Everybody thinks slow.
I think the squads will be surprisingly up-tempo.
Of course, I’m talking about the cheerleading teams.
After successfully predicting a Spurs-Piston final series (and a 4-3 split in favor of San Antonio) it is here now.
No doubt about it, the game will be slower than a snail sliming across a dead tortiose.
And still it will be more interesting than watching baseball on TV.
No secret, no surprise, that defense is No. 1 – and No. 2 in the minds of people who think the game is gonna stink higher than Mariah Carey’s scream after stubbing her toe.
As someone handily pointed out to me yesterday, Detroit and San Antonio led the league in least points allowed. Defense.
Sure the Spurs showed they had offense – but that was against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns were powerful enough and talented enough to control the tempo, but they weren’t good enough to win. Against the Pistons, San Antonio will play down to their speed, their game. Though the Spurs are very good at not playing down to the level of the competition, remarkably so, the Pistons are that good and it will be slow.
The Spurs players who will step up big: Brent Barry. This is exactly why he came to the Spurs – to win a championship. He’s a class act from way back and lit it up for the Seattle Supersonics in a spectacular way. Met him. Like him.
Bowen will not be as effective against players just like him, but he will have clutch threes on the offensive end.
If Devin Brown is in, the Spurs are desperate. Ditto Glenn Robinson, though he deserves better.
Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili. Tony Parker. They’ll just bring it. All are riding high – especially Manu who has rediscovered his offensive prowess.
Robert Horry is an X – factor. He’ll have some key shots. He may have many.
Nazr Mohammed and Beno Udrih may be the deciding factors. Their output is unpredictable, but it is there. If they both are able to step it up, it will be a coast for the Spurs.
Others: Tony Massenburg. Rasho Nesterovic
For Detroit, Chauncey Billups is riding high. Expect Coach Brown to let him step it up and show everyone what’s he’s got. At least in Game 1.
The Wallace twins will be interesting to watch. I think Rasheed will be able to reign it in for the finals and become extremely focused and deadly. Ben Wallace? Unsure. He’s going to have a tough job but he’ll be very capable.
Richard “Rip” Hamilton will have to step it up – even higher to overcome the Spurs. When defensive powerhouse matchs defensive powerhouse, the results are often amazing.
Tayshaun Prince will be the disappointment of the series for the defending champions. No real reason; obviously just a hunch. He just looked dogged and resigned at the end of Game 7 against Miami.
As spoken of in another thread here, this won’t be the 1994 Knicks finals.
Elden Campbell has more abilities than he’s shown. Of course there’s no reason to suspect he’ll start showing them now, but he might. Ditto for Antonio McDyess, though I think he’ll be cool under pressure.
Others: Carlos Arroyo. Ronald Dupree. Darvin Ham. Darko Milicic. Lindsey Hunter.
Spurs win it in 4-3, though I would be voting for Detroit to lose solely because a certain contingent of the fans are undeserving. I’d be rooting for the Spurs anyway because of Tim Duncan – the man just gets it done.
Hopefully everyone on both teams is healthy, because when defense is played this well, offense doesn’t seem so special …. … …
And for me and my interest level? Put it this way – it’s the first Finals I will watch since The Seattle Supersonics played the Bulls in 1996. When I lived in Seattle and was loving me some Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton synergy.