Parting Thoughts re the NBA Finals 06-07

jun152007_cavs.jpgSome people feel that Anderson Verajao failed his team last Game 3 when he failed to give the ball back to Lebron James after receiving a pass, forcing an ugly shot well that missed and might have cost them the game. Today, at Game 4, some will likely blame Lebron James for an unforced 4th quarter turnover when, receiving the long rebound after a Ginobili miss, he hurriedly dribbles the ball onto his foot, sending it sailing out of bounds, again probably costing them the game.

I have a somewhat bigger outlook on issues like that basketball – wise. See, errors are errors, they happen or they don’t. The bigger issue for me is, why is your team in such an improbable situation where something like that would be so crucial? And why does it happen so consistently?

Whenever I hear about the San Antonio Spurs being boring, I have to wince. To me, of course they’re boring. See, when a good team has got all its players playing well – their offense is top – notch, their defense is suffocating, and everyone is working like the cogs of a wheel that they are, like one cohesive unit, then yes, it actually gets boring to watch.

The 90’s Bulls, if you can remember, were also boring their way to a 70+ winning streak. So were the Lakers during their run. They just get soooo smooth, so well – oiled that it’s like watching an engine turn. There’s no drama since they execute so perfectly. There’s no wild unforced turnovers, no forced shots, no out – of – rhythm plays and no must – make Hail Mary shots at the end – because they didn’t need any. They usually result in such masterful blowouts that by the last five minutes the 2nd stringers are left on the court trying to get some minutes.

On the other hand, big explosive shots at the end, nail biting thrillers, and desperation hail-mary shots for the most part are marks of the exact opposite. Sure it might be two very good teams going at it leading to thriller endings (such as the unfortunately maligned Spurs – Phoenix series in the Playoffs – imo the best series this year had to offer), but for the most part, when a game is decided by one crucial mishap, then that is the mark of a team that has not executed well. To me, if you find yourself in a hole, it’s because you put yourself there. It’s not just one botched play, or even two or three. It’s a series of different issues that lead up to a loss.

Unfortunately, today’s game was extra boring. Today the Spurs never gave the Cavs a chance, not because the Spurs were doing anything out of the ordinary – they were just playing ball the way they’ve always played. It’s the Cavs that shot themselves in the foot by not playing up to par. There is no reason talent wise that the Cavs should have been swept. They have everything they needed, man to man, to beat the Spurs. But they didn’t because they did not execute. They did not have as much passion. They appeared listless. They made bad decisions down the stretch. They botched plays. They forced shots. They were outhustled. They ran too slow. They ran too fast.

All sorts of reasons. And unfortunately, us fans had to sit and watch them blow themselves up.

It’s very hard to sum up this last game. It’s about as exciting as watching a bulldozer flatten a tree. It can be interesting at times, but one part of the equation doesn’t have a chance, and the end result is pretty obvious.

So my final thoughts for this year’s NBA Finals? I’m sorry that it wasn’t as exciting as it should’ve been. I feel sad that we fans have had to watch that, and I do not think that such a series helps the game of basketball or the NBA any at all. The world’s biggest basketball stage is supposed to be reserved for the best, the absolute elite teams and players and coaches the world has to offer, and that last 48 minutes was only halfway that and so much so, hence hardly worth a footnote in the history of the game.

We deserve better, and the game deserves better too. I wish I could end this on a more positive note, but unfortunately, that’s the truth. We all wanted excitement, something to cheer and dream and talk about endlessly, but it wasn’t there tonight. Not at all and certainly not by far.

2 thoughts on “Parting Thoughts re the NBA Finals 06-07”

  1. Hey, Gary!

    Imho, it all boiled down to experience — both the LOT of it with the SPURS and the LACK of it with the CAVS — and a SOLID supporting cast.

    LBJ, despite his astounding skills, doesn’t have it in full stock (experience) and didn’t have the right supporting cast to back him up.

    Championship Teams have to go through tough, sad trials before winning it all, and winning it consistently. MJ did it with the Bulls (enduring 3 harrowing years with the Pistons). Shaq did it with the Lakers (having been taught hard lessons by the Jazz, and possibly the Rockets). Isaiah and the Bad Boys had to suffer at the hands of the Celtics and the Lakers. Miami’s win was a fluke. That’s why they weren’t even close to repeating this year.

    Magic and Bird lorded it over in the 80’s. They didn’t have to go through tough times before getting the ring. But they had fantastic teammates —- a bunch of Hall of Famers, in fact.

    I agree with you that the series was agonizingly boring… because of the Cavs.

Leave a Reply