For Heat and Spurs, changes coming
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org June 20, 2013 11:15PM
during the second half at Game 5 of the NBA Finals basketball series, Sunday, June 16, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Updated: June 21, 2013 12:29AM
MIAMI — What are the chances that the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs meet in the NBA Finals again next June?
It’s not likely, considering the personnel changes on the horizon for both teams.
The big question facing the Spurs is what to do with free agent-to-be Manu Ginobili. The veteran guard made $14.1 million this season and will be considering retirement. The Heat’s ‘‘Big Three’’ of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is intact for at least one more year before they can opt out of their contracts, but veteran shooter Ray Allen can opt out now, and ‘‘Birdman’’ Chris Andersen is a free agent this summer. With no cap room, the Heat’s offseason will have to be done on the cheap. The only way that changes is if Bosh is traded, an option that will at least be entertained this summer.
◆ Coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers was still the hot rumor at the Finals, but with the Clippers taking center Kevin Garnett out of the equation, does it still have legs? Expect the Clippers to find a way to screw this up.
◆ Spurs coach Gregg Popovich rarely shows a funny side, but he did Thursday when asked about the emotions of a Game 7.
‘‘It’s torture,’’ he said. “It’s hard to appreciate or enjoy torture. That’s why I always say that coaches are sick puppies.’’