For the last two seasons, the Spurs and Heat facing off against one another in the NBA Finals has entertained NBA fans and bettors alike. Even though we have had several rematches, never has the NBA seen three straight finals with the same two teams. Could it happen this season?
Heat and Spurs meet in 2015 NBA Finals (+650)
Even though there have been seven instances in NBA history where the NBA Finals featured a rematch from the season before, there has never been a Finals matchup where the same two teams faced off against one another three times in a row. There is a lot we don’t yet know about the upcoming NBA season, such as what kind of team Miami will put forth, however in about a week, we will get a much better idea on whether or not these Ladbrokes NBA Odds have any sort of value.
The Spurs are going to look pretty similar to last season. We already know that Tim Duncan opted into his contract for another season. Other than their big three, the Spurs are dealing with the free agency of both Boris Diaw and Patty Mills. Both were instrumental in bringing a fifth championship to the city of San Antonio, and I expect RC Buford would really like to retain both of them.
The Spurs do have about $10 million in cap space to work with this offseason, which should be enough to re-sign both Mills and Diaw. However if one of them were to take a richer deal elsewhere, I don’t think it would seriously challenge San Antonio’s ability to repeat. In the end, I think both of them will re-sign with the Spurs.
The Heat’s offseason is a little more convoluted. Considering as of July 1st, the only player they have under contract is Norris Cole, the Heat have some work to do. However depending on the size of the egos in Miami, (my guess is they are still pretty high even after losing in the Finals) the Heat might be able to come back stronger and better than ever.
The keys to this whole plan set forth by Pat Riley seems to be reliant on Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade taking giant pay cuts. Those two along with Lebron James were set to make over $20 million a piece next season, and in Wade’s situation, he may only be making a fraction of that if and when he returns to the Heat. For Riley to pull off an evil genius plan like he did in 2010, Wade and Bosh will have to make significant financial sacrifices to stay in Miami.
While I expect Wade might play for the veteran minimum to stay in Miami, (Ok, maybe not, but what he ends up getting may not be much higher than a few million per season) Bosh is the one to watch in all of this. He could screw it all up in more than one way, and if other teams offer him a big deal, he might want to take his two championships and run. Bosh is already being courted by the Lakers who have plenty of money to spend, and if he can double his money elsewhere and still have a title window open, I think he may jump ship.
This could do one of two things, it would either severely cripple Miami’s chances of getting back to the title game to face the Spurs, or it might be exactly what Riley and the Heat wanted all along. If Bosh were to leave, and Wade were to sign a minimal deal, the Heat would have all the cap space they wanted.
They could bring in Carmelo if he doesn’t go back to New York, they could make a push for Luol Deng, or they could try and replace Bosh with a cheaper and just as effective Pau Gasol. If Bosh wants to take a max deal (likely the last chance he will ever have at one) it could send the NBA spiraling right back to where we were in 2010, where the Heat looked unstoppable.
The Sharp Pick
Obviously we can’t really make this betting pick today with so much unknown, however at +650, I would not be opposed to anyone making this wager once we know a little more about the Heat. The Spurs will still have just as much competition, however they should still be one of the top three teams out West at the very least. All in all, it’s a long shot because it’s never happened before, but the Heat and Spurs should both be NBA Odds favorites to get back to the NBA Finals in 2015.