One year ago, the Spurs lost to the Heat in the NBA Finals in unbelievably dramatic fashion. They had the series all but wrapped up in six games, but one blown rebound cost them a title:
Now, Tim Duncan is looking forward to the opportunity to erase the pain from losing Games 6 and 7 in last year's Finals, via Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding:
Tim Duncan: "We're happy that it's the Heat again. ... We've got that bad taste in our mouth still."— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) June 1, 2014
That "bad taste" in the Spurs' mouths was almost visible this season, as everyone was clearly playing with the ultimate purpose of revenge on their minds.
They were a buzz saw in the regular season, as they led the league with 62 wins, earning home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Therein lies a key difference between 2014's Finals and 2013's.
Both Miami and San Antonio have been excellent at home in the postseason. The Heat are 8-0, while the Spurs are 9-1.
If they go seven games again, the Spurs will have their home crowd behind them in the final game this time around.
Tim Duncan is talking with the confidence of a man who knows Danny Green hasn't missed a three at home in like 93 days— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) June 1, 2014
San Antonio will also have depth on its side. It led the NBA in bench scoring this season, and showed how much of an impact the reserves can have during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
Spurs outscored Thunder 51-5 in bench points. 46 point bench differential is the largest in ANY game this season— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 1, 2014
If the Spurs can avoid late-game meltdowns, protect their home floor and continue to get big contributions from the bench, they should be able to avenge last season's difficult loss.
Duncan's certainly confident they'll pull it off, via NBA.com's Adam Zagoria:
'We got 4 more to win. We'll do it this time.' -Tim Duncan— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) June 1, 2014
That's likely the only way to finally cleanse Duncan and every other Spur's palate. A lovely sorbet just won't cut it for this bad taste.
Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewDBailey.