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gameface_one
06-05-2007, 03:01 PM
Seasoned Spurs squad seeks to dim lights on James' heroics
abs-cbnnews.com


LOS ANGELES - The only thing standing in the way of LeBron James and Cleveland's first National Basketball Association title is a seasoned San Antonio team that has won three championships in eight years.

Against long odds, Cleveland beat the Detroit Pistons in six games, wrapping up the semi-finals series with a 20-point performance from James.

"They kind of snuck up on everybody," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Cleveland.

San Antonio, which won in each of their three previous trips to the finals in 1999, 2003, 2005, host the first game of best-of-seven final on Thursday. Game two is Sunday at the San Antonio arena.

"I'm not sure how rare they think it is since they've been there quite often considering their young ages and time in the league," Popovich said. "But they know it's the finals and that would take care of any possible complacency I would think."

To no one's great surprise San Antonio is in the 2007 finals but few outside of Cleveland expected the Cavaliers to be there.

That is until young superstar James took the bull by the horns, elevating Cleveland to a rarified level in his fourth season with the Cavs.

But along with his individual heroics, which included a jaw-dropping 48-point eruption in game five, James also has matured as a leader - one who has been more than willing to share the glory with his teammates.

"There is no way we would be here in the Eastern Conference finals or winning the Eastern Conference finals if it was a one-man show," he said.

"It's never happened in NBA history, it would never happen in the NBA where a team has one guy and he does it all."

James even drew praise on Monday from NBA legend Michael Jordan who said James is showing signs of greatness.

"Making 'The Leap' is where you do it every single night," Jordan said. "It is expected of you and you do it. What just transpired was needed for the league, needed for Cleveland and needed for LeBron."

Said three-time finals MVP Duncan, "I'm just hoping every once in a while they throw the Spurs in there, in between the LeBron highlights, that would be nice."

Cleveland won both regular season matchups against San Antonio, including spoiling the Spurs' home opener. The teams met again in January in Cleveland where James scored 19 points in another win.

James led the Cavaliers to its first Eastern Conference title and now the possibility of the first championship in Cleveland in any sport since the gridiron Browns of the National Football League won the title in 1964.

Cleveland head coach Mike Brown is one of several members of the Cavaliers who previously work in the San Antonio organization. General manager Danny Ferry and assistant coach Hank Egan are ex-Spurs along with Brown who spent three seasons as an understudy to Popovich.

"There aren't going to be many secrets here, that's for sure," Popovich said. AFP

gameface_one
06-06-2007, 09:38 AM
BARE EYE
LeBron James, no Filipino idea of a superstar


By Recah Trinidad
Inquirer
Last updated 05:39am (Mla time) 06/06/2007


MANILA, Philippines -- Now it’s our turn to ask what’s taking the NBA Finals too long to start.

There’s this solid promise of a different excitement, brand new and big.

Fans could hardly wait to turn on the TV for more of LeBron James.

Well, the truth is that, before King James could take the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Promised Land, there was only poet Krip Yuson, here at home, to regret having very little of LeBron on NBA opening week.

Krip was in ass-kicking mood early last November after a skimpy serving of what he honestly felt would be the most delicious NBA fare this season.

* * *

Well, Krip could now afford to thump his chest and holler, “I told yah!”

However, instead of burp, the future National Artist just sits there in quiet admiration, happy in the thought he had foretold what a great read the Adventures of King James would be.

So, who else out there dared put his beer money on the Cavs, even after the defending champion Miami had disintegrated, soon to be followed to the exit by the hitherto marvelous Mavericks of Dallas?

* * *

It’s like this. After the San Antonio Spurs moved into The Finals way ahead, there seemed no way to prevent another major confrontation with Detroit.

The Cavs were a long, long shot, a lost, hopeless pack after going down 0-2 in their Eastern Conference championship series with the Pistons.

Then LeBron James, on whose broad shoulders rested the Cavs’ petty, dwindled hope, morphed from a kitten into a killer tiger overnight.

Here’s how James, 22, ascertained himself of a niche in the Hall of Fame with an incandescent performance, as seen by Liz Robins of the New York Times:

“Single-handedly wresting that double-overtime win from Detroit on its home court, James emerged from his 48-point performance with an unquestionable killer instinct. And because he scored 29 of his team’s final 30 points, he found himself smothered by Pistons defenders in Game 6. James simply displayed his deft touch as a leader, distributing the ball...”

* * *

Of course, James would also get hit hard after allegedly cracking up and refusing to take charge in their two losses during the conference championship.

But the question on whether he should have shot or passed in those forgettable games would instantly fizzle out.

“I have nothing to prove to anybody,” James said. “I’m a leader of a group of guys who believe in my decisions down the stretch. Everybody has always criticized the way I play. But I’m a TEAM-FIRST guy. That’s how the game of basketball should be played.”
Simply put, James wanted it known that he had no intent whatsoever of being another Michael Jordan.

He also doesn’t play the brand of ball-hog being perfected to extinction by Kobe Bryant.

The NBA man of the hour doesn’t wag his tongue on the foul line or when taking a gleeful layup.

LeBron James instead incessantly gnaws at his fingernails, his big coal eyes darting, seeking for a chance to bestow heroism on nameless teammates.

In short, he was, pardon this, not the Filipino’s idea of a basketball star.

But expect many new-born kids around here to be named after this very different NBA star.

Howard the Duck
06-06-2007, 03:16 PM
cavs naman nang maiba

gameface_one
06-08-2007, 12:31 PM
Parker and Duncan power Spurs over humbled LeBron
abs-cbnnews.com


SAN ANTONIO, United States (AFP) - Tony Parker and Tim Duncan sparked the San Antonio Spurs past Cleveland 85-76 here Thursday in the opener of the National Basketball Association Finals, humbling LeBron James in the process.

Parker scored 27 points while Duncan, a three-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to give the Spurs the lead in the best-of-seven championship series that continues here Sunday.

James, the flamboyant 22-year-old playmaker who lifted the Cavaliers into their first NBA Finals, made only 4-of-16 shots for 14 points, giving away six turnovers as San Antonio's defense frustrated and contained him all night.

French guard Parker produced the best NBA Finals game in his third trip to the series, adding seven assists for a Spurs team seeking its fourth title in nine years after crowns in 1999, 2003 and 2005.

James missed his first eight shots, finally connecting on a driving laup 4:45 into the third quarter. His only first-half points came on four free throws but the Spurs only managed to seize a 40-35 half-time lead.

San Antonio's lead still was only 49-43 midway into the third quarter when the Spurs caught fire, going on an 18-6 run that ended with San Antonio ahead 67-49 on Robert Horry's 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter.

Ginobili had six points and Duncan scored four in the critical stretch.

