Heat vs. Spurs: X-Factors That Will Decide NBA Finals

David DanielsSenior Writer IJune 11, 2013

Jun 6, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers (15) drives against the San Antonio Spurs during the second quarter of game one of the 2013 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Neither the Miami Heat nor the San Antonio Spurs' Big Threes are playing up to their potential in the 2013 NBA Finals.

If this trend continues, role players will decide who swings the series one way or the other. If both Big Threes do manage to rise to the occasion, someone has to be the difference.

Here are the ultimate X-factors that will decide the outcome of the title.


3. Ray Allen

Allen is back.

The NBA’s all-time leader in three-point field goals made averaged just 7.1 points per game in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers. He scored 13—and nailed a trio of threes—apiece in Game’s 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals. He’s shooting an absurd 67 percent from downtown versus the Spurs.

If he continues to shoot so efficiently from beyond the arc, San Antonio will struggle to keep LeBron James and Dwyane Wade out of the paint as Allen spreads the floor.


2. Danny Green

Green didn’t miss in Game 2. He shot 6-of-6 from the field, five of which were from three-point territory, and was the only reason the Spurs kept it close for as long as they did. He nailed four treys in Game 1 as well.

The former roster casualty proved defenses can’t double off of him on Sunday night. He’s just as vital to San Antonio’s defensive success as well. Opposing shooting guards only averaged a player efficiency rating of 12.7 against him this season, according to 82games.com (the league average is 15.0).

The Spurs weren’t able to cash in on Green’s money shooting in Game 2, but if he keeps it up, they’ll bounce back with a vengeance at the AT&T Center.


1. Mario Chalmers

More than any other player on either team, Chalmers’ performances in Games 1 and 2 were the difference in the series thus far.

He was a liability this past Thursday, shooting just 3-of-10 from the field and finishing with eight points. On Sunday, he exited AmericanAirlines Arena with a higher plus/minus ratio than James, plus-30, after recording 19 points, two assists and four rebounds.

If Chalmers continues his clutch play, Miami won’t lose.


David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.