What up, Pounders,
I don't know if any of you remember, but I was in a couple game threads during the series against the Lakers. I haven't watched much basketball at all in the last few years. Since I started high school in 2006, I've pretty much sold my soul to ice hockey, but I still keep tabs on the Spurs during the regular season and tune in during the playoffs. This postseason, though, I've watched more basketball in the past two months than I have in the last four or five years.
Even though I haven't watched much basketball in recent years, I see the obsession with 24-hour news and content makes for some ridiculous narratives and predictions. Despite the joy this playoff run has brought, it also reminded me of why I swore off ESPN for everything that wasn't a live sporting event on one of its networks. I suppose I can't complain too much because that's what happens in a 24-hour, instant analysis news cycle.
We've all had a full day and more to digest Game 6. None of us are happy with it for obvious reasons. But let's be real: even if someone wants to make a prediction for fun or because they're paid to make one on live television, not a single one of us has a clue what's going to happen in tonight's Game 7.
For all the hype over the Heat comeback, the Spurs still led that game for a very large portion of it. Can Miami find a way to play that fourth quarter again instead of the way they've done the rest of this series by sustaining their offense on San Antonio turnovers?
After posting a fantastic 24 points in Game 5, Manu Ginobili made me want to pull my hair out in Game 6. But for as much as people might consider him dead in the water, can he really be that bad again? The same narrative plays out for Dwyane Wade, but people automatically assume he's back to form instead of focusing on a larger portion of time spent as a shadow of his former self.
Danny Green set a Finals record in the first five games for three-point shooting, then seemed to fall off a cliff in Game 6. Are we supposed to think he's gone permanently cold at the worst possible time?
Chris Bosh finally asserted himself in this series with key blocks late in Game 6 and especially with the rebound that led to Ray Allen's game-tying three-pointer. Am I supposed to believe he's now going to steamroll the silver and black into submission when it seems he still can't guard Tim Duncan?
The Spurs have never lost an NBA Finals series. (They also have never trailed in the championship series.) But wait, did you hear? The road team has never won a Game 7 to win the championship since 2-3-2 started. Immovable object, meet unstoppable force. But wait! The Heat have all the momentum! The Spurs are dejected! They can't recover in time for Game 7! Narratives!
The PtR Twitter said it best, and anyone who's watched this series should reflect long and hard on this reality:
This series has destroyed the cottage industry of predicting what will happen from game to game, and I couldn’t be happier.
Pounding the Rock (@poundingtherock)
Watching professional sports for my entire life has taught me two things: you'll always see things you've never seen before; and you never know what you're going to see. Tonight, a basketball game will be played. It will feature the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat. The winner hoists a trophy with a golden basketball on it. We know nothing more.
So which is it going to be: Will we see the Spurs lose for the first time in the NBA Finals? Or will we see the Spurs become the first road team to clinch the championship in Game 7 since 2-3-2? It's one or the other, and until the clock reads 00.0 and I have reason to believe otherwise, my faith in the latter will not waver.