Earlier this week, over on the premium site, we chronicled the strangeness of the Spurs and Heat meeting in the Finals as relative strangers.

Neither team has played each other at full strength in two years, and just twice since the Heat became the Heatles, so much of tonight’s Game 1 at the AmericanAirlines Arena will be spent in getting-to-know you mode.

At Spurs’ shootaround this morning, guard Manu Ginobili talked about what that process entails. Ginobili is like a junk ball pitcher, who uses craftiness, guile and an intense knowledge of a hitter to figure the best way to get him out. The more he knows about an opponent, generally, the better approach he can take toward playmaking and defending.

Having not appeared against Miami since March 2011, Ginobili knows next to nothing about LeBron James and the Miami Heat except for what he sees on film. Does Ginobili believe he will be able to get away with one of his patented between-the-defender’s-legs passes against the quicker, ball-hawking Heat?

“I think I’ll tell you after the first game,” Ginobili said. “Because I haven’t played them this year, and I don’t really remember playing them two years ago. So to understand what you’re going to do, you have to feel it, you have to live it.”