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LeBron James, Heat prepping for NBA Finals

Heat and Spurs battle in NBA Finals.

LeBron James is all mouth-guard smiles these days. LeBron James and the Heat take on the Spurs Thursday night in the NBA Finals.

The Miami Heat are heading back to the NBA Finals for a third straight season.

Next up, the San Antonio Spurs. It's a chance at redemption for LeBron James, who watched his Cavaliers get swept away by the Spurs back in 2007. Let's not confuse the Heat with those Cavaliers. Still, the experience left an impression on a 22-year-old James.

"I'm a much better player [now]," James said. "I'm 20, 40, 50 times better than I was in the 2007 Finals. My Cleveland team, we were very young, and we went up against a very experienced team, well-coached team. And they took advantage of everything that we did."

James and the Heat routed the pesky Pacers Monday night in a decisive Game 7. Now, they'll put the big boy pants right back on in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night against San Antonio.

Miami swept San Antonio in the regular-season series.

"They've got a bunch of Hall of Famers," said James, "so I look forward to the challenge."

 
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