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Game 7 NBA Finals Preview: Who Wins the Championship?

by Photo of Scott Davis

Tonight concludes the 2012-13 NBA season. Who will be crowned the next champion?

Game 7 NBA Finals Preview: Who Wins the Championship?

The 2012-13 NBA season ends tonight. But before it concludes, we'll be served at least 48 final minutes of hectic, desperate, wholly satisfying basketball. The 2013 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs has been a different type of series, but nonetheless, compelling, intriguing, and undoubtedly fulfilling. The Finals haven't come down to a decisive Game 7 since 2009-10 when the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics. A seven-game Finals has only happened 17 times in the NBA's long history. This is pretty special.

And despite those other 17 Game 7s, few others contained these types of storylines. The Spurs are trying to complete their legacy by winning their fifth title in the Tim Duncan era, the fourth of the Big 3 era; the Heat are trying to defend their title and become back-to-back champions; LeBron James's continues his quest for NBA greatness. As we've discussed before, significant narratives have already been painted in this series, and Game 7's outcome could further harden those concepts.

But now who takes the conclusive Game 7? There are reasons to argue for either team. On one hand, the Spurs just had such an epic collapse, literally letting the championship slip through their fingers with a pair of missed free throws and stray defensive rebounds. Likewise, they practically beat Miami through 47 minutes in Game 6 - can they manage to do it for another 48 minutes in Game 7?

The Heat, meanwhile, pulled out a miraculous Game 6 victory, partially through the Spurs' own flaws. If they were incapable of putting together a wholly convincing game in Game 6, what reason is there to believe they could do it this time, facing elimination once again? Will LeBron James wear a headband? It seems that there is more pressure facing the Heat than the Spurs in this game. After all, the Spurs have won four titles in the last 15 years and are facing the end of their long, exhausting run as yearly contenders. The Heat, however, would move to 1-2 in the Finals with a loss, hardly living up to their own self-inflicted billing.

Both of these teams are terrific on offense and defense. They both have elite individual scorers, surrounded by post-up options and plentiful shooters, and they both have tight defensive concepts that can shut opposing offenses down. Late in Game 6, we saw both defenses lock in, and it came down to who could score the last basket, really. In Games 2-5, both teams used massive offensive eruptions to blow up their leads. It feels as though Game 7 will come down to who can get hot at the right time, and who can score that last basket.

It's impossible to pin the game on any one player, however, despite how many people will try to. The Heat will need great performances from James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and their surrounding players. The Spurs will need another epic performance from Tim Duncan; Tony Parker will have to have a better game scoring the ball; Manu Ginobili will need to dig deep for another Game 5 outburst. And some more hot shooting from the likes of Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Gary Neal will help, too.

It feels as though the Spurs have been written off year after year. We've counted them out so many times, yet that time hasn't come yet. With LeBron James, we seem to always be waiting on his legacy-defining game, and it always seems to be the next one. Well, this Game 7 could be the final run for the Spurs, as both Duncan and Ginobili consider retirement. This Game 7 could be how we view James, at least for another year - two-time champion who completed one of the best all-around seasons the NBA's ever seen, or elite player who can't finish at the highest level.

My official prediction: Miami Heat become the champions.... No, wait - Spurs do. No, actually Miam- ahhh! I don't know! Is it 8:30 yet?

Let CHARGED.fm get you Miami Heat Tickets!

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