With the NBA championship series even at one game apiece and the next three games headed for San Antonio and the final two games back to Miami, which team has the advantage to win the title?
These two teams are as different as night and day as far as the players, coaches, ownership, philosophies and systems go.
The Miami Heat bought last year’s title with the addition of free agents Chris Bosh and LeBron James.
The San Antonio Spurs still have two of their original players, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, from their first title team and Tony Parker from their last title team. The Spurs have a system of developing and keeping players.
The Heat are more athletic and younger. Their top three players are all under 30. They rely on individual athletic skills. They are flash and dash.
The Spurs are less athletic and older. Duncan is 38, Ginobili is 35 and Parker is 30. They rely on team play. They are ready and steady.
The Heat have a young coach and the Spurs have an old-timer.
The Heat rely on their athletic skills as they try to blend again for the championship, while the Heat rely on their team experience of playing together for years.
The Heat try to play the game more from the shoulders down, while the Spurs try to play from the shoulders up.
The Heat have some players playing out of position, as 6-foot-11 Chris Bosh hangs around the 3-point line, thus virtually eliminating any inside game. He has become a jump shooter instead of a back-to-the basket player. Many times they do not have a point guard on the floor, thus forcing Wade and James to play the point.
The Spurs do not have any players playing out of position.
The Heat are more emotional and exhibit a lot of body language while the Spurs are more conservative and the players on the floor are less demonstrative.
The Spurs have a little better balanced scoring than the Heat.
The Spurs have a better inside game. The Heat have a better running game.
The Spurs have a little deeper bench.
The Spurs usually have better shot selection. The Heat crash the offensive boards better than the Spurs.
The 3-point shooting is about even.
The Heat have better dribble penetrators in Wade and James, compared to Parker and Ginobili.
The Spurs have a more experienced coaching staff and in a seven-game series one of the biggest keys to winning is which coach makes the better offensive and defensive adjustments.
The Heat had the best record in the league and a 27-game winning streak. The Spurs had the third best record in the league and the best in the Western Conference.
The Spurs have had injuries at the wrong time in the playoffs since their last championship in 2007 and now they appear to be healthy.
Two teams from completely two different basketball worlds.
Who will win it all?
The most athletic team?
The team that purchased a championship?
Will it be the team that is hungriest? That could be the older Spurs as they see time running out for their big three.
The winner should be the team that can control the tempo of the game and play at their speed. .
Can the Spurs make it a half-court game and take away the Heat’s athleticism?
Can the Heat make it an 84-foot game and speed up the Spurs on both ends of the court?
It is now down to a five-game series. The Spurs did what they wanted to to and that was to get one win on the road.
The Heat responded well from a very tough loss in the opener and handled the Spurs from the middle of the third period and the entire fourth period for a very big margin win.
However, this is not a half-court game of 1-on-1 or 3-on-3 which the Heat would probably win. It is a game of 5-on-5 full-court and depth will be a factor.
You readers decide, Heat or Spurs?