Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals promises to be one of the best in the series, as the defending champion Miami Heat have their backs against the wall and must stave off elimination at the hands of the surging San Antonio Spurs.
It’s likely they don’t even need the extra jolt, as these proven champions know the stakes. They have lost on the biggest stage before, watching the Dallas Mavericks celebrate on the floor at AmericanAirlines Arena in 2011.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch this thrilling game, highlight which player to keep an eye on, check out my prediction on the final score and more.
When: Tuesday, June 18, at 9 p.m. ET
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Key Player: LeBron James
The league’s reigning MVP has to dig deep in Game 6, proving to himself and his detractors that he has the cutthroat, ruthless mentality that marked all the greats that have come before him.
Considering James is easily the best player in the world and capable of dominating any opponent almost single-handedly, he’s going to need to put the team on his back and show us once and for all tonight.
In Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, James ascended to this rare state of basketball enlightenment, dropping 45 points on the Boston Celtics and forcing a critical Game 7—which his Heat would obviously go on to win.
If he can get to that level again, James will be able to shred the Spurs defense and disrupt their offense while carrying the scoring load and doing everything else required for his side to emerge with the “W.”
Big Stat: Only Three Teams Have Been Here and Succeeded
The Heat are certainly down, but they aren’t out, as history as shown us throughout the years.
Due to the 2-3-2 format of the Finals, Miami gets to play the next two contests at home. They could follow a few notable teams into the history books as yet another squad to emerge victorious in this situation.
Here's a visual, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info:
Heat: Seeking to become 4th team under 2-3-2 format to win Games 6 and 7 at home in Finals after trailing series 3-2 pic.twitter.com/Ll8UVRBNil— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 17, 2013
The 2010 Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant, the 1994 Rockets had Hakeem Olajuwon at the helm and the 1988 Lakers were run by Magic Johnson in his prime. If LBJ is truly going to be remembered as one of the greatest of all time, he has to join this exclusive fraternity by winning Game 6 and 7.
The Spurs and Heat have been trading blows ever since San Antonio delivered the opening salvo in Game 1. Now, it’s once again Miami’s turn to get a win and force the decisive Game 7.
Which team wins Game 6?
While Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will have his players motivated and ready to close out, the Heat simply have the more talented roster and the players have every reason to give every last thing they can muster in this one.
In the NBA, talent usually trumps all, which is something that will once again prove true tonight.
Don’t be surprised if the Heat run away with this one on the back of a strong, motivated effort from James and the rest of the supporting cast.
Heat 103 – Spurs 95