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Spurs vs. Heat again — do you remember how great last year was? (VIDEO)

Jun 1, 2014, 2:36 AM EDT

Sequels rarely live up to the originals, but this original was so good you can’t help but be excited about round two.

Do you remember how great the 2013 Spurs vs. Heat NBA Finals was? Game 1 had Tony Parker doing his Curly Neal impression, going to his knees, getting up and nailing the dagger. As the series moved along we got LeBron James shutting down a Tiago Splitter dunk, we got Danny Green raining threes, we got Tony Parker and Dwyane Wade playing vintage ball.

And all that was before the epic Game 6, with the Ray Allen stepback three and a thrilling overtime.

I’ll take another series like that any day.

The 2014 version will be different — this is a better Spurs team. Boris Diaw has found his comfort level and Kawhi Leonard is playing better. Plus these Spurs have played all season for this — to avenge Game 6, to seek revenge against the Heat.

Miami still has the best player on the planet and they are the two-time defending champions. A team capable of raising its level of play when it needs it to something nobody else can match.

Miami is athletic and brings great defensive ball pressure. San Antonio defuses that with its ball movement and movement off the ball — no NBA team is better suited to deal with what Miami brings.

This has all the potential to be another great series.

  1. antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:51 AM

    Don’t be like the Pacers and expect a repeat of last year’s series. The Heat are not going to need 7 games this time around.

    • kavika6 - Jun 1, 2014 at 6:07 AM

      You mean they won’t GET 7 games this year. Spurs in 6.

    • chargerdillon - Jun 1, 2014 at 7:12 AM

      yup Heat in 6

    • fanofthegame79 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      You’re right, Heat in 6!!

  2. prareedoggin - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:52 AM

    Congrats San Antonio! I’m looking forward to the rematch. Good luck and may the best team win… cough* Heat cough*

  3. nfl4days - Jun 1, 2014 at 3:11 AM

    Great matchup. 7 hall of famers on the court at the same time. The two best teams in the league. Two teams that have mastered selfless basketball while still having guys who can dominate a game single handedly. Hoping the heat can pull this one out but I have the utmost respect for SA and how they play ball, and wouldnt mind seeing them win it all. Can’t wait.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 3:15 AM

      The Spurs don’t have any guys who can dominate a game single handedly. Well, certainly not like LeBron James can. They don’t have anyone they can turn to if their shots aren’t falling as a team… they will just lose.

  4. angulocarlos1 - Jun 1, 2014 at 3:24 AM

    This is going to be great! I wonder who is having nightmares of last year, the spurs for the epic game 6 meltdown, or the heat knowing they got lucky with Jesus Shuttlesworth clutch 3

    • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 3:30 AM

      Well considering that the Heat won the final two games of that series, I’m going to go ahead and say the Spurs are the ones preoccupied with what happened last year.

      They’re going to have to hope that LeBron is as bad as he was last year for the first 3 games where he only averaged 16 points to go along with a 1-2 record, and not the guy in the last 4 games who averaged 32 points where the Heat had a 3-1 record.

      • thundercocck - Jun 1, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        Correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation. I like the fact that you used stats but that series could have gone either way, and we can thank Ray Allen for that. There was no way the Spurs were going to win a game 7 in Miami where the Heat seemed to be making all the 3s.

        But that was last year. This isn’t the same Heat team that won 27 in a row in the regular season (Spurs won 19 in a row might I add). Last year, Gary Neal was Parkers backup, this year its Patty Mills. This year if LeBron guards Parker then who is going to guard Kawhi? Ohh, and that Ginobili guy is pretty good this year too btw.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        “Correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation”

        Yeah, that’s a safe thing to say, and I’ve had it said to me about 10 times since the start of the playoffs. I’ve been just as accurate as ever though.

        And I don’t believe the series last year could’ve gone either way. Game 6 was not just about Ray Allen’s shot. The Spurs were up double digits at the start of the 4th quarter and LeBron basically overpowered them for the next 17 minutes. That game was about the Spurs failures for an entire quarter, as much as it was about the two clutch threes from James and Allen.

        So I think what we’re going to learn from this series in 2014 is that there really was no way that the Spurs were going to beat the Heat in 2013 either. Call it “The Inevitability of LeBron James.” There will be an, “Oh okay, so they really are better” epiphany for a ton of haters.

  5. money2long - Jun 1, 2014 at 4:35 AM

    Dam thunder ousted.
    This will b fun.

