Column: RICK SOLEM
They’re old. They’re slow. They’re boring.
They’re the San Antonio Spurs.
Can they keep up with the Miami Heat in these NBA Finals?
Thing is, they’re not that slow and age isn’t really a factor when you’re healthy and the Spurs, headed by 37-year-old Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli (35) and Tony Parker (31) are healthy, and rested.
So, who’s going to win?
Simply put, the Heat. Why? Because LeBron James will be better than Tony Parker, the two X-factors in the series.
When you boil it down, nobody can contain James and the rest of the pieces from each team cancel each other out.
Dwayne Wade and Ginboli are very similar. Bosh and Duncan, too (sorry Duncan).
No point guard on the Heat can match what Parker does offensively, but they don’t have to. And they can run a few guys at him and try and contain him a bit on defense.
Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green will be assigned to James. I put my money on James getting his vs. those two over Parker dominating Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole.
And when it comes to a players’ ability to “go off” James and Wade are more apt to do so than Ginobli or Duncan.
Duncan will, of course, get his 20-10. But he’ll never go off for 35-20. James could go for 40-15-10 and Wade could get 35 points. I don’t see Ginobli doing that against Miami’s defense. Parker, maybe, but he’s only one man.
I predict the Heat in five games. The only way that changes is Parker outplays James.
I also predict Chris Bosh gets less than his playoff average for rebounds tonight … and that average is 6.6 rebounds.
It is worth nothing that the Spurs nearly had the Heat beat on Nov. 29 without Parker, Duncan, Ginobli, Green or Leonard – who all sat out that night which caused a big stir in the NBA. The Heat did pull it out in the final minutes, 105-100.
(This was written before Game 1, but forgot to post it - but I will stand by my prediction ... unfortunately)