NBA Finals rematch contains intrigue, history

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 5, 2014 - 12:19 AM

The Spurs will try to prevent a third Heat title in a row.

The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are back at it, one year after they engaged in an epic seven-game NBA Finals during which the Spurs seemingly won their fifth title in Game 6 before Ray Allen forced overtime and a Game 7 the Heat ultimately won with an unforgettable desperation three-point shot.

Here are five questions regarding the rematch, now that the Spurs have the home-court advantage this time and the NBA has gone back to a 2-2-1-1-1 format:

1. Can the sequel surpass the original?

It’ll certainly be different a year after the Spurs came so close to winning their fifth NBA title in Game 6, only to lose it all in a seventh and final game.

Both teams’ stars are the same, but the supporting casts have changed: Sharp-shooter Mike Miller is gone from Miami, his role reprised by veteran Rashard Lewis, and Gary Neal is gone from the Spurs. Heat veteran Shane Battier is mostly an afterthought this time around.

This time, Spurs point guard Tony Parker is fighting a twisted ankle he originally injured in the first round against Dallas and aggravated in Saturday’s series-ending victory over Oklahoma City. This time, Heat star Dwyane Wade is healthier after he played the 2013 Finals despite having a hurting knee.

This time, the Spurs get another chance one year after Allen’s three-pointer forced a deciding game in which Spurs star Tim Duncan missed a short hook shot and a tip-in late in the game.

“It lasts,” Duncan said Wednesday about last season’s bitter loss. “I have a very good memory, especially for my misses and my losses. … That stuck with me. Obviously, it’s always in the back of my mind. Anytime I see anything to do with that, it pops right back in.

“We understand what happened last year. We understand how close we got. We’re disappointed in that respect, but we’re ecstatic we have another opportunity to try to change that.”

2. How much will Parker’s injured ankle affect the series?

Wade underwent treatments nearly around the clock and persevered just enough through his knee injury. Parker on Wednesday declared himself able to play, thanks in part to four days off after the Spurs’ Western Conference final victory over the Thunder.

“You never know how it’s going to feel, but I’m trying to very positive,” Parker said at Wednesday’s Finals media day. “I’m very proud of my body. Yes, I have some little stuff, wear and tear. I’m still here, and I trust my body to hold up for the whole series.”

3. What’s the big deal?

After the Spurs finished off Oklahoma City on Saturday, Duncan said his team would beat the Heat this time and added, “We’re happy to have another opportunity at it. We’re happy it’s the Heat again.”

Miami superstar LeBron James and teammate Chris Bosh bristled at Duncan’s comments and suggested they could become bulletin-board motivational material when the Finals tighten.

“I don’t know what I said that was so bad,” Duncan said Wednesday. “I said I wanted to win the Finals, we’re back here now and I wanted to win. If they need to find fuel in that, then so be it.”

Wade said he thinks he knows the correct answer.

“When you’re in the Finals, you’re supposed to think you’re going to win,” Wade said. “Tim Duncan believes that they’re going to win. The Miami Heat believes that they’re going to win, we wouldn’t be here [otherwise]. So I don’t know, I just think we have microphones in our face too much.”

  • related content

  • Jerry Zgoda's NBA Finals preview

    Wednesday June 4, 2014

    A look ahead to the NBA Finals

  • San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) heads to the hoop as Mia...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close