Thursday, June 23, 2005

Game 7-- Where Someone's Parade Can Become Another's Party

Tonight's Game 7 should be a classic dogfight.
Anthony's Pick:
  • Up later...

Paul's Pick:

  • Detroit +5 over SAN ANTONIO

And it all comes down to this! While this has been anything but the classic series many of us were hoping for, you can't ask for a better ending-- well, that's assuming the game doesn't turn out to be a complete dud a la Games 1-4. Is everyone else as surprised as I am that the line is so freaking high? I'd have taken Detroit if they were at +3, pick 'em or even favored, but +5?! Considering they have dominated San Antonio over the last 4 games in the series, I would think the oddsmakers would show them a little more respect than that. Of course, this series has been anything but predictable so I'm not sure I would advise anyone to be on tonight's game. Who am I kidding? Take Detroit with the moneyline (it's paying almost 3 to 1)!!

What to look for tonight-- Bill Simmons raised an intruiging point in his column yesterday-- there's not a more interesting storyline going into tonight's game than whether or not Tim Duncan can maintain his status as arguably the most reliable player of this era. He has been far from stellar thus far and more surprisingly, he has come up as short in pressure-filled situations as Krazy Karl once did. I keep telling myself that Duncan has another 2003 Game 6 vs the Nets-esque 21, 20, 10, 8 in him, but I'm just not so sure anymore. The fact that I'm even questioning this tells you right there that TD's legacy has taken a hit. (Of course if he rips off a 34, 19, 6 I'll forget everything that's happened thus far).

-My buddy Brodeur (who sometimes writes in, not enough though) made an interesting argument last week when he proclaimed that he'd take Chauncey Billups as his point guard over anyone else in the league right now (not including Iverson, who we don't consider a true point). I retored by asking whether he meant he'd take him in one game, or a 7-game series. He replied that he'd take him no matter what the situation-- I said I would absolutely take J-Kidd in a 7-game series, but agreed that I'd have to go with Ba Ba Ba Bill-ups if it all came down to one game. Think about it-- is there any possible way that Billups doesn't have a big game tonight? You can pretty much write him in for 25 and 7, and a couple of huge plays down the stretch. Anything more than that and the Spurs just don't have a chance.

-If the Spurs are going to win toight, they have to jump out to a fast start. They can't allow the Pistons to hang around like they did in Game 6-- even with the homecourt advantage, the Spurs just won't be able to fend off a team that A- Makes all their free throws; B- Plays better defense; C- Plays more to win rather than not to lose. If Parker and Manu get going early, then the rest of the team should feed off their energy and allow the Spurs to jump ahead. I'm telling you right now, San Antonio won't be able to pull this game out if it's a back-and-forth battle. For the Pistons, they just need at least two of their 3 big men to stay out of foul trouble, Chauncey to do his thing, and either Tayshaun or Rip to step up. I'm waiting for Tayshaun to finally assert himself in this series-- it's ridiculous, the Spurs really don't have anyone that can match up with him, yet he constantly defers. If Tayshaun puts up 20 tonight, the Spurs can forget about a victory parade. Ultimately I think the Spurs will jump off to a good start, but the Pistons will hang tough and only trail by 5 or so by halftime. Duncan will step up, but the Pistons will continue to contain Parker and Ginobili when it counts the most, and both Billups and Prince will play big roles down the stretch as the Pistons retain their Championship Belts. PISTONS 88, SPURS 85


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