The Spurs lead Miami 3-1 in the NBA Finals heading into tonight’s Game 5.
Forward Matt Bonner will become the fourth former Gator to win two titles if San Antonio can close out the Heat.
Bonner, 34, has seen his playing time and production go down in his 10th NBA season.
His regular-season averages for minutes (11.3) and points (3.2) were the lowest of his career, and his 61 games played were the fewest since his first year with the Spurs in ’06-’07.
However, Bonner’s role has increased in recent weeks.
After scoring eight points in 16 minutes off the bench in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich gave Bonner his first starts of the season in the series’ final two games.
Against the Heat, Bonner has seen first-quarter action in the last two contests and scored a total of five points in 19 minutes played. He’s even guarded LeBron James.
“You can’t be like all of a sudden I have to do something different to get ready, you have to be prepared for any time you get called,” he told Toronto Star earlier this week.
Bonner, who spent his first two NBA seasons with the Raptors, will be a free agent in July. His future with the Spurs is uncertain, but Bonner is on the brink of his second championship and thankful for everything he has experienced in San Antonio.
“I consider myself extremely lucky to be a role player in this league and be about to complete my 10th season and this is only my second team,” he said. “Most guys move around to many teams and I’ve been lucky to have been with the Raptors and to have a great experience there for two years and now be able to stick on here for eight years somehow.
“I’ve just been very fortunate to have kind of been a direct witness to the greatness that is Tim (Duncan), Tony (Parker) and Manu (Ginobili) and obviously everything else with coach Pop and RC (Buford) and the rest of the organization.
“Just to be a part of it has been awesome.”