A month ago I thought it’d be Pistons-Spurs. Then a week ago I thought it’d be Suns – Pistons. Later on that changed to Pistons-Mavs. And now? All that is out the window.
I just turned off the tube a minute ago, and watched Detroit win one against the Heat (78-91). Sure they were drubbed by 13, but I remain more impressed with the Heat and how they won in the games before that. Detroit looked beat and drained as their players could only look on as the fantastic Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’Neal rained on their parade.
It wasn’t anything specific the Heat did, it was just how the whole team played. They played fresh, and they had energy, while the Pistons, terrific as they are, sputtered and merely reacted to what the Heat did, and most noticably, failed to make shots that they’d normally sink.
Defense was still fantastic, which is normal for Detroit, but the problem is it was with the Heat too. They trapped, they prevented curls to the basket, the kept the guy who’d make screens from getting into position, and anticipated plays before they happened. It was exciting, and if anything, educational, and to basketball purists, awe-inspiring. And yes, more so because both teams played it, and not just the defending champs.
As for the Suns? Boris Diaw are the two key words there. You got Boris rebounding. You got Boris defending. You got Boris slamming with two hands over Dirk Nowitzki. You got Boris looking like he belongs to the NBA’s best, and it’s got Steve Nash jumping in the air and pumping his fists with excitement. And if you’re the Mavs, you don’t want to see the league MVP get excited. It only means bad things for you.
Suns vs. Heat.
Let those words sink in a bit. It’ll be exciting regardless who plays the finals, but the important thing to remember here is: no one expected that. Absolutely not a single soul could’ve guessed it’d turn out that way.
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