James sank a pair of 3-pointers to ignite a 13-4 Cleveland run, pulling the Cavaliers within 78-69 on Sasha Pavlovic's reverse layup with 2:48 to play.

Ginobili sank two free throws and Daniel Gibson answered with a 3-pointer for Cleveland, but James missed a 3-pointer and Duncan added a slam dunk to give the Spurs an 82-72 edge with 54 seconds to play, sealing the triumph.

Argentine reserve guard Manu Ginobili added 16 points and eight rebounds for San Antonio. Daniel Gibson led Cleveland with 16 points while James and Drew Gooden had 14 points and Sasha Pavlovic added 13.

The Spurs outscored Cleveland 18-5 off turnovers.

Defense dominated the first half, which ended with a Ginobili 3-pointer giving the Spurs a five-point edge. Duncan scored 14 first-half points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked four shots. Parker had 12 points and five assists.

James scored his only first-half points on four free throws, gave the ball away twice and had a shot swatted aside by Duncan.

The Spurs, who led 20-15 after the first quarter, went 7:06 without a basket, going 0-for-6 as the Cavaliers went on a 10-2 run to open the second quarter, seizing their first lead on Pavlovic's basket 5:00 into the period.

Parker ignited a rally with a baseline driving layup, a basket off his own missed free throw and a superb pass to Francisco Elson for a fast break layup.

gameface_one
06-08-2007, 03:25 PM
LeBron lousy in NBA Finals debut
abs-cbnnews.com



SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Cleveland playmaker LeBron James made an awful debut in the National Basketball Association Finals, but he plans on learning from his woeful performance rather than forgetting about it.

With equal credit going to San Antonio's overwhelming defense and his own poor shooting, James made only 4-of-16 shots and scored just 14 points as the San Antonio Spurs beat his Cavaliers 85-76 in game one of the NBA Finals.

"You definitely give a lot of credit to the Spurs. They played very well," James said. "Some of it was me missing a lot of the shots I make and some of it was the defense they put on me. It was a half and half thing."

"King James" was dethroned by Bruce Bowen, one of the NBA's stingiest defenders, with help from a swarming defense that caused the 22-year-old prodigy to miss his first eight shots and forced him into six turnovers.

"He is one of the best defenders in the league and he has a lot of help," James said. "I have to do a better job of attacking. They tried to make me dribble toward the sidelines. I step by one guy and they had another there.

"I have to make some adjustments. There's nothing I can't do on the court. It's not like I haven't been in this situation before. I just have to play better.

"Things didn't fall for me. You have nights like that. We have to regroup. It's a series. They are up 1-0. We make adjustments and get ready for (game two on) Sunday."

Tony Parker, the French guard who led the Spurs with 27 points, made the flashy moves expected from James and forced other Cleveland players to try and beat them.

"We just tried to contain him, make sure we didn't give him any dunks, stay with him, not leave right away and force him to pass the ball," Parker said.

"Our team effort on defense we great. We were focused on LeBron. Everybody was paying attention to make sure he didn't get any easy shots. It was a little 50-50. He missed good shots and it was good defense."

But Parker was certain that James, who has averaged 25.8 points in the first three playoff rounds, would come back with fury in game two.

"He will be back. He will be aggressive," Parker said. "We have to stay focused and aggressive because he can score a lot of points very quick."

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown saw the details in the defense that kept James at bay and vowed to adapt quicker with second and third drives to the basket if needed before settling for an outside shot.

"They are selling out on LeBron. They are putting two guys on him and moving a third guy over. They are saying, 'Hey, somebody else beat us.' We have to keep moving the basketball. We have to keep finding somebody is open."

Brown expects a better performance from James in game two.

"At times he was pretty good and at times he wasn't," Brown said. "He has got to do a better job for us at moving the ball and get some better shots. We have to do a little bit better job moving bodies and the basketball."

Even though this is the first time for James and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, Brown does not expect his star player to react badly to an initial flop on the biggest stage of his life.

"I don't think I've ever seen him rattled or flustered after a game. When he faces defenses the first time, he's pretty patient. He will read. Once he gets used to a defense, he has been pretty good for us.

"We as a team and he as an individual can make some adjustments come game two." AFP

mighty_lion
06-08-2007, 05:19 PM
I know San Antonio is a formidable team to match with but i fee it will be Cavs in 6 or 7. Lebron have just to overcome that mindset that San Antonio is a hell of a defensive team. Minsan nadadala din kasi yan sa sindakan. During Jordan's period of greatness, his mere presence in the court inflicts fears to the opponents.

Dapat sa kanya opening minutes palang patikimin nya kaagad si bowen tuhod or siko para magtanda. mga dalawa or tatlong pasimple lang okey na.

freak
06-09-2007, 04:00 AM
sinindak ng Spurs si LeBron sa game one.. parang yung nangyari sa Pistons series.. well, we all knew what happend in the series.. guess Bowen is will be in a long series guarding James.. pero pagtapos ng game 2 at hindi pa nagpapakita si Lebron baka tagilid ang Cavs

gameface_one
06-09-2007, 02:18 PM
Cavaliers coach ready for LeBron deja vu
abs-cbnnews.com


SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said Friday it was only a matter of time before LeBron James shakes things up in the NBA Finals.


James opened the best-of-seven series against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday with a thud, scoring only 14 points during an uncharacteristic four-for-16 shooting night.

The former number one pick in the 2003 NBA Draft also had six turnovers in the Cavaliers' 85-76 setback at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

"It was great for him to go through what he went through last night," Brown told reporters. "He struggled a little bit I think in the first game against Detroit.

"It's just a matter of time when you have a player of his magnitude until he can figure out the defense and get himself going."

James scored only 10 points in the first game of the Eastern Conference final against Detroit but found his stride in time to lead Cleveland to a stunning six-game upset of the Pistons.

The Spurs hounded James at every turn Thursday, tossing two and sometimes three bodies on him whenever he touched the ball. James responded by taking some ill-advised shots or tossing the ball away in an attempt to find the open man.

James, averaging 25.1 points in the postseason, said he is going to study the Spurs' game plan against him and vowed "to be a better player" for Sunday's game two.

"I watched the game last night when I got back to the room, and I'm probably going to watch it again tonight to see throughout the course of the game what they tried to do defensively against me, and offensively, also," he said.

The three-times All-Star said he would make the necessary adjustments on his scoring game but was especially agitated about his turnovers.

"I think the fact I was able turn the ball over as much as I did which allowed them to get extra possessions hurt me more than anything," the 22-year-old said.

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said he was certain Cleveland would come out with a different strategy Sunday to generate more scoring opportunities for James.

"LeBron is a great competitor, obviously very gifted," he said. "I think you'll just see somebody who's even more focused than he was in game one."

