Category Archives: NBA

All NBA related talk

Didn’t Win it All, But they Won Big

usa-today-9312813.0I went a day late with this, but I’ve been grinding away on some articles that I’m writing for Hockey’s Future.  That’s right, this dip shit is now writing for Hockey’s Future.  No, not posting on the message boards, actually writing on the Canadiens prospects.  So become a Habs fan and check that shit out!

 

Speaking of the Habs, P.K. Subban is a pretty big Raptors fan.  Nice transition, don’t you think?!

 

Well the Raptors won their NBA title in game 4.  Down 2-1 in the series, at home and with the Cavs coming on strong, the Raptors managed to go toe to toe with a Cavs team that I believe is about to win the NBA title.  If you’re realistic about it, that was the Raptors championship.  I said it before the series that if they got it to a game 6 it would be a massive win, and they did.

 

Is that loser talk?  No, it’s realistic.  Nobody wins in the NBA without a major superstar and most of the time you need 2 superstars.  The only exception to that rule might be the 3 titles the Pistons have won, though Isiah Thomas was definitely an all time great, and Rasheed Wallace was a superstar when he felt like being one.

 

But this whole playoff run was massive for the Raptors.  You could see them grow as the playoffs went on.  After game 1 against the Pacers it looked as though they were going to get their ass kicked once again by a more veteran squad who had been to the East finals just 2 years previous.  But they grinded it out and pulled the series out in 7.  Unimpressively, but they did it.

 

Going into the Miami series, despite the Heat not having Chris Bosh I felt the Heat were going to win.  Still felt that way after game 1, still felt that way after game 2.  Game 3 was where everything changed for the Raptors.  A close game down the stretch and Kyle Lowry took over.  THAT was the game.  If this squad ever wins anything, Raptors fans can look back at that game as the turning point.  Because Lowry finally realized he can hang with the best in the game, and the Raptors realized they can win tight playoff games.  Even though it went 7 as well, it felt and looked like a much more confident Raptors squad and in game 7 they pulled away to blow out the much more experienced Heat.

 

The first 2 games in Cleveland were ugly and you started to think “maybe they didn’t turn the corner, maybe they just played an awful Heat squad”.  Game 3 was fun, but it had an asterisk next to it.  Rumour was that the Cavs were out partying all night in Toronto on the Friday prior to game 3, and so they weren’t taking it seriously.  Game 4 though, that was cool.  That was the Cavs getting it going, and the Raptors went shot for shot with them and managed to tie the series.  That kind of experience is going to serve this team very well moving forward.

 

But does moving forward include DeMar DeRozan?

 

Yesterday he really sounded like a guy who has no plan of leaving Toronto, and why would he?  Where is he going to go?  The Lakers?  They’re a mess right now.  The Sixers?  They’re the biggest mess in all of sports.  In Toronto he is “the guy” along with Kyle Lowry who he has a tremendous relationship with, and they are the clear cut 2nd best team in the conference.

 

But my question has been, are the Raptors better or worse committing the kind of money DeRozen will cost?  It is a dangerous road to go down for GM Masai Ujiri, but he may have to.  The fact of the matter is that the NBA has become a shooters league, and DeRozen can’t shoot.  He can score, but his jumper is weak and from 3 he’s awful.  Do you dare consider letting him walk and going after a guy like Harrison Barnes who is a stretch 4?  Terrance Ross could step into the starters role in place of DeRozen and Barnes (still only 23) not only would improve them at the 4 but is a much better shooter than DeRozen (although in fairness he would get a lot more attention from D’s in Toronto than he does as the 4th option in Golden State).

