5 things to watch: Spurs vs. Heat


The San Antonio Spurs (2-2) return to the scene of the crime of last season's NBA Finals as the visit the Miami Heat (3-2) in preseason action.

The Spurs are coming off a narrow road win over the Hawks 106-104. Center Aron Baynes made a floater in the paint with three seconds left to lift the Spurs past the Hawks. Tim Duncan finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Tony Parker scored 17 points and handed out 5 assists. Marco Belinelli finished with 13 points and 4 rebounds.

The Heat are coming off a 62-86 loss to the Nets in Brooklyn. LeBron James finished with 16 points in the loss.

And as the Heat and Spurs meet for the 12th time during the preseason (the Spurs hold a 5-6 series lead), here are five thing to watch for in tonight's Spurs-Heat rematch.

• The Heat are 3-0 in the preseason when leading after the third quarter.

• The Heat are 0-2 in the preseason when trailing after three quarters.

• Playing time. With just a few games remaining in the preseason, the Spurs' core players should already start seeing a spike in minutes on the court. If not, then the Spurs coaching staff might be worried about conserving their energy for the marathon that is the NBA.

• Manu Ginobili. Manu has been playing like a man possessed in the preseason. He needs to dial it down a bit seeing as there are 82 regular season games ahead of him.

• More playing time for Jeff Ayres and Marco Belinelli. Every minute counts for the two new additions to the team. With just three preseason games left, Ayres and Belinelli's chemistry with their new teammates is key.