The San Antonio Spurs continue to wait patiently for things to be settled in the Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and Pacers and fans and media are asking which team would the Spurs rather face.
Both teams present issues for the Spurs in the Finals and Boris Diaw weighed in.
In an interview with French site BasketSession.com, Diaw, who is making his first appearance in an NBA Finals, initially picked Miami but changed his mind and noted the Pacers present their issues as well in a seven-game series.
"At first, I rather see Miami advance, but Indiana fails too Heat. Both teams are very strong, they are also two good defensive teams. Miami is more oriented to the outside while the Pacers rely on their inside game with Roy Hibbert. Moreover, the Heat players are struggling to stop … If you play against Indiana in the Finals, it will be a bit like the series against Memphis but they have Paul George in addition to their outside game, which is very strong. Whatever team we face, there will be adjustments to make. "
Recently, Project Spurs' Finals contributor Phil asked whether the Pacers or Heat would be a favorable match up and felt Indiana would be the better matchup.
The safe pick for the Spurs is to hope the Pacers edge the Heat out and make the Finals. Indiana very much resembles the Memphis team San Antonio just beat. The Pacers, like the Grizzlies, are a “star-less” team who rely heavily on balanced scoring and defense to win games. They are a big team with two strong post players.
The key difference is that Paul George is a budding star who fits in well with his teammates. Rudy Gay he is not, but he is the kind of player who can take over games in the way the Grizzlies were missing. Considering two of the four games went to overtime, maybe that does not bode so well for the Spurs if they draw the Pacers.
I tend to disagree with Phil here and feel Miami would be the favorable matchup. Hibbert, George and Lance Stephenson present their issues and this Pacers team plays a more physical brand of basketball. Also, George Hill played with San Antonio and could present issues on the court and in scouting sessions when it comes to sizing up the Spurs. In addition, they got a great veteran role player in David West who has faced the Spurs in the postseason while with the then New Orleans Hornets. Not to mention, they have solid defensive guards (such as Hill) who can make life miserable for Tony Parker.
Miami does have James (which is a huge edge to the Heat) but Dwayne Wade is limping, and Chris Bosh isn't a huge physical presence in the paint, unlike Hibbert, and tends to play a more outside game. Other than that, players such as Shane Battier has been struggling from the outside, Ray Allen isn't the same Ray Allen with Boston or Milwaukee, and the Spurs have a huge advantage with Parker on the perimeter.
As for Diaw making it to his first NBA Finals, he is simply happy and eager to get things going.
"This is huge for me to finally get to the finals, I've never touched got close with Phoenix. I made three Conference Finals, but it is true that, I'm really happy to be there. We are all eager to start. "
Where do you stand on the debate Spurs fans? Which team gives San Antonio a favorable matchup in the Finals — the Heat or Pacers?