2014 NBA Playoffs

NBA Playoffs 2014: TV Schedule and X-Factors for Heat vs. Spurs Finals Series

San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili, left, drives to the basket past Miami Heat's Mario Chalmers (15) during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Associated Press
David DanielsSenior Writer IJune 3, 2014

History will be written in the 2014 NBA playoffs.

If the Miami Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals for the second straight year, the team will cement itself as one of the greatest squads in league history. If the Spurs get revenge, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich will climb up the lists of all-time greatest players and coaches.

Here's information on how to watch every momentous game (via ESPN) and a list of the series' biggest X-factors.

2014 NBA Finals Schedule
GameDateTime (ET)HomeAwayNetwork
1Thus., June 59 p.m.SAMIAABC
2Sun., June 88 p.m.SAMIAABC
3Tues., June 109 p.m.MIASAABC
4Thurs., June 129 p.m.MIASAABC
5*Sun., June 158 p.m.SAMIAABC
6*Tues., June 179 p.m.MIASAABC
7*Fri., June 209 p.m.SAMIAABC
*If necessary

Biggest X-Factors

MIAMI, FL - MAY 30: Rashard Lewis #9 of the Miami Heat shoots against the Indiana Pacers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2014 in Miami, Fl. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

4. Rashard Lewis

No one would've called Lewis an X-factor a week ago, but he nailed nine threes over the last two games of the Eastern Conference finals.

If Lewis continues to shoot 56.3 percent from downtown (or even remotely close to that), he forces the Spurs to play small. Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter can't be on the floor together when the Heat play five guys at the same time who can consistently hit open threes.

 

May 21, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (4) reacts after a shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY S
USA TODAY Sports

3. Danny Green

Green's shooting ability played a major role in the Spurs' victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals. Had he struggled with his shooting in more games than he did, San Antonio's season may be over.

Danny Green's Shooting in the Western Finals
Who won?PPGFG%3P%
SA15.553.8%58.6%
OKC5.525.0%37.5%
ESPN

Green's performance in the 2013 NBA Finals tells a similar tale.

He averaged 18.0 points per game through Game 5, and the Spurs held a 3-2 series lead. In the final two games, Green made only two field goals. Miami won the last two games and the title.

 

Apr 26, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers (15) goes up for a shot against Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts (11) during the first half in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena. Man
USA TODAY Sports

2. Mario Chalmers

Chalmers is the most clutch player in this series who isn't bound for the Hall of Fame.

Over the course of his career, he's only averaged 8.6 points per game. In the 2013 NBA Finals, though, 14, 19 and 20-point performances by Chalmers were instrumental in three Heat victories. In the 2012 NBA Finals, he scored 25 points in Game 5, putting the Heat up 3-1 over the Thunder and erasing a 43-point effort by Russell Westbrook.

 

May 31, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) during the fourth quarter in game six of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs a
USA TODAY Sports

1. Manu Ginobili

Ginobili played worse last year than he had since his rookie season. The historically clutch Ginobili struggled throughout the playoffs in particular, shooting just 39.9 percent from the field.

His struggles continued against the Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals. He averaged 3.1 turnovers per game, a whole turnover more than his career average.

Despite being a year older, the 36-year-old veteran has bounced back this season. He averaged 15.2 points on 50.0 percent shooting, 3.7 assists and just 1.0 turnovers per game against the Thunder in the Western Conference finals. For San Antonio to defeat Miami this year, Ginobili must not revert back to his 2013 form.

 

David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report and editor at Wade-O Radio.

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