Put on your jiggying shoes because we’ve finally arrived at the Last Dance! The Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs will look to out-tango each other as they battle for the coveted diadem (although we’d also love to see Tiago Splitter and Joel Anthony duke it out in a robot dance-off).
To the utter dejection of a gazillion "haters," the Heat returned to the Finals after saving their scrotums from getting clipped by the resurgent Indiana Pacers. The Spurs, on the other hand and as expected by no one, made easy disposal of the Memphis Grizzlies—which by the way feels like it happened three decades ago.
But those are all in the past now. The only thing that matters is we're in for a quality championship series. As the way it’s supposed to be—like cheese and wine or a dark-skinned Michael Jackson—two of the top teams from the East and West will vie for the shiny, shimmering, and splendid Larry O'Brien trophy.
So to help make your NBA Finals viewing a little easier, here's a cheat sheet of the 10 things you should watch for in the best-of-seven dance-a-thon. Hopefully, there won’t be any Justin Bieber cameos anymore.
1. That LeBron James guy is pretty good
Some of you may have noticed that LeBron’s numbers across the board have gone down a bit in the Playoffs. In fact, in his eight post-season appearances, this is his third worst showing in terms of statistics (what, ONLY 26.2 PPG?). But does that really matter? The answer is a gargantuan NO! Even if San Antonio puts its full roster on LBJ, he’ll still find a way to deliver.
He’s in the stage of his career where he can stranglehold an entire series by himself with his all-around talent and court intelligence. Expect him to play with a chip on his broad shoulder too as he looks to avenge his personal embarrassment of being swept by the Spurs in the 2007 Finals.
'Quit talking about my hairline and give me some support'
2. The Former Mr. Eva Longoria
Undoubtedly, LeBron has been the best player in this post-season. But can we all agree that Tony Parker is a close second? TP has been running rings around every Spurs opponent with his incursions to the lane, pinpoint dimes, and sweet mid-range game. His quick decisions off the pick-and-roll have been one of the more underrated facets of San Antonio’s success.
In contrast to LBJ, Parker is having his second-best Playoffs in terms of numbers (23.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 7.2 APG). You could even argue that this is actually his best showing ever, since the Spurs only lasted five games in 2009. Aren't you proud, Brent Barry?
3. That LeBron guy guarding Mr. Former Eva Longoria
With that said, don’t be surprised to see if LBJ shadows Parker on the defensive end. It’s no secret that LeBron can now defend almost every position on the floor thanks to his defensive evolution. Against Indiana, he guarded George Hill in spots and it’s not crazy to think that he’ll try to put the cuffs on TP as well.
Majority of the Heat are capable one-on-one defenders and they’re also able to play team D. That’s why head coach Erik Spoelstra can afford to put the four-time MVP on the former Finals MVP. It won’t be easy chasing Parker though as he is an active off-the-ball player, he runs around screens, sets picks, cuts to the lane, etc. This will be fascinating.
NEXT: Kawhi Leonard's coming-out-party, the return of Battier, and the bigs of this round