2014 NBA Finals: 10 Things You Need To Know For Heat vs. Spurs

10 Things You Need To Know For the 2014 NBA Finals

2014 NBA Finals
Getty Images

Basketball fans couldn't have asked for a much better matchup in the 2014 NBA Finals. The Heat and Spurs are set to do battle again this June, and they'll surely have a hard time topping last year's thrilling series.

Here's a look at 10 things you need to know heading into Thursday's game one from San Antonio:

10. Format Change This Year

2013 NBA Finals - Practice Day And Media Availability
Getty Images

10. Format Change This Year

2013 NBA Finals - Practice Day And Media Availability

Gone are the days of the 2-3-2 Finals format, here are the days of the common 2-2-1-1-1 format. Either way, the Spurs have home court advantage this year.

9. Tony Parker Is Not 100 Percent

Tony Parker
USA Today Sports

9. Tony Parker Is Not 100 Percent

Tony Parker

Parker is pretty banged up with an ankle injury, but you know he'll be ready to play in game one after four days rest. As the series goes on he'll definitely be a player to watch.

8. Spurs Are Trying For 5 Rings In 15 Years

1999 NBA Finals Game 5: San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks
Getty Images

8. Spurs Are Trying For 5 Rings In 15 Years

1999 NBA Finals Game 5: San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks

While you can't call them a dynasty, the Spurs have been as consistent as any team in the NBA over the last 15-20 years.

7. Ray Allen and Shane Battier Nearing the End?

Shane Battier, Miami Heat
USA Today Sports

7. Ray Allen and Shane Battier Nearing the End?

Shane Battier, Miami Heat

Shane Battier is as good as retired. At the same time, Ray Allen is inching closer to the end of his career. Will another ring be enough for the 3-point GOAT to hang it up?

6. Heat Attempting To Become Third Team in Last 20 Years To 3-Peat

June 2, 2014: Robert Mayer; LeBron James Is A Year Older And A Year Wiser
USA Today Sports

6. Heat Attempting To Become Third Team in Last 20 Years To Three-Peat

June 2, 2014: Robert Mayer; LeBron James Is A Year Older And A Year Wiser

The Heat can join the likes of the 1996-98 Bulls and the 2000-02 Lakers with a Finals win.

5. Spurs Are Playing In First Back-to-Back Finals

Portland Trail Blazers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five
Getty Images

5. Spurs Are Playing In First Back-to-Back Finals

Portland Trail Blazers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five

As good as the Spurs have been over the last two decades, they've never made it to back-to-back Finals. Given how old their roster is, they might not accomplish this feat again for quite some time.

4. Tim Duncan's Final Series?

San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder - Western Conference Finals Game 6
Getty Images

4. Tim Duncan's Final Series?

San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder - Western Conference Finals Game 6

Just like Allen, many feel a series win could be enough for Duncan to call it a career. There's definitely something to be said for going out on top.

3. Heat Have Already Made History

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers during the Eastern Conference Finals Game Six
Getty Images

3. Heat Have Already Made History

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers during the Eastern Conference Finals Game Six

Win or lose, the Heat have already established themselves as one of the all-time great teams. They're the first in nearly 30 years to advance to four straight Finals.

2. First Back-to-Back Rematch Since 97-98

1998 NBA Finals Game 3:  Utah Jazz vs. Chicago Bulls
Getty Images

2. First Back-to-Back Rematch Since 97-98

1998 NBA Finals Game 3:  Utah Jazz vs. Chicago Bulls

Although fans have seen a couple Finals rematches recently, there hasn't been a true rematch since the Bulls and Jazz met up in 1997 and 1998.

1. End of an Era?

San Antonio Spurs NBA Playoffs
USA Today Sports

1. End of an Era?

San Antonio Spurs NBA Playoffs

One way or another, it looks like an era will end after the 2014 Finals. Either the Big Three could break up, or the veteran Spurs will finally reach the end of the road. Something has to give.