Have you been paying attention to the chatter coming from both sides these past couple of days?
From the Spurs side, all we've heard is how much LeBron James has matured and how he is a different player. Gregg Popovich even said in a press conference that James knows basketball better than everyone in the conference room combined.
As expected, there have been no malicious comments from San Antonio. No remarks dripping with bravado, nothing of the sort.
Now, let's look at the Heat—specifically LeBron.
So, how much has James talked in a span of just 48 hours?
Well, first he said he is "50 times better" than he was in 2007 when the Spurs swept him and his Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals.
Then, he said he still remembers how San Antonio celebrated on his home floor that year. He also stated that you can't dare him to do anything he doesn't want to do, referring to that '07 series when the Spurs dared him to shoot jumpers (even though he said he'd hit the jumpers this time, so that doesn't even make much sense).
If LeBron believes all of that, then fine (even though him being "50 times better" is physically impossible). But why are you saying all of this through the media?
This is where Popovich is a genius. He has done nothing but try to soften James up while LeBron has basically been acting like San Antonio got away with something in 2007, almost as if the Spurs weren't great; it was just that LeBron hadn't "arrived" yet.
The Spurs? They don't feed into that nonsense. Not publicly. Behind closed doors? That might be a different story. I wouldn't doubt if San Antonio already has some of James' comments pinned to a bulletin board.
Tim Duncan was asked in his press conference whether or not it bothers him that San Antonio is always flying under the radar. His response?
"It's never bothered me, because it doesn't really matter."
Meanwhile, all LeBron can talk about is how much better he is now than he was six years ago and how he is essentially out for revenge.
The Heat are certainly experienced, but they are not as experienced as the Spurs. Duncan and Popovich have won four championships. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were there for three of them.
These men know how to handle themselves.