After three thrilling rounds of postseason action, the NBA Playoffs are headed for an epic conclusion in the championship round. The Miami Heat’s resounding victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals set the stage for a matchup against the San Antonio Spurs in what will be an NBA Finals showdown of two of the most successful franchises since the turn of the century. Since 1999, San Antonio and Miami have combined to appear in eight of 14 NBA Finals, with the Spurs winning four and the Heat taking home two.
Even with all of the appearances in the series, 2013 marks the first time that the teams will meet each other with the Larry O’Brien Trophy on the line. During the regular season, the Heat and Spurs played twice—both of which Miami won—but this will be the first time they will meet at full strength—Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green missed the first game, while sitting out the second matchup were Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, and league MVP, LeBron James. James is plenty familiar with the Spurs, however—his Cleveland Cavaliers team was swept by the Spurs in the 2007 Finals.
But the 2007 Cavs did not have the same ability as the current defending-champion Miami Heat, a flashy collection of superstars who at one point ran off 27 straight regular-season wins behind the dominant play of the “Big Three:” James, Wade, and Chris Bosh. Their opponents in the Finals—who clinched their bid by sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies—offer a contrasting style, preferring to fly under the radar while thriving in a fundamentally sound, team-oriented system.
If you would like to experience this historic series live, head to the Vivid Seats marketplace and purchase 2013 NBA Finals tickets to see if the Spurs can add another chapter to the Duncan dynasty, or if King James and the Heat will reign as champions for the second consecutive year. For a better idea of what’s to come, check out our NBA Finals preview below.
2013 NBA Finals Schedule
American Airlines Arena in Miami, Fla. – (Game 1: June 6; Game 2: June 9; Game 6: June 18; Game 7: June 20)
AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas – (Game 3: June 11; Game 4: June 13; Game 5: June 16)
Spurs: (58-24) | Heat: (66-16)
Journey to the Finals
Heat: Milwaukee Bucks, 4-0 | Chicago Bulls, 4-1 | Indiana Pacers, 4-3
Spurs: Los Angeles Lakers, 4-0 | Golden State Warriors, 4-2 | Memphis Grizzlies, 4-0
Postseason Leaders (Per Game)
Points: Spurs — Parker (23) | Heat — James (26.2)
Assists: Spurs — Parker (7.2) | Heat — James (6.4)
Rebounds: Spurs — Duncan (9.2) | Heat — James (7.3)
Spurs — Parker, Duncan, Ginobili | Heat — James, Wade, Bosh
Total All-Star Appearances: Spurs — 21 | Heat — 26
Total MVPS: Spurs — 2 (Duncan) | Heat — 4 (James)
Titles Won Together: Spurs — 3 (2003, 2005, 2007) | Heat — 1 (2012)
Average Age: Spurs — 34.3 | Heat — 29.3
Spurs — Kawhi Leonard
In only his second year in the league, Leonard will get his first taste of NBA Finals action. After struggling during the postseason last year, he has risen to the occasion during the 2013 playoffs, increasing his scoring average to 13 while reaching double-digit point totals in all but two of the team’s postseason games.
Heat — Ray Allen
No stranger to the Finals, the 37-year-old Allen appeared in two championships with his own “Big Three” of the Boston Celtics in 2008 and 2010. This sharpshooter has had great individual success in his championship experience, including hitting an NBA Finals record eight three pointers in Game 2 of the 2010 series.