  6. wallabear - Jun 1, 2014 at 5:04 AM

    Parker and Duncan are too old. As long as D-Wade stays healthy throughout this Finals, and as long as Bosh-o-saurus can keep up his level of confidence (25 pts in Game 6, yo!). Just like the Miami Herald headline says: “When Chris Bosh excels, Miami Heat becomes juggernaut.”

  7. realfootballfan - Jun 1, 2014 at 5:04 AM

    Should be good. The Spurs are the only team from the West who definitely is capable of beating the Heat although I doubt it will happen at this point, so we should get some good games after these two boring conference Finals outside of a game or 2. It will be interesting to see the chess game between Spoelstra and Popovich.

    • kavika6 - Jun 1, 2014 at 6:10 AM

      I’m so sick of people saying Spoelstra is a great coach. We all know who really coaches that team.

  8. pantsfreezone - Jun 1, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    Heat in 6.

  9. cantonbound13 - Jun 1, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    Go Spurs!!! Bring on the floppers!

    • finsfan71 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      Hey Richie, your material is as old as the deli meat you peddle.

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        For the millionth time, I’m not Richie. They’re are thousands of people in South Florida that don’t like the Heat.

  10. jzone954 - Jun 1, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    With the finals format no longer 2-3-2. Miami needs to steal one of the first 2. Heat in 6. Book it

    • fanofthegame79 - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      Agreed! This will follow the Pacers-Heat: Split the first two in San Antonio (Spurs take game 1). Heat will come back and win both games in Miami. Spurs will take game 5 but the Heat will finish them off (along with all the nay-sayers!!!) in game 6 on their home court!

    • kavika6 - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      He said “book it”. Now the Spurs don’t have a chance.

  11. eagles512 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Spurs in 6. As long as Parker stays healthy.

  12. bknowledge - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    I hope Bonner shoots 10,000 threes in practice the next few days.
    I think he can be very effective when the Heat go big with Anderson on the court. Duncan or Splitter could cover Anderson, and Bonner could cover the Heat power forward (Bosh, Battier…because w Anderson on the court, the Heat power forwards become 3 point shooters almost exclusively); on the offensive end, Bonner can stretch the defense so Bosh or Battier can’t double team/trap and recover.
    Diaw can do all these things better than Bonner, but Diaw can also play against the Heat when the Heat go small and I don’t think Bonner should play when the Heat go small.

  13. zoomy123 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Please, don’t try to tell us that the San Antonio Spurs are better because of a 31 year old Boris Diaw, lol. Diaw is nice but he can’t abuse Lebron in the post the way he did to Kevin Durant. Kawhi, however, is certainly much improved from last year, especially offensively. But other than this, I can’t see how San Antonio is anything other than marginally better than they were last year. They do have a little more depth because Belinelli and Patty Mills now split Gary Neal’s former duties, but you can only put 5 guys on the court at one time. Plus, Miami’s depth is nothing to scoff at either: Allen, Battier, Haslem, Birdman, Lewis, + Cole.

    Most people say that Miami is worse than they were last year because we lost Mike Miller, but everybody forgets that Dwyane Wade played on 1 leg last year. He was so hobbled that he only scored 20+ points 3 times during the whole series and the games when he didn’t score at least 20 (games 1, 2, 3, and 6) he averaged an abysmal 14.25 ppg. You can only believe Miami is worse if you think having Mike Miller is more valuable than a healthy Dwyane Wade, which is clearly NOT the case. But Chris Bosh is really the X-factor in this series: If Bosh plays like he did in the last 3 games vs. Indiana, then the Spurs don’t have a chance. You already know Lebron James and D-Wade are gonna get theirs, if San Antonio allows Bosh to get his too, then Miami becomes unstoppable, especially when Bosh is knocking down the 3 to stretch the floor and open up driving lanes for Wade + James.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Rashard Lewis will play the “Mike Miller” role this year, but with better defense. I liked his resurgence against the Pacers and I believe he will be the X-factor (I think Bosh will have a great series as his confidence has to be sky-high with the way he finished out against the Spurs last year and how he finished the Pacers series this year).

    • realfootballfan - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Agree on Bosch. It will be interesting to see if he brings his A game in this series.

  14. jzone954 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    No one is beating miami in under 7. Get that out our your heads, if spurs beat miami which they can it will be in a hard fought 7 games

  15. fanofthegame79 - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    After Miami wins this in 6, I hope LeBron says something to Tim Duncan along the lines of “you took it from me in 2007, but like you said then, this is my league now”.

    • Great Caesar's Ghost - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      More like, “You swept me in 2007, but that was before I realized I needed Dwayne Wade to win a title.”

