For the most part, the rosters are the same. The setting, cities and coaches, all unchanged.
In some ways, maybe it is. The Heat and Spurs split their regular-season meetings and this matchup isn't exactly a surprise, but the Heat sees differences. And the Heat understands if it wants the same result it got last time out against the Spurs, it's going to have to rely on some of the adjustments it made over the last 12 months, especially since this time Miami won't have home-court advantage when the Finals begin Thursday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
"It's always different," Heat Coach
One thing Miami now has in its favor is a healthy
Wade played through the pain last June and still managed to average 15.9 points in the postseason, but he admitted Tuesday he feels "better" than he did 12 months ago and that makes a difference in his mental preparation for the Finals.
"You have to be physically right to play this game at a high level, but you have to be mentally right … if your [mind] is clear, then you feel you're capable of doing the things you want to do and that you can do and that makes a big difference," he said. "It doesn't guarantee you anything. It doesn't mean you're going to play better, but it does clear your mind."
Added Spoelstra: "He had some very big games last year, even while he was hobbled coming into it. He feels better coming into it right now from a mental standpoint. We're all encouraged by that."
Like Wade, Heat center
After shooting just 28% from three-point range last season, Bosh has found success beyond the arc this year, shooting 34% from there during the regular season. That number has jumped to 41% in the postseason and now, Bosh taking shots from the perimeter has become what Spoelstra termed "just part of our game."
And while Bosh was non-committal Tuesday when asked about how much he expects to use his outside shot against the Spurs, he knows it could make a difference.
"I think it'll give them something extra to think about, give Dwyane and
The Heat has also gotten a boost recently from veteran forward