 

There also is the 9th pick overall.  What a steal this turned out to be as this pick is the result of the Andrea Bargnani trade.  So for a completely useless player, they got the 9th pick.  But you have to make it count.  Do they simply sit back and pick?  If so, I got my eyes on a few kids.  I think it’s POSSIBLE that a kid like Jamal Murray falls to them, but it isn’t probable.  Chad Ford of ESPN likes Marquese Chriss out of Washington as their pick and I like that.  He’s a lot like Barnes in that he’s a stretch 4 with a unique skill set.  If not him, Furkan Korkmaz is the kid that peaks my interest.  He’s a 2 who is a great shooter.  In the late 90’s and early 2000’s this type of player would be a mid to late 1st round pick.  But with the way the game is played now, you need guys who can really shoot and Korkmaz can really shoot.

 

One thing I love about Ujiri is that he sees the value in the D league.  The NBA seemingly has yet to figure out how to use the D league.  Most executives seem to be worried about getting the draft age moved to 20 from 19, yet none of them seem to realize that they can give these kids an extra year or two to develop in the D league.  Ujiri does, so taking either of the kids like the ones mentioned above could and likely would see most of next season playing for Raptors 905.

 

But the other end of this is that maybe they don’t simply just pick.  Maybe they look to package the pick to land that stretch 4 who I’ve been talking about that they need.    Who that is, I really don’t know.

 

This really should be the start of an awesome stretch for the Raptors.  They have an elite GM, solid coach, a deep roster, and now have real experience.  I would say they have about a 2-3 year window.  Kyle Lowry is in his prime, but he may only have a season left before he starts to decline, and of course he is the straw that stirs this drink.

 

Getting past the Cavs will be a heck of a challenge, but all this playoff run did was prepare them for that challenge.  You can’t expect them to get over that hump, they don’t have the superstar who can get them there.  But enjoy the ride as the Raptors become one of the elite teams in the NBA.

 

Follow me on Twitter @TJ_Soups

7th Heaven

 

I didn’t have time to write about it yesterday, but as you all know now how freakin’ amazing was game 6?!  Magic Johnson said it was a top 3 game he has ever seen or been a part of.  It will go down as one of the all time great NBA finals games.  Game 5 in 1976 (even though I was -7 years old at the time), game 4 in 1985, game 4 in 1987, game 6 in 1988, game 3 in 1993, game 6 in 1998, on and on and on.  It was right there with those games.  Great action, great drama, great stars, great teams.  It had everything.

Having said that….don’t expect THAT tonight.  I fully believe we will get a great game, and this has been an amazing series (despite 4 of the 6 games being blowouts).  But Dan Patrick brought it up on his show yesterday, great game 6’s usually lead to let down’s in game 7.  Mets and Red Sox in 86 was like that.  The ball rolled through Buckner’s legs (of course about 8 things happened prior to that blowing the game for the Sox), and that series was over.  The same COULD have happened to the Spurs in game 6.

They choked in that game, and I NEVER thought I would see that out of this Spurs team.  They have always been like robots in big spots.  Why couldn’t they have done that against the Steve Nash led Suns?!  Well they did it in game 6 and now a lot of the sports world thinks they’re done.  But I just can’t see it.

Again, this team has always been like robots.  I can’t see them being effected by what happened at all.  Popovich will have made his adjustments, have them fired up and have them in control.  If I were Pop, I would simply remind them that they’ve won every 2nd game and been the best team in 4 of the 6 games thus far.  Danny Green won’t shoot that bad again, Manu Ginobli probably won’t turn back the clock like in game 5 but I doubt is as bad as he was in game 6, and this time Pop probably won’t pull his hall of famer/best rebounder in the final seconds of the game should they have the lead.

Meanwhile this could be the make it or break it game for Lebron.  If he comes through with a big performance and the Heat win, nobody can ever doubt him again (not that I believe they still should be).  But if he loses, you will hear the critics in full force.  The big thing I could see people saying is that he won his ring in a lockout season.  In fairness to the critics, he was pretty bad in the final minute of regulation Tuesday.  Ray Allen REALLY saved his ass with that 3 to tie the game.  2 turnovers and 2 BAD misses from 3.  He was trying to force things, which is understandable since they were in desperation mode, but he is under a microscope like no other player before him.

