, Not Two, Not Three, Not Four...." - said LeBron James in 2010 when joining the Heat.

Well LeBron...how about five?

And no, we aren't talking about the Miami Heat.

On Thursday, June 6, the defending 2012 NBA champions, Miami Heat, give host to the San Antonio Spurs, who look to get their fifth NBA championship in 14 years.

The Miami Heat have had an up and down playoffs thus far but have proven once again at the joy of many ESPN analysts that they are the favorite to win the NBA championship this year after having the best record in the regular season.

Behind the league's MVP, LeBron James, the Heat have been unstoppable to guard in the clutch quarters of games that matter most.

The San Antonio Spurs have also had an up and down season...suffering through many injuries with their top players including Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan.

However, the playoffs have been an entirely different situation. The Spurs have lost a total of two games and go into the NBA finals matchup fresh after sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Spurs are 4-0 in NBA Finals series thus far.

As for the last time the Spurs won the championship in 2007?

Ask LeBron.

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The Spurs swept LeBron and the Cavaliers...ultimately playing a part of why LeBron left the city of Cleveland to play for another team in order to better his chances to obtain a championship.

However, this is the first time the Spurs are not the home team during the Finals.

In addition, LeBron is coming off of another MVP season and is not without solid teammates on this star studded Miami Heat roster.

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Key Matchup:

Kawhi Leonard/Entire Spurs Team vs LeBron James

There is no question that the key to beating the heat is stopping LeBron. There is no one on the Spurs roster more capable of this than Kwawhi, but he will need help as would anybody else in the league. Luckily for the Spurs, they play great team defense and are well accustomed to devising defensive strategies to stop the main player of the opposing team. It worked in 2007, and it can work again this year.

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Spurs X-Factor

Spurs Bench: Gary Neal/Matt Bonner

Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili will lead and carry the team in this series as they have been doing all season and playoffs thus far.

However, a key difference between the Spurs and Heat this year is the bench play. The Spurs are much deeper and need to capitalize...especially from their sharp shooters in Gary Neal and Matt Bonner. A good game by these two will make the difference between a nail biter and a Spurs blowout, particularly if the Spurs are playing at home as the bench will feed off heavily from the crowd energy.

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What would a fifth Championship mean for the Spurs/The NBA?

In my opinion, David Stern would and should feel ashamed for fining the Spurs earlier this regular season for resting their starters against the Miami Heat. This would be a statement win to prove that the Spurs are playing with the end goal to win the game ... and not for the sole goal of earning the league and it's owners more money.

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A second consecutive Miami championship will begin talks of a dynasty as well as talks of how the old Spurs and their dynasty reign is officially over.

But a San Antonio fifth championship will raise multiple questions within the Heat organization and possibly cause a breakup of Miami's "big three".

Meanwhile, the Spurs' "big three" would be apart of one of the longest successful dynasties in NBA history...again showing the league that they are not done....and continuing to prove that they are true title contenders for years to come.

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Since drafting Tim Duncan in 1997, the Spurs have had the best overall winning percentage (over 70% of games won) out of ALL current major league sport teams ... in not just one year...not two...not three...not four...but 16 years.

And counting.

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