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Thursday June 14, 2007 7:37 pm

Blogging our way through Game 4 of the NBA Finals




Posted by Brendon Lindsey Categories: Championship, NBA,

Game 4 of the NBA Finals begins shortly, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the San Antonio Spurs are on the cusp of eliminating the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Spurs winning 4-0 would be fitting, given the great lengths the NBA has gone through to try and tie in the new Fantastic Four movie. (We get it, Duncan, LeBron, Manu, and Parker are like the Fantastic Four, but without superpowers, without saving the world, and competing against one another.)

So far this series, Duncan and Parker have been absolutely trashing the Cavs, while Manu has been fairly sporadic in his playing, like normal. Can the Cavs manage to win one at home in their first Finals in the Age of LeBron? Will the Spurs continue to make basketball boring for the casual fan? How many times will we be reminded about Robert Horry’s accomplishments, and will we be treated to several more on-screen appearances by Brent Barry? Most likely: no, yes, seventeen, and yes.

Stick around EndScore and refresh this page every now and then, as I’ll be constantly blogging my thoughts while watching the game unfold—unless I fall asleep, that is.

5:31 (PST) - Right away, we get to be reminded of the whole “Witness” thing. So far, all I’ve witnessed has been the Spurs handing it to the Cavs. Of course, we also have to be reminded that LeBron is a father now. (Nothing against LeBron, and I send him my best wishes about his new child, but that has nothing to do with the game other than to try and draw in a theme of rebirth.)

5:34 – An All-American Rejects song used as a montage talking about NBA dynasties. There’s our reach for the “young and hip” crowd. Why are they even questioning this, though? Is there anyone who doesn’t believe the Spurs are a dynasty by this point?

5:34 – Mark Jackson, Dan Patrick, Wilbon, Jon Barry, and Grant Hill once again treat us to their views on the NBA Countdown. Am I the only one who would rather see Brent Barry and Kornheiser?

5:35 – Our first reference to “Big Shot Bob” on the night. Robert Horry Counter: 1.

5:37 – Hey, they’re actually making some good points! Jon Barry wonders if being in the Finals is a good thing for the Cavs, because they’re obviously not the best team in the east. Obviously, he’s right. Put the Pistons, Bulls or healthy Heat in the finals, and they win at least one game.

5:41 - Another comparison to Jordan…wait, they’re not comparing LeBron? They’re arguing who’s the best player since Jordan: Shaq or Duncan. That’s a new one. Seems like they’re picking Shaq based off of his “entertainment value”—did none of them see Kazaam or Steel?

5:44 - According to Wilbon, to be a dynasty you need to win back to back. Valid argument, I’ll give him that. But is four titles in nine years not enough? And there’s our first mention of Shaq’s upcoming TV show. Don’t even get me started on the irony of Shaq helping people control their weight.

5:47 - Our second plug for Shaq’s new reality show. Get this! The kid farts on him, and Shaq finds it offensive! What will these wizards of television come up with next? A show where the point is to try and pee on Kobe Bryant?

5:49 - Tin Duncan doesn’t want to spend three more days in Cleveland, so he’s going to try and win tonight. That’s how powerful Duncan’s hatred of Ohio is. Maybe his nickname should be Tim “I Hate Drew Carey” Duncan.

5:51 - Sirius Radio would be a horrible present for father’s day. I don’t know about you, but my dad has a hard enough time trying to figure out how to plug his computer into the Internet. Giving him something with the ability to transmit to and from space will only end poorly—possibly in Skynet-like implications.

5:52 - And the lights are out, the spotlights are roaming, and the deep voiced announcer is on! Time for the presentation of the colors and the national anthem, being sung by the 2006 winner of American Idol. At what point did people stop caring about American Idol, anyway? I never even watched it, but I know the people from the first two. Ask me to name one person from any American Idol after that, and I’ll have to cheat and Google it.

5:54 - Dear City of Cleveland, you’re home to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, but THIS is the best you can do?

5:55 - The Imperial March being played during Spurs introductions. Does Cleveland not get it? It doesn’t matter that it’s a song used by bad guys—people still love it. What will the Cavs use, Somewhere Over the Rainbow or some Disney song?