James said he remained "confident," reminding reporters the Cavaliers were down 2-0 to the Pistons before winning the series.

"It's not the NCAA Tournament where you lose one game and you're going home," he said. "This is a series, and we're down 1-0. We've been in this position before."

gameface_one
06-09-2007, 02:34 PM
Sports
Cavs: So far, so good
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
Saturday, June 9, 2007

Philippine Star

Although the Cleveland Cavaliers lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs, you get the sneaking suspicion that they’re just warming up, that they haven’t found their legs yet, and they’re rapidly learning how to walk before they run.

The Cavs have nothing to lose in the series, but everything to gain. Every step they take is uncharted territory, and they’ve acquitted themselves quite well. Even if some of us believe they got all the good breaks, they did have to work to get where they are. And the results have been impressive.

Cleveland was, indeed lucky, but still did have to overcome obstacles along the way. They faced a depleted Washington Wizards in the first round, but did

not take it easy. They knew that, without Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, the Wizards would fight hard but would otherwise be toothless. So they dispatched them, as expected. Against the New Jersey Nets, who came out of the weak Atlantic Division, they learned a lot about themselves. They were hardly in awe of Vince Carter and Jason Kidd, who played with their usual brilliance.

Then they turned it up against the Detroit Pistons. The first two games of the Western Conference Finals reminded me of the old Chinese saying: one step backward, two steps forward. In each of those games, the Cavs were a shot away from winning, and blew it. Still they had those games to lose. The margin of error was comfortable. They knew that all they needed was one win in Detroit, as long as they stayed immaculate at home. They won the third and fourth games in Cleveland, in stylish fashion, and stole Game 5 with a monster performance from LeBron James. King James’ coming-out party may eventually emerge the turning point in his career, proving that he can and does close out big games. From the fourth quarter to the two overtimes, he was impossible to stop, and scored 25 straight of his 48 points when it mattered.

The build-up continues, against the tougher San Antonio Spurs. Cleveland actually has the advantage at both the small forward spot (James) and the center slot – Zydrunas Ilgauskas – who has yet to have a big game in the series.

In the first half of Game 1, the Cavs surprisingly stayed with the Spurs in the first period despite LeBron’s not scoring a field goal, a huge anomaly if there ever was one. Drew Gooden carried them in the second half, when San Antonio relaxed the double teams and eventually allowed James to finish with 14 points, The Spurs displayed their trademark poise and resiliency, constantly repelling the pesky Cavs.

To win, Cleveland has to do what it did well in the first half: pound the boards and be more aggressive. They have the advantage in terms of athleticism, and may have to extend their starters’ minutes so as not to be overwhelmed by Manu Ginobili and the deeper bench of San Antonio. As a whole, the Spurs do not really defend against penetration very well, and Tim Duncan is not a great shot blocker, using his timing more than trying to get off the ground, which he really can’t do.

Cleveland tried using James to bring up the ball so he wouldn’t have to fight screens to get it, but this probably threw him off his rhythm. They employed an excellent pick-and-pop between him and Ilgauskas, but the center just wasn’t hitting the long jumper. They’ll have to keep plugging away at it and eventually start making some.

San Antonio will be a tough nut to crack, but Cleveland will eventually break through. I still doubt that they can beat the Spurs in this series, but it is enjoyable to watch them mature before our eyes. They have never been this deep before, and may not have all the tools, but you play with the hand you’re dealt. And Mike Brown, one of the most underrated coaches in the NBA, is getting the job done.

The only question now is if San Antonio will give them any more opportunities.

gameface_one
06-10-2007, 11:52 AM
NBA rivals see LeBron, outside shots as game two keys
abs-cbnnews.com


SAN ANTONIO, United States (AFP) - LeBron James will be harder to stop, and outside shooting will be a crucial factor when the National Basketball Association Finals resume here Sunday, players on both sides say.

San Antonio, led by 27 points from French guard Tony Parker, defeated Cleveland 85-76 in Thursday's opener of the best-of-seven series, keeping Cavaliers superstar James to 14 points with masterful defense.

"I definitely feel like it's going to be a bounce-back game for me," James said. "I wasn't sharp offensively and that trickles down to the rest of our team. If I'm not sharp then it's going to be very tough for us to win games."

San Antonio's Parker eluded Cleveland defenders and sped to the basket, but he expects it will not be so easy to penetrate since each team has had two days to examine videotape and evaluate weaknesses to exploit.

"They will play with a lot more energy and intensity. They will make us take more outside shots. Our shooters will have to be ready for these shots," Parker said.

"LeBron James is one of the best players in the league. I'm sure he's going to play great. I'm sure he's going to come back strong in game two."

The Cavaliers, however, are ready if the Spurs silence "King James" and dare his teammates to defeat them.

"San Antonio wants to contain LeBron James and wants the guys around him to do the damage. We accept that challenge," forward Drew Gooden said. "We've got guys that can score in many ways. We've got to step up and be there.

"LeBron is the engine running this team but we do have his back if all else fails."

Montenegro forward Sasha Pavlovic and Lithuanian center Zydrunas Ilgauskas struggled with shooting for Cleveland in game one and must find the range if the Cavaliers are to level the series before going home for game three Tuesday.

"We know they will double-team LeBron. The rest of us have to make our shots and make it easier for him," Pavlovic said. "If we make our shots we will spread the floor and that will make it easier for him."

"On defense, we have to stay in front of Tony, maybe back off a bit and make them beat us with jump shots.

"We didn't lose any confidence. It was just the first game."

Ilgauskas must deny Spurs star Tim Duncan offensive rebounds.

"They were getting a lot of points off second chances. We were making it harder on ourselves. If they miss we have to grab the ball," Ilgauskas said.

"We have to set up better, have better spacing on the floor. It looked like everybody followed the ball. We can play better and we will in game two."

Cleveland forward Larry Hughes is nursing a foot injury that makes him a defensively liability but rookie Daniel Gibson will remain a reserve for now.

"We're going to keep monitoring Larry and if we feel like it's too much for him, we will sit him," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "Daniel is in a nice rhythm coming off the bench so we don't want to mess with that."

"Whatever they ask of me, I'm ready to play that role," Gibson said. "We understand the task at hand. We've got to give Tony a little more space, protect the paint because that's where he wants to get."

Tim Duncan added 24 points and 13 rebounds in the opener while Argentine guard Manu Ginobili came off the bench for 16 points and eight rebounds. The South American star expects a quicker pace and more attacks in game two.

"I'm sure they are going to try to get more buckets in transition and fast break," Ginobili said. "They are going to try to play more aggressively. LeBron is going to try to take it to the rim more, not take so many jumpers."

gameface_one
06-11-2007, 01:34 PM
Spurs defeat Cavaliers, take 2-0 lead
abs-cbnnews.com

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AFP) - Tony Parker scored 30 points and the San Antonio Spurs seized a huge lead, squandered most of it, then hung on to beat Cleveland 103-92 Sunday in the National Basketball Association Finals.

