NBA Finals Game 7 Preview
Remember what I said before the playoffs started, and I said that the NBA post season is the best of all major sports in regards to the most consistently compelling system whilst determining the best team? Well, and with the few (O.K., maybe not a few…) glaring NBA referring inconsistencies, we find ourselves here. A game 7 of the NBA finals, with absolutely everything on the line. This goes beyond a championship. Legacies are in fact defined like this (Just ask Patrick Ewing after 1994) Tim Duncan, Manu and Parker have all played in one of these and won. Ray Allen has been in one and lost. Other players have been in non-finals game 7’s, but it’s not the same. This is the ultimate all or nothing situation. With the Superbowl, you know when you get there, that it’s a sudden death situation. To get to a game 7, both teams have to fight, claw and rise above adversity within the series itself just to get to this point. The teams know each other back to front, not from preparation and study, but firsthand experience and having. It’s totally different.
I always said that if the series went 7, the Spurs wouldn’t have a chance. This is the sentiment that has been echoed from most of the fans that I spoke with before and during the series. But, believe it or not, I think the Spurs have an excellent chance to right the wrong of letting game 6 slip away. We all know the great performance that Duncan put up in the first half of the last game. But think about that; it was the first half. The Spurs had Parker go 6-23 (and yeah, made some huge shots that looked like daggers), Manu 2-5 with 8 turnovers and Green shoot 1-7 (I hate to say, but I predicted it in my game 6 preview) Yes, Duncan was borderline historic in the first half, but he was subpar in the second, and Leonard was amazing. But the point I am making is despite those horrific numbers from Parker, Manu and Green (and Duncan’s disappearing act in the second half) San Antonio was right there and by all accounts should have won. Combine that with Popovich’s equally horrific substation patterns (taking Duncan out, leading to Miami making both their 3’s off offensive rebounds) and the referee’s (who up until that point had been relatively good) mind-blowingly bad no call where Manu was fouled 3 times and should have been put on the foul line to take the lead, I see a hell of a lot of positives for San Antonio.
If they get more production out of the Green/ Parker/ Manu trio (a certainty), and if Duncan plays better in the second half (also a certainty), they will be right there. The flip side is Wade. I don’t expect him to go 6-15 in game 7.
I honestly believe people put too much into the “heartbreak factor”. Once the game starts, the players do not have time to think. It’s all instinct. The Spurs won’t be thinking about game 6, and neither should you. It’s a game-fucking-seven of the NBA Finals! These are rare; so just sit tight and enjoy the ride.
My prediction? As I said before, it’s such a huge task to win a game 7 of the finals on the road. I have Miami winning.
May God have mercy on us all.
In 2005, the Spurs beat Detroit in the 7th game for the championship after dropping game 6. They got the 3-2 lead after Robert Horry’s out-of-nowhere heroics in game 5. Replace Horry with Ginobili, and does this scenario sound familiar?
Miami hasn’t won back to back games since game 5 of the Chicago series and Game 1 against Indy. San Antonio hasn’t lost back to back games in the playoffs (and I couldn’t be bothered looking it up) The Spurs have responded very well all playoffs after losses. Miami hasn’t played particularly well after victories.
Not since the Washington Bullets’ victory over Seattle in 1978 has a team won a game 7 on the road in the NBA finals.