The NBA Finals pairing is a rematch from last year. If the basketball world is treated to a series as good as the one from June 2013, we'll all be fortunate to witness another classic.
So much is at stake for both teams and organizations. NBA legend Magic Johnson got the matchup he wanted.
This is the NBA Finals I wanted to see. The Heat vs. Spurs. The best 2 teams and organizations playing for a championship.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 1, 2014
Can the Heat win a third consecutive NBA title to join the ranks of the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls as one of the truly elite franchises in the sport's history?
If so, how long can the core stay together?
Can the Spurs win a fifth championship in the Gregg Popovich-Tim Duncan era? Those two already have their place in history etched in stone, but another ring would only make their Hall of Fame plaques more impressive.
That's a rare occurrence and another reason it's a must-see.
Here's how you can catch every game.
|Games||Date||Location||Time - ET||TV|
|Game 1||Thursday, June 5||San Antonio||9 p.m.||ABC|
|Game 2||Sunday, June 8||San Antonio||8 p.m.||ABC|
|Game 3||Tuesday, June 10||Miami||9 p.m.||ABC|
|Game 4||Thursday, June 12||Miami||9 p.m.||ABC|
|Game 5*||Sunday, June 15||San Antonio||8 p.m.||ABC|
|Game 6*||Tuesday, June 17||Miami||9 p.m.||ABC|
|Game 7*||Friday, June 20||San Antonio||9 p.m.||ABC|
*- if necessary, per NBA.com
There are a lot of concerns on both sides heading into this series. Parker suffered an ankle injury during the Western Conference Finals, and he didn't play in the second half of the series-clinching win in Game 6.
With four days, it seems as if he should be ready to go, but will he be 100 percent?
Per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, Spurs general manager R.C. Buford says the team will know more shortly:
Spurs GM RC Buford doesn't sound too worried about Tony Parker's ankle. "We will find out more. We got five days," Buford told Yahoo.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 1, 2014
San Antonio was able to conquer the Thunder without Parker for a half, but it won't have that type of success without its floor general against Miami.
The Heat have done a great job managing Wade's minutes all season and in the postseason. Because the Heat have had little issues handling opponents in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the squad should be fresh as a daisy.
Still, Wade's knee issues could flare up, and that would shrink their Big Three to a Big 2.5.
There's also the matter of the head coaching chess match between Spoelstra and Popovich. Spoelstra won the series last year, but are we really sure he outcoached Popovich?
It may have been more James' brilliance and will that led to the victory.
Both men will have their chance to match wits once again with the highest prize in the game on the line. So, who wins?
In a series that probably won't be as close as last year's contest, the Heat take it. James grew up in a major way during last year's Finals. He learned how to take over a game with his effort and activity as much as his skills.
Also, having a healthy Wade should make them as dynamic as ever as a tandem. Miami will win in six games.
Follow me. I'm passionate about hoops.