Wednesday, 30 May 2012
THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS & BOSTON CELTICS-OLD DOGS, NEW TRICKS
If It Aint Broke.
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
So, most people think it's a given that the NBA favorites the Oklahoma City Thunder will meet the 'built for a championship' Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association finals. As Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder look to be the new Western powerhouse and LeBron James and the Miami Heat look to finally answer the critics that say they can't get it done, things will all come to a head soon. Now the question remains who will will out? Some people say the Heat, some people say the Thunder. We say something else. All these Heat and Thunder opinions may have to wait and take a back seat even though most people won't have it any other way.
Most people are going to be wrong.
Durant and Westbrook's Thunder and James and Wade's Heat may not be able to weather what's coming they're way. Sure they're the new, hot kids on the block like Drake and Nicki Minaj but even Young Money can't afford as much success as the legends of the game like Jay-Z and Kanye West. Watch the throne and watch this space because the championship certified San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics are more than just still in it. These old boys may just be Larry O'Brien's new favorites.
Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
Tell that to the two teams who have been in the championship hunt for all the Laker years, creating dynasties of their own to bookend the breakup's in L.A.'s squads and streaks. Dallas and Miami have been hanging around the finals for longer than last year for sure, but none are quite as associated to National Basketball royalty like the Spurs and Celtics.
Especially Boston, arguably the NBA's most storied and recognizable franchise. Its 17 championships certainly make them the most successful. Still they're most recent dynasty and big three have proved Beantown can still do it, even with Red Auerbach's cigar smoke blowing in the wind. Led by the good doctor Doc Rivers, the trio of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett may be getting on, but they can more than get along with Miami's new big-three of Wade, James and Bosh. Player for player they can match up on their best night. Bosh may be a strong forward and the next generation of 'Da Kid' but he 'aint built like K.G. Garnett's strength and passion can outlast anyone. Wade may be the consummate superstar but Ray Allen could still shoot down anyone on any given night. From Reggie Miller's record to Larry Bird's clutch reputation, behind the arc, Ray is ahead of the rest.
Then there's LeBron. The King of this league. Still, he's yet to take his throne and until he passes the all-round star that is Paul Pierce number 34 will be the model of Eastern swingman champions. Player for player the Celtics have nothing for Rajon Rondo however. A point better than the big-three and the best passing Point Guard in the league. Rajon has taken the reigns of this ageing franchise and kept this old horse in the race. He's the young buck that could take this steed to the finish line too. Along with a nice bench of Mickaël Piétrus, Brandon Bass, Keyon Dooling and Marquis Daniels the Celtics can do more than splinter. Sure they're one game down, but this is a seven game series after all.
Meanwhile out West the new storied NBA franchise San Antonio-two games up-are going for the sweep. Sure don't get the brooms out just yet. Oklahoma are still looking to reign but San An look to have the umbrellas and the ability to weather the storm. All eyes and praise may be on the former Seattle Supersonics, but the former double decade, NBA champions San Antonio Spurs have truly been the best team this year. After posting the leagues best regular-season record this season like they did the one before the underrated and wrote-off Texan Titans have shown the true grit and resolve to overcome last years embarrassing, first-round sweep to the Memphis Grizzlies and rule and ride once again in the Wild West. Greg Popovich still has the reigns held tight.
Speaking of grande trois'. The clicking Spurs have their own. No matter how old they are these guys are moving like a youth in revolt. The robot-playing Tim Duncan must be bionic. He's played through it all. From the Shaq years of Western dominance to his Admiral and mentor David Robinson leaving port. The Spurs consistent leader has even played through the youthful years of Manu Ginoboli and Tony Parker his big-three co-stars. The best Power Forward of all-time could be the inside presence that clips the wings of the swinging OKC Thunder. You can bank his shot on that.
Speaking of the Spurs other guns they are just as good. Manu Ginoboli plays through the pain. The only reason this guy is so injury-prone is because he gives his body, heart and soul to not only every game but every play. The only one that's laid it on and out as impressively as Manu is Allen Iverson. Manu has the flair but he also had the fortitude to go from the style and show he has the substance in the playoffs to win these basketball wars. As for Tony Parker has their been a more underrated, better player this season? Deron Williams, Derrick Rose and Chris Paul are all out of it now. Right now T.P. is showing everyone why he still more than just deserves to be talked about as one of the leagues best point guards. This goes without saying and mentioning Matt Bonner's threes or the "whoo" of Stephen Jackson. More over the flair of Boris Diaw or glue guys like Gary Neal and DeJuan Blair. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have a lot to deal with.
OK, we're not writing off the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Miami Heat just yet. Still, no one should underline their doubts about the San Antonio Spurs or the Boston Celtics either. Sure the chances of both teams meeting in this years Finals are slim but how sweet would that be? Head-to-head Duncan and K.G. once again. Parker and Rondo going for the title of best point. Two legendary coaches in Doc and 'Pop going play for play on the dry erase. Two top tier franchises that show the younger generation that what's tried and tested can best what's fun and flash. The Heat and the Thunder have a lot more to them then meets the Youtube clips eye but the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics can be read deep into the history books.
Will they turn another page?