It must be tough being a Spurs fan, sometimes.
Take away the championship-level of excellence that’s been the standard in San Antonio for over a decade and yet, somehow, this is a team that’s constantly questioned, dismissed and largely ignored.
The Spurs (44-16) have battled age, injuries, and the misperception that the team is too boring to keep winning but somehow finds ways to just keep doing that. This team was less than 30 seconds away from their fifth NBA championship as this stirring video reminds us all in vivid detail:
Tonight, San Antonio looks for a measure of revenge against the team that prevented that from happening, a team that mirrors the Spurs’ front-office stability and commitment to winning.
Miami (43-15) is coming off a tough loss to the Houston Rockets, a game that followed LeBron James’ historic 61-point performance a day earlier against Charlotte. James was too exhausted to carry the Heat to victory on Tuesday but, now fully rested, he will be tested against a Spurs team that is finally healthy for the first time in weeks.
San Antonio is still measured by their “Big Three” – Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – but their success is dependent on other role players. Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter are back on the floor after nursing ongoing injuries but will face Miami for the first time since last year’s Finals collapse. And the Spurs are getting unexpected production from backup point guard Patty Mills (10 points per game) as well as Marco Belinelli, the long-range shooter that was a thorn in Miami’s side as a member of the Chicago Bulls.
The Heat will need James, Dwyane Wade and particularly Chris Bosh to be at their very best. But, like the Spurs, will need production from the “supporting cast.” Mario Chalmers has always risen to the challenge that Parker presents; expect him to set the tone early. And Michael Beasley, coming off a 24-point game in Houston that was his best this season, will need to continue scoring in bunches now that he’s back in head coach Erik Spoelstra’s rotation. Greg Oden is expected to be back in the lineup after missing the Rockets game – he came up big in Miami’s 113-101 victory over San Antonio on January 26.
This game has it all…superstars, Hall of Fame level talent, a revenge factor and the meeting of two teams that are near the top of the standings. But, with all the success both franchises have had over the last decade, the one thing missing is “drama.”
And for fans of both San Antonio and the Miami Heat, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
The telecast of this game begins at 8 P.M. on Sun Sports and TNT from the AT&T Center in San Antonio. Check back with AllUCanHeat for a recap after the game.