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NBA Finals Game One: Heat at Spurs

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The Finals get underway tonight, giving us the opportunity to watch some great basketball. And forget about our troubles for a while.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Heat at Spurs
8:00 pm Central
ABC

Well, one good thing about today's news is that it gives me an excuse not to write a bunch of words about the NBA Finals, when plenty of other people already have. Instead, I'll point you at some links if you want to read some good previews.

First, the SBN preview. Great stuff from Prada and Ziller, among others, on matchups, keys to the series, how these teams try to run offense and defense. In depth. Good read.

Zach Lowe has an excellent preview on Grantland that discusses the variations on small ball that both teams will likely try to use.

Finally, Steve McPherson wrote a preview for Rolling Stone.

What ties these pieces together is excellent basketball writing and a common belief that this will, once again, be an epic and very close series between the two best teams in the league.

I can't wait.

Expected lineups

Heat

Mario Chalmers
Dwyane Wade
LeBron James
Rashard Lewis
Chris Bosh

Spurs

Tony Parker
Danny Green
Kawhi Leonard
Matt Bonner (?)
Tim Duncan

It's possible the Spurs will try again to start big, as they did all season, with Tiago Splitter next to Duncan. They abandoned that in the OKC series because Serge Ibaka was dominating in the paint and they needed someone who could drag him away. The situation is different with Miami, who will likely start small with Lewis at the four. The Spurs might try to match that (sort of) with Bonner, or try to take advantage of Splitter's size in the post. The problem is they tried that last year, and it didn't work. The Heat had no respect for Splitter, and he couldn't make them pay.

Anyway. Enjoy the game. Chat here.