San Antonio’s Aron Baynes says his NBA side’s finals failure last year has been spurring them on this season.
San Antonio’s meltdown in Miami during game six of last year’s NBA finals is still on Australian forward Aron Baynes’ mind.
The Spurs were in the box seat to take out the championship, only for LeBron James’ triple-double and late rally to lift the home side to a series-levelling win in overtime.
James fired again in game seven as Miami made it back-to-back titles.
As the two sides prepare to tussle in the finals again this week, motivation won’t be hard to come by for Australians Patty Mills and Baynes.
“The first thing we did in training camp this year was we had to go back and watch game six,” Baynes told SEN radio.
“It got our blood boiling and, from then on, that’s been the one thing we’ve been focusing on.
“We’ve wanted to get back here and now we’re here.
“Everyone feels that they took something from us (in 2013). So that’s the mentality of us.”
The series is being billed as a superstar team taking on a team of superstars – namely Miami’s ‘Big Three’ of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
“We don’t really focus on one guy – we play team basketball,” Baynes said.
“We know he (James) is the head of the snake.
“We have to guard him and play team defence against him.
“Wade as well, and Bosh – they’re all great players, so it’s about having our whole team guard them.”
North Queensland product Baynes’ time on court is likely to be limited in the series.
But if given the chance to shine by coach Gregg Popovich, his approach will be a simple one.
“Whenever my number’s called, I just want to go in there and be a presence,” he said.