Manu Ginobili added 25 points while Tim Duncan contributed 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Spurs seized a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven championship series, which shifts to Cleveland for game three Tuesday.

The Spurs imposed one of the worst first-half thrashings in NBA Finals history to lead 58-33 at half-time, pushed the margin as large as 89-60 with 12:50 to play, then allowed the Cavaliers to storm back within reach late.

Cleveland star LeBron James scored 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting from the field and the Cavaliers reserves took advantage of the Spurs starters resting for a 27-6 run to pull within 95-87 on a James 3-point play with 4:53 to go.

Ginobili hit a 3-pointer and added a free throw in the closing seconds to give the Spurs a 101-89 lead and finally subdue the stubborn Cavaliers, who had played one of the worst first halves in NBA Finals history.

Parker scored 16 first-half points while Duncan added 15 and Ginobili 12 to produce a 25-point half-time margin. No team in NBA Finals history ever recovered from so large a deficit to win.

James went to the bench after committing two fouls in the first 2:55 and Cleveland never recovered. James, scoreless in the first half of game one, was 4-of-11 from the field and 5-of-9 on free throws in a woeful first half.

The Cavaliers came within 16 seconds of matching an NBA Finals record for first-half scoring futility, but a Daniel Gibson free throw and rebound basket by James with 6.6 seconds remaining pulled Cleveland above the shameful mark.

The Spurs barely missed matching the 1985 Boston Celtics for the largest NBA Finals half-time lead of 30 points.

Parker had scored nine points while Duncan had five and Ginobili four in an 18-4 Spurs run that produced their biggest first-half lead at 58-30, two off the margin mark, just 30 seconds before half-time.

The Cavaliers hit only 11-of-41 shots from the field in the first half, 26.8 percent, while the Spurs hit 21-of-38, 55.3 percent, and outrebounded Cleveland 30-19. The Spurs made 13-of-17 free throws to just 10 of 18 by the Cavaliers.

The Spurs stretched their lead as large as 89-60 on two Ginobili free throws with 50 seconds to play in the third quarter, then benched their stars to allow the Cavaliers to come back.

The Spurs seek their fourth crown in nine years. The Cavaliers, in their first NBA Finals, seek Cleveland's first major sports title since 1964 but look more likely to be the first Finals sweep victim since New Jersey in 2002.

The Spurs took advantage of James' early exit with foul trouble with a 9-2 run, Parker scoring five points in the spurt on a 3-point play and a full court driving bank shot.

The Cavaliers called a timeout and made the next seven points but the Spurs called a timeout and answered with a 12-0 run for a 28-13 lead. Francisco Elson scored four points and Ginobili and Brent Barry each hit 3-pointers in the run.

Ginobili and Duncan each scored five points in a 10-2 Spurs run over the first three minutes of the second quarter as the Spurs doubled Cleveland's score for a 38-19 edge.

James scored the next five points, but Parker answered with a 3-point play followed by a superb reverse layup to ignite the late second-quarter run that all-but sealed Cleveland's fate by intermission.

gameface_one
06-12-2007, 08:33 AM
Spurs sharpshooter 'Big Shot Rob' eyes seventh title
abs-cbnnews.com

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AFP) - San Antonio guard Robert Horry is taking aim at a stunning seventh National Basketball Association championship and "Big Shot Rob" rarely misses his target, even when blocking shots.

The 36-year-old Spurs sharpshooter who owns NBA playoff records for steals and 3-pointers came off the bench to give his team a lift with five points, five blocked shots and nine rebounds Sunday in a 103-92 victory over Cleveland.

"Robert was our star. He was fantastic," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "His blocks were just as big as any points he scored, any rebounds he got. He really gives the team defense a kick in the butt."

The Spurs cruised to an 89-60 lead late in the third quarter, then led the Cavaliers rally within eight points late before hanging on to win and grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series with game three Tuesday in Cleveland.

"We relaxed a little bit. They made shots and we didn't," Horry said. "We just kept playing hard, dug deep and came out on top."

Not bad for someone who plans to retire after next season.

"Who says old people can't play? He was super," teammate Francisco Elson said. "I take my hat off to him. He came off the bench and brought a lot of energy. He was probably the main reason we got up so big."

Horry, who has never missed the playoffs in 15 NBA seasons, has won NBA titles with Houston in 1994 and 1995, the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and in 2005 with San Antonio.

Horry's six NBA titles are the most of any active player. Only seven players in NBA history have been on more championship clubs, all of them former members of the 1960s Boston Celtics dynasty, including Bill Russell on a record 11.

"I've just been fortunate to play with some very great players to get to this destination," Horry said.

Matching ex-Celtic Frank Ramsey for seventh on the all-time list would push Horry past boyhood hero Scottie Pippen, who also has won six NBA titles, after having already surpassed his other youth idol, Magic Johnson.

"I didn't want to be one-dimensional. Those two guys were complete," Horry said. "They were superstars but they didn't want the accolades. They just tried to make people around them better.

"If I was able to pass them both, it would be more special than anything. Growing up I had two posters in my room, Magic and Pippen. I passed Magic and I would pass Pippen, two of the people I admire most."

So where does Horry keep his championship rings? A special display case? A secured vault? The ultimate NBA souvenirs are in his bathroom cabinet.

"I opened a drawer the other day to look for something and said, 'Oh, that's where they are,'" Horry said.

Being known for an uncanny ability to make pressure-packed baskets - often 3-pointers - in the final moments of games is a special honor for Horry after he was often the child on the playground no one wanted on their team.

"Having a few people kicking my butt when I was a kid made me determined to be the best," Horry said. "What inspired me? It was just the drive not to be picked last."

Nearing the end of a historic career, proportion is important for Horry, whose message from experience to NBA players is simple - "Don't be all serious. Enjoy what you do."

gameface_one
06-12-2007, 08:34 AM
Spurs defeat Cavaliers, take 2-0 lead
abs-cbnnews.com

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AFP) - Tony Parker scored 30 points and the San Antonio Spurs seized a huge lead, squandered most of it, then hung on to beat Cleveland 103-92 Sunday in the National Basketball Association Finals.

Manu Ginobili added 25 points while Tim Duncan contributed 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Spurs seized a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven championship series, which shifts to Cleveland for game three Tuesday.

The Spurs imposed one of the worst first-half thrashings in NBA Finals history to lead 58-33 at half-time, pushed the margin as large as 89-60 with 12:50 to play, then allowed the Cavaliers to storm back within reach late.

