It was all a blink of an eye. Coach Pop takes Duncan out of the game so a more versatile Boris Diaw can be in for defensive purposes. Ginobili steps up to the line and misses the first of his two free throws. Mike Miller gets an offensive rebound and gives it to LeBron who cashes the three. The 21 year-old Y now steps to the line and he too misses a free throw. Wait a second, why is Timmy coming out of the game again? We need him for rebounding as made clear when Mike Miller got an offensive rebound. The same Mike Miller that played in 17 games all year because he is as old as dust and when he jumps you would be hard pressed to slide a piece of paper under his feet. Then it happens. Y makes his second free throw and the Spurs are up three. LeBron comes down and misses his first three, but then another offensive rebound. This time it was a tiny dinosaur (Chris Bosh) who finds Ray Allen and in most clutch cases the only thing Ray Allen finds is the bottom of the net, which he did.
It always seems to come down to the intangibles. Who can hit their free throws and who can get that game clinching rebound? Well on Tuesday night the Spurs decided that rather than succeed at those intangibles in the final seconds of play, they would rather send this series to an anything can happen Game 7. The yellow rope was out, the crowd was exiting and I was prematurely celebrating as the Spurs were up 4 with 30 seconds left and they had the ball. It was a dream scenario; In Miami with the crowd already exiting and the utmost confidence in my team because it is the Spurs. The same Spurs team that is viewed league-wide as the team that doesn’t crack, the well oiled machine with Coach Gregg Popovich at the helm, the greatest coach in the NBA. Surely he won’t make a mistake in the clutch right? Surely he won’t make the same mistake the next time down the court…….right? Surely Manu Ginobili, one of the veteran leaders who has already been through and won three NBA Finals won’t miss a free throw to put us up six with 30 seconds left as opposed to five. And SURELY Mike Miller will not get an offensive rebound with 20 seconds left.
It was true Spurs fashion. They have always been a crew that wins as a team and in this instance they lost as a team. So now what? How does a team bounce back from on the cusp of winning an NBA Championship to play a Game 7 on the road? A feat that has not been done since the Washington Wizards were more, Gilbert Arenas appropriately named, as the Washington Bullets. Well they are going to have to do it in true Spurs fashion, as a team.
“Hey, uhhh Chris, you realized you pretty much just asked everyone to play awesome right?” Damn straight that’s what I’m saying. If the Spurs want to win this game they are going to have to put on one hell of a show because there is no way Miami is coming on slow or sloppy on their home court. The Spurs are going to have to come out of the gate flying with a tempo that has yet to be seen in these Finals.
I know this isn’t really a proper Game 7 preview and a lot of it is more of a rant by me, but in all honestly I am WAY to anxious for this game tonight and can’t properly concentrate. I’ll leave with this as I guess most people reading this will be rooting for the Spurs since nobody likes Miami. Nothing would be more satisfying then to see Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan show this wannabe “Big 3” how the first and real Big 3 does it. Show them how proper growth and true team work can lead to not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE NBA Championships.
GO SPURS GO!!!!