Thursday, May 31, 2007

Halfway to Who Cares: Spurs Win the West.

So the Spurs went ahead and shuffled loose the Jazz's mortal coil last night and, as with all their series wins, did so in impressive fashion. This was a big series win, despite the 4-1 final tally, because, as we'll all remember, the Golden State Warriors, whom the Jazz had to beat to get this far in the first place, were Golden children in the eyes of a lot of people for dropping the Mavs in 6 in the opening round (anyone else remember Stephen A. Smith calling them the "team to beat" in the West?) But, like everyone watching these playoffs can attest to, a top-echelon team will come out of the West to meet the same in the East. Pardon me while I stifle a yawn.

I'm not against the Spurs, mind you. They're a very talented team built around one of the games dominant big men and two excellent swingmen, one of whom is banging Eva Longoria (the bastard). The Spurs have won three titles in their three trips to the Finals and a fourth could certainly move the Spurs into the conversation with the Bulls Dynasty of the 90s (unless you ask the same Stephen A. Smith, who basically took them for a ride on SC today; certainly worth watching if you can). But this brings us to the main crux of the argument...

Does anyone care?

I mean it. Outside of San Antonio, do Spurs fans exist (maybe a more appropriate question is, 'outside of NBA cities, do NBA fans exist', but I digress)? The Spurs are talented, play decent basketball (except for Robert Horry and Bruce Bowen who wouldn't last 5 minutes on a pickup court) but lack the one thing that makes teams like the Cavs, Heat or even the Warriors worth watching: they lack one superstar who can outshine the rest of the players on the court. Tim Duncan is a legitimate superstar but I would rather watch LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or even Baron Davis play a basketball game than Tim Duncan.

This is why the NBA, the fans and every basketball beat writer in the country us on their hands and knees this morning begging, praying even, for the Cavs to win tonight in Detroit (preview upcoming from one of our Cleveland guys). The Cavs are a young, talented team led by a player who is so good that he sometimes forgets he's that good and spends the time trying to get his teammates into the game, a feudal effort when one considers games 1 and 2 of the East Finals. But, more to the point, LeBron and Co. can make the NBA Finals relevant just by getting there. Do you realize that a Spurs/Pistons final would have an even line and an over/under somewhere near 120? And that the under on that number is a pretty fair bet?

But here we are, approaching a pivotal game 5 in the East with the San Antonio Spurs awaiting the winner. Let us all hope that the Cavs come out of this series, not because I hate everything about Detroit save for the proximity to Windsor, Canada, and not because I want to have LeBron's children, but because I would really like to watch the NBA Finals, and I don't think I, nor anyone else, can stomach this:

NBA Finals Game 1
Spurs - 56
Pistons - 55

That really pained me to write...

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