If San Antonio Spurs superstar Tim Duncan was trying to send a message straight to the heart of the Miami Heat, then message received. Whether it was a tactic to get inside Miami’s head is something only Duncan knows. The only issue is LeBron James and his stellar teammates are not intimidated by the comments Duncan made after the Spurs defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
“It’s unbelievable to regain that focus after that devastating loss that we had last year,” Duncan told ESPN after the win Saturday night. “But we’re back here. We’re excited about it. We’ve got four more to win. We’ll do it this time.
“We’re happy it’s the Heat again. We’ve got that bad taste in our mouths still.”
James heard the comments loud and clear. He isn’t upset by any means because he believes San Antonio is one of the classiest organizations in the league, which is something he definitely is not wrong about. At the same time, he fully understands the magnitude of the comments and why they were said.
“[Duncan's comments] don’t bother me. Once you get on the floor, you’ve got to play. We’re confident. We’re not shying away from them. We want them, too,” James said. “I don’t think it’s personal. Like they said, we left a sour taste in their mouth.”
The thing is the Heat would be foolish not to be a little unsettled in regards to facing the Spurs. The reason for that is because San Antonio has spent an entire year waiting for this moment. Every single player that was on the team last season has trained extra hard in the offseason, put in more effort during the regular season, and remained more positive than usual in the playoffs just so they could get a rematch against Miami with a championship on the line.
Sure, the Heat have the almighty Big Three on their side. But seriously, the Spurs have consistently been in the thick of it for the past decade. They have the veteran experience and one of the greatest coaches of this generation. Even more worrisome is that San Antonio is clearly on a mission to show the world that Miami can bleed just like everyone else.
James is not intimidated nor should he be. The Heat overcame incredible odds last season when their backs were against the wall in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. They are the best in the land and they are certainly the team to beat. However, overconfidence can backfire greatly, which is something Miami has to at least be careful about.