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." Former superstars such as Jordan, , 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
San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat
Where: AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA
When: March 14, 7 p.m. Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
By the Numbers
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.
The Heat clearly miss Haslem. Plus some of their washed-up vets and other bench players have underachieved.
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.
The Spurs chemistry may be unmatched in the NBA.
Mojito (little mojo): MoHeatos? Espuelitas.
Key(s) to the Game
Key 1 - Outscoring the other team. We are 54-0 when we do that.
Spurs Planet - Our
old middle-aged friend Wayne Vore is back.
Peninsula is Mightier (SB Nation)
WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.