2014 NBA Finals

NBA Playoffs 2014: Schedule, TV Info and More for NBA Finals Rematch

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 6: The Miami Heat before a game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center March 6, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2014

It almost seems like destiny.

The 2013 NBA Finals was one of the most memorable series in the history of the sport, as LeBron James and the Miami Heat knocked off Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs in a back-and-forth seven-game struggle. Depending on your rooting interest, it was either heartbreaking or absolutely thrilling.

The Spurs found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the final seconds of Game 6, as Ray Allen hit a miracle three-pointer to force overtime. It is a testament to San Antonio’s ability and mental fortitude that it didn’t let the haunting memories of that Finals derail its 2013-14 season.

If the Spurs can find a way to win four of the next seven contests with home-court advantage this time around, they can erase any lingering demons from last year against that very same opponent.

Duncan thinks they can, via Sports Illustrated: “We have four more [games] to win. We’ll do it this time.” 

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 6: Manu Ginobili #20 and Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs during a game against the Miami Heat at the AT&T Center March 6, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Here is a look at the schedule and broadcast information for the entire 2014 NBA Finals:

2014 NBA Finals
GameLocationDayTime (ET)TV
1San AntonioThursday, June 59 p.m.ABC
2San AntonioSunday, June 88 p.m.ABC
3MiamiTuesday, June 109 p.m.ABC
4MiamiThursday, June 129 p.m.ABC
5 *San AntonioSunday, June 158 p.m.ABC
6 *MiamiTuesday, June 179 p.m.ABC
7 *San AntonioFriday, June 209 p.m.ABC
SI.com (*if necessary)

This clash between the Heat and the Spurs will only be the fifth Finals rematch since the NBA and ABA merged in 1976. Most recently, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls knocked off the Utah Jazz for the second year in a row in 1998. 

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 6: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat takes a free throw against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center March 6, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using th
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Jordan may be the greatest player of all time, but Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press and Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated passed along a fascinating statistic concerning two of the best players ever who will face off in these Finals:

San Antonio and Miami split their two regular-season matchups, but you couldn’t find two squads that regular-season games are less meaningful for in terms of projecting ahead to the postseason. Both of these squads are built for the postseason and didn’t mind resting key contributors if necessary if it meant sacrificing a game here and there in December and January.

The thought here is that the Spurs find a way to win the title this time around, but that is based off the assumption that Tony Parker is good to go.

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 6: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat during a game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center March 6, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this pho
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

He sat out the second half of Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals with an ankle injury, but the Spurs may need him to be near 100 percent if they hope to knock off the defending champs. He was absolutely brilliant at times in last year’s Finals when he darted in and out of Miami’s defense, dropped floaters in the lane, found open teammates behind the three-point line and hit that memorable game-winner in the final second in Game 1.

However, the fact that the Spurs won the final game of the Western Conference Finals in Oklahoma City without their star point guard is a testament to their tremendous depth. Not a single player averaged 30 minutes a game during the regular season, and the argument can be made that up to 11 players could play a significant role in the Finals.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 31: Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs and Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder after Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on may 31, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Okl
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

The Heat are much more star dependent.

While nobody can really stop LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard is built to at least slow him down. Leonard brings solid lateral quickness and athleticism to the table and can challenge perimeter shots with his length. What’s more, he is strong enough to put up some resistance when James attacks the rim.

Leonard’s defense, along with San Antonio’s superior depth, will be absolutely critical in San Antonio’s march to victory.

This figures to be a grueling back-and-forth series, so health will play a factor. Outside of the aforementioned Parker and his ankle ailment, questions always surround the knees of Dwyane Wade. Allen and Chris Andersen were also banged up during the Eastern Conference Finals at times. 

Regardless of who actually wins the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the fact that we get to run back last year’s Finals should be a thrill to basketball fans everywhere.

 

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