5:56 - “To rise, to prove yourself equal to a demand.” Thanks, giant LeBron video feature. Do you mean sort of like what LeBron and the Cavs haven’t done so far this series? Oh man, people in Cleveland are cheering Mike Brown. They must be delusional.

6:00 - LeBron wants to make history. Here’s a list of things more likely to happen than the Cavs coming back from 3-0 against the Spurs: a woman being elected president, the United States changing its name to the United States of Awesome, Mike Brown being voted into the Hall of Fame based upon this series, the PS3 selling one million units this week, and a Sopranos spin-off based around improv and sketch comedy.

6:02 - Another commercial. That’s like nine commercials in the past half-hour. So far we’ve had them talk about LeBron’s new kid, the 3-0 deficit, and how the Spurs are almost a dynasty. Hopefully we can get this game underway by 6:30. Then again, I think LeBron James bought a new pair of socks for the game, we have to get the feature on that, first.

6:05 - AMPM’s food being compared to a promotion where you’re hooked up with a million dollar office is just a little off. It should be compared to being promoted with the office, followed up by you getting massive diarrhea the moment you actually use anything there.

6:07 - Drew Gooden gets the first basket of the night. Just insert your own crack about his patch of hair here. I’d feel bad doing it, it’s too easy. Bad choice by Gibson passing up that shot. Sure you played like crap last game, but you need to stay aggressive early, Boobie (I hate that nickname, but I used it to help get some Google search traffic).

6:09 - LeBron’s first three of the series. Anyone else waiting for the comparison to Jordan lighting it up from downtown?

6:11 - Tony Parker drives into the lane and draws the foul. He’s also just beaten Kobe by 216 days to become the youngest player in 100 playoff games. Has anyone in the Finals had a bigger story than him? Getting married, having an MPV caliber series, and possibly the first French player to win the Finals MVP. Pick two, Parker: rich, NBA championship, Eva.  Having all three is just unfair.

6:14 - Obligatory shot of Larry Hughes in street clothes, followed by a sign in the crowd lamenting the lack of Hughes. Be smart, Cleveland, no Hughes is better than slow, gimpy Hughes. Gibson is fine if he gets his head into the game and keeps his cool.

6:15 - So far the Cavs are up by 4, 12-8. All of the Cavs’ starters have scored as well. Things finally look like they’re firing on all cylinders for the Cavs. Was I wrong in saying they’ll lose the series? Nah, it will take a lot more than that to change my mind. The Spurs are just too good of a team, and any of their three major players can torch the Cavs for 30+ points a game. The Cavs just don’t have the support LeBron needs yet, especially to beat the Spurs. Give him a few supporting players who aren’t hurt, and maybe we’d be seeing a far different series. Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, this is reality.

6:18 - You can tell the NBA Finals have been boring when more of my friends turn to watch the commercial for that Bingo show than for the actual game. Maybe our halftime show should be a bingo competition between the Spurs and Cavs.

6:19 - Even when he’s congratulating LeBron about his new son, Bruce Bowen just looks mean. He’s basically the visual stereotype of the German language.

6:20 - So LeBron handled himself with class during the post-game conference on Game 3. That means we should congratulate his mom for raising him right? What about the money he’s given to charity, or the fact he helps out his community? Nah, what’s important is that he follows the traditional sports cliches during conferences.

6:22 - And Gibson misses the three, followed by Parker absolutely dismantling the Cavs’ transition defense. Good job by Gibson coming back after the miss and following it up with a long two. Build your confidence back, then start draining the bombs, sort of like Parker just did. (The last minute has been nothing but Gibson and Parker going back and forth—it’s great.)

6:23 - And as we head into a commercial break, the Spurs take their first lead of the game with just 3:19 left in the first quarter.

6:25 - Rush Hour 3 commercial. You know, the first one was great, but the second was the definition of so-so. I’m a little worried about this one and Jackie’s movies lately. The Myth and Rob-B-Hood were horrid, and Rush Hour 3 doesn’t look to be any better. At least we have the Jet Li/Jackie Chan movie to look forward to, assuming the whole thing doesn’t end up being them running competing car washes to raise money for the troop.

6:27 - Stuart Scott just threw it over to Michelle Tafoya. He has to be hating his job right now.

