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NBA Finals Faceoff: Can LeBron James Deliver a Ratings Slam Dunk? (Video)

TheWrap's resident sports fanatics debate whether King James is enough for the NBA to avoid a ratings airball

The NBA Finals tip off Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET/6 PT, when last year's winner, the Miami Heat take on the San Antonio Spurs on ABC.

Miami is the reigning champs with the best basketball player in the world on its team in the chiseled form of LeBron James, but San Antonio is a team of veterans who are well-rested thanks to a cakewalk series win over the Memphis Grizzlies. So how will the series rate among TV viewers?

Two of TheWrap‘s resident sports nuts — Lucas Shaw and Tony Maglio — argue it out in the video below.

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On the one hand (Shaw’s hand), "Everything LeBron touches turns to gold." Shaw cited the record ratings from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, when Miami’s opponent was an equally – if not more – boring opponent than San Antonio. He sees that trend continuing.

Maglio counters that the two lowest rated NBA Finals series since 1976 both featured the Spurs. And one of those, in 2007, featured the Spurs AND LeBron, when the former made quick work of the King’s former team. That is what happens when the most boring team in the league steps on its biggest stage. The 2007 series pulled just a 6.2, the lowest rating in recorded Finals history. Maglio expects more of that.

The one thing the two reporters can agree on: expect Miami to hoist the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy later this month.

So who is right? How do you think the series will rate? And will you be watching when the series tips off tonight?

Watch the video:

Video by Rebecca Rosenberg

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