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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 June, 2003, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
Amaechi's NBA finals guide
By Andrew McKenzie

David Robinson (left) and Jason Kidd
Robinson (left) and Kidd will be key men
The San Antonio Spurs and the New Jersey Nets will go head-to-head in the NBA finals.

The Spurs are favourites to win the title after finishing with the best record during the NBA's regular season and possessing the league MVP in Tim Duncan.

San Antonio will have the homecourt advantage in the seven-game series, but the Nets will be the fresher having got through the final two rounds of the play-offs without losing a game.

Britain's John Amaechi of the Utah Jazz gives us his verdict on the two sides.


Point guard

NJ - Jason Kidd (9 out of 10)
In terms of intensity, team-leadership and desire to win there's not many better at the point-guard position.

SA - Tony Parker (8.5)
He's a really fantastic young guard - he's really going to be an excellent player.


Shooting guard

NJ - Kerry Kittles (7)
He is a very good two-guard who fits into the system they have got there very very well.

SA - Stephen Jackson (7)
Jackson is someone I work out with in the summertime and again he is quality, but a little unpredictable.


Small forward

NJ - Richard Jefferson (7.5)
He also works out with me in the summertime and you will not meet a nicer or more hard-working young man and a great athlete who works very well with Kidd.

SA - Bruce Bowen (7)
Bowen is an abysmal foul shouter but the best three-point shooter in the league.


Power forward

NJ - Kenyon Martin (6)
He is too volatile and unpredictable as a player in my opinion. There is no competition between him and Tim Duncan.

SA - Tim Duncan (10)
He is the best player in the league by far. He's focused, he's hungry to win, he plays smart basketball and he's got great skills.


Centre

NJ - Jason Collins (5)
He is an average centre who could struggle against the Spurs' big men.

SA - David Robinson (7.5)
Because of age and a couple of injuries he is not quite the player he once was, but he will have days when he really shows up.


Bench

New Jersey (7)
They are a very competent second unit that can hang in there with most in the Eastern Conference, but against the best in the West they may struggle.

San Antonio (8.5)
They have a more than competent unit with someone like Malik Rose who can come off the bench and score 30 points alone.


Coach

NJ - Byron Scott (8)
In many ways he is very similar to Doc Rivers - my old coach in Orlando. I think he is a quality young coach.

SA - Gregg Popovich (10)
He is the coach of the year in my opinion. He's done a great job with them once again.


Total

New Jersey - 49.5
San Antonio - 58.5


Amaechi's verdict

A lot depends on how the first couple of games show up, but if you look at San Antonio winning the first two games at home then that should give them enough confidence to see it through.

It won't be a sweep. I think New Jersey will win at least one game at home where the games will be hotly contested, but I would probably say the Spurs will win it 4-1.

It is not because the Nets are a bad team - I happen to think they are great team.

But San Antonio, who were the winners in 1999 when the season was shortened due to a strike, are ready to go all the way.

They are tired of people talking about them not winning a real championship and I think they really want to get it done now.






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