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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Comments on the NBA Finals Last Night
I confess complete surprise that the Pistons won that game last night. I thought the gut-punch loss on Tuesday would be the end of them, but this is a pretty amazing, tough, resilient team. I haven't got a clue who will win Thursday night.

Some general comments:

  • Chauncey Billups is one heck of a player, but I guess the Wolves didn't need him. Man, he can really play. He runs the offense, attacks the rim, and hits big shots. He's clearly one of the best players in the league.

  • If you were the Spurs, whom would you rather have as your Power Forward right now, Duncan or Garnett? That ought to be an easy question to answer. Let me help out: Garnett's career free throw percentage is 76.8%. Duncan can't hit the side of a barn with his free throws. His clanging absolutely killed the Spurs chances last night. When he needed to make some free throws to make a difference in the game, he's clanging them. Jordan, Bird - they make those free throws. Great players make those free throws. Until Duncan gets his act together in that regard, he'll be a second tier superstar. Detroit may very well go to the "Hack-a-Duncan" strategy. Why not? Really an ugly site watching Duncan at the line in the fourth quarter. Quite painful.

  • Another fun stat? Garnett's career assists per game? 4.6. Duncan's? 3.1. The Pistons have figured out that Duncan can't effectively pass out of a double-team and so guess what they are doing? Double teaming him effectively. Garnett can and does pass out of the double team, as his assists indicate. Garnet is the superior player -- seems pretty clear to me.

  • The funnest thing to watch in the series is the Bowen/Hamilton matchup. It's this kind of thing that makes a 7-game series so much fun to watch. These guys are going at it with each other when Detroit is on offense, and they have been for all six games now. Hamilton likes to run around those staggered screens, and Bowen is good at defending against it, but along the way there is a lot of bumping and grabbing and whatnot, and often the trend of the game is determined by how the referees call it. And of course, since the referees are merely David Stern's play toys, we now have a seventh game. Seventh games are David Stern's idea of heaven.

  • It seems very hard to believe that Detroit can win a Game 7 on San Antonio's home court, but if any team can do it, these Pistons can. These guys are good. This has in my mind been a great series, because I love to watch good basketball played the right way, and these two teams do that. Thursday night will hopefully be one to remember

  • It seems that the Spurs had already planned a victory parade for Thursday, the day of the now existing Game 7. I'll try to think of a dumber thing to do. [thinking......thinking......thinking] Nope, I can't think of anything dumber. Sorry.

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