1. Will LeBron avenge his 2007 Finals loss to the Spurs?
If LeBron can carry the Heat to the title this year, we can comfortably say that he is in the discussion with Magic and Larry as one of the best player ever. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have been less helpful than Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao in this year’s playoffs.
Wade isn’t even close to a shadow of himself, and Bosh’s game has slowly regressed ever since joining Miami. LeBron isn’t completely on his own, but if the Heat win the title, it will be because of LeBron. This is now the third straight year LeBron has reached the finals, and fourth time in his career, and there’s little reason to believe he won’t put up similar numbers to last year. He’s the best player in the world, and he’s a different player from 2007 when the Spurs embarrassed him. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if LeBron outdid his Finals performance from last year, and had a historically good finish to the season.
2. Do the Spurs have the second, third, and fourth best players in this series?
If Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili are the all better than Wade and Bosh, then the Spurs will win this series. LeBron is easily the best player, but he’s going to need help. The Spurs have far better role players, and if their top three guys outplay the Heat’s big three, it’ll be another title for the Spurs. Dwyane Wade has fallen off harder than most NFL running backs do, and Chris Bosh has slowly played a smaller role for the Heat ever since he signed a few years ago. The evolution of Bosh’s career has sad. He went from being a franchise guy, putting up 25 and 10 to a guy putting up 17 and 7 now. Bosh went from one of the best players in the league, to the third best player on his own team, to a sixth man, to a corner three-point shooting stretch power forward. By the start of next year, he should have a role similar to Juwan Howard for the Heat.
3. Is Chris Andersen the Heat’s second best player right now?
Maybe we’re stretching here, but Andersen was the Heat’s most important big man in the Indiana series. Andersen and Haslem were the most effective players down low for the Heat, and Andersen has averaged over 7 points per game, SHOOTING 82% FROM THE FIELD. Andersen will be key in containing Tim Duncan in this series. He’s easily the Heat’s most effective defensive big man. Well, after watching Game 2, maybe it’s LeBron. Yeah, let’s go with him.
4. Will Tim Duncan solidify himself as the best power forward of his generation?
If Duncan claims his fifth ring this season, even being led by Tony Parker, he may even be the best player of his generation. Kobe is often given the title of the best player in the post-Jordan era, but if you were choosing one player in the past 15 years to build a team around, give me one good reason why you’d pick Kobe or Shaq over Duncan. In ten years, maybe LeBron will be that guy, but currently, it has to be Duncan. Not only is Duncan an automatic 20 and 10 guy every single night, but also he’s the perfect teammate. When was the last time any scandal surrounding Duncan happened? When was the last time he was arrested? Fined for anything? Said something bad about a teammate? I’ll take Duncan over the rest.