Tim Duncan made it no secret that his team is eager to get revenge on Miami for last year’s Finals loss. He explicitly said on Sunday that his team is happy they are playing the Heat – and not some other team -- for this exact reason.
“We’re happy to be back this year,” Duncan said. “We’re happy to have another opportunity at it. We’re happy that it’s the Heat again. We’ve got that bad taste in our mouths still, so hopefully we’ll be ready to take it this time.”
Yesterday, LeBron made it clear he heard Duncan’s words.
“They don’t like us, they don’t,” he said. “I can sense it from Timmy’s comments over the last couple of days. They wanted us and we’ll be ready for the challenge. We’re confident. We’re not shying away from them. We want them too. They want us, they got us.”
LeBron said he doesn’t blame Duncan for wanting revenge. After all, the Spurs practically had the series wrapped up last year with one minute to go in Game 6. Officials even had the Larry O’Brien trophy sitting courtside waiting for the Spurs impending postgame celebration. Of course, Ray Allen proceeded to hit one of the most clutch three-pointers in history and the Heat came back to win both that game and the series.
Even James can see how crushing that loss must have been. That’s why he said yesterday that he doesn’t think Duncan’s thirst for revenge is anything personal.
“I don’t think it’s personal,” James said. “They said it — we left a sour taste in their mouth because of what happened.”