Cleveland star LeBron James scored 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting from the field and the Cavaliers reserves took advantage of the Spurs starters resting for a 27-6 run to pull within 95-87 on a James 3-point play with 4:53 to go.

Ginobili hit a 3-pointer and added a free throw in the closing seconds to give the Spurs a 101-89 lead and finally subdue the stubborn Cavaliers, who had played one of the worst first halves in NBA Finals history.

Parker scored 16 first-half points while Duncan added 15 and Ginobili 12 to produce a 25-point half-time margin. No team in NBA Finals history ever recovered from so large a deficit to win.

James went to the bench after committing two fouls in the first 2:55 and Cleveland never recovered. James, scoreless in the first half of game one, was 4-of-11 from the field and 5-of-9 on free throws in a woeful first half.

The Cavaliers came within 16 seconds of matching an NBA Finals record for first-half scoring futility, but a Daniel Gibson free throw and rebound basket by James with 6.6 seconds remaining pulled Cleveland above the shameful mark.

The Spurs barely missed matching the 1985 Boston Celtics for the largest NBA Finals half-time lead of 30 points.

Parker had scored nine points while Duncan had five and Ginobili four in an 18-4 Spurs run that produced their biggest first-half lead at 58-30, two off the margin mark, just 30 seconds before half-time.

The Cavaliers hit only 11-of-41 shots from the field in the first half, 26.8 percent, while the Spurs hit 21-of-38, 55.3 percent, and outrebounded Cleveland 30-19. The Spurs made 13-of-17 free throws to just 10 of 18 by the Cavaliers.

The Spurs stretched their lead as large as 89-60 on two Ginobili free throws with 50 seconds to play in the third quarter, then benched their stars to allow the Cavaliers to come back.

The Spurs seek their fourth crown in nine years. The Cavaliers, in their first NBA Finals, seek Cleveland's first major sports title since 1964 but look more likely to be the first Finals sweep victim since New Jersey in 2002.

The Spurs took advantage of James' early exit with foul trouble with a 9-2 run, Parker scoring five points in the spurt on a 3-point play and a full court driving bank shot.

The Cavaliers called a timeout and made the next seven points but the Spurs called a timeout and answered with a 12-0 run for a 28-13 lead. Francisco Elson scored four points and Ginobili and Brent Barry each hit 3-pointers in the run.

Ginobili and Duncan each scored five points in a 10-2 Spurs run over the first three minutes of the second quarter as the Spurs doubled Cleveland's score for a 38-19 edge.

James scored the next five points, but Parker answered with a 3-point play followed by a superb reverse layup to ignite the late second-quarter run that all-but sealed Cleveland's fate by intermission.

gameface_one
06-12-2007, 04:01 PM
Past collapses haunt Spurs despite NBA Finals edge
abs-cbnnews.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio (AFP) - Memories of past collapses haunt the San Antonio Spurs despite their home-court domination of Cleveland and a 2-0 lead in the National Basketball Association Finals that continue here Tuesday.

San Antonio also won twice at home to start the best-of-seven championship series in 2005, only to be blasted twice when that series shifted to Detroit.

The Spurs took the title in seven games but the lessons linger for stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

"I remember what happened. It was really embarrassing," Argentine guard Ginobili said. "Hopefully the guys learn from that and are more humble going into these games and play better."

French playmaker Parker has produced Most Valuable Player-like efforts against Cleveland with 27 points in game one and 30 in game two on combined 25-of-43 shooting, but he carries the mental scars from 2005 as well.

"Two years ago we won by 20 against Detroit in game two and in game three we got smashed and in game four we lost by 30. We need to remember that and learn from our mistakes," Parker said. "That's enough to make us get ready."

The Cavaliers reached their first NBA Finals by rallying after losing the first two games to defeat Detroit in this year's Eastern Conference finals.

"Cleveland played well against Detroit and came back so we have to be aware of that. We have to give them respect," Parker said. "They've never been in a finals so it's going to be very loud there. It's going to be tough.

"They are going to play a little harder at home. They are going to shoot better and with more confidence. We have to be ready for that."

While the Cavaliers are 7-1 at home in the playoffs, no team in NBA history has erased an 0-2 deficit twice in the same year. Nor has any team come back to win an NBA playoff series after falling behind 3-0, so a win Tuesday is vital.

"There's nothing magical that's going to help us. There's no magic play, magic defense," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "This is a good team and we've got to bring the 'juice' and right now we're not.

"We've just got to dig within. Our effort has to be better. Our aggression has to be higher and we've got to do it and still be poised."

The Spurs, seeking their fourth crown in nine years, lost their poise in the fourth quarter of a 103-92 triumph in game two Sunday, allowing Cleveland to trim a 29-point third-quarter deficit to eight before escaping with a victory.

"Guys are going to want to get back on the court to make up for the effort we gave in the fourth quarter," Spurs guard Bruce Bowen said.

The Cavaliers, trying to win the first major sports title by any Cleveland team since 1964, expect intense home support.

"It's going to be electrifying," said LeBron James, the Cleveland star who has been contained so far by the Spurs. "It's definitely going to be a great experience, something that hasn't been experienced in a long time in our city.

"We can play better. We can play harder. We have to figure out a way to pick up our intensity."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will plot to prevent the Cavaliers from gaining any momentum in the series.

"It will be a huge challenge. They have played well at home and they will feel a lot looser, a lot more aggressive in a lot of ways," he said. "The place will be rocking without a doubt."

Spurs star Tim Duncan, a three-time Finals Most Valuable Player, has scored and rebounded well and helped contain Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a Lithuanian center who can see the Cavaliers being outworked by the Spurs.

"All the stuff we did so well during that season that got us to this point (has) really gotten away from us," Ilgauskas said. "It always seems they have us on our heels, getting loose balls, executing better. They're just quicker.

"They are rebounding better than us, getting all the 'hustle' points and playing better defense and on top of everything they are executing a lot better on offense."

An injury to Larry Hughes adds to Cleveland's scoring woes but rookie Daniel Gibson remains a reserve despite giving a scoring boost when not on the bench.

"The injury is fine," Hughes said. "I'm giving it a go. I feel pretty good."

Wang-Bu
06-13-2007, 09:12 AM
Pongalangalang NBA Finals ito: WALANG KAGANA-GANA!

mighty_lion
06-13-2007, 09:16 AM
Pongalangalang NBA Finals ito: WALANG KAGANA-GANA!

agree! ;D

gameface_one
06-13-2007, 11:19 AM
Brown urged to ditch Hughes
By Joaquin Henson
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The Philippine Star



CLEVELAND – There is a growing clamor for embattled Cleveland coach Mike Brown to kick out ailing Larry Hughes from the starting lineup and elevate rookie guard Daniel (Boobie) Gibson as the Cavaliers face a must-win situation in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at the Quicken Loans Arena here.

