NBA Finals 2007: Cavs vs. Spurs

LBJTimmy D

Place your bets. Favored to win in this series are the Spurs. The Cavs present an outside chance if King James can once again will his team to victory.

Let’s see how both teams matchup against one another.

MATCHING UP

Category

Advantage

Remarks

Experience

SPURS (hands down choice)

Four trips to the NBA Finals (Horry – 7th trip, Duncan – 3rd, Bowen – 3rd, etc.). Last year’s team, which was a win away from going to the Finals, is virtually intact. Lebron is making his first NBA Finals appearance. Interestingly, only Eric Snow has a Finals experience. He made 2 trips — one with the Sonics (though he didn’t play much) and one with the Sixers.

Defense

SPURS

Though both are excellent defensive teams, the Spurs have a better Team Defense and better individual defenders in Tim Duncan, Bruce Bowen, Manu Ginobili (an underrated defender), and Robert Horry (intelligent help defender).

Offense

SPURS

You have three (3) certified scorers here: TD, Manu, and TP. Bowen can drain the open 3-pointer any time. Finley and Barry can explode any time.

Backcourt

SPURS

Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will provide major problems to the Cav’s bigger, but slower backcourt. Though a good defender, Snow’s slow gait makes him good for guarding an equally lumbering guard. Hughes is hobbled by an injury. Jones may keep pace, but not too solid with the finishing D. Gibson will keep pace, but playmaking for Cavs may suffer a bit.

Frontcourt

SPURS

Do I need to expound on TD’s impact? Horry, Bowen, and Oberto are rugged stoppers to compensate for their lack of firepower. All three deliver on clutch plays (Big Shot Bob, most notably). Z will have his hands full with TD, hence, offense may suffer. Gooden can have those nights, but the Cavs need him to be consistent throughout the series. Varejao is a key piece to the Cavs success. His energy and hussle can most definitely tip the balance in favor of the Cavaliers, especially when the game is going down the wire.

Individual Talent

CAVALIERS

Just because of Lebron… I haven’t mentioned LBJ just yet, because I reserved him for the last area. Yes, he’s that good to deserve the special mention as he has stamped his claim to glory, this early, in the annals of basketball. Don’t get me wrong. The Spurs have a whole lot more of talent in their roster, and have effectively meshed such talents into one, cohesive whole. But LBJ’s skill, his strong physical and mental will, is so overpowering that he has brought the Cavs to its first NBA Finals series without the aid of star sidekick! MJ did it with Pip, O’Neal with Kobe. Wade with O’Neal.

It’s going to be an interesting series. With the way I tallied the matchup scores in favor San Antonio, it’s quite obvious which team I’ll pick to win it all. Again, Cleveland, by way of King James, can make this a close enough war. But I will have to place a bet on the Spurs winning it 4 games to 1.

*Images courtesy of www.bballcentral.com

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