I’ll say this, EVERYONE is going with the Heat tonight.  The Spurs blew game 6, game 7 is in Miami (not since the Washington Bullets in 1978 has a team won game 7 of the finals on the road), and the Heat are the younger and fresher team.  When EVERYONE is going one way, its not a bad idea to go the other.  No, it probably won’t be a game 6 and it might not match the great game 4 the Stanley Cup final gave us last night.  But its game 7 between 2 great teams….enjoy.

 

Follow me on twitter, I don’t shutup on there so if you like being annoyed I’m your man @TJ_Soups

Yet ANOTHER Hollywood Sequal

 

Don’t you just get sick of the fact that there are hardly any new idea’s in Hollywood anymore?  I didn’t see the latest Spiderman movie, I seen it 10 years previous.  Like at least when they remade Ocean’s 11 they had waited a while.  And the sequals are even worse.  Hangover 3?  Another Top Gun movie?  Sure we can all agree that Slap Shot 2 and 3 were great, but classics like those straight to DVD greats are few and far between!  God forbid they make Wayne’s World 3 showing us Wayne and Garth doing the show from a rehab center.  “Party on Garth”, “Not in 23 days Wayne”.

Well another sequal is being made in Hollywood right now.  They’ll be releasing it at the end of April and it’ll be played until the middle of June, at least that’s how long I’m projecting it to be running.  Low seed title run 2: The Lakers take back the town.  Just an AWFUL title I know, but the creators of this sequal are tired and don’t feel like being anymore witty than that….

Ok, the cheekiness has run its course for now.  The Lakers are coming on STRONG.  Ignore last night’s set back in Phoenix, this team is finally coming together.  While the Heat have been setting records with their win streak, the Lakers have somewhat subtly just worked their way back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference.  And I think it is lost on a lot of pundits still that all this team has to do is get in the dance.  I know that’s not the way the NBA has been over the years, but this team is an exception.

Now the 1 difference from the Kings that hasn’t happened yet (but I believe it will) is that the Lakers will likely end up with the 6th seed, not 8.  But weather they’re 6th, 7th or 8th I’m calling my shot right now: the Lakers will win the West.  The road won’t be easy, they’ll likely have to go through the Clippers, Thunder and Spurs to get there.  But the thing is….they’re better than all 3 teams.

The Clippers are younger and more athletic, but young and athletic RARELY ever wins in the NBA playoffs.  The Spurs aren’t young and athletic, they’re quite the opposite.  But while older and experienced is what you want in the NBA playoffs, the Spurs are too old.  Everyone forgets the Spurs run last year through the first 10 games of the playoffs, and then they lost 4 straight and they were done.  It really appeared the Spurs ran out of gas in the end.  The Lakers have more talent, almost as much experience and are just a big younger.

Which brings me to their biggest threat, the OKC Thunder.  They’re young and athletic.  They’re experienced.  And they beat the Lakers last year in just 5 games.  Now obviously the Lakers brought in Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, that helps my opinion on this.  But more so for me its about who the Thunder don’t have.  James Harden was cold blooded last year against the Lakers.  Kevin Martin has fit in great with the Thunder so far this season, but he hasn’t proven it in the playoffs and until he does I just like the Lakers better.  They have more big time players.  I know Dwight Howard is an enigma, but when he turns it on he is unstoppable.  And he can be the difference.

I joke that this will be just like the Kings, but it actually reminds me a lot of the 99 Knicks.  They were expected to be among the top teams in the Eastern Conference that season along with the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, but they were a total train wreck all season.  They snuck into the 8 spot in the East and knocked off the Heat in a 5 game classic (of course this was back when opening round series were best of 5’s).  From that point on they rolled and became the team everyone thought they would be.  Even after Patrick Ewing went down in the Eastern Conference finals with an Achilles tendon injury.  That team was so loaded and it came together at the right time, just like I believe is happening for this Lakers team.