San Antonio opened a 2-0 series lead with home wins in Games 1 and 2 and is halfway to claiming a fourth title since 1999.

In contrast, the Cavs’ backs are almost against the wall. Cleveland must win four of the next five, in case of another Spurs victory, to capture the crown.

Brown is no stranger to this predicament. On the way to the Finals, the Cavs overcame a 0-2 deficit to beat Detroit, 4-2, for the Eastern Conference pennant. Last season, Cleveland also came back from 0-2 to extend the Pistons to the limit before losing in seven games in the second round of the playoffs.

It’s no different in the Finals. But if Cleveland loses Game 3, the Spurs will surge to a 3-0 lead and no team has ever come back from that hole to win a playoff series. In fact, only eight teams have wiped out 1-3 deficits and 12 have come back to win after trailing 0-2.

Cleveland draws inspiration from Boston in 1969, Portland in 1977 and Miami last season as those three teams recovered from 0-2 down to win in the Finals.

The sense of urgency has gripped the hometown fans who are urging Brown to forget sentimentality and ditch Hughes. Brown has stubbornly resisted making a change in his starting cast even as Hughes is playing through pain with a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot.

Hughes’ heel problem has curtailed his mobility and as a result, he has been a defensive liability against San Antonio’s Tony Parker who erupted for 27 points in Game 1 and 30 in Game 2. Worse, Hughes has also been unable to contribute offensively. In Game 1, he shot only two points on 1-of-5 from the floor and in Game 2, was scoreless on 0-of-5 attempts. Gibson, in contrast, hit 16 in the series opener and 15 in Game 2.

“It is Brown’s job to put his players in positions in which they can succeed,” wrote Bill Livingston in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He is not doing that with Hughes. It is an abdication of his responsibility.”

Livingston questioned Brown’s refusal to demote Hughes because of sentiment and called the 6-5 veteran “a valiant non-contributor but a non-contributor nonetheless.”

Hughes, 28, joined the Cavs last season after Brown failed to entice free agents Ray Allen and Michael Redd to play alongside LeBron James. He was signed to a five-year $55 million contract. Hughes had previously suited up for Philadelphia, Golden State and Washington. With the Sixers, Allen Iverson and Hughes were dubbed the Flight Brothers.

Another Cleveland columnist Branson Wright said Wright was viewed as the scapegoat for much of Parker’s success but absolved him from total blame.

Hughes has touched Brown’s heart because of his endearing family life. He was raised by his mother Vanessa, a former bank teller, and his younger brother Justin died last year from complications after undergoing a heart transplant as an 11-year-old in 1997. Hughes was devastated when his brother passed away and it brought to light his devotion to family. He and wife Carrie Lawrence are parents of three children – Lauryn, 8, Landys and Larry Jr.

On the right side of Hughes’ neck is a tattoo with the scripted message “I am my brother’s keeper.” There are two teardrops tattooed under his left eye to indicate the pain in losing his brother. His brother’s memory is what keeps him tough.

gameface_one
06-13-2007, 11:20 AM
Waiting for King James
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Philstar.com


CLEVELAND – So far in the NBA playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers are tough to beat at home with a 7-1 record and only New Jersey has managed a win, avoiding a closeout via an 83-72 decision in Game 5 before finally succumbing in six.

Not even the feisty Detroit Pistons could eke out a victory at the 20,562-seat Quicken Loans Arena in the Eastern Conference Finals where Cleveland won thrice at home and once on the road to clinch in six.

There’s something magical about the Cavs playing at home. They don’t feel the pressure of winning, no matter the odds, because they know the crowd will be cheering their every move on the court. They also know the fans will be jeering the visiting team every step of the way.

Cleveland could certainly use some good, old-fashioned home cooking when the Cavs host Game 3 in the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. They’re down 0-2 in the best-of-7 series and a loss will be close to a lethal injection because no team has ever come back from a 0-3 deficit to win in a playoff series.

The Spurs are halfway to presiding in the Cavs’ funeral proceedings. Only two more nails are left to seal Cleveland’s coffin and coach Gregg Popovich is eager to get the job done before the Cavs awake from their stupor.

Despite the Cavs’ predicament, the hometown fans are hopeful. It’s not as if they’re not used to falling behind and overcoming adversity. The team motto is “Rise Up” and that’s exactly what coach Mike Brown’s charges must do to keep their flickering title hopes alive.

In Game 2, the Cavs staged a furious fourth period rally that cut a 29-point deficit to eight with 3:20 left. LeBron James had a chance to narrow the gap further but threw away the possession with a turnover, his sixth that night. On the return play, Manu Ginobili completed a rare four-point play on Boobie Gibson’s foul off a converted triple to ice it. The six-point swing settled the issue with 2:24 to go.

Still, the late surge was something the Cavs can build on for Game 3.

The hometown fans are waiting for James to explode. He was diffused in Game 1, limited to 14 points on 4-of-16 from the floor. That was excusable since after all, it was the 22-year-old superstar’s Finals debut and even Superman is entitled to some jitters.

Besides, James is known as a late bloomer. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Detroit, he scored only 10 points on 5-of-15 field goals as the Pistons won, 79-76. James saved his best for the crucial moments of the series. In Game 5 on the road, he erupted for 48 points and scored all of the Cavs’ 18 points in two extensions to lead Cleveland to a pivotal 109-107 win.

When the chips are down, almost, James has never disappointed his fans or benefactors. There’s a lot riding on his shoulders and James has repeatedly said he’s not shirking away from his accountability as the Cavs’ leader.

If James flops in the Finals, the NBA will take a big hit because he’s the shining symbol of the New Generation, the post-Michael Jordan globalization era that’s supposed to take the league to the next economic level. Forbes Magazine once estimated James will earn at least P200 million and be worth $2 billion to the Cavs franchise before he’s 25.

Last July, James signed a three-year $66 million contract extension starting in 2007-08 with an option for a fourth year salary of $20 million. King James declined to sign for a longer period so that by 2010, he will be eligible for the maximum pay of 30 percent of the salary cap as a seven-year pro. By the way, James has fired his agent Aaron Goodwin because he now negotiates his own deals. Goodwin was credited for getting James his contracts with Nike ($90 million), Upper Deck ($5 million) and Spirte/Powerade ($12 million).

James said he can’t wait to play at home in Game 3. “You don’t have the crowd behind you and you have to be more mentally focused on the road,” he said. “It’s like us against the world.”

Brown said because the Cavs are a confident team, San Antonio will not be able to impose its will at the Quicken Loans Arena.

“We’ve been down before,” said Brown. “We know it’s one day, one game at a time. So we’re just going to keep chipping away at it.”

Cavs fans are optimistic that just as Cleveland destroyed Detroit’s 2-0 advantage, the James Gang will do a repeat against San Antonio.

