The finale

Someone is going to lose tonight, in more ways than one.

If the Spurs lose, Duncan all of a sudden has some serious legacy problems (what is he without Robinson? did he choke?).

(Pistons immediately crowned the Pats of the NBA)

If the Pistons lose, they get branded a one-year fluke, who wouldn't have even made it this far if Wade hadn't gone down.

(Duncan cements his legendary status, a million analysts remind us that they picked the Spurs to win in the pre-season)

All of the above are somewhat true, but how much so, we'll only know after tonight.

Do we think of Game 7's as the culmination of a series and a season, when everything that's gone before comes to a head. Players bear their true selves, all lessons learned are put into action, glaring weaknesses come back to haunt in decisive fashion, you get a meaningful ending to the tale of might, doubt and longing that we call the 2004-2005 NBA.

Or is it just another game between two (as of late) erratic teams in a truly incomprehensible Finals, the last contest of the year but hardly a culmination of 2004-2005 or even Spurs vs. Pistons?

Again, both are probably true. But I'm not going to go flying off in one direction or the other until I see it with my own eyes.

And if it sounds like most of what I've just said is about Duncan, well, it is. This is his time.


At 6/23/2005 12:37 PM, Blogger elandfried said...

This is completely unrelated, but I don't really like to talk about games before they actually occur anyways. The big trade rumor right now is Q for Kurt Thomas plus a conditional pick. Yet another horrible, horrible trade for Isiah - like he needs another mid-sized gunner. Seriously, if there has been a worse GM in the history of the NBA, please point him out. For the Suns...it's an interesting move. At first I was a little wary since it takes their big three-point threat away and puts in a plodding big man, but they needed some toughness and Thomas definitely provides that. Plus they get a draft pick (not like the Knicks will be any good anytime soon, so it should be a lottery pick) and future cap room to re-sign Amare. Not sure if this has any effect on re-signing Johnson or not, but it sounds like the new CBA rules took care of that anyways. So for the Suns...we'll see. For the Knicks, good god. Do they have anyone on their team who isn't a tweener? ANYONE?

At 6/23/2005 1:14 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i like resigning hunter for the suns more than taking on thomas. q is probably expendable after this year's dismal playoff showing, but what they basically need is a player just like him (2/3 who can hit the three and rebound a little) but more consistent, whoever that is.

At 6/23/2005 2:26 PM, Blogger elandfried said...

Hmmm...now it looks like NY is getting the pick. Doesn't matter, it's still a horrible deal for the Knicks. I can see why the Suns would do it - they can't keep Marion at the 4 anymore...against a team like the Spurs or Pistons, it just isn't going to work. So this moves him back to the 3 and they've freed up some future cap space (and they'll need all they can get to re-sign Amare...).

At 6/23/2005 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the biggest thing is that it allows the suns to move amare back to the 4 and matrix to the 3. joe johnson is the perfect 2 for that team, and they need to re-sign him. they still need a back up point guard (payton?), but hunter, jackson, and whoever they draft should provide decent depth.

i wish they could have gotten someone like stromile instead, though.

At 6/23/2005 3:30 PM, Blogger Ken said...

I don't think the Pistons would be a one year fluke, as they are taking this series to seven games and went to the Eastern Conference Finals twice before they won their title.

At 6/23/2005 4:02 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

even if they move marion to the 3, amare to the 4, and resign hunter to play center, they could still really use someone with richardson's skills coming off the bench. athletic scorer not afraid to play with some muscle underneath.

i don't personally think the pistons are a fluke, but history would remember them that way. going to the eastern conference finals meant nothing before this year, and they'll have to fend off the pacers and a healthy heat next year for it to really mean something this time around.

At 6/23/2005 4:07 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

taking the spurs seven has been impressive. .. fine, i have no answer for that.

if tonight's game is interesting ennough that people remember the series, not just who got the title, then the pistons go down in history as notable. if san antonio blows them out, they'll have to prove themselves all over again next year.


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