6:28 - That foul on Orberto was just what Cleveland needed. The Spurs were beginning to pull ahead, Parker had a wide open fast break, and momentum would have shifted while crushing the fickle Cleveland crowd. Good thing the refs appear to be on their side so far.

6:29 - There’s your Sportscenter highlight, courtesy of LeBron James, Orberto, and the refs.

6:30 - One replay of the dunk…two replays…three replays…

6:31 - “That’s why they call him video game James!” my friend Rob tells me. “That’s why I’m going to kill you in your sleep,“I tell him.

6:33 - LeBron hit in the face inadvertently. Bowen is checking to make sure he’s okay, but what the cameras can’t pick up is Bowen quickly reaching down and tearing LeBron’s ACL.

6:37 - So far LeBron has 6 points and 3 assists, and all of Cleveland’s starters have scored, along with forcing 5 turnovers. Worried, Spurs fans? Yeah, you’re right, that would be silly.

6:38 - Donyell Marshall and Eric Snow should retire after this year and open up a comedy troupe. Those guys would be the greatest physical comedy group since the Three Stooges.

6:40 - When the announcers hype Eric Snow as having the only Finals experience your team—and all of it losing—that’s when you know your team has an age problem.

6:42 - He just hit a three. Who?! Damon Jones!!

6:43 - Remember a few years ago when Donyell was on the Raptors, and he was the hot FA signing in fantasy basketball? Everyone loved him all of a sudden, and the next year he was always drafted way too high. Somehow, I have a feeling that will never happen again. (With Donyell, at least. Look for people like Gibson to be drafted far too high this year.)

6:45 - 8:31 left in the second, and we’re all tied up at 25. At this pace, we might beat game 3’s score.

6:47 - Wait, the Spurs’ strategy is to contain LeBron James and not let him beat them? It’s almost as if Pops has common sense, a brain, or a pair of eyes. No wonder he’s such a great coach! Next they’re going to tell us his secondary strategy if LeBron can’t be stopped is to outscore the Cavs.

6:48 - Varejao misses the easy conversion from LeBron, then reaches in on Duncan. I’m sure he’ll make up for it by drawing a few fouls himself.

6:50 - Vaughn steps in and draws the charge on LeBron, and LeBron comes up hobbling. When LeBron takes himself out of the game… What was that? I think I just felt thirty thousand Cav fans shiver.

6:51 - Duncan is so good, you don’t even notice how bad he’s playing until the graphic comes up. Speaking of playing bad, Boobie (hi, Google) is having a horrible two games. Remember Jerome James? Are we seeing a smaller, quicker version of that?

6:53 - What do you know, a Fantastic Four 2 commercial. Why are people so hyped up for this? Do they remember how bad the first one was? Not only is this thing being marketed to Hell, but they’ve already announced a spin-off movie starring the Silver Surfer, likely being written by JMS of Babylon 5 fame. So we’ve had tens of millions spent in advertising, a planned spin-off, and a quarter promoting this movie, and if it ends up anywhere higher than a 35% on Rotten I will be so surprised.

6:56 - Wait, what’s this? Tim Duncan being funny? It’s almost as if he has a personality! Also, Brent Barry sighting.

6:59 - LeBron misses a wide open 12 footer, Patch (what Gooden will from now on be called) gets the rebound, misses the put back, and Big Z follows it up with a basket. Great offensive series by the Cavs. That’s what they need to do more to have any shot in this game, let alone this series.

7:01 - I was really hoping Duncan could pull off the MVP. I don’t know why, but I just don’t like the idea of Parker winning it, no matter how well he’s done. Duncan is just so much more important on both sides. With TP playing perfectly thus far and Duncan struggling, though, he’s locking it up tonight.

7:03: - Ordering pizza from Pizza Hut online? Have we gotten that lazy? And why didn’t anyone tell me about this sooner?

7:05 - Thank you for pointing out the colors that people on the TV are wearing, Van Gundy. I never would have known Tom Brady was wearing black. I suffer from a rare condition where black is pink, pink is yellow, and yellow looks like numbers to me. It’s about time someone in the media paid attention to people with my condition. God bless you, ABC. God bless you.