“We are not out of it,” said Karl Guenther, a Cleveland fan quoted by writer Michael McIntyre. “It’s still early yet. You’ve got to believe.”

Spurs star Tim Duncan said he’s bracing for a Cavs onslaught. “They’ll get a little more comfortable,” he said. “Hopefully, we can continue to play that to our advantage with our experience but those guys are going to get comfortable and we’re going to have to really bring our A game and understand that they’re going to be playing their best at the right time.”

gameface_one
06-13-2007, 01:23 PM
Spurs edge Cavaliers to reach brink of NBA crown
abs-cbnnews.com


CLEVELAND, Ohio (AFP) - The San Antonio Spurs moved to the brink of winning their fourth title in nine years by edging Cleveland 75-72 here Tuesday in game three of the National Basketball Association Finals.

Manu Ginobili, who was 0-for-7 from the field and scoreless until the final moments, made three free throws in the last 10.4 seconds to lift the Spurs to a hard-fought triumph and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven championship series.

San Antonio can complete a sweep by winning game four here Thursday. No team in NBA history has recovered from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

San Antonio's Tony Parker scored 17 points while Tim Duncan added 14 points and nine rebounds and Bruce Bowen contributed 13 points and nine rebounds on a night when Spur stars struggled and reserves played vital supporting roles.

LeBron James scored 12 of his 25 points in the final quarter but it was not enough to rescue the Cavaliers, who also had 12 points and 18 rebounds from Lithuanian center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and 13 points from Drew Gooden and Sasha Pavlovic.

Ginobili made 1-of-2 free throws with 10.4 seconds remaining and James answered with a layin with 6.3 seconds to play to trim San Antonio's lead to 73-72. Ginobili was fouled again and the Argentine guard made two free throws.

James made a desperate 3-pointer on the final play but missed and the hosts could not get off a final shot before the buzzer.

The teams matched the second-fewest combined points in any game in NBA Finals history, Ginobili's free throws putting the game beyond the record low total of 145 from Syracuse and Fort Wayne in 1955.

The Cavaliers fell to 7-2 at home in the playoffs while the Spurs rose to 6-2 on the road in the playoffs.

The teams combined to equal the lowest-scoring quarter in NBA Finals history by producing only 27 points in the third quarter, the Spurs outscoring the Cavaliers 15-12 to stretch their lead to 55-50 entering the final period.

In a pivotal stretch over the last 2:16 of the third quarter and the first 2:30 of the fourth, the Spurs went on a 12-2 run ignited by two Brent Barry 3-pointers and Bruce Bowen's fourth 3-pointer of the game to take a 60-50 lead.

Cleveland came no closer than five points until a 3-point play by James with 5:28 remaining pulled the Cavaliers within 67-63, but then both teams went scoreless for the next 3:33, each club blundering time and time again.

Two Parker misses and turnovers by Duncan and Ginobili gave Cleveland a chance to seize command but an Anderson Varejao turnover and three misses in a row by James squandered opportunity after opportunity.

James hit a layup to pull Cleveland within 69-67 with 1:22 remaining before Parker hit a 3-pointer and Montnegrin Sasha Pavlovic answered for Cleveland with 48 seconds remaining to set up the final dramatics.

The Cavaliers hit only 6-of-22 shots in the third quarter while the Spurs made just 5-of-15 from the field to break the old low total for any NBA Finals third period, 31 by Chicago and Portland in 1992 and Chicago and Utah in 1997.

Cleveland, one shy of the record low for any club in the third period, and Spurs matched the combined low for any period set in the second by the Spurs and New Jersey in 2003 and equaled last year by Dallas and Miami in the fourth.

Parker scored on a driving layup at the buzzer to give the Spurs a 40-38 half-time lead, capping a 10-0 Spur run in the last 2:30 of the second quarter. Robert Horry and Brent Barry each hit 3-pointers in the streak.

Despite a weak showing for Parker, foul problems for Duncan and no points for Manu Ginobili, the Cavaliers could not outscore the Spurs in a first half where supporting casts shined.

The Cavaliers shot 1-for-9 to open the game but outrebounded the Spurs 19-8 in the first quarter, Drew Gooden grabbing six for Cleveland, while Duncan scored eight points for the Spurs but also picked up two fouls in the period.

Cleveland de-activated Larry Hughes, who is struggling with a heel injury, and started rookie guard Daniel Gibson, who had averaged 15.5 points a game off the bench in the first two games.

Joescoundrel
06-14-2007, 09:29 AM
Is the East really that shitty or is Lebron really that good?

What a f---ing sleepfest these so-called Finals are turning out to be.

How can the Spurs ever claim true greatness along with the other dynasties when all of the NBA Finals they've ever been in have happened in the Western Conference playoffs?

gameface_one
06-14-2007, 11:04 AM
Spurs ponder dynasty label as Cavs try to avoid sweep
abs-cbnnews.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio (AFP) - While the San Antonio Spurs begin to consider their place among National Basketball Association dynasties, the Cleveland Cavaliers clung to the hope they can make some history of their own.

The Spurs will try to win their fourth NBA crown in nine years Thursday by completing a sweep of Cleveland in the best-of-seven NBA Finals. Only Boston, Chicago and the Los Angeles Lakers have won more than four league titles.

"The opportunity to do that is an unbelievable thing," Spurs star big man Tim Duncan said. "To have a team that has the ability to challenge for a championship year in and year out, that's all you can ask.

"We've got to get this one done and of course we're focusing on that."

But the Spurs - winners in 1999, 2003 and 2005 - are pondering their place in NBA history alongside the legendary 1960s Boston Celtics, several editions of Lakers and Michael Jordan's six-time champion Chicago Bulls of the 1990s.

"I do believe we have a big opportunity to do something special," Spur guard Manu Ginobili said. "There aren't so many teams who have the chance to win four titles in nine years. We've got to do whatever it takes."

No team in NBA history has won a playoff series after falling behind 3-0, although Cavaliers coach Mike Brown warned, "There's always a first time for everything."

Seven of 11 finals with 3-0 starts have ended in sweeps, most recently in 2002. Even if the Cavaliers avoid the sweep in their first trip to the finals, Cleveland's 43-year drought of US sport champions figures to continue.

"Pride should have kicked in a long time ago," Cleveland's Drew Gooden said. "This is the ultimate challenge. We have to feel it can be done. We'll have a better mindset if we win one game and take it from there."

Cavaliers 22-year-old superstar LeBron James, shut down by San Antonio's defense, admits the Spurs greatness.

"It's awesome. They have a dynasty already at work," James said. "The experience factor - we don't like to make any excuses, but it definitely played a part in this Finals against a world-power team in the Spurs.

