ESPN NBA Analysts Preview NBA Finals Game 7


ESPN NBA Analysts Preview NBA Finals Game 7

ABC will present NBA Finals Game 7 – San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat –  on Thursday, June 20, at 9 p.m. ET. The game will also be available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3 and WatchESPN. The telecast will be preceded by Kia NBA Countdown at 8:30 p.m. on ABC and ESPN3.

ESPN NBA analysts offered their insights on Game 7:

Jeff Van Gundy (The Finals on ABC analyst)

Viewers should watch the first quarter for the San Antonio Spurs. Will they have a hangover from the Game Six loss or will they be mentally over it and ready for the tip? Also, the Spurs will have to figure out how to get Tony Parker going with LeBron James guarding him.

Hubie Brown (NBA Finals on ESPN Radio analyst)

San Antonio’s perimeter players – Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Tony Parker – scored 74 points and shot 60 percent in Game 5. In Game 6, they were 9-35 shooting and scored 31 points and shot 26 percent. That has to improve in order for them to win on the road.

Miami finally shot a decent 47 percent; made 11 three’s and got to the foul line. The “big three” led in rebounding, steals and blocks. That’s key because that triggered the comeback – it triggered the explosion. And, once again, Ray Allen has been magnificent off the bench in their wins.

P.J. Carlesimo:

I’m looking forward to a Game 7 worthy of this series. No controversial calls or key injuries – a game decided by the players. The Spurs must take care of the ball. The Heat need steals and blocked shots. Ginobili and Green versus Bosh and Chalmers will decide the outcome.

Bruce Bowen:

Role players must be consistent in a good way. If you have a shot, you have to make that shot in order to keep the defense honest. You need to allow the superstars to be superstars. The role players must do the little things – whatever your role is, you have to do it to a tee tomorrow. You have to be perfect this game to give your team an opportunity to win.

Ray Allen has to be able to knock down shots, early on. They were fortunate enough to get a victory and Ray didn’t play so well so that will be motivation for him to play better. Mario Chalmers had a good game but he has to do a better job as far as getting his teammates involved and not turning the ball over as a point guard. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have to do those special things they do.

Danny Green has had a good series up until last night. He needs to find a way to utilize them taking him off the three point line to make himself an asset. Gary Neal needs to make shots. If he’s not making shots, he’s not giving you too much. That’s what they need from him.  On both teams, the big three have to be special tomorrow. No if ands or butts about it.

Kurt Rambis:

For the Spurs, they’ve got to get out in transition. They have to create some easy scoring opportunities before Miami sets their defense. They also have to put Tony Parker in situations where he can be highly productive to break down Miami’s defense. He has to be productive and engage multiple defenders so that he can open up his teammates. And then they have to figure out how to stop LeBron.

For Miami, they have to continue to do a great job defending Tony Parker. You have to believe the Spurs are going to make an adjustment. LeBron must continue to be the catalyst offensively and continue to do a good job guarding Parker. Their defense – which is really who they are – has to be great.

Antonio Davis:

I think for the Spurs, they need Manu and Tony to find a way to be consistent for 48 minutes or they have to work off of each other. In Game 5, Manu had a great first half, which allowed Tony to rest the hamstring a little bit and have an effective second half. In Game 6, neither of them were really efficient. Manu and Tony have to find a way to be consistent for 48 minutes. Tim Duncan has to have a repeat performance. And then, the supporting cast have to find a way to be solid.

For Miami, I would say LeBron James is going to have to force the issue early. Mario, Ray and Mike have to shoot the ball well to create space for LeBron to operate. Chris Bosh has to have double-digit rebounding and Dwyane Wade has to bring all the intangibles — the steals, blocks and a few rebounds. If that happens, they’ll have a good game. I predict Heat by four.


Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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