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Bob Haynie: Spurs And Heat Battle For Title And Legacy

With all due respect to the Indiana Pacers, the two best teams in the NBA will play for the NBA title. Starting on Thursday night, the San Antonio Spurs and the two-time defending champion Miami Heat will meet for the second consecutive season for the right to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

For the Spurs, it's a chance at redemption. San Antonio was seconds away from winning the championship in 2013 until a Ray Allen three-point dagger broke their hearts in game six. For the Heat, it's chance to show the world that not only are they the best there is in 2014, but one of the great squads in the history of the NBA.

Both teams have a history of success and want to add even more glory to their respective legacies.

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are seeking their fourth world championship together as Spurs. If they can get it done, they would become the first non-Laker/Celtic trio to accomplish that feat. Duncan is looking to join John Salley as the only players in NBA history to win a title in three different decades.

The Heat are going for their third-straight O'Brien trophy. They would become only the sixth team in league history to win at least three consecutive titles. Another ring would certainly validate Miami's LeBron James as one of the greatest players there ever was. Or will be.

San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich is seeking his fifth championship since 1999. With a third-straight ring, Miami's Erik Spoelstra would join an exclusive club that features the likes of Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson.

With so much on the line and so many great subplots, how can this not be a fantastic series?

I think it will be a memorable one. Even better than last year's.

This time, however, the result will be different.

The Spurs in seven.


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