The San Antonio Spurs have made it painfully clear that this year is different.
Around this time last year, the Miami Heat were able to escape the grips of death by the hand of Ray Allen and his right-corner three ball in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. Fast forward to the present, where the Spurs have taken a definitive 3-1 lead in the 2014 NBA Finals behind two massive victories. They can smell blood and they are going in for the kill.
The Heat and the entire state of Florida are in a state of shock right now. No one could have predicted the domination that the Spurs have displayed in the past two games. There was no way the Heat could know that the Spurs would have an historic offensive night in Game 3 and then follow it up with an almost flawless offensive performance in Game 4.
But the Spurs knew. They knew from the heart-wrenching moment last June that they would never experience that pain again. They have not been quiet about their misery since “the shot”, mentioning it almost every chance they get. And now their message is being heard loud and clear, since the world has no choice but to listen.
Kawhi Leonard’s relentless attack on the paint in the past two games has been a microcosm of the mindset that the Spurs have honed in on. Attack, attack, attack has echoed in the demeanor and mentality of San Antonio, as they’ve put the Heat on their heels. With their backs against the wall, Miami has no choice but to respond now. If LeBron James and the “Heatles” are as great as they’ve been built up to be, I would assume their response would come in Game 5 — maybe.
Right now, this has all the makings of a National Geographic documentary. You know the one where the lion is stalking the prey carefully, waiting for that moment to pounce and finish the hunt. Well the Spurs are foaming at the mouth, and we all know what happens next.