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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Why the Spurs will win

Here are five reasons why the Spurs will win:

1. The Spurs have a superstar, too.

Duncan is a three-time Finals MVP and arguably the greatest power forward of all time. He might not be as explosive as James, but he influences the game in so many ways.

2. The Spurs have been here before.

Yes, experience can be overrated. NBA history is littered with young teams that vanquished proven former champions. Three years ago the Pistons didn't have nearly as much experience as the Lakers, yet they sent the Shaq/Kobe/Karl Malone/Gary Payton squad packing in five games.

In this case, however, San Antonio is not some old broken-down team nursing injuries or fractured by in-house feuding. The Spurs are healthy. They are well-focused. They might be a little old and a step slow at certain positions, but they are still fast enough.

San Antonio's roster features seven players who have won championship rings. Duncan, Bowen, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili each have at least two. Robert Horry has six. The Cavs have only one player with Finals experience: backup point guard Eric Snow.

3. LeBron won't be allowed to beat the Spurs all by himself.

James is an unstoppable player who can explode for 40 points on any given night, but the Spurs don't really care as long as the other Cavs don't get involved. San Antonio's philosophy has always been to play its system and not get caught up in changing defenses to stop one guy.

The Spurs will stay disciplined in their team concept. They will get back in transition. They will not leave shooters open to go double-team. In other words, they will not do what the Pistons did while letting the Cavs get open looks.

4. Manu Ginobili is something wild.

Ginobili is, indeed, unorthodox with his herky-jerky style. But the 6-6 lefty from Argentina is, as Finley noted, a former All-Star who can put it on the floor or knock down shots from outside. Two years ago Ginobili tore up the Pistons to help the Spurs win the title. He arguably should have won the Finals MVP award that went to Duncan. Ginobili, who seems to be getting better as the playoffs go on, will be huge in this series as well.

5. Gregg Popovich is the master; Mike Brown is the pupil.

But Brown, 37, has never been in the lead chair for the Finals, when the adjustments must be made on the fly and head games come into play. Mavs coach Avery Johnson's lack of experience came into question in last year's Finals when he abruptly switched hotels in Miami after Game 3 and then suffered a confusing timeout snafu at the end of another game. It happens to young coaches.

Making his fourth Finals appearance in 11 seasons, Popovich already has seen it all. He and his staff just seem to know which buttons to push to get the Spurs going. One example: In 2003 the Spurs were struggling to score against the Mavs in the conference finals when Popovich turned to seldom-used reserve Steve Kerr. The then 37-year-old three-point specialist came off the bench and instantly started burying threes to goose the offense and provide the floor spacing the Spurs needed.

Posted by Ajay :: 12:19 PM :: 0 comments

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