7:07 - A few days ago Chris Pereira posted an article about the simulation of the NBA Finals, which he commented something about how “LeBron scoring over 30 in one game is ridiculous.” Well, if he’s lucky he might break 20 tonight.

7:08 - Way to miss three point blank lay ins, Zydrunas. Not like your team could have used an easy bucket heading into halftime.

7:09 - 5.1 left in the half, the Spurs have the inbound. Of course, Mike Brown decides to put in Eric Snow, or as I like to call him, Mr. Shut Down Defense. Is it too late to take back the Coach of the Year award from Sam Mitchell? I say we give it to Mike Brown, instead.

7:10 - If LeBron’s teammates are “not not knocking down open jumpers,” does that mean they are? Or did he mean to say “not not not knocking down open jumpers,” which makes more sense.

7:11 - Ginobili misses the layup, and the Cavs have 0.5 seconds left from their own baseline.

7:11 - LeBron narrowly misses a last second heave from halfcourt. He makes them all in the commercial! Should we blame him staying up late to witness his son’s birth?

So far, it’s been a pretty close game. The Spurs started slow and Duncan has struggled, but they’ve managed to keep the lead thanks to Mr. France carrying the load. On the other side, LeBron has been struggling, Gibson has missed open shots and looks like he has no confidence, and all of the interior players are missing wide open layups. The score obviously reflects the struggles of the game so far. At half-time the Spurs are up 39-34, so on the bright side we’re on track to beat last game’s score. Assuming things keep going.

I’m going to take a quick break at half-time. Stay tuned in a bit, and I’ll be back to keep complaining and critiquing Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Until then, have fun watching a half-time show which I assume will mention Tony Parker’s relationship no less than three times.

7:31 - And we’re back! That break sure felt good. Watched a few ESPN highlights, got a nice drink…both more exciting than this game so far. Right away after half-time we’re treated to the fact that the Spurs decided they need to get Tim Duncan going this half. Gee, you think?

Did anyone else watch that half-time presentation/essay thing on the Spurs being a dynasty? I really don’t get it. Even before this year people considered them a dynasty, so why the sudden change of heart?

7:33 - Patch fouls Duncan, sending him to the line. Normally Duncan doesn’t show much emotion, but it’s fairly obvious right now that he’s on his “sad” setting. I wonder what’s eating him more, how much he’s struggling, or the fact that after this game, casual sports fans and people who don’t follow the NBA outside of the Finals (all three of them) will think Parker is the best thing the Spurs have?

7:35 - Bryce Maximus, LeBron? And you wanted to make Maximus his FIRST name? What’s your second child going to be called, Roger Soze? Jeremy T-1000? Andrew Achilles?

7:36 - Nice finish by Tony Parker. There’s no way if the Spurs win tonight that he doesn’t get the MVP unless Duncan snaps out of it and goes on a tear in the remainder of the game.

7:39 - My friend Jeremy—a huge Cavs fan, and I give him no quarter for that—just summed it up nicely. “They look good, but not like an eastern conference champion. It’s like, you want to celebrate when they just make a basket.”

7:41 - This little spotlight on Bowen makes you realize just what he has to go through. Every player he’s guarded in the playoffs thus far could be a starter for the Western All-Star team. When the worst player you guard is Deron, that’s saying something.

7:42 - LeBron started out on fire, but he’s been struggling since then. Could that offensive foul have tweaked something more than he’s letting on? He does have some sort of compression wrap or sleeve on his high knee that wasn’t there before. With how physical he plays and how much he relies on his athleticism, it’s easy to see how he could struggle if he couldn’t get as much pop on his jumps.

7:44 - Love or hate Parker, you have to give him props for working on his shot over this season. Last year people would leave him wide open at the 3 rather than let him blow by them, but since the Spurs hired a new shooting coach for him, he’s just improved a ton. His FG% is up from his career numbers, and from the first round to now it’s only improved. Not only that, but he’s developing a reliable three-point shot. Scary for people playing the Spurs.

7:47 - The Cavs are shooting 34% from the field, and 27% from behind the arc. Meanwhile, the Spurs are shooting 49% from the field, and 40% from behind the arc. Both teams are shooting like crap from the line (50% each), but at least the Spurs have had four players draw shooting fouls, compared to the Cavs two. The Cavs are winning in offensive rebounds, TOs, and assists—it’s their shooting that’s killing them.

