Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Respite in the Hoops World

Anyone wondering why I haven’t posted on the NBA Playoffs lately need look no further than the string of disappointments I have endured since my last post. I feared for Dallas in that series against the Suns because I knew what kind of series that would be, and how good of an offense Phoenix has. I really thought that Dallas would have beaten anyone in the playoffs except Phoenix, the Spurs included. However, I figured, if Dallas had to lose to someone, it might as well be Steve Nash, and the most beautiful offense since the Chris Webber Kings and, well, the Steve Nash Dallas Mavericks. Well, that series has been over for some time, and an even more dreaded moment has come.

I didn’t think that Phoenix could beat San Antonio. I had actually thought that San Antonio might lose to Seattle in their series, but unfortunately, that did not happen, and now the Suns are playing the Spurs. Even worse than that: before tonight, they were in a 3-0 deficit for the (best-of-seven) series. Every NBA fan knows that no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in any round of the playoffs and won the series. I don’t expect this one to be an exception. San Antonio’s offense is as good as Phoenix’s, but their defense is vastly better. Even more importantly, though Steve Nash has never matched up well with Tony Parker. This is something I hate to admit. Parker is possibly the quickest point guard in the NBA, and Nash might be the slowest. Nash is a better player, hands down, but he just can’t match up with Parker. Nash has never been relied on for his defense, but Parker can just pick apart defenses without ever worrying about Nash.

Let’s take a break from the gloomy side, though, and talk about the reason I bothered to post this evening. Phoenix won their first game tonight, sending the series back to Phoenix for Game 5. I expect the Suns to win Game 5, and the Spurs to win Game 6 in San Antonio. I am just happy to see some competition, and I like it when a team like Phoenix with some offensive flair makes it tough for a better team like the Spurs.

I shouldn’t be too hard on the Spurs. I actually like Manu Ginobili. I like all their players other than Tony Parker and Robert Horry. The Spurs are a classy, well-coached team. Until recently, two players on their team were Christians who had incredible witnesses to their team and to the whole of San Antonio. Even though David Robinson and Avery Johnson are gone, I could get past the fact that the Spurs are the Mavs’ rivals. It’s just that I’m bitter because they disappointed me year after year when they faced the Evil Empire Lakers. The Spurs had better teams than the Lakers, and, yet, would fold as Robinson and Duncan would completely disappear when the fourth quarter came around. I gave up cheering for them, and started hoping for something better.

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