Jun 5, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reacts during practice for game one of the 2013 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The time we have all waited for is finally here. The 2013 NBA Finals kick off tonight in Miami. The San Antonio Spurs make their ffith appearance in these Finals as Miami, their third straight.
This year’s NBA Finals features the two best teams in the league — Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs — and two franchises who have been in this position before. The Spurs know their window is closing, while the Heat are trying to become the first back-to-back champion since the Los Angeles Lakers did it in 2009 and 2010.
There are so many story-lines. The Spurs have won 4 championships since 1999 and are in the Finals for the first time since 2007 where they defeated—you guessed it—-LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The San Antonio Spurs know they will be facing a different LeBron James than they saw back in 2007. LeBron was quoted in saying that he is 20, 30, 40, 50 times better then he was in those finals. Surely revenge is on his mind and the San Antonio Spurs keys to victory will be very important if they want to win game one of these series.
Here are my keys to victory for tonight’s game one.
Shake Off The Rust. With the Spurs having their longest layoff of these post-season, 10 days, there certainly will be some sort of game rust that comes along with it. Don’t be surprised if San Antonio comes out looking lack-luster and trying once again to get that feel of game speed. I particularly see them getting rid of this rust early in the first half.
Control Emotions. This is the biggest stage of the NBA. Both of these teams have players that have been here before, the veterans of these teams. They will be able to control their emotions, but how will Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Patty Mills and Company do? Early on we have to keep a close eye on them. With emotions certainly going to be running high, this can make you do unusual things. Try to force a pass down in the block, force up shots that you are not used to taking. Then again, you can understand the way these younger players are going to react in this atmosphere.
Limit Turnovers. The excitement that will be in Miami can over take ones body and in fact make a player go 100 miles an hour. That , along with the time off the Spurs have can lead to some sloppy play. San Antonio needs to take care of the ball and as they have done on the road these playoffs, let the game come to them. This is their moment.