The words weren't nearly as surprising as the player who uttered them.
But there was the
"We got four more to win," Duncan said. "We'll do it this time."
"They don't like us, They don't. I can sense it from Timmy's comments over the last couple of days," James told reporters in Miami on Monday. "They wanted this, they wanted us and we'll be ready for the challenge."
The Spurs have been waiting for this opportunity since
"It was something that fueled us the whole season," San Antonio forward
They're back, and perhaps even better than a year ago.
The veteran Diaw has not only turned back the clock with a series of strong performances but made time stand still as if he were in his 2006 prime.
The only question is point guard
The Spurs will be seeing red when they look at Miami's road jerseys for multiple reasons.
"We've got that bad taste in our mouths still," Duncan said. "Hopefully, we'll be ready to take it this time."
If those words qualify as shots fired, the Heat considers them blanks.
"[Duncan's comments] don't bother me," James told reporters. "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. I don't think it's personal."
Not much is at stake for Miami besides its bid to become the first team to three-peat since the
It would also erase what Popovich once memorably described as a "lugubrious" feeling that has stuck with the Spurs for 348 days. Not that anyone's counting.