7:50 - The Indians’ closer had a player at an 0-2 count, pitch down the middle for an RBI single, Indians lead cut to 3-2. Next batter’s at an 0-2 count, once again, pitched down the middle. Thankfully for Indian fans it was fouled off. Tonight isn’t looking like a night for intelligent play by Cleveland teams, though.

7:52 - My take on the Shaq vs. Duncan debate: Shaq is the much more dominant player. There’s no way any team can stop Shaq; you can only contain him. On the other hand, Duncan improves his team a lot more than Shaq does. He’s a better passer and ball-handler (despite Shaq’s All-Star game shenanigans), and he can turn people like Hedo Turkoglu into serious scoring threats. Not to mention Duncan’s superior defensive skills. Sure, Shaq can body up and block shots, but Duncan can keep up with faster forwards like KG and Marion, and then turn around and guard a big guy like Yao. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: never has there been an NBA big man as versatile as Tin Duncan, and never has someone of his talent had to work so hard to get the respect they so rightfully deserve.

7:54 - Good news for Cleveland fans: the Indians held on. Final score: Cle 3, Fla 2.

7:55 - According to Mike Brown, all San Antonio is doing is “driving it, passing it, trusting their teammates and playing defense.” That’s all? He makes winning soon-to-be four championships sound easy.

7:56 - 11 point lead heading into the commercial break. Can Cleveland manage to make a comeback? Or is this where any excitement at all ends, and we’re forced to hear about what the Cavs need to do next year and Tony Parker’s wedding?

7:59 - I love watching Varejao get fouled and flop. Could you imagine if he was your dad and you were playing a pick-up game with him? “Dad, I didn’t touch you! Get off the ground!”

8:00 - I like Jeff Van Gundy much more as a commentator than a coach. I’m sure I speak for all Knicks fans in this regard. (Agree, Chris?)

8:02 - Airball by Duncan, and Horry can’t save it. Cavs are now down 8 with the ball and 10 seconds left. Make this shot, and they’re in good condition.

8:02 - Donyell misses the lay-in (again), and LeBron comes over the top of Horry to get the jump ball. LeBron wins the tip, but he hit the ball a little too soon. Spurs’ ball.

8:03 - So the Juwan Howard and Mike James trade just became official. The TWolves get an over-the-hill forward in Juwan Howard, who will likely not contribute since he and KG play similar positions. Meanwhile, the Rockets get a solid PG to add to their roster. I like this trade a lot more for the Rockets than the Wolves. Of course, James was clashing with KG constantly in Minnesota, so maybe it works out fine for both of them.

8:06 - My pal Chris P (who seems to have a lot of free time) brought it to my attention I spelled “Tim Duncan” as “Tin Duncan” at one point. From now on, I submit that becomes his official nickname.

8:08 - Being the guy in charge of the scoreboard and PA system is tough when your team is losing, but the moment they have signs of life it becomes the easiest job in the world. Could you imagine how much it must suck to handle the PA and crowd for teams like the Hawks? Talk about your career not turning out how you wanted it to.

8:09 - Somehow, the Cavs have snuck back into the game. I guess the lethargic crowd helped them fly under the radar as they got closer. Time to start paying attention, again.

8:12 - Our first plug for Shaq’s new show in the second half!

8:14 - Offensive foul on Brent Barry.

You know, other than the normal players, no supporting player has had as much success as Brent Barry. I don’t mean in the games—I mean out of them. Every other thing where they talk to players ors how an interview, there’s Brent Barry. I have friends who don’t remember his days as a slam dunk or three point champion going, “Who is that guy? He’s awesome!” Can we please nominate Brent to take over for Kerr next year handling commentary? Out of the active NBA players, the only guy I’d like to see doing commentary more than Brent is Shaq.

8:16 - What a horrible pass by Donyell. You’re finally back in it, the crowd is on your side, and you force a missed shot, and then you turn the ball over unforced. By the way, did anyone hear that guy in the crowd trying to scream like a monkey? What’s up with that? Does he expect a player to go, “Oh man! There’s a monkey loose in here!”

