Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I Mean, Jordan Didn't Get a Championship at 22 Either...


Tonight the Cavs lost game three and, in the process, any hope of stringing together enough wins for a championship. For someone like me, those of us desperately waiting for LeBron to claim his destiny, it's frustrating watching Cleveland hang for a while only to be outlasted in each second half. Clearly, the Spurs are just a better team.

But it's not because of the usual reasons. Cleveland is younger, Cleveland has--supposedly--the best player on the court, and Cleveland was riding way more momentum going into the series. Last week they had the nothing-to-lose mentality, an attitude that can only be defeated by...someone with nothing-to-win.

The way the Spurs have played so far reminds me of the 2000 presidential election of all things. I remember staying up late that November 8, awaiting the results, and I remember being intimidated by George Bush. The television channels had cameras inside of the rooms where Bush and Gore were watching the tallies, and the differences between the men couldn't have been more stark. While Gore was tensely gripping his wife's hand, running his hands through his hair, and intently staring into the set, Bush was yukking it up with his family. The stakes were incredibly high for both men, but one showed how much that meant to him and one looked as if he didn't give a shit. That scared and impressed me, and I had forgotten about it until game one, when ABC showed Gregg Popovich in the huddle.

With his veteran players surrounding him, he stressed, "Don't be in a hurry. You win the game in forty-eight minutes." And the players took it to heart. With more experience, more versatility, and more confidence in their abilities, the Spurs have calmly dictated the flow of each game and have controlled Cleveland at every step. Even when the Spurs are playing poorly, even when they're down by eight or ten points, it feels as if it's only a matter of time before they hit some clutch three pointers and go on top again. The Cavs look as if they're at half-speed sometimes.

There's very little drama in this series. There's no old player trying to win The Big One before a ride into the sunset (although Rob Horry is pulling for his seventh); the coach isn't trying to prove he can excel with a new group of guys or a new system; there aren't any subplots about a guy getting revenge on his old team. It doesn't matter if the Spurs win their fourth title in nine years, and that, above all things, seems to motivate them the most.

But if it's any consolation, they share one more thing with George W. Bush: only people from Texas like them.

Je deteste cette equipe.

No comments: