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NBA Finals quickie preview

Seven quick hitters to set up this NBA Finals rematch pitting two teams that went the distance when they met this time last year ... with an assist to my pal Steven Martinez from ESPN Stats & Information:

1. It's our first NBA Finals rematch since Chicago and Utah met in 1997 and 1998. Of the previous 12 Finals rematches, six resulted in a split and six teams won it both times.

2. San Antonio's Gregg Popovich is looking to become the fifth coach in league history to win five championships, joining Phil Jackson (11), Red Auerbach (nine), John Kundla (five) and Pat Riley (five).

3. Miami's Erik Spoelstra is bidding to become just the fourth coach in NBA annals to pull off a three-peat. Jackson, Auerbach and Kundla are the others; no NBA team has three-peated since the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000-02.

4. The Spurs are making back-to-back Finals appearances for the first time in franchise history and are the first team since the 1988-89 Detroit Pistons to make it back to the Finals after losing a Game 7 in the previous Finals.

5. The Heat are the first team to advance to four straight NBA Finals since the Boston Celtics from 1984-87. The Celts went 2-2 in those Finals trips, with the Los Angeles Lakers going 2-2 from 1982-85 and Boston going 9-1 in its 10 straight trips from 1957-66.

6. San Antonio's Tim Duncan can join Michael Jordan as the only players with at least four NBA Finals MVP trophies if he wins the 2014 award, while Miami’s LeBron James attempts to join Shaquille O’Neal (2000-02) and His Airness (1991-93 and 1996-98) as the only players to win three straight Finals MVPs.

7. The Game 1 winner of the NBA Finals goes on to win the series 70.1 percent of the time (47-20). Don't forget, though, that the Finals format has reverted back to 2-2-1-1-1 for the first time since 1984.