8:17 - LeBron helps make up for that TO with that basket, but had there been no TO they’d be up by now.

8:18 - To Spurs. Cavs continue to take over, and right now are on a 12-0 run. Keep it together, San Antonio, or you’re stuck in Cleveland for the weekend.

8:20 - Parker called for a foul, and that really should have been a no-call. LeBron lowering his shoulder is no foul, Bowen checking someone’s jersey is not a foul, but Parker brushing Gibson is?

8:20 - Gibson just took it to the whole against Tinny. That’s one way to get your confidence back. See that swagger in his step now?

8:21 - Tim Duncan’s thoughts: “What? we’re losing? Oh, time to play good, again.” Donyell Marshall’s thoughts: “What, we’re winning? Time to shoot a three!”

8:22 - Hey, Varejao’s flopping! Did someone get that on tape? We may need evidence to back a claim this ridiculous up.

On a serious note, what do you think is responsible for the Cav’s comeback? LeBron starting to hit shots, Shaq’s reality TV show (their run started after the commercial), or that person in the crowd screaming?

8:23 - What’s that, Jason Bourne? Someone made you who you are? Yeah, his name was Robert Ludlum.

8:25 - With how poor Manu has been playing lately, we completely forgot he can do things like that. Poor Damon and Varejao just got schooled.

And Duncan tips in the missed free throw. Four point possession by the Spurs, and they’re up by three.

8:26 - Sign you have homecourt advantage: offensive player clearing out the defender with his free arm equals a foul on the defender.

8:27 - Varejao hits a breakaway dunk, and then falls to the ground screaming before he realizes no defender is near him. (Not really, but you didn’t question that, did you?)

8:27 - Manu drills the three, and LeBron almost answers. Manu then misses a lay-up, Duncan keeps it alive, and Orberto throws it off LeBron’s foot.

8:29 - Incredible save by Duncan. Eats up time, and inspires the team.

Wow, James just tipped it to Bowen. How long have the Spurs had the ball now? Forty years?

8:30 - After that entire series of events, ORBERTO ends up with the basket plus the foul. The Cavs fans are furious. How fickle they can be.

8:31 - Is there a single person looking forward to that new Adam Sandler and Kevin James film? It’s one of the worst ideas for a movie I’ve ever heard of, and every commercial has done nothing but make me never want to watch the final product. Do they really expect people to sit through an hour and a half of Adam Sandler and Kevin James pretending to be gay in an extremely stereotypical (and likely) offensive way? Then again, this is the country where Kangaroo Jack once ruled the box office, and where we seem to get a new animated penguin movie each month, so I guess anything’s possible.

8:33 - All the Cavs had to do was not let the Spurs go on a run to end the game. They were up by three, had everything go their way, and they’re letting it get away.

8:34 - LeBron with the three. Did I speak too soon?

8:34 - Another unforced TO by LeBron. That’s two in crunchtime. Not very good, Mr. James. You do want Cleveland to trust you when the game comes down to the wire, don’t you?

8:35 - Orberto is everywhere at the end of this game. You know Pops is over on the sideline acting like he knew he would have this big of an impact. He’s probably slightly nodding with a smirk on his face, but inside he’s thinking, “What’s that guy’s name, again?”

8:36 - Mike Brown, please tell your team you need to trap or foul when you’re down by 7 with 35 seconds left in the NBA Finals. There is absolutely no reason the Cavs should have been giving the ballhandler four feet of room. You do realize that even if you lose the NBA Finals, you won’t get a lottery pick, right?

8:38 - This Fillet O’ Fish commercial is the most annoying commercial I have ever seen. “Fillet-o-fish.” “Fillet-o-fish.” “No, fillet-o-fish.” “Fillet-o-fish.”

8:39 - LeBron makes the lay-up and gets some pity claps. Spurs up by five, and Manu is going to the line since the Cavs have finally fouled. Pretty much over, and the Cav’s players realize that. There isn’t a single player that looks like he still has faith.

8:40 - The Spurs just let Varejao have a wide open dunk…Oh! Eva sighting! Oh boy! Now my night is complete!

8:41 - Every time I see David Robinson, I am convinced he is a robot. Has anyone aged as gracefully as he has? He’s looked the exact same for the last 10 years.

