San Antonio Spurs X-Factors Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills Key NBA Finals Return

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While the Miami Heat are seeking their fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals the San Antonio Spurs are hoping to return to the biggest stage in basketball for the first time during consecutive seasons.

In fact San Antonio has never made the NBA Finals during an even year. The Spurs’ prior five trips to the championship occurred in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2013.

Tim Duncan (franchise’s all-time leader in minutes, points and rebounds) took NBA Finals Most Valuable Player honors the first three times San Antonio played for the championship while Tony Parker won Finals MVP in 2007.

The Spurs dominated the New York Knicks in five, dispatched the New Jersey Nets in six, outlasted the Detroit Pistons in seven and swept the Cleveland Cavaliers during their four NBA Finals series victories.

So close to a fifth ring, San Antonio was unable to close out the Miami Heat during Game 6 in South Beach and went on to fall to Miami during seven grueling games. That agony and despair, instead of dividing the Spurs, has brought San Antonio even closer together as a unit and coaching staff.

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