Maybe the Rangers’ Stanley Cup appearance will provide some solace, being that there are only four to seven games left in this NBA season.

It all begins tonight (Thursday) and continues Sunday in San Antonio: the Miami Heat vs. the Spurs, the NBA Finals, a rematch, the sequel! It will be an expected battle, an epic, like “Godfather ll” and the second of the Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns fight series. 

Miami, who defeated Indiana in six games, winning their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference division title, will now face a revenge-seeking Spurs team who simply considers this a grudge match. Since losing last year’s finals to the Heat, this San Antonio team’s sole focus from the end of that Game 6 loss until now was and is to beat them.

The Heat, who had the third best record this season, will have to defend their title against a Spurs team that has the best regular season record in the better of the two NBA conferences. They also have home court advantage. They’re a team that has never lost a Game 1 in the finals. Miami will have to win a road game or two to win this third chip. Miami’s brain trust must also defend against San Antonio coach Greg Popovich, a seasoned X’s and O’s guy who has taken the Spurs to six NBA Finals, winning four.

His center, Tim Duncan, an iconic, old-school throwback, stated last Saturday night at the end of their bust-up of Oklahoma that they have four more games to win, “and we’ll do it this time!” That sounded like a promise and a threat!

He’ll have step outside to defend Miami’s 3-point shooting center, Chris Bosh, who will have to defend against Tim Duncan.

San Antonio’s star guard Tony Parker has had left ankle problems since playing Oklahoma, sitting out the second half of Saturday’s game, while Dwyane Wade has gotten stronger during the postseason.

Miami has the advantage, but they’ll need strong contributions from their bench to get them over. The surprise scoring of Rashard Lewis—and of course the deep 3-pointers from Ray Allen, aka Jesus Shuttlesworth—will be essential to secure four game victories for them.