NBA 2012-13

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ampersand
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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by ampersand » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:18 pm

Spurs got exactly what they hoped from the Eastern finals: A Game 7 so that there's not much time between the Eastern winner and Game 1 of the Finals. A week's rest and more games to figure out how to beat Indiana or Miami. Not a bad reward for sweeping Memphis.

Wade seems to be aging before our eyes. He's having problems reaching 20 points. He can't drive to the basket, and that makes it easier for Indiana to guard everyone else. While I agree James probably should have a Jordan-esque like game, Indiana seems to figure out how to contain him. Others needs to step up even more than James should.

I'll be honest, when I heard Grant Hill had decided to retire, I didn't realize he was still in the league. He did get a ring with Miami, right?

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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by The Cid » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:15 pm

ampersand wrote:While I agree James probably should have a Jordan-esque like game, Indiana seems to figure out how to contain him. Others needs to step up even more than James should.
That's the problem with talking about LeBron. Everything's always on him, but he's never the problem. If they win, they'll win because he picked them up and carried them. (Without LeBron, the Pacers would have already won the series and moved on to the Finals.) If they lose, the story will be about what more he could have done. Not "why did we ever consider Chris Bosh a superstar in the first place," or "Miami has even less of a bench than we expected."

It's not necessarily "unfair," because that's how sports discussions are. The best players are measured against all-time greats. We figure out some way to suggest they don't quite stack up because, if we're being honest, we want more. We make insane demands about LeBron being better than Jordan because we really want to see what "better than Michael Jordan" would actually look like. We want the Pacers to win because we want to see an era where players are so good that even a super-team of guys like LeBron and Wade don't just get to collect titles, or we want the Heat to win so LeBron can go up in the Finals against one of the other two truly historic active players out there (the other one being Kobe) that he hasn't already beaten on a major stage.
ampersand wrote:A Game 7 so that there's not much time between the Eastern winner and Game 1 of the Finals. A week's rest and more games to figure out how to beat Indiana or Miami.
Yeah, but if Indiana wins the Spurs are going to have to play a team on a tremendous role, coming off of the biggest win their franchise has ever had, with nothing at all to lose in the Finals because they'd already have beaten Miami. That's what teams coming off of a long rest do not want.
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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by The Cid » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:02 pm

Well that was anticlimactic. The Heat just rolled over Indiana last night. The Pacers looked overwhelmed, piling up fouls early and staying in a big deficit throughout the second half.

So, before the Finals coverage even really starts, let me just guess how it's going to go: We're constantly going to hear about LeBron in terms of how this series impacts his quest to be one of the best basketball players ever, all the while nobody brings up that Tim Duncan already is one.

I think there should be a Hall of Fame for the underappreciated athlete. Someone who was great, but for some reason never really got the recognition we usually give to great athletes. There could be a display near the entrance about athletes remembered for "choking" who actually had really good careers (Bill Buckner and Greg Norman come to mind). Then there would be the "fathers of more famous athletes" wing (heavily featuring the grossly underrated career of Bobby Bonds). And of course, in the featured big room in the center, a shrine to the greatest underappreciated athletes. Pete Sampras. Derrick Brooks. Jack Morris. Tim Duncan. Duncan would own that Hall.

Some of it is understandable: Duncan plays a style of basketball that a casual fan might not immediately appreciate. He's not a high-flyer or a big celebration guy. He doesn't talk trash after the game, or do commercials all the time. He doesn't really have the signature play most great basketball players had. Oh, and he plays for a team in an incredibly small market. At the same time, with all this talk about Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and their standing in basketball history, you'd think someone would point out that Tim Duncan's the most accomplished power forward in NBA history. For years we heard about what LeBron could be if he were a "true winner," but what about the actual "true winner" that was in the league all along?

The thing is, historically, basketball players have noticed these things and used them as fuel on big stages. So it's possible that Duncan uses the LeBron history talk to inspire him to destroy Miami.
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NBA 2012-13

Post by Deacon » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:35 am

I don't really think he needs it, but I'll be honest, I'll take any advantage we can get. Historically this Spurs group has a tendency to play up to--or down to--their competition. I really do hope they step it up through this series.

The thing that bothers me is that other than the after-game analysis, even if the Spurs sweep it'll be about how LaBron and the Heat choked or rolled over or whatever, not about how the Spurs triumphed.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by The Cid » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:31 am

Deacon wrote:I don't really think he needs it
That's kind of the point. I just think it's kind of weird that we spend so much time concentrating on whether guys like LeBron or Kobe are "true winners," meanwhile there's a guy playing in the same era that definitely is and nobody seems interested in highlighting that. Then again, Bill Simmons (one of ESPN's pregame/halftime/postgame analysts and the author of a mouse-killing 900 page book on basketball) has Duncan as the greatest power forward ever, so maybe the Spurs will get their due after all.
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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by ampersand » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:07 pm

Stat that I find to be interesting: All-time since the Finals were a best of 7, teams who have come off a sweep of their conference final versus teams who went the full seven games are 4 - 2 in the Finals. Kind of makes the Spurs position a bit interesting, no?

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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by Deacon » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:54 pm

I'd love for the Spurs to actually have 2:1 odds over the Heat. I'm not sure you'd get that in Vegas..

Speaking of which, what ARE the Vegas odds on this series? Anyone know?
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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by The Cid » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:34 am

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NBA 2012-13

Post by Deacon » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:32 am

What a great game. Looks like the Vegas odds may be shifting before Sunday's Game 2.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by The Cid » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:17 pm

I missed the second half, unfortunately, and had to catch highlights and analysis to catch up. Not too happy about that. (Also missed the end of the Blackhawks-Kings game. Rrrrr, or as it's pronounced in Boston, "...")

Great game, great performance by Duncan, Tony Parker made a couple of shots out of a streetball trick video, and I'm not sure the Heat are going to be able to adjust to any of it. Bosh looks lost against Duncan in particular.
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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by ampersand » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:14 pm

I'm not going to go as far as Magic Johnson's panic comment that Miami played a great game and still got beat. Granted, when was the last time someone had a triple double in the finals and lost? (Stat of the day: there has been 32 triple doubles in the finals. James has three of them.) I will say if Bosh and Wade continue to fade off as they did in game one, I think the Spurs have a good chance of winning the series in 4 - 5 games.

Although as I'm watching the series this morning, the Burke - Pop 3rd quarter interview was hilarious. Bellachick was probably taking notes there.

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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by Deacon » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:20 pm

Pop is hilarious with the press anyway :)
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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NBA 2012-13

Post by ampersand » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:46 pm

So here's the thing about Game 2: is there anything that Miami can tweak of alter at this point? And if you're San Antonio, do you keep doing what your doing or adjust assuming Miami will try something different? The only two things I can see Miami do is improve Battier, Birdman, etc. or ask James to completely dominate. I think Wade and Bosh are rather limited at this point.

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Re: NBA 2012-13

Post by The Cid » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:43 pm

Bosh has to do more than he did in game one, or Duncan's going to take the series and there is nothing the Heat can do about it. They don't have a great PG to guard Parker, Wade might not be able to play at a high level all game right now, and the Spurs have more bench than the Heat. LeBron will get his. But if Bosh never steps up at all on Duncan, it'll be like the 2007 Finals all over again.
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NBA 2012-13

Post by ampersand » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:01 am

Spurs seem to be panicking in 4th after playing very close in first 3 quarters.

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