I am really at a loss to predict what will happen in this series. It is a series that the Spurs could win in a sweep or that the Heat could win in 5.
Here are the pro-Spurs points:
-- Wade is playing terribly and looks crippled. He looks like he can only play one good game out of 4
-- Bosh has become Mark Blount
-- the rest of the Heat do not appear to have any idea of what they can do to help the team
-- Pop is a better coach than Spoelstra
-- The Spurs, like the 2011 Mavs, are playing so remarkably well right now that no one can beat them
-- the Spurs have distinct advantages at center and point guard - their best players are Miami's worst matchup problems.
-- The Spurs generally score over 100. If they score over 100 against Miami, it will be really hard for Miami to get to 100+.
Here are the pro-Heat points:
-- They are the defending champions; they did not play well in the playoff lead-up LAST year (Celtics in 7; Pacers in 6) and yet when they reached the Finals all of the pressure was off and they pasted OKC
-- Can the following guys really play any WORSE: Wade, Bosh, Ray Allen, Shane Battier? I mean, if even 2 of these 4 can play AVERAGE ball the Heat are way, way better than they have been. Imagine if, for example, Battier and Allen start going 4 of 5 from 3....
-- James, Wade and Bosh all have much more favorable matchups in this series than they had against the Pacers. James gets away from Paul George - the #1 perimeter defender in the league not named LeBron. Wade goes from Lance Stephenson to Danny Green. Bosh goes from David West to Tiago Splitter. Every single one of Miami's big 3 enjoys a better matchup than they had last round, both offensively and defensively.
-- The Bulls and Pacers are extremely rugged defensive clubs who play with a very physical and ugly mindset. The Spurs, while also very good defensively, play at a high pace of play and they will let you score points. After facing 12 games of clutch and grab, illegal-defense basketball, the Heat will actually be able to play in a game where your opponent doesn't hold you for 24 seconds on one end and then hold the ball for 24 seconds on the other end.
-- The Heat have LeBron. If LeBron can put together 4 LeBron level games (around 30-8-10 ala last year), even if it is over 7 games, the Heat should win.
Putting that all in the blender and pushing "liquify", we end up at this prediction:
Heat splits a couple at home, take 2 of 3 in San Antonio and then finishes it out in Game 6. I also predict that the Spurs will suffer a key injury or suspension at some point during the series. I also predict that Tim Duncan's numbers in the series will not be as good as Roy Hibbert's were in the Indiana series (Hibbert was 22 and 10).