"They don't have the greatest athletes in the world. They don't have the greatest shooters in the world. But they have probably the greatest team in the world and that's what this sport is all about."

Duncan, a three-time NBA Most Valuable Player, struggles to see himself and his team alongside Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan among the NBA's all-time mightiest.

"There have been few dynasties. I don't know that we can consider ourselves a dynasty," Duncan said. "Dynasties are the Lakers of the '80s or the Celtics, teams that have done it for many years.

"Hopefully we can look back in a couple of years and be considered something like that. But as of now I can't imagine we would be considered doing something alongside those guys."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dismisses the notion, saying only the Celtics' run of 11 NBA titles in 13 years with Russell and UCLA's fabled US collegiate title run are worthy.

"It doesn't even enter my head. I think that's all psycho babble," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "When I think of dynasties two come into my head, UCLA and Bill Russell. Eveything else is just talk after that."

Popovich is at the heart of the talk about the Spurs, noted French guard Tony Parker, the NBA Finals' top scorer.

"It's just consistency. Every day in practice coach Pop - everybody knows he's crazy - is always looking for perfection. I think that's the only way you can keep winning. We play the same way and we believe in our system," he said.

"We've got a great organization. It's like a little family. That is how you build championship runs. Over the years it pays off."

Utah star Derek Fisher, whose Jazz lost to the Spurs in the semi-finals, played on three title teams with the Lakers from 2000-2002 but says the Spurs are greater.

"They have probably surpassed us," Fisher said. "We had a great four- or five-year period but they are stepping up with those Celtics teams and Lakers teams of the '80s. They are surpassing us in terms of recent dynasties.

"They have become the class of this league, no doubt about it."

Spurs standout Michael Finley could win the first title of his 12-year NBA career while teammate Robert Horry can collect his seventh career crown, the most of any player not on the Celtics' 1960s dynasty.

Six international players would be the most of any NBA champion. The Spurs have Parker, Argentina's Ginobili and center Fabricio Oberto, Virgin Islander Duncan, Dutchman Francisco Elson and Slovenian Beno Udrih.

Scout
06-15-2007, 12:03 PM
This could rank as one of the most boring Finals ever. But you have to hand it to Pop and the Spurs, hayop talaga sila. Manu, Duncan and Parker, along with their supporting crew were awesome, albeit bland.

congratulations Spurs :-\

cool_at_heart
06-15-2007, 03:05 PM
Like what Charles Barkley said last year, we were witnesses all right...witnesses to an a%# whipping! Nothing really spectacular about Lebron, Bruce Bowen lang pala ang katapat.

RockLobster
06-15-2007, 06:13 PM
Sheer youth, talent and athleticism overcame experience.* That's how the Caveliers (or should I say LeBron James) beat the Pistons.* But as Jino Rufino put it, the Spurs are a team built for the playoffs.* So going up against them in the finals was a different story altogether.

Mikhail
06-15-2007, 08:01 PM
^
Just like the Dallas/GS matchup, Cleveland posed a big problem to Detroit matchup-wise. I'd dare say it wasn't really LeBron that was the decider against Detroit (well except maybe Game 5) but the defense of their backcourt. Hughes' and Pavlovic's size advantage gave Billups and Hamilton fits, unlike in their previous series where they just overpowered the smaller guards (Gordon/Nelson). Even Gibson held his own against Billups (several face up steals against).

Sayang. Mas exciting sana kung DET v SA.

cool_at_heart
06-16-2007, 10:08 AM
Before the playoffs started, charles barkely said that San Antonio would win the championship; at that time san antonio wasn't really under the radar for winning a championship, it was Dallas, Detroit and Phoenix. Guy sure knows his basketball.

As a detroit fan, the pistons had no business of losing to the cavs. In my opinion, Lebron was a matchup problem for the prince,agile as he is, Tayshaun is too skinny for Lebron, while Bruce Bowen has more meat to the bone. Detroit shot themselves in the foot, their overconfidence got the better of them. It may seem that Joe Dumars isn't really bent on disbanding this group, he's giving the team one more year, but they all must be on the same page or else.

If TD played at the same time when Chuck, Karl, Patrick, Hakeem and Dennis Rodman were in their prime, I seriously think he'd have a hard time winning a championship. Not that I'm saying that he's that bad.. he's actually very good, but the problem is who's guarding him,drew gooden?

Joescoundrel
06-18-2007, 10:02 AM
Its the never-ending conundrum the Spurs will have to deal with: How can they be considered among the greats when all their Finals opponents were, well, nowhere near the calibre of previous Finals protagonists? Their greatest challenge was probably 2005 when the Pistons made a return trip to try and defend their 2004 crown. Otherwise they basically traipsed through New York in the lockout season of 1999, same thing with New Jersey in 2003. How could these kinds of Finals ever compare to those of the last champions like the Bulls, Lakers and Pistons from the 1980's and on?

Kid Cubao
06-18-2007, 10:25 AM
^^ blame the pistons for imploding in the eastern conference finals.

another factor is the wide talent disparity between the east and west. the situation is not going to get any better in the immediate future, not when the top 2 slots of the 2007 draft order shall go to portland and seattle, respectively. bahala na kung ang pipiliin ng portland ay si greg oden o si kevin durrant.

the mission order for cleveland is to surround lebron with quality players who can complement him well. they already have boobie gibson, so the next is to find zy's immediate successor at center. down the line, danny ferry needs to shore up the team with veteran role players who can do the little things that, when added up, amount to a consistent title contender or even NBA champion.

pio_valenz
06-18-2007, 03:35 PM
Its the never-ending conundrum the Spurs will have to deal with: How can they be considered among the greats when all their Finals opponents were, well, nowhere near the calibre of previous Finals protagonists? Their greatest challenge was probably 2005 when the Pistons made a return trip to try and defend their 2004 crown. Otherwise they basically traipsed through New York in the lockout season of 1999, same thing with New Jersey in 2003. How could these kinds of Finals ever compare to those of the last champions like the Bulls, Lakers and Pistons from the 1980's and on?

It's not the Spurs' fault that the East has been a very weak conference the past few years. I think the Spurs would even have beaten the Heat last year. Maybe the '99 title was a bit too easy because most teams were out of shape due to the lockout, but for all other title years the Spurs beat championship-caliber teams on the way to the Finals: the Lakers in 2003 and the Suns in 2005 and 2007.

The only two times the East has won it all since Duncan arrived (2004 and 2006), the Spurs were not in the Finals. The fact is, like Jordan and the Bulls, Duncan and the Spurs get the job done whenever they do make it to the Finals, which to me is a sign of greatness regardless of the opposition.

Scout
06-19-2007, 08:28 PM
It would've been a dandy if if the Suns met the Pistons! Speed vs. Power! Post vs. Wing! Well........... :(