Ginobili plays up difference in having home court advantage in Finals.
Following their sweep of the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference finals, the San Antonio Spurs have been able to sit back and watch their rivals in the East go to war every other night.
Game 7 at the AA Arena on Monday night will determine whether they face the defending champions Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers in the NBA finals which start on June 6, and although they are prepared for either team, it is clear which they would prefer.
Speaking to the media on Sunday, Spurs star Manu Ginobili made it clear that home court advantage is a big difference at this time of the season, and having a potential decider for the championship at home can be a defining factor.
As a result, while the Argentine is prepared for the challenge of either franchise, he would prefer to see the Pacers prevail thus handing the Spurs the home court advantage through the finals.
If Indiana win, the Spurs will get Game 1, 2, 6, and 7 at the AT&T Center. However, should the Heat win, the Finals will open in Miami while a potential Game 7 would also take place at the AA Arena.
“It’s not that we pull (for one team or another),” Ginobili told reporters according to NBA.com.
“I think this time it’s different than before because of the home-court advantage. It is a big difference.
“It’s not definitive. It doesn’t mean that whoever has home-court advantage is going to win. But we all prefer to have a Game 7 at home than on the road if we could get to that point.”
There have been 17 Finals that have gone the distance over the history of the NBA, and the home team has a 14-3 record in those Game 7 scenarios.
While the Spurs continue to practice in the hope they don’t lose their rhythm following a lengthy break in between series, Ginobili sarcastically suggested that it would great if “there were five overtimes in Game 7” on Monday night.
While the Spurs hope the duelling Eastern rivals weaken one another in the decider, they will also quietly be hoping that the Pacers prevail.