8:41 - Manu just fouled Damon Jones on a three. There’s still hope for Cav fans! (Not really, but I’d like to keep this entertaining.)

8:43 - Chris just asked me if I thought Tony and Eva would get married at midcourt after the game had this been in SA. My answer? No. Because then the general public would be at the wedding, and they’re far too important for that.

8:44 - Jackson made a good point a while ago when he brought up Cleveland’s lack of fouling. Had they fouled right away a few possessions ago, they would have had about 20 seconds left in the game right now in a one shot game. As it is, the Spurs have the ball with 7.5 left, up by three. What do you know, Mike Brown made a coaching mistake! He is human, after all! (Or a demon intent on destroying Cleveland’s dreams—the jury is still out.)

8:45 - Manu fouled less than a second after the inbounds. Did anyone else catch LeBron’s eyes during that inbounds? He looked like a terrified little kid. That might be the first time I’ve seen him in a game and realized just how young and inexperienced he is.

8:46 - Spurs up by 5 with 7 seconds left. The Cavs need to get the ball in and right away get a shot up, then foul the moment the Spurs get the ball back. They really need a three here, but who’s going to take the shot? LeBron always shies away in these situations, Boobie has been struggling, and I wouldn’t trust Donyell watching my houseplant, let alone take the most important shot of their season.

8:47 - Spoke too soon. LeBron with the clutch three. Unfortunately, no one on Cleveland can catch Speedy Manu, as he wastes three to four seconds running the ball up the court. Up by 3, one free throw left.

8:48 - With that free throw, the San Antonio Spurs are your 2006-07 NBA Champions beating the Cavs 83-82. Their fourth title in recent years, and my pre-season prediction has woefully come true. Look for Tony Parker to get the MVP, and for LeBron to use at least three cliches in his post-game interview.

8:50 - The second time since 1990 a team has been swept in the Finals, and the first since the Lakers in ‘02. Tafoya is talking to Duncan right now, and Stuart Scott is probably in the corner threatening to quit due to the way they’ve been treating him.

Meanwhile, there’s a shot of Pops with D-Rob, who looks like he just won himself. Duncan finished with a bad game (12 points and 15 boards on horrid shooting), but he still managed to be a force in the game.

8:52 - And now we see Duncan and D-Rob hugging. I guarantee that will be shown on at least one major website or in one newspaper.

8:52 - Finley gets his first championship, Horry gets his 7th (but no infamy this year), and we end with a shot of Eva jumping up and hugging Parker. A fitting end to the game, given how often we were forced to hear about their impending marriage.

8:55 - The trophy is presented, and David Stern’s voice cracks, meaning he’s finally a man. Elson is also the first player to touch the trophy. I don’t know about you, but he deserves to. No one has been more important to San Antonio over the years than Elson (other than Orberto).

8:57 - Pretty obvious, but Parker is named the Finals MVP (and in an odd existential moment, we see a camera man shoot a camera man filming Eva who’s taking a picture of Tony). With how Duncan struggled tonight, I have to say it was deserved on his part. There’s no way the Spurs win tonight without Tony. Gotta give him credit for sharing the glory with Finley, though. He’s one of those guys you love to see finally get what’s due to him. Great team player with bad luck over the years.

8:59 - Does Dan Patrick remind anyone else of the teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? “Where’s Michael Finley? Robert Horry? Bueller? Bueller?”


9:00 - With this series over (thankfully), it’s time to focus on the offseason and draft, baseball, and the NFL.

Much like the commercial that aired just before the MVP presentation, I’d like to thank everyone who read and kept me company via IM or in real life during this venture. I’d also like to thank Andru for working on the back-end as I wrote this to get a few things working for me, and everyone who shared this with their friends.

Enjoy the rest of the post-game show where I’m sure we’ll see more of Tony x Eva.

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Comments:

Yeah, Gibson is a sure fire first round fantasy pick if you’ve got the last pick in a 100-man league.

Let’s see some more consistency out of him before you herald him as such a great player.

And yes.. Van Gundy should never be anywhere near a coaching position. He should be on the sidelines, here, though. Reporting.

I really think there is a monkey or SOMETHING. Holy hell is it annoying.

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