MIAMI - The NBA Finals. Just being here can be memorable - and miserable.
And surprise, it's those supposedly stoic Spurs who are having more fun, while the South Beach bunch is a little grumpy and grouchy.
The Miami Heat may be on top of the basketball world, but there's no joy unless they stay there.
"Playoffs ain't fun, man. I'm sorry to bust anyone on the outside's bubble," Dwyane Wade said. "As a player in the playoffs, you have no joy until it's over and you won. If you don't win, you have no joy for a while."
Down 1-0 after a record regular season that goes for naught without another title, the Heat can turn its mood around with a victory tonight over San Antonio.
Back in the finals for a third straight year, the Heat has lost some of the ability to enjoy the ride. It's a grind for a team that will be playing its 100th game of the season today. Wade has battled a painful right knee for a while, Chris Bosh is in a shooting slump, and the minutes are adding up for LeBron James, who has played deep into June the last three years and competed in the Olympics last year.
"It's a toll for myself to go through what I've been through the last 2 1/2 years. But I've been blessed, I've been blessed to be able to be in three finals, I've been blessed to be a part of a great Olympic team and to play basketball, the game that I love," James said.
James and the Heat got two days off following the Spurs' 92-88 win in Game 1. Both James and Wade had mentioned fatigue when talking about Miami's poor fourth-quarter performance, just three nights after the end of a difficult, seven-game series against Indiana to decide the Eastern Conference championship.
The break gave the Heat more time to examine ways their own Big Three can be successful on offense, as well as get some more defensive pressure on the Spurs, who committed just four turnovers in the opener.
"We're not a team that really says too (often), 'this is a must-win game,' but this is a must-win game," Wade said. "We have to win this game at home."
• What: Spurs at Heat, San Antonio leads 1-0
• When: 5 p.m.
• TV: Channel 9