      Heat in 7.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        Sing it with me now: “We all need somebody to lean on.”
        Every great team had a duo or trio of superstars; there isn’t a player alive who can win a title on their own.
        With that said, I’m cool if the Heat take it in 7.

    • bougin89 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      “Every great team had a duo or trio of superstars; there isn’t a player alive who can win a title on their own.”

      Hakeem Olajuwon and Dirk Nowitzki beg to differ.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        You might be right – I’m not going to scour over their rosters. But I know they had some amazing role players, and that can be just as good (I’m thinking about the Chauncey Billups Pistons team that beat the Lakers in the early 2000’s). For Olajuwon: Horry, Thorpe, Kenny the Jet, Mad Max (Vernon Max) were pretty good for their time. For Dirk: Tyson Chandler and Jason Terry and Jason Kidd did well (I’m stretching a bit there).

      • bougin89 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        The thing about the East is with Wade and Lebron teaming up you basically took the two best players in the East(and arguably NBA at the time) and put them on the same team, eliminating the competitive balance. Throw in Bosh(who with the Raptors was considered probably top 5 maybe top 10 in the East) and you really torched the competitive balance.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        The Celtics took the best 3-point shooter, and the best power forward and combined them with a top-15 talent and got a championship…why don’t we talk about them? And that team was created via trades. Both Bosh and James were free agents – they completed their contractual obligations (they even re-signed with their respective teams once!) and chose a different team. And to add extra spin: all three players “sacrificed” and left good money on the table to be title contenders. To me that’s about as good as you can get. No one forced their way out. No one asked for a trade or threatened anything. They played out their contracts and moved on to a different team.

      • bougin89 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        I never mentioned it wasn’t within their rights. I only spoke of the competitive balance of the East.

        At the time the Celtics did it they also traded one of the best offensive post players in the league, who also happened to be really, really young, to get Garnett.

        The players didn’t plan to all play ahead of time for the Celtics the way the big three in Miami did.

        Again, I’m not saying it was “illegal” or they shouldn’t have been allowed to do it. It just means that by doing it they not only created a super team but they also demolished the competitive balance of the East.

  16. smackingfools - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Just got wind of the script. San Antonio wins in 7. Setting up a best of 3 championship next year. Miami wins it. Written by George Lucas.

  17. buffalowned - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Heat in 6. I’ve said all year that San Antonio is the only team that can beat Miami but if Parker is not 100% (and it’s very unlikely he will be) the Spurs chances decrease significantly.

  18. Great Caesar's Ghost - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Wade>LeBron. He led his team to a title pre-Big 3, he’ll always have that over LBJ who needed superstar help. Let’s face it, Heat in 7.

    • gostlcards5 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      You’re a complete doofus to say that. Even Wade says he’d be a fool to not defer to LeBron.

  19. helixro14 - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Am I too new to basketball to value Chris Anderson’s contribution to this series? Not enough mention imho is being made of his presence in this year’s Finals.
    And I know I’m not too new to appreciate a healthy Dwayne Wade – he’s the reason I became a basketball and Heat fan after 2006. Does that make me bandwagoner?

  20. goldmember21 - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    HEAT IN 4!

  21. jgreiner9 - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    @Great Caesars Ghost

    Didn’t Wade have a pretty good player who just got traded away from his team that had just went to 4 straight finals in Shaq? Not to mention some more Hall of Fame presence in Gary Payton and Zo on that team. Wasn’t just Wade by himself.

    • mannyfresh209 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Did those Lakers go to 4 straight?

  22. jgreiner9 - Jun 1, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    I thought they three-peated and then brought in Malone and Payton to go for 4 and then lost to the pistons. Either way, what I was saying about Wade not doing alone was true. They won immediately the minute Shaq and Payton came in the following year they were with the lakers.

    • realfootballfan - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:37 AM

      Not to mention that the Heat were barely in the playoffs with a comparable roster of scrubs as James had in Cleveland when his team had the best record in basketball. Undoubtedly, he was the dominant force in that Mavericks series that took over the last 4 games; however, he was playing with very good Hall of Fame players even if at the end of their careers, not to mention Shaq still being a very capable big man even if in decline at that time. For the “Wade did it alone guy,” name anyone in Gary Payton’s, Shaq’s, or Zo’s league that James ever played with in Cleveland, even at the tail end of their careers? Name anyone he even played with in Antoine Walker’s league at the tail end of their careers, and that’s not saying much. Shaq 4 years later, even after his noticeable decline in that Mavericks series? Please, even if you hate guy (for what reason, that’s a personal issue imo), you have to give it up for him being an amazing talent.

  23. jgreiner9 - Jun 1, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    *following year after playing with the lakers

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