2005 NBA Finals Predictions ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
| Breaking Down the NBA Finals
by James Kruger of VegasSports Authority
The Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs are very evenlymatched. They are very close in many statistical categories. Wehad San Antonio #1 and Detroit #4 in our final regular seasonpower rankings.
Why San Antonio will win:
2. San Antonio is well rested. They must be “chomping atthe bit” to play. Detroit is coming off of a very emotionalcome-from-behind victory over Miami to “beat the odds”and make it to the Finals. Detroit has been very inconsistent,seemingly playing hard with good focus only when needed. How focusedwill they be in this first game.
3. San Antonio has more offensive weapons than Detroit. BruceBowen will be on Rip Hamilton, the Piston’s leading scorer.In the two match-ups this year, Hamilton was a combined 8 for26, 30.7%, with an average 9.5 points. This puts a lot of pressureto score on Billups & Prince.
4. San Antonio is the better team. They beat three very good teamsthis year in the Playoffs. The Pistons downed an injured Heatteam, an over-achieving Pacers, and Allen Iverson and the otherfour guys that play with him. The Spurs downed the surging Nuggets,the Sonics who had the sixth best record this year, and the teamwith the best record, Phoenix.
5. Tony Parker’s quickness will get the best of ChaunceyBillups. Detroit has shown a weakness against dribble penetration.Parker is one of the best in the game and he has four Spurs hittingover 40% in the Playoffs from 3-point range he can kick it outto.
6. The Pistons will lose their cool in a game and self-implodethrough arguing with officials, histrionics, and throwing of headbands.
7. The Spurs have a better bench. This year the Spurs added three-pointspecialist Brent Barry, have an underrated Beno Udrih, a crafty,playoff-hardened Robert Horry who has a history of hitting bigshots, a decent back-up to Nazr in Rasho Nesterovic, and the forgottenveteran Glenn Robinson who hasn’t played in the last fivegames due to the death of his mother. Robinson still has the abilityto be instant-offense as he was in Game 1 against Seattle whenhe dropped in 16 in 14 minutes. Popovich will probably start Barryand get the added spark of Manu off the pine.
8. San Antonio is multi-dimensional offensively, Detroit is aone-dimensional team. The Spurs whipped a physical Denver team, beat the small ball Sonics insix, and ran with the best running team in the league, the Suns.Detroit has experienced 12 point quarters.
Why Detroit will win:
2. Rasheed Wallace will play with passion and Duncan will havedifficulty guarding him from the perimeter.
3. Having to survive two straight potential elimination gameshas kept Detroit very focused and they will “steal”a game in San Antonio and take home court advantage.
4. The “lucky injury” happens again and Duncan orGinobli go down.
5. The Spurs are more athletic. The Pistons will have to playtough and bang inside to frustrate Duncan and keep penetrationto a minimum. The Pistons have a number of bodies they can throwat Duncan. If he struggles and Detroit can play him one-on-one,that will allow the Pistons to stay on the Spurs outside shooters.
PREDICTION: San Antonioin six.
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