2014 NBA Finals: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs. Preview and prediction.

The 2014 NBA Finals are set to begin on Thursday night in San Antonio at 9 p.m. E.T. on ABC.

So far in these playoffs the offensive statistics bear out that these are the two teams that have been on a collision course for a rematch after last year's classic series. The Heat rank 1st in both offensive efficiency and field goal percentage in the playoffs with San Antonio coming in at number 2 in both categories.

Miami has been shooting at a 49.7% clip and San Antonio 48.2% in the postseason.

Although they're the most efficient team Miami also has been the slowest paced team during these playoffs putting up 99.1 pts a game.

In contrast San Antonio is fourth in fast break pts and is averaging 106.1 pts. per.

It also should be noted that San Antonio had a much more difficult road in getting to the finals having had to go through the gauntlet of the west beating Dallas, Portland and the Oklahoma City Thunder to get here.

Miami had to best the young Charlotte Bobcats, the newly put together Brooklyn Nets and the shell of their early season selves Indiana Pacers.

This article will be a position by position match-up breakdown as well as a comparison of each team's bench and coaching allowing me to predict the winner of the 2014 NBA Finals.

The Spurs begin with a 1-0 defacto advantage as a result of having home court advantage.

Point Guard

There are many credible people on this planet including Charles Barkley who feel that Tony Parker is the best point guard in the game presently. Not only that, but this is his 13th year in the league, all under Popovich and within his system which includes three championships.

Although, he and the Spurs have not won the Larry O'Brien trophy since 2007.

Thus far, Mario Chalmers hasn't really been a factor in these playoffs averaging just seven points and four assists throughout. He has shot a very nice 39% from three, however.

Advantage: Spurs

Shooting Guard

Danny Green is basically a hired gun knock down marksmen who has been doing his job exceptionally well. Green has hit 48% of his treys in the postseason including 20-37 in the OKC series.

Miami's championship chances have in many ways hinged on the health of Dwyane Wade's knees and it appears Erik Spoelstra's strategy of greatly limiting his minutes for the regular season has paid great dividends in the playoffs.

Wade is averaging just under 19 points on 52 percent shooting. The X-Factor is he has also been knocking down the three ball recently hitting 6-13 against the Pacers.

Did I mention that Wade is one of the top four shooting guards to ever play the game? (Jordan, Kobe, West)

Advantage: Heat

Small Forward:

His numbers might not jump out at you but Kawhi Leonard is having a post-season much like Paul George did last year. He is on the verge of becoming a superstar and the eventual face of the Spurs franchise making spectacular and key plays on a nightly basis.

His defensive tenacity (NBA All-Defensive Second Team) will also test LeBron on the offensive end.

Speaking of LeBron, you don't earn the nickname "King James" without being a pretty special player. James resume speaks for itself.

Advantage: Heat

Power Forward:

Like James, Tim Duncan's body of work needs no introduction.

"Timmy" is the best power forward to ever lace them up. His numbers may be down ever so slightly but his pedigree and playoff experience are invaluable.

For Miami this position is a little deceiving because Spoelstra had been starting Heat franchise fixture Udonis Haslem but more recently started veteran Rashard Lewis in order to spread the floor against the Pacers.

Either way, it's really no contest.

Advantage: Spurs


The Spurs also made some lineup changes in the last few games of their conference finals.

Pop started Matt Bonner as opposed to Tiago Splitter at the center position to somewhat negate the Thunder's Serge Ibaka's effectiveness as a rim protector.

Chris Bosh is basically a small forward in offensive style who is playing the center position defensively.

Although, he was very effective last series in pushing Roy Hibbert off the block. Something very hard for me to comprehend considering Hibbert is 7' 2", 290 lbs and Bosh is at least 3 inches shorter and fifty pounds lighter.

Bosh also is a nine time All-Star who is averaging 15 points on 41 percent shooting from three at a rate of just over four a game in the playoffs.

Advantage: Heat


To the dismay of many of the Celtic faithful Ray Allen has at times been playing superbly in the post-season and Norris Cole knows nothing but championships.

Rashard Lewis had a breakout Game 5 against the Pacers, Shane Battier has proven in the past he can hit big shots and Chris Andersen provides a rebounding and energy boost whenever he enters the game.

On the flip side, the Spurs bring Manu Ginobili who throughout his career has been extremely clutch come playoff time, Patty Mills who has been erratic but has shown flashes and either Tiago Splitter or Matt Bonner depending on who Coach Popovich decides to go with on a given night.

The real secret weapon coming off the bench for the Spurs, however, is Boris Diaw. Diaw allows the Spurs to match up with the Heat whether they decide to go big or small and offensively his versatility and penchant to make smart plays could very well be the difference in the series.

Advantage: Spurs


Gregg Popovich is simply the best coach in the game as evidenced by leading his team back to the finals after that devastatingly close finals series loss to the Heat in 2013.

He is both a player's coach and disciplinarian who is willing to call out his players when needed. He is also an excellent game planner who makes smart in game as well as in between game adjustments.

Not to mention, some of his players have been with him so long they know Pop's system probably better than they know their own children.

Erik Spoelstra has compiled an incredible resume at a very young age.

He is also mentored by another all-time coaching great in Pat Riley.

Still, he's not Pop.

Advantage: Spurs

Final Score

Spurs win decisively by a score of 5-3

My prediction:

Objectively, I believe the Spurs bench is such an advantage that I'd like to pick San Antonio in five.

Unfortunately, I've seen both D-Wade and LeBron defy the naysayers too many times to do this.

I think the Spurs win, but not after a dogfight and not until Friday June 20th in San Antonio.

San Antonio Spurs in 7

For all of your real time Finals updates and analysis follow Clint on Twitter @ClintCorey