Parker, Ginobili and Duncan have been down this road many times before.
By now, we have all analyzed the major advantages that the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat hold over one another to death, but what about the somewhat hidden ones? What about the little things that may ultimately determine who wins this NBA Finals series?
Many are already saying this could be the best finals we have seen in a long time, and looking at the matchup, it's difficult to disagree.
It's the new guard versus the old guard. The four-time champion whose legacy is already set in stone versus the man who is intent on continuing to build his legend. The wily, veteran coach against the mild-mannered, soft-spoken one.
This is the type of series where one free throw, one rebound, one block, steal or turnover could decide the outcome.
That's where the Spurs' balance and savvy comes into play.
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?
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.
Everyone keeps saying how old and beaten up the Spurs are. Well, do you realize that San Antonio is younger than Miami?
The Spurs' average age is 27.9 years old. The Heat? 31.2.
Yes, Duncan and Ginobili, two of San Antonio's core three players, are 37 and 35, respectively, but that's really it. Parker just turned 31. Tiago Splitter is 28. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard? 25 and 21. These guys are not "old." Plus, they are healthy. For what seems like the first time in many years, the Spurs' Big Three is injury-free.
The same cannot be said for Miami.
Dwyane Wade is aging fast. He may be only 31, but his body is more like 36 or 37. His knee has been giving him significant issues throughout the entire postseason, and while he proved in Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers that he can still be effective, he demonstrated throughout the rest of that series that he is not even close to 100 percent.
Then you have 37-year-old Ray Allen, the Heat's sixth man who shot a paltry 30.8 percent from the floor versus the Pacers. While he may not be injured, his legs are clearly going, and that's no surprise considering he is a summer removed from ankle surgery.
Talk all you want about how "old" San Antonio is, but Miami is the more beaten-up team.
For some reason, the good majority of people are saying that the Heat will have a much easier time dealing with the Spurs frontline than they did with the Pacers.
Where are people getting this idea that Duncan isn't physical? He may not have Roy Hibbert's length, but this is a 6'11" big man who has had to deal with the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone, Chris Webber, etc. over the course of his illustrious career.
You don't think from matching up against those players that he has developed a bit of a mean streak and some physical toughness down low?
It's hard to see how Chris Bosh, who struggled so mightily against Hibbert, is going to suddenly spring to life against Duncan, a guy who is superior to Hibbert in every facet of the game.
Have we forgotten just how dominant Duncan is defensively? This is a man who led the league in defensive rating this season. Hibbert is very good on that end of the floor, but he is no Tim Duncan. Hibbert is a good rebounder, too, but he's no Duncan in that area, either.
Plus, Duncan's low-post game is something to truly be marveled, and it is not just finesse and footwork. He is a strong guy, and his edge over Bosh may end up being the difference in this series.
We also should not fail to mention the incredibly efficient Tiago Splitter, a 6'11" Brazilian who flew under the radar in 2012-13. Did you know he averaged .197 win shares per 48 minutes? His improvement this season has been remarkable, and he will be very important in these finals.
This is a Spurs frontcourt that just swept a better version of Indiana in the Memphis Grizzlies. It seems pretty safe to say that San Antonio knows something about playing physical basketball.
The Spurs ranked third in the league in opponents' free throws per game, something that could play an enormous factor in this series.
San Antonio is playing a Heat team that loves to make its living at the charity stripe. James and Wade are two of the game's best slashers, and they obviously hope to draw contact as they barrel into the lane.
The problem is, the Spurs are the wrong team to anticipate contact against.
Duncan averaged only 1.7 fouls per game this season, and Splitter averaged only two. That could spell big trouble for Miami against a San Antonio ballclub that also ranks No. 3 in defensive efficiency.
If you can keep the Heat off of the free-throw line, you're going to have a good shot at beating them.
Last year, the Heat played an inexperienced Oklahoma City Thunder team in the finals. After Miami was able to steal Game 2 in Oklahoma City, the young Thunder clearly became rattled, dropping all three games at American Airlines Arena to lose the series in five games.
Then, just a couple of nights ago, we saw the Heat demolish the similarly young Pacers in Miami. It was blatantly obvious that the moment was too big for Indiana, especially considering the fact that it was on the road.
Well, these Spurs don't care about that. These guys have been through anything and everything you could possibly throw at them, and it doesn't matter if they're playing in San Antonio, Miami or Tokyo; they know how to win games in any venue.
The homecourt advantage that the Heat possess is almost negligible here, and when you take into account that the last two champions didn't have homecourt, you start to realize just how overrated the concept really is.
Let's look at those past two finals winners.
In 2011, you had the Dallas Mavericks, a veteran group that had several players who had played in the finals before. They were able to steal Game 2 in Miami and then win the series on the road in Game 6.
Then, last season, you had this Heat team, an experienced group that grasped how to win in any scenario.
So for those of you who may be picking Miami to triumph over the Spurs just because it has the "luxury" of playing more games on its home floor, you might want to re-think your reasoning--especially against this San Antonio squad.