Now I started raving about the Raptors a few weeks back, and they proceeded to fall apart as soon as that was posted.  I wrote about how the Oilers were doomed, and they’ve gone 3-1-1 since.  I seem to have a knack to get the opposite out of my predictions lately.  I couldn’t miss during the NFL season weather it be with pre season rankings or picking games, and now I’m ice cold.  But I’m still calling it.  We will have a Lakers vs Heat finals, just like everyone figured in August (whatever day Howard was traded).  But they will be 2 VERY different paths travelled.

 

Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups

That’s so Gay

 

What?!  What did I say?  I’m talking about a basketball player here people, I don’t know what you think I mean by that but I’m talking about one of the best in the NBA right now.  Get your heads out of the gutter.  Actually, keep them there because my writing is usually in their as well…

People around the NBA really questioned this deal when it first happened.  Rudy Gay was overpaid and Memphis was essentially dumping him for cap purposes only.  But a couple things got overlooked in that deal (not by all, but some).  One was that Gay is a guy that was used to being the go to guy and he had that role ripped from him in Memphis.  And two is that the Raptors can’t get anyone to come to Canada, so what is the point of having all that cap space available if they can’t use it on anyone useful?

He has completely transformed the Raptors.  They’re now 7-3 with him in the lineup with wins in Indiana, on the road and at home vs the Knicks, at home against Denver, and even though the score didn’t look like it in the end they played the Heat tight for most of their game on Super Bowl Sunday.

This team lacked that go to guy.  Andrea Bargnani is far from that guy (hell at this point he’s far from a decent 12th man), Kyle Lowry is a nice point guard but he isn’t that guy, DeMar DeRozan is an amazingly athletic player but he isn’t that guy either.  Gay is.  He has that “give me the ball and get the hell out of my way” attitude that every team in the NBA needs to succeed. 

That was on full display last night against the Knicks.  26 of his 32 points came in the 2nd half of the game.  He put the team on his back, especially in the 3rd quarter.  He is the alpha dog that this team hasn’t had since Vince Carter.  Sure Chris Bosh was an all-star, but he was never going to be the kind of guy that could put a team on his back and carry them deep in the playoffs. 

Gay, if he has the right pieces to play with, could be that guy.  Now, that’s not to say that he could lead this team the finals, in fact I highly doubt he could.  But get them to the Eastern conference finals in the next 2 or 3 years?  I think that’s very possible in the East.

Bryan Colangelo with this one deal went from being on his way out, to having built something really nice.  Gay is still pretty young, Kyle Lowry is young at the point, DeRozan is developing into a great 2 guard (and has meshed well with Gay, some thought that could be an issue), and if they wanted to move DeRozan they have Terrance Ross developing, and then they have Jonas Valanciunas who might be the player benefiting from this move the most as he can just quietly develop his game with little pressure/urgency to do so.

So now we get to see if this team can in fact get in the dance.  They’re closing very fast on the Bucks (now 4.5 games back), although the Sixers somehow have 4 games in hand on the Raps and are a game in front of them so they’ll be chasing them as well.  BUT…they’re very much in it with the way they’re playing right now.  I wouldn’t expect much from them if they got in and played the Heat.  A successful season at this point would be getting in the playoffs and taking the Heat to 6 games.

But it does appear weather they make the playoffs or not that FINALLY good things are on the way for this franchise.  What is in the water in T.O. these days?!  Raptors playing great, Leafs playing great, Jays looked primed for the playoffs and the Argos won the Grey Cup!  I guess Toronto FC sucks but that’s ok because soccer (much like wrestling) isn’t real…

 

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FINALLY!

 

What an incredible move in the NBA.  But it just goes to show you how valuable centers in the league are and to land one like this is amazing.  We’ve all been waiting on it, when will it happen?  What is taking so long?  Then the news finally broke yesterday…Joel Pryzbilla signed with the Bucks!  Fear-the-deer!  Fear-the-deer!

