El Jefe

Spurs Look Better Than Miami Heat on Paper

Not to get ahead of ourselves, but after last night's Heat thrashing of the Indiana Pacers, 102-90, we are looking ahead to the San Antonio Spurs (again) in the NBA Finals.

Warning: The Spurs are really, really good. They top the Heat in most statistical categories, including NBA Finals appearances. The Spurs have been there five times, the Heat four. This past year, the Texans (if you can call 'em that) also outscored, outrebounded, and shot better from behind the three-point line than the Heat.

The Heat did shoot slightly better, 50.1 percent to 48.6, and had more steals, but quickness and accuracy are only part of the equation.

Look into these numbers. The two teams split their series this year, with the Spurs beating the Heat by 24 points and the Heat then edging the Spurs by 12. San Antonio scores more than 105 points per game and pulls down 43 rebounds. The Heat is appreciably lower in these key categories at only 102 and 37 respectively.

And then we all remember last year -- a 95-88 victory in the seventh game, but really, it was a lot closer than that..

And remember who gets home-court advantage this year.

Of course, the Spurs-Thunder series is now only at 2 and 1 -- and Oklahoma City is looking much hotter than before, with the return of center Serge Ibaka for tonight's 9 o'clock game on TNT. Anything could happen there. (And we gotta be cheering for the Thunder, because Ibaka is just NOT going to feel very good after being forced to play despite an injury and ten days of inactivity before Sunday's game.)

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse