Sunday, June 26, 2005

NBA Finals Wrap Up

People must have
short memories
The NBA Finals are over. Did anyone notice? The ratings were down, the Seventh Game was a brickfest (the first clue was that the guy who won Finals MVP and supposedly played a great game went 10-for-27 and missed eight straight shots in a crucial stretch), and ABC's coverage was excruciating. All in all, it was probably an act of mercy when it finally ended. Of course, I watched every minute and loved it, so I'm not sure what that says about me. Be sure to weigh in here with any Finals related rants or raves.


Adam Hoff said...

By the way, the caption is a reference to the ridiculous amount of crap that Duncan gets away with. He played Games Three and Four, the fourth quarter of Game Five, all of Game Six, and two thirds of Game Seven with both hands around his neck, and he still got the MVP award. How does Horry not win that trophy? He saved the Spurs season and Duncan's career with those 21 points late in Game Five. The Pistons were about to run off four straight wins ala Lakers in 2004 (another major Duncan gag job that gets glossed over because he made that buzzer-beater right before Fisher killed them) until Big Shot Rob came to the rescue. The MVP should indicate the one guy you can't win without. That's Horry, not Duncan. In fact, Duncan's plus/minus in the final two games was -11. Nice. Even the fans didn't want him to win, as they chanted for Ginobili to take the honors.

I mentioned Duncan's recent playoff issues, but what really got me was when he followed up that Spurs debacle last year by playing like garbage for Team USA. In one game he fouled FOUR three-point shooters by getting pump faked by 6'0" Lithuanians. In another, he got stripped in the post a whopping seven times. He wore the what-should-be-famous-but-is-for-some-reason-widly-ignored Tim Duncan Pout for every second of game action in Greece. You know the look from his sulking on the bench in Detroit, but he perfected it in Athens while Allen Iverson dove on the floor and LeBron James showed more life waving a towel. Lets be honest: Tim Duncan has had some serious issues in big moments yet he gets slapped with nothing but hardware (two MVPs and three Finals MVPs) and effusive praise (greatest player in the world, best power forward ever, etc.). I honestly don't get it. He seems like a nice enough guy, so I'm not trying to hate on him, like I do with Kobe. This is sheer confusion. Why does Duncan get a free pass for everything? Why is he somehow the only reason that the Spurs when, despite the fact that they have depth, a great home court, and great coaching? Why doesn't anyone ever call him out for his constant complaining to the officials? It's all a big mystery.

One other thing: NBA referees are the worst officials on the planet, bar none. This series was the most poorly officiated "world championship" I've ever seen. Forget a new CBA, the NBA needs to figure out its officiating problem and fast.

Jeff Dritz said...

Great points on Duncan. I think his problem is that he's so stoic. He doesn't raise his game when it matters. His blood doesn't boil, and he lacks adrenaline. For big-time players, when the game is on the line, their blood pumps faster and they go harder. For Duncan, he keeps going at the same rate, and his reaction in tough situations is to complain more.

You show good memory of one aspect of the Olympics (Duncan's poor performance), but forget another: the terrible officiating. The refs in this Finals series were bad, but the Olympic refs were worse. A number of the calls they made were ludicrous, and just left me thinking: "when I complain about the refs in the US, I've gotta keep in mind how horrible these guys are." That said, the officiating in these playoffs were the worst in recent memory, and hopefully the league will spend some time reviewing some of these calls. The US refs are the worst refs in the world, except for all the other refs in the world.

Anonymous said...

The Olympic refs were horrible. No doubt about it. Half of Duncan's calls were complete bs. I hate Duncan too though, for what it is worth. Manu should have been the MVP of the Finals.

Adam Hoff said...

Alrght, I'll concede the point about the Olympic refs. But it doesn't change the way Duncan played or acted. Odom got hosed even worse than TD yet he still played hard. There's no excuse for the way Duncan moped around over there. He's supposed to be the best power forward in the world yet he was badly outplayed by both Bogut and Luis Scola.