This is part two of a two part series. In part one I laid out my case as to why the Spurs will beat the Heat in the Finals. Part 2 is about why the Heat will beat the Spurs and will also include my Finals prediction.
Just in case you haven't heard Miami has the best player in the world. Lebron is good enough to win a game by himself if not two or three. When a team has a player as good as Lebron is, you can never count them out. Lebron is shooting a career high from the field this year including shooting an absurd 82% in the restricted area. Lebron is still a great passer and almost always makes the right basketball play. He is also more than capable of putting the entire scoring burden on himself if he needs to. Lebron's versatility allows Heat coach, Erik Spoelstra, to play him at point guard or power forward or anything in between. That versatility allows the Heat to adapt to nearly any situation presented to them. If Lebron manages to win a game or two by himself that could very easily be enough to propel Miami to the title.
Dwyane Wade is actually healthy this year. Last year he was banged up for most of the season. This year the Heat stole a play out of the Spurs play book and monitored his minutes and rested him completely from time to time. Wade has played 616 fewer minutes this year than last and its showing now. Wade is shooting 6.2% better from the floor in this year's playoffs than he did in in last year's playoffs. Wade is also shooting 14.9% better from 3 in this year's playoffs than he was in last year's. Wade is also shooting free throws more often than he was last year.
The Weak East
The Heat have had one of the easiest paths to the Finals in NBA history. Due to the East being so weak the Heat have been able to coast and rest more than the Spurs to get to the Finals. The additional rest could play a huge role since the Spurs had to go through a tough Western Conference that included the Mavericks (who would've been the 3 seed in the East), the Blazers, and the reigning MVP Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs path to the Finals was much harder and required them to play three more games to get to the Finals.
Tony Parker's Health
I'm sure that you have heard by now that Tony Parker had to leave Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals at halftime because of a sprained ankle. Tony has said that he is going to play tonight but that doesn't mean he will remain healthy throughout the series. He has been banged up all year, including a 6 game stretch from February 12 through March 2 where Pop sat him just to give him some rest. Tony also suffered a grade 1 hamstring strain in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Portland Trail Blazers. If Tony isn't 100% because of his injuries it will be tough for the Spurs to win the series.
My Finals Prediction
Despite the advantages I listed above I believe the Spurs will win the series in 5 games and Tim Duncan will take home his fourth Finals MVP. As I outlined in Part 1, the Spurs just have too many advantages tipping the scale in their favor. If Tim does win his 4th Finals MVP he will be one of two players to have won at least 4 of them. The other is some guy you might have heard of named Michael Jordan who has 6 of them. Tim would also become only the second player in NBA history to have won a title in three separate decades and the first to win a Finals MVP in three different decade.