NBA Finals 2014 Schedule: Complete Viewing Info for Heat vs. Spurs Series

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NBA Finals 2014 Schedule: Complete Viewing Info for Heat vs. Spurs Series
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

To win their fifth championship in franchise history, the San Antonio Spurs will have to slay a familiar beast in the Miami Heat, the two-time defending champions who snared victory from the jaws of defeat a year ago in the shot heard around the world.

Having won the last two NBA titles, the Heat are hungry to make history. But following another brilliant regular season, the Spurs will have home-court advantage in their favor this time around.

Below you'll find a complete breakdown of this year's NBA Finals schedule as well as some storylines to watch for heading into Thursday's Game 1.

2014 NBA Finals Viewing Info
Date Matchup Start Time (ET) Channel Live Stream
Thu, June 5 Game 1: Heat at Spurs 9 p.m. ABC WatchESPN
Sun, June 8 Game 2: Heat at Spurs 8 p.m. ABC WatchESPN
Tue, June 10 Game 3: Spurs at Heat 9 p.m. ABC WatchESPN
Thu, June 12 Game 4: Spurs at Heat 9 p.m. ABC WatchESPN
Sun, June 15 Game 5: Heat at Spurs* 8 p.m. ABC WatchESPN
Tue, June 17 Game 6: Spurs at Heat* 9 p.m. ABC WatchESPN
Fri, June 20 Game 7: Heat at Spurs* 9 p.m. ABC WatchESPN

*if necessary. Source: ESPN

 

Top Storylines Ahead of Championship Rematch

Tony Parker's Health

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For all their talent and depth, the Spurs' title hopes rest on the shoulders of Tony Parker, an MVP candidate who's averaging 17.2 points and 4.9 assists per game this postseason. 

The 32-year-old point guard is currently battling a sore ankle, which kept him out of the second half of San Antonio's series-clinching win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. 

However, according to sources close to the team, per Yahoo Sports, via ESPN.com, Parker "would be ready" to suit up and play at full speed in Game 1 on Thursday night. According to those same sources, the veteran floor general will spend the days leading up to the series opener rehabbing the ankle.

Head coach Gregg Popovich recently discussed how the injury was affecting Parker his last time out, per ESPN.com: "He came to me with about eight minutes on the clock and said he couldn't go. He couldn't cut. He was limping on it. He couldn't cut sideways or forward really."

Tony Parker 2013-14 Playoffs Series-by-Series Breakdown
Series PPG APG FG% 3PT%
Round 1 vs. Dallas Mavericks 19.9 4.7 47.2 33.3
WCSF vs. Portland Trail Blazers 18.4 5.2 50.6 42.9
WCF vs. Oklahoma City Thunder 13.2 4.8 49.3 28.6

Source: NBA.com

Despite delivering monumental performances through the first two rounds of the playoffs, Parker was a shell of himself at times during the Western Conference Finals. Therefore, the injury is sure to remain a key topic if he struggles at all in these NBA Finals.

With sources close to the Spurs appearing optimistic that Parker will be able to play, there's no doubt Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra will be designing a game plan intended to slow the Frenchman. After all, Miami was most successful in last year's NBA Finals when it was able to keep Parker under wraps, winning Games 6 and 7 as Parker combined to shoot 9-of-35 from the field in those two matchups.

 

Heat Chasing History

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat became just the third franchise in NBA history to reach four consecutive NBA Finals when they knocked off the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals last week, per NBA on ESPN. Now the back-to-back champions are four wins away from becoming just the fourth franchise in NBA history to complete the three-peat. 

In addition to propelling the Heat franchise into a rare air alongside the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Spurs as one of only a handful of teams to have won at least four NBA titles, another third-straight championship would leave a lasting mark on the legacy of Miami's Big Three—LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Boshwho have yet to miss an NBA Finals since they came together in the summer of 2010.

Teams to Win 3 or More NBA Titles Consecutively
Team Most Consecutive Titles Three-peat Years
Boston Celtics 8 1959-1966
Chicago Bulls 3 1991-93, 1996-98
Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers 3 1952-1954, 2000-02

Source: NBA.com

How many titles will the Heat finish with during the Big Three era?

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James, who has often been discussed in the same breath as all-time greats like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, would have the same number of championship rings as Larry Legend and would be just one more three-peat shy of tying Jordan.

But while much of the conversation will center on the Big Three, there's plenty at stake for Miami's role players, especially Ray Allen. The 38-year-old sharpshooter single-handedly saved the Heat from bitter disappointment in last year's NBA Finals and could perhaps head off into the sunset at season's end as not only the league's all-time greatest three-point shooter, but as a three-time NBA champion as well.

While legacies will be shaped on the Spurs' side as well in this series, the Heat are the team in position to make history this June. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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