Game 1 Of Finals Set For Thursday

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Megan Schuster

Web Editorial Assistant

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The 2014 NBA Finals start Thursday night at 8:00 p.m., a rematch of the Heat vs. Spurs Finals of last season. The reigning champion Heat are looking for their third straight finals victory, while the Spurs are looking to show that they’ve still got enough in the tank to beat Miami.

The storylines for the two teams are well-known and classic: the ultimate “Mr. Reliable” Tim Duncan, in possibly his last ever Finals appearance, against LeBron James who is in the middle of his hunt to pass Michael Jordan’s six rings. At first glance it may seem like the plot is the same as last year.

That’s not the case.

James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade could all become free-agents at the end of the season, and their future together in Miami is uncertain. Although Bosh has said he’d like to stay in Miami and isn’t planning to opt out of his contract, both James and Wade have been quiet on that front.

There has also been more off the court speculation for the Spurs this season, with former NBA players and analysts questioning if this will be Duncan’s last season in the league. He and coach Gregg Popovich have appeared in multiple finals together, starting in 1999 and spanning 15 years, the longest time period for a player-coach duo in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.

Duncan also has the record for most wins by a player over the last 10 seasons, with 622 wins. The player trailing closely behind with 621? LeBron James.

Last year’s finals was a back and forth affair, with the Spurs winning games one, three and five, and Miami taking two, four, six and seven. San Antonio came into Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead and had an opportunity to win it all at home, but they went on to lose in overtime. The Heat were relentless in Game 7 in front of their home crowd and came out with a 95-88 victory.

Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals starts in San Antonio at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday. Game 2, also in San Antonio, will tip-off Sunday at 7:00 p.m. All games in the series will be broadcast on ABC.

Quick Hits

The Spurs bench is ranked 1st in Avg/Game for Minutes, PTS, Assists, TO's, Defensive Rebounds, FG%, 3PM, FT%, Offensive Efficiency and Defensive Efficiency.

Second finals rematch since 1997 & 1998 between the Jazz and Bulls.

The Spurs and Heat are a combined 17-1 at home throughout the playoffs with the Heat being undefeated at 8-0 while the Spurs are 9-1.

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