What?  Another move for a center in the NBA?  Not a chance.  Pryz, it’s all been about Pryz!  Ok, so sources close to me (my other personality) are telling me that last night multiple outlets reported that the Dwight Howard deal was done.  He’s not Pryz, but he’s ok.  On a serious note can I say for everyone ABOUT FREAKIN TIME!!!  That was the longest more tedious soap opera in sports!  But it’s finally done.

The Sixers did good in this deal landing Andrew Bynum.  The Magic I thought did OK, they didn’t want Bynum if he didn’t sign an extension and while I write this it’s not clear as to what the Magic got other than a protected 1st round pick from the other 3 teams.  I’m kind of lost as to why the Nuggets were in this but they got Andre Iguodala who is a solid player but has a bad contract.  The appeal could have been that his contract is done in 2 years but I won’t question the Nuggets they’re a pretty well run organization.

But obviously the big piece is Howard.  This puts the Lakers officially right there with the Heat.  I would be flat out shocked if that isn’t your 2013 NBA finals.  In the West the Thunder will be somewhat close but I think the Lakers have passed them now with Nash and Howard this offseason, and the Spurs are always there but are just getting too old.

As for a Heat/Lakers final, I think the Lakers would take them if the Heat don’t improve much over what they currently have.  The Lakers would own the Heat in the paint with Howard and Gasol, could somewhat keep James and Wade in check with World-Peace (can’t believe I said that and not Artest) and Bryant, and Nash could abuse Mario Chalmers at the point.

It will be interesting to see how Howard and Kobe gel though.  It’s without a doubt Kobe’s team and Kobe’s town.  Howard isn’t used to playing 2nd fiddle and I don’t think there was much question this season that this man LOVES the attention.  He will get attention in L.A., but he won’t be “the guy”.  Easily the most intriguing story to watch during the upcoming season.

Unfortunately for all of us it has come out that Howard will not sign an extension with the Lakers and will go to free agency next summer so the soap opera will somewhat remain.  But for now, at least it’s moved on from one lover dying to a former one coming back to life thanks to aliens.  See, soap opera’s are usually good like that and here Dwight Howard has given them a bad name.

 

Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups or the website @Soups_on_Sports

Some whine with your Soups

 

I hate it.  No, like I REALLY hate it!  Every year “this” week rolls around.  The summer is sweet if you have the right job for it…I don’t.  The summer is sweet if you aren’t a big sports fan…I am.  The summer is sweet if you have time to get to the lake lots…I don’t. 

But despite all that, the rest of the summer from a sports POV is amazing compared to this.  This week is horrific.  I’m sure some of you out there were just jacked about the home run derby.  I’m sure some of you love watching the All-Star game so you can see all the games best players at once.  I’m sure some of you can’t get enough of Dwight Howard trade talk.  For me…I no longer fear hell.

Ok, that might be taking things a bit too far.  But holy shi…..cow, I can’t stand this week in sports.  If you think the players care about the All-Star game you are insane.  No, it doesn’t matter.  Sure the odd time it can get competitive like in 08 when it went 15 innings, but that is the exception to the rule.  More often than not it flat out sucks and last night was the suckiest it ever has sucked! (how’s that for maturity?)

Some people try to argue with me that “MLB’s game matters because it decides home field in the World Series”.  Lipstick on a pig.  It doesn’t matter because the players all know that it’s a hell of a lot more likely they won’t be playing in it than they will be.  Add to that, baseball might be the sport where home field makes no difference at all.  MAYBE for the Yankees, MAYBE for the Red Sox.  It used to be that it was a huge difference maker for the Twins.  In both 87 and 91 the Twins went 7 games in the World Series and all 8 of their victories came at the Metrodome.  The crowd combined with the wacky roof provided them with a great home field advantage.  But now it means very little.

As for the Dwight Howard trade talk that I hit on….ENOUGH already!!!  I used to be a big fan of this guy, but his act through out the season was a total disgrace, and now the only sports news we have is the on again off again talks that teams are having with the Magic about this guy.  1 day the Nets are where he is going, then the Nets are out and he’s going to one of the Lakers, Rockets, or Hawks…then the Nets are back in and have a deal done!  Then the deal is off and once again the Lakers, Rockets and Hawks are where he is going.

