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Tim Duncan on Finals rematch: ‘We’re happy that it’s the Heat again’

Jun 1, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili

In most cases, players avoid talking directly about their opponent when about to compete at the game’s highest level for its greatest prize.

But given the situation facing Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs, who are headed for a rematch of last year’s epic Finals against the Heat that took all seven games to be decided, you can understand his exuberance.

“We’re happy to be back here this year, we’re happy to have another opportunity at it,” Duncan said after the Spurs eliminated the Thunder on Saturday. “We’re happy that it’s the Heat again. We’ll be ready for them. We’ve got some experience, obviously, from last year against them, and we’ll go back and look at some film. And we’ve got that bad taste in our mouths still. Hopefully, we’ll be ready to take it this time.”

The Spurs, of course, feel like they should have won it last year.

San Antonio led by five with 28 seconds remaining in Game 6, and it seemed like the championship was about to be theirs — Heat fans were headed for the exits, and the infamous yellow rope had been brought out to prepare for the trophy presentation.

But we all remember what happened next. Miami staged a furious comeback, Ray Allen hit one of the greatest shots in NBA history, and the Heat went on to win that game in overtime, and the series in Game 7.

The Finals loss was as painful as they come for the Spurs, and they’ve overcome that disappointment admirably by methodically marching back to this point to have a rare shot at redemption — one that Duncan had no problem being excited about as soon as the reality of a rematch with the Heat began to set in.

128 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. fltacks - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    The way I see it, I think the Heat will not have as much trouble with SA as they did last year, just like they had less trouble with Indiana and everyone else in the East. The reason: a healthy Wade. Everything else is basically SALY, especially since both teams are a year older, so no advantage to either team there. Wade was a shell of himself last year, which is why the Heat had so much trouble with SA in the series. The Heat managed their season-long energy much better this year, and it’s showing in the playoffs. SA on the other hand has some health issues not unlike what the Heat dealt with last year, but they don’t have a LeBron James to compensate. I expect to see a series fairly similar to the Indiana series, with SA winning one or maybe two games where Miami goes into their hypnotic state that they do every so often. Other than that, Miami should slice through SA fairly easily, at least compared to last year.

    Full Disclosure: I’m one of those awful, undeserving, no nothing Heat fans living in Miami.

    • gostlcards5 - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      I completely agree with you about the difference with Wade playing much better this year. I still wouldn’t count out the Spurs. Should be a great matchup.

    • 1historian - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      Thanks for your FD. Go Spurs!!

      Disagree because San Antonio doesn’t roll over for anybody, whereas the Pacers rolled over on their back and quit. SA doesn’t do that.

      IMO the NBA finals are a test of character like no others. The players are right out there in front of the whole damn world and it’s do or go home. Both teams are battle tested, both teams have one or two “clear the lane and let me handle it” type guys and battle tested teammates.

      I said previously that if the announcers mentioned Sterling I would turn it off.

      I lied.

      I will give them two mentions before the 1st game, and I will NOT turn the game on until 1 minute after it is supposed to start.

      GO SPURS!! (I have friends in San Antonio, Dallas and Austin.)

  2. Great Caesar's Ghost - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    Oops, 2-1, I almost forgot! They couldn’t even put it together against Dallas.

  3. thetruthcampaign - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    They would destroy that same Dallas team today. Lebron didn’t know his role in that first season or who’s team it was. We all know now.

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