Wednesday, June 19, 2013

St*r Power

PYB is compelled to jump in with an evening post, after digesting last night's Game 6 NBA finals contest between San Antonio and Miami. The beat don't stop until the break of dawn...

--First, a side note: Phil Mickelson broke our fucking hearts again. He wasted our weekends. He made us spend Father's Day pretending we were good family men while watching every shot out of the corner of our eyes. He flailed, he double bogeyed, he double bogeyed, he eagled, but in the end, he couldn't help himself. Couldn't help from pushing the envelope by hitting too much club off of several tees and missing fairways. Couldn't help butchering a 121-yard par 3 and making bogey. Too many mistakes. Wrong tournament for mistakes. Hello, second place.

--Last nights Spurs-Heat game was exciting. It was well played, by today's standards. The crowd was loud (and of course fucking annoying since it was Miami). The Spurs jumped out to a big lead. Miami came back. The Spurs countered. Then, we learned what we thought we knew. LeQueen James' career will always be marked with a big fucking asterisk.

We said this two years ago, when he ran for cover on South Beach, taking shelter under the All-Star wings of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He took the easy way out. He tanked against the Mavericks in 2011. He got his title in 2012. Anyone who knew the game knew it didn't mean a thing.

Fast forward to 2013, when Wade and Bosh were floundering against powerhouses Chicago and Indiana, and ESPN was dubbing LQJ, "The Man." The man who was just a couple more rings away from holding court with Air Jordan. We knew better, but relented that another title was a certainty. What we saw last night confirmed what we knew all along. The Queen turns yellow in crunch time. Always has, always will. A quick rewind takes us back to last night:

--As time wound down, we remarked to ourselves how LQJ's poor shot selection, poor decision making, poor ball distribution and key turnovers looked eerily similar to the 2011 Finals -- when the Heat could have easily swept Dallas had James known when to drive, when to kick, when to shoot and when not to dribble for 20 seconds before heaving up a 26-foot jumper.

--There was the horrid shot with 28 seconds remaining that did not come close to hitting anything, followed by the bewildered look of blame as James had to know his hopes of a second consecutive title had gone up in smoke.

--There was the embarrassing brick from 27 feet with 24 seconds remaining. A shot so bad that Miami got a long rebound with Tim Duncan mysteriously on the bench. Of course, on his second attempt, he made the three.

--Kawhi Leonard then missed one of his two ensuing free throws (which was one of three missed by Leonard, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in the last eight minutes), keeping the Heat in the game. Had one of those three gone down, game over. David Stern works in mysterious ways.

--LQJ followed with another brick with eight seconds remaining, and San Antonio relinquished yet another offensive board with Duncan mysteriously on the bench (again). Of course, Ray Allen followed with the game-tying three pointer.

--After inbounding the ball, Tony Parker went the length of the floor and was clearly shoved by James. No call. Overtime.

--In OT, The Queen had another turnover at the 2:42 mark and forced an awful shot at the 1:00 mark. In all, he made more bad plays in seven minutes of game action than we remember Michael Jordan making in 15 seasons of playoff games combined. (Missed FTs at Cleveland to lose a game and key turnover to Nick Anderson vs. Orlando). The league's 'best player' was bailed out in the end by the much-maligned Bosh and the rickety Allen (who got away with two flagrant breakaway fouls, by the way.) Immortal, huh?

--Anyway, both sides claimed they were the victims of poor officiating. Stern's minions were awful to be sure, but it didn't cost SAS the game. Missed free throws and Gregg Popovich's inexplicable decision to bench Duncan on two straight defensive possessions were the culprits this time around. David Stern works in mysterious ways.  (side note: we understand Popovich's strategy but this is the last 10 seconds of an NBA finals game and weird shit happens--get your best, and biggest players on the floor.)

We won't put anything past the commissioner. The fact that there was a video review to determine the ball that rocketed off James' fingertips should go to the Spurs had us all thinking of the SAC-LAL series a decade ago.

What we know for sure is that we'll be treated to a shitty game seven. Ginobili has already said he has no idea how he'll re-energize for the final chapter of this NBA finals. We're all in store for another contrived coronation. It will be a fraud for the ages, and we'll all be Witnesses as ESPN jizzes on and on and on and on.....

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