Thursday, June 20, 2013
Behind The Scoreboard
Unlike the sworn enemies in Rudyard Kipling’s “The Ballad of East and West” (India and England), the combatants in the current NBA championship series are only antagonists during basketball season. But like the Kipling epic, they have managed to garner the attention in a big way of the entire nation. Never mind that the sports world has offered a plethora of distractions, from tennis, baseball to golf and yes, the WNBA, everyone is fixated on the defending champs Heat and the challenging Spurs.
Whatever the reasons, this series between this pair of opponents have the man, and woman, in the street discussing basketball who would not necessarily give it anything other than a cursory mention. One reason could be the outcome of the individual games. Game one was won by the Spurs by a very low margin (four points), then a hefty margin of victory by Miami, still on their (Miami’s) home court.
The venue changed to San Antonio for the next trio of games and the media dubbed the drubbing by the Spurs a “blowout” in game three. The scoreboard told an ominous tale but the consternation was not shown on the faces of the Heat. They didn’t relish losing by such a margin, but they were on the road against a worthy opponent. One could easily envision that the fourth game in the series was going to be much different and it was.
There will be no dwelling, well not very much, on game four which was won by the Heat. At the risk of pointing out the obvious, your clairvoyant writer closed the last column with the warning that Miami had only to win one game on the road. Clearly, they reestablished their “we can” capability, no matter where they played.
Game number five was a doozie; however, there was no desperation in the manner in which Miami took the loss. Near the end they once again showed their championship strength, cutting into the Spurs’ huge lead. In a back and forth series, where neither team has won two consecutive games, the Spurs had two stars surfacing in the contest, with San Antone one ahead and on the cusp of a fifth franchise championship. Manu Ginobili and Danny Green had performances which emphatically meant the difference between a win or loss. The latter broke a trey shooting record in a finals which was set by Ray Allen. Ironically, Green opposed Allen most of the night on his way to a new mark, six in a finals game and 25 in a series. This long range bomber is worthy of the accolades.
The next time you read this column, all will have been decided. Do the Spurs have “crying towels”?
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