The 2014 NBA playoffs have been compelling, but it's now time for the pinnacle of the sport—the NBA Finals.
The Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in last season's NBA championship, and the two teams will meet again this season to decide which team is the best in the league. San Antonio seeks vengeance on Miami, while Miami looks to become the latest team to win three championships in a row.
Yeah, there's a lot on the line.
This series will surely be the best the NBA postseason has to offer. Don't miss a single second of the action. To make sure you don't, all the viewing info you'll ever need is below.
Note: Each game can be seen online at ABC.go.com.
|Game||Date||Time (ET)||Away||Home||TV Info|
|1||June 5||9 p.m.||Heat||Spurs||ABC|
|2||June 8||8 p.m.||Heat||Spurs||ABC|
|3||June 10||9 p.m.||Spurs||Heat||ABC|
|4||June 12||9 p.m.||Spurs||Heat||ABC|
|5*||June 15||8 p.m.||Heat||Spurs||ABC|
|6*||June 17||9 p.m.||Spurs||Heat||ABC|
|7*||June 20||9 p.m.||Heat||Spurs||ABC|
The Heat have overcome a ton of adversity to get to the NBA Finals this season. They went through a rough stretch during the regular season. They have played through Dwyane Wade's persistent knee issues. Oh yeah, and they played through the endless antics of Indiana Pacers star Lance Stephenson.
Even still, the Heat face their toughest challenge yet against San Antonio. Playing a team out for blood is never fun. That's what San Antonio is. The team wanted to play the two-time defending champs in the NBA Finals.
Will the Heat win again?
The Spurs didn't want to play the Heat to test themselves against them. They wanted to play the Heat so they could beat them. The Spurs are motivated, and, honestly, it should scare Miami.
LeBron James and Co. will need to be flawless against the Spurs. James is going to do his typical line of work over the course of the series, but how effectively he motivates his teammates will determine the outcome of the Finals.
It's hard to pick against the two-time defending champ making its fourth straight appearance in the Finals, but Miami has never looked more vulnerable.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs wanted this to happen. Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com wrote about why:
After blowing a five-point lead in the final minute of Game 6 last season when the Larry O'Brien Trophy had been wheeled to the edge of the court and yellow tape prepared for the postgame celebration, the Spurs have lived with the disappointment for a year. Which is why Duncan added: "We're happy it's the Heat again. We've got that bad taste in our mouths still."
Tim Duncan and Co. will need to avoid disappointment again to give themselves a shot against a Miami team that knows how to beat the Spurs. Improving in the clutch has to be of utmost important for head coach Gregg Popovich. The final minute of last season's Game 6 defined San Antonio's season.
In less than 60 seconds, the Spurs allowed five points and forfeited the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy. Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have had almost a full year to dwell on the loss. Duncan himself missed an open layup in those last 60 seconds. He'll be sure to capitalize this time around.
San Antonio was fantastic in the Western Conference this season. Miami struggled at times against an Eastern Conference that was extraordinarily weak. Additionally, last season's heartbreaker will still be apparent in the locker room of San Antonio.