The keys for a Miami Heat NBA finals victory

Stop me if you’ve heard this before….. The Miami Heat are the NBA’s Eastern Conference champions and will play in the NBA Finals! Sounds familiar…

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison hands the Eastern Conference Championship trophy to Greg Oden on Friday, May 30, 2014, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-92 to advance to the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before….. The Miami Heat are the NBA’s Eastern Conference champions and will play in the NBA Finals! Sounds familiar right? Well, for the fourth consecutive year that is exactly the case for the Heat.

And for the second time in-a-row their opponent will be the San Antonio Spurs. Despite the small sense of history repeating, there are some differences this time around. For Starters, the Spurs will have home court advantage instead of Miami.

Then there is the flip-flop of the fact that the Heat will be the more rested team this year. Last year the Spurs where the most rested team as they only needed 14 playoff games to get the finals. It took the Heat 16 games to get there. This year the Spurs had to play 18 games to win the west while Miami only needed 15 to win the east.

The Heat’s route to the final

After quickly dispatching the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round (swept series 4-0), Miami made quick work of the Brooklyn Nets (4-1) then fended off a slight challenge from Indiana (won series 4-2) to win their fourth straight conference championship.

Now the Heat are excited and pumped up to take on the road weary and battle tested Spurs. They’re looking to be the first franchise to “three-peat” as NBA Champions since the 2000-2002 Los Angeles Lakers, and only the second franchise to do so since the Chicago Bulls did it twice in the 1990’s.

SEE ALSO: Keys for a San Antonio Spurs NBA finals victory

We all know about Miami’s “Big Three” of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. But San Antonio presents a trifecta of their own with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The Spurs may have more miles on their tires but they are ready for this challenge.

The Heat would be foolish to underestimate the Spurs. At the same time; they are younger, more athletic, and play more of a run-and-gun game as opposed to the Spurs fundamental style of basketball.

Miami has what it takes to win another title but it won’t be easy.

Keys for a Heat finals win

Here are the five things that Miami needs to do in order to carry the trophy again…..

The obvious task would be to let James and Wade run wild. The Heat offense goes as they go and they will have to play a huge role. Everything else that Miami needs to do is on the defensive side of the ball, starting with containing Tim Duncan.

Duncan is a future hall of famer for a reason. He’s almost unstoppable on offense and is a vicious defender. Miami isn’t exactly known for their post play so they’ll need one of their big men –Chris Bosh, Chris Andersen, or Greg Oden- to go above and beyond against him.

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The Miami Heat have been dominant in the playoffs.

Miami Heat players Norris Cole, left, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Michael Beasley and Rashard Lewis cheer during the final seconds in Game 6 in the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Friday, May 30, 2014, in Miami.The Miami Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-92 to advance to the NBA finals. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

They’ll need to limit Duncan’s points when he’s on offense, push him out of the paint for better scoring chances when he’s on defense, and find a way to out-rebound him. San Antonio is also a very dangerous three-point shooting team.

The Spurs can easily shoot for over 50-percent from beyond the arc thanks to players like Parker, Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. The Heat will need to spread the floor and guard the three-point line.

San Antonio likes to keep their starters fresh by resting them as often as possible. As a result, their bench players get plenty of minutes. The Spurs possess one of the more productive benches in the NBA.

When their backups take the court, Miami needs to pressure them just as they would their starters.

At the end of the day however, the most important thing for the Miami defense will be to limit the production of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. They are cogs that make the Spurs offense move and the Heat must limit their impact in order to win another title.

If the Heat can do all of these things then they will keep their claim on the Larry O’Brien Trophy.