please indulge me as i delve into some amateur sports analysis.
i wanted to write more during the series, but it was just too close the whole time and i didn't want to jinx it. but i think several things have made themselves very clear this series. the two most important things being the mavs rule and the spurs drool! but seriously, let's break it down.
1) the mavs were clearly the superior team. credit san antonio for toughness or whatever intangibles kept them in it for seven games, but i don't anyone watching with a semi-objective eye can say that the better team didn't win. and since i'm such a big fan of talent over intangibles, this makes me happy. the mavs were younger, they were faster, they had more endurance (seriously, the spurs need to take a long look in the mirror and wonder why they couldn't keep up with the mavs...they simply weren't in as good physical shape), they were better shooters, they were more aggresive on the boards...all the things that you have to do to win. here's the deal, conventional wisdom says that for the spurs to win, all three of their big guns have to come up big. well, they did. duncan had 41, parker had 23, and ginobli has 21. and still the mavericks came out on top. let's not forget that game 7 featured four mavericks fouling out, so there was a little home cookin' working for the spurs as well. the spurs had homecourt, had the calls go their way, and played about as good as they could play, and it still wasn't enough
2) it is unfortunate for san antonio that they chose this time to become run down. i think that the spurs could easily, easily beat any other team in the league except for detroit. tim duncan may be the third greatest post player i've ever seen (hakeem and mchale being #1 and #2). he was pretty freakin' unstoppable. and now despite three wins, they won't go down as a dynasty. not that they should. the first championship was during a strike shortened year. they probably should have another one were it not for derek fisher's miracle three years ago, and now, they couldn't win it back to back. and as good as they are, they don't belong with the great lakers (80s or 90s version), rockets, or celtics teams.
3) eff san antonio. as good as these guys may be, let me point out that i think that tim duncan has been exposed as one of the biggest whiners of all time. people say he's quiet and that makes him classy. but if you watch all of his press conferences, he's very condescending and the spur's losing is never the spurs fault, it's always the ref's fault. the worst is his super short answers after a loss. he is sulking people, and as kobe has shown us, that's a little bit sorry. ginobli is the biggest flopper since vlade divac. and tony parker may have a hot girlfriend, but i think it's time to attach the tag of "inconsistent" to his sorry french ass.
4) this was basketball for the ages. of the seven games, three overtime games, 6 of the seven games coming down to the last minute of play. i wrote about this earlier, but there hasn't been basketball of this high quality played for a good six or seven years. two sixty win teams duking it out. how great was that?
5) luck is always involved. three 3-pointers from keith van horn? where the hell did that come from?
6) before we start writing off the spurs, let's not forget two things. first, as long as duncan can play at a high level, then they're a threat. he's one of three players in the league that i think can carry a team to the championship all by himself. second, let's not forget one little fact about the spurs before we decide that they're a great team. does anyone else remember how the spurs tanked an entire season on purpose just so that they could get the first pick in duncan. seriously, before that year, the spurs were perennial playoff contenders with david robinson leading the way. and then all of a sudden one year, after losing robinson to injury, they just completely sucked for the rest of the year. yes, i'm accusing them of losing games on purpose, made all the more plausible by the fact that popovich is both head coach and gm of those teams. in one sense, he should be praised, since it resulted in three championships. but that doesn't change the fact, the spurs sold their soul for their championships.
7) this team reminds me a little bit of the 90s cowboys. for any team to break through, you have to take away the title of best team from the team who has that title. usually, it is a team that has your number, as the niners did with the cowboys and the spurs did with the mavericks. to take the next step, you have to go to the enemy's place and take away that mystique to announce your arrival. the cowboys did it in their first super bowl year when they beat the niners in the championship game in san francisco. we can only hope that the next few years go as well for the mavs as it did for the cowboys.
8) for those of you who are wondering, i've been to san antonio. yes, the riverwalk is disgusting. it's basically an open-air sewer, but damn if i haven't had some of the best damn mexican food in my life in san antonio.