Bibby compares Heat’s defense to 1999 Spurs

Tonight the 2011 NBA Finals kick off in Miami as the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks square off once again since 2006. It will also mark Heat’s Mike Bibby’s first trip to the Finals and when asked about what got Miami to this point, he says it has been all about the team’s defense.

In the same vein, he likens Miami’s defense to the 1999 Spurs championship year defense when he was a rookie with the then Vancouver Grizzlies:

As for the team he joined in March, he repeatedly mentioned how impressed he was with the defense. “It reminds me of my first year in the league (with the Vancouver Grizzlies),” he continued. “I remember playing San Antonio. Everywhere I turned, there was somebody guarding me, helping out. They (Spurs) made it hard to do anything. I haven’t had that again until I got here. It’s all about defense, helping out.

Indeed the Spurs – during their dynasty years – proved defense wins championships. Miami is doing it in their current playoff run and the 1999 Spurs team defied an opposing team to score which led to the franchise’s first NBA title. It also helped having one of the NBA’s all-time defensive greats David Robinson and a young Tim Duncan patrolling the paint.

Hopefully the Spurs will get back to a defense-first mindset next season and once again look for title number five before Duncan and Manu Ginobili hang up their jerseys.

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