The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 2, 2014

Breaking down the NBA Finals re-matchup between Heat, Spurs

NORMAN — A position-by-position look at the matchups in the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat:

Center: Tim Duncan vs. Chris Bosh. Bosh started the play that saved Miami’s season last year in Game 6, grabbing an offensive rebound to set up Ray Allen’s tying 3-pointer. He then went scoreless in Game 7, but showed he could hurt the Spurs offensively with a pair of 24-point outings this season.

Duncan, who had 23 on 9-of-13 shooting in both games, gets another crack at a fifth ring after a pair of misses from close range in the final minute helped doom the Spurs in Game 7 last year. Edge: Spurs.

Power forward: Tiago Splitter/Matt Bonner/Boris Diaw vs. Rashard Lewis. Splitter had to go to the bench when the Spurs went small in the conference finals and Lewis got to start when the Heat did the same in their series, so it’s unclear what the teams will do now.

Diaw, who had 26 points in the finale of the Western Conference finals and averaged 15.5 against the Heat this season, might be the best option. Lewis hit nine 3-pointers over the final two games of the East finals, so the Heat may want to stick with the hot hand. Edge: Spurs.

Small forward: LeBron James vs. Kawhi Leonard. Leonard goes from Kevin Durant in the West finals to James, the MVP of the last two NBA Finals. He had 37 points and 12 rebounds last year in Game 7, while Leonard was perhaps the Spurs’ best player that night with 19 points and 16 boards. He helped force James into a 6-for-18 night in the Spurs’ March 6 victory, but James won’t be wearing the sleeved jerseys that he said affected him then. Edge: Heat.

Shooting guard: Danny Green vs. Dwyane Wade. Green was headed for an NBA Finals MVP award through five games last year, when he set the finals record with 25 3-pointers, but he was only 2 for 11 behind the arc over the final two.

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