It is beyond annoying at this point.  For the love of Kazam could we please get a deal done with someone and be done with it?!?  I will touch on it for a minute and just say that I think it would be cool if they got a deal done with Brooklyn as then the Heat would have a legit rival that matches up well with them in a year or two.  But if he went to LA he would have a better chance of winning especially next year. Houston and Atlanta are wasting their time.  He won’t re-sign in either spot.  The Lakers can take that risk as few players ever want to leave that organization or town, the Rockets and Hawks can’t.

To top off all the sporting misery that I have suffered this week is the fact that it has been +30 all week.  I hate +30 unless I’m at the lake.  But I’m not at the lake now AM I?!?  No, I’m at home in my non air conditioned house writing a blog that nobody is likely reading at this point because it’s just me bitching about all that is wrong right now….and why can’t I get no damn Tang around here?! 

I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, I mean there was an MLS game on earlier.  Riveting stuff, perhaps there will be a replay of an ECHL game on the NHL Network later or Arena league football!   To not quote Green Day, wake me up when Septembers here…or at least for the Olympics.

 

Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups or the website @Soups_on_Sports

NBA finals preview

I sure did jinx the Spurs with that blog didn’t I?!  The one time I begin pulling for the Spurs and sure enough they lose 4 straight.  Oh well, easy come easy go.  The Thunder is a pretty damn sweet consolation prize!  And as I said in the Spurs blog the same applies here, the Thunder will be viewed as the ultimate good guys and the Heat will still be the ultimate villian and it will make for a phenomenal finals!

The big one to watch of course is James vs Durant.  1-2 in MVP voting this season.  Probably the 2 best players in the game today.  Both play the same position, both are total freaks athletically, and both are looking for their very first title.

But it’s not just that.  Of course both teams have their big 3 players (James, Wade, Bosh vs Durant, Westbrook and Harden), and it will be an athletic showcase.  It will be exciting basketball and you can expect the highlight reels to be full every night.

Now back to good v evil.  OKC is the small market team that built it the “right way”.  No big free agent signings, their big 3 were all drafted, one big trade (the Kendrick Perkins deal) and for the most part this team went from the bottom to the top together, even coach Scott Brooks. 

Meanwhile everyone knows the Heat’s story by now.  The worst part wasn’t “the Decision”.  For me, the worst part was the obnoxious party they had the day after in Miami.  Lebron saying “not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5…”, the commentator referring to them as the “3 kings”, the way they entered like the Undertaker would for a big match….it was just absurd.  They all thought they were going to gravy train each other to titles every single season.

James needs this one bad.  If he loses, he will be 0-2 in Miami, 0-3 in the finals overall.  He came up HUGE at the end of the Boston series but this will be a different animal.  The Thunder won’t get gassed, the Thunder will wear them out defensively, and the Thunder of course have the homecourt.  A tough task for “the 3 kings”.

That’s why I’m calling the Thunder to take it in 7.  Again, I believe this will be a terrific series.  It has the ingredients to be one of the greatest NBA finals of all time.  Again I will say it, if you don’t like the NBA you need to check out these finals.  If they don’t get you into basketball nothing will!

Give the devil his due

Ok, maybe calling Lebron the DEVIL is a little too harsh.  But let’s face it, we all hate him.  We all hate him, most of us hate the Heat, and there for most of us care more about them losing then any team they’re playing getting the win.  But to quote none of my former girlfriends…last night was something special.

Magic playing center for Kareem, Isiah on one ankle, Reggie at MSG, Jordan with the flu, Tyson Lowrie overcoming lack of talent, this is right there with all of them.  Now I won’t rank them, but its right there.  This team was under as much pressure as any I have ever seen in my 20 years of watching the NBA, and this player was under even more pressure.  And he didn’t just deliver, he put up an all timer.

People will forget (although it will get mentioned today) he had a performance close to this to lead the Cavs to the 07 finals.  Game 5 vs a pretty great Detroit team, especially great defensively.  He scored 25 of the final 28 points for the Cavs in the 4th quarter and overtime to upset the Pistons and give the Cavs a 3-2 lead heading home for game 6 which they eventually won.  But since then, outside of a miracle 3 vs Orlando in 09 Lebron has underwhelmed everyone in the sporting world.

It has been as if he is timid to take the team over from Dwayne Wade.  It is Wade’s town, of course he led the Heat to the 06 title and he is not only a great player but a great leader.  But Lebron is the best basketball talent on the planet.  He had to learn that if he takes over, any player will follow his lead.  Perhaps he has finally figured that out.

Now, all this won’t mean much if they don’t win game 7.  The Celtics won’t die easy.  It’s a cliché but the Celtics really do have the heart of a champion.  And it was very likely better for Boston to get blown out rather than lose a heartbreaker.  Now they go back to Miami with that enormous chip on their shoulders.  It will be a great game.

Also, at the end of the day the Heat won the way they usually do.  They blew the opponent out.  Had they won a tight game and Lebron been clutch down the stretch of that game, perhaps hit a game winning shot, the questions might be fading.  But that’s not how it all went down.  They still face “can the Heat win a big game?  Can they win a tight game?  Can Lebron show up in the 4th?” 

All that has yet to be answered despite what went on last night.  It could be the start of the Heat turning into a champion, or it could be yet another disastrous loss for the team and more specifically the player who said “not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7…”  Not 1 either hey “King”?  But he could get a step closer Saturday night.

From dull to darlings

The San Antonio Spurs are perhaps the best run organization in all of North American sports.  Since 1998 they have been among the elite in the NBA.  4 titles since that time, and I don’t know if anyone realizes how close they were to winning 5 in a row.  Crazy to think considering they’ve never won back to back titles, but they won 3 in 5 years (03, 05 and 07).  In 04, Derek Fisher hit a MIRACLE shot for the Lakers to steal a game in their series vs the Spurs.  Had he not hit that shot, the Spurs probably take that series in 7 and go on to beat Detroit in the finals.

Then in 06, they lost game 7 at home to Dallas in the West semi final in O.T.  They close the Mavericks out in that game, once again they likely beat the Miami Heat and win the NBA title.  It’s been a pretty amazing run during the Tim Duncan era.

But as good as they’ve been, they’ve been flat out boring.  The TV numbers in the states reflect that, the Spurs have never been the darlings of the NBA.  Myself, I’ve never liked the Spurs.  They were always just too robotic for me and especially in the NBA I like the teams that have style.  Jordan’s Bulls always had style, as did the Showtime Lakers, the Kobe/Shaq Lakers, the 06 Heat, hell even the Pistons of the late 80’s/early 90’s were boring to watch but they had style…they were the bad boys!

Spurs always have lacked it, but they’ve always done it the right way.  But this year, they might go from the team nobody wants to watch, to America’s favorite sons!  Even though as I type this the Spurs are only up 2-1 and got blown out in game 3, and the Heat were downed last night in their game 3, that is still the likely NBA finals matchup.  The Heat aren’t boring in any way, but they’re despised in every way!

What a PERFECT NBA finals it could be.  You get the small market veteran team that is all about playing a team game, not craving the spotlight, built it the right way, on and on and on.  And to face them you get the big market cocky team that has the 3 superstars (only 2 if Bosh can’t come back), 1 of which is seen as conceeded, a choke artist, a back stabber, a prima donna, yet he is also the best player on the planet who most hope falls on his sword for a 3rd time in the finals.  You may or may not be an NBA fan, but I urge you to watch this series should it happen.  I don’t think it could be scripted any better and would be intrigue at its finest.

It is a very weird way to happen really, but should the Spurs get the Heat I have no doubt they will all of a sudden finally start seeing the recognition they have deserved all these years.  I guess it doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there.

 

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