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Friday, June 08, 2007

Chp 127. NBA 2007 Finals [Game 1]

Three new posts in a span of 24 hours. Must be the Mumbai heat getting into my head

Woke up this morning at 6 am although the game was supposed to start only at 0630 hours IST, because I was hoping to catch some of the highlights of “The road to the Finals” of both the Eastern and Western Conference. But nah. Nothing. No such build-up. Just the usual “Sportscenter” program running on ESPN. Then at 6:30am the game started.

Before that, let’s take a brief look at how these two best teams from the Eastern and Western Conference got here:

Spurs: 1 Cavs: 0
Spurs: 4 Jazz: 1
Spurs: 4 Suns: 2
Spurs: 4 Nuggets: 1

Cavs: 0 Spurs: 1
Cavs: 4 Pistons: 2
Cavs: 4 Nets: 2
Cavs: 4 Wizards: 0

Made my usual (extra strong) coffee as I parked my sleepy ass on top of the burly cushy bean bag. Here is my own personal recap of this morning’s game, noted down on the comp after each Quarter. What time is it? Game Time!!!!

1st Quarter:

Slow start. Yawnnn. The Cavaliers ended the first quarter by missing 9 of their last 10 shots. Lebron James scored just two points while Duncan converted 8 points with great assists from Parker. Parker was on fire, challenging the tall Cavalier defence with awesome drive-ins and teasing them around. He massed up 6 points. And regarding my earlier question in my previous post, the answer is, yes, Parker is still very much seeing Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), and in fact they are planning to tie the knot next month. She was right there at courtside cheering for her fiancé. Lucky Parker!

Spurs: 20 Cavs: 15


2nd Quarter:

Spurs lost the lead by going the first 6 minutes without scoring a point. Ginobili played badly, fumbling in the offence court, missing shots and creating unnecessary turnovers. That kinