(Photo: Reuters/Joe Skipper)
Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the NBA Finals takes place on Thursday night with the Heat looking to take an early lead in the series in front of their fanatical Miami support. The game is scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m. ET.
The Spurs have had plenty of time to rest and prepare for tonight's game. They have not been strained too much throughout the Playoffs and they were clearly the best team in the Western Conference this year.
San Antonio swept aside all comers, taking down the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, and sweeping aside the Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals in just four games.
Only the Golden State Warriors have put up any type of resistance, and they forced a Game 6 in the second round before the Spurs managed to come out on top.
The Heat meanwhile have been pushed all the way to get here. The Indiana Pacers took the Eastern Conference Finals to a Game 7, and there was barely anything to separate the teams throughout a toughly fought series.
Arguably LeBron James was the difference in the sides as the Heat managed to edge things. But the Pacers will be kicking themselves for not winning Game 1 when they were ahead with just 2 seconds to go in overtime. Again it was LeBron James who managed to score a game winning lay up as the buzzer went to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
James has had to carry the Heat probably too much throughout the Playoffs, and Miami will be desperate to give their star man more support from the rest of the team.
James has averaged 26.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.4 assists through the Playoffs. Meanwhile, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have been surprisingly quiet, and they will perhaps need to step up more in this series if they are to take down the very capable Spurs team.
Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs will tip off at 9 p.m. ET.