San Antonio Spurs NBA Opener Could Be Finals Preview

By Erik Lambert

Jun 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) stands on the free throw line with Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) during the second quarter in game five of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Schedule makers in any league love juicy subplots in openers.  So it’s no surprise they may pit the champion San Antonio Spurs against LeBron.

LeBron James will be eager to test new Cavs against Tim Duncan and Co.

It’s only natural for a team or player that lost the NBA Finals to want any measure of revenge on the team that made them feel so much hurt.  For LeBron James, the humiliation of the five-game pounding his Miami team took at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs must hurt worse than previous Finals defeats.  Not only did it end his chance at a historic threepeat, but it marks the second time the Spurs have gotten the better of him in June.  It’s clear that Tim Duncan and his band of “old men” are an even greater nemesis than the Boston Celtics were.  So there is no doubt that the King was a tad giddy when rumors began to drop his new Cleveland Cavaliers squad would be facing the defending champs on opening night.  The only question is how much that game will mean in context to the entire season.

Kevin Love resolution could tip the result in two different outcomes

Most NBA experts will look at it as a potential Finals preview but the true draw of it is the ridiculous number of different routes the game could take.  The most interesting variable in the situation is the trade status of star power forward Kevin Love.  Nearly everybody is convinced he will be dealt by Minnesota some time soon.  As it stands Cleveland is the frontrunner to land him.  So much will depend on whether that happens.  How different will the Cavs play the San Antonio Spurs with him as without him?  It’s certain head coach Greg Popovich and his crew are very interested because they know the mettle of James.  They have seen his greatness up close many times but also know how to beat him.

Much of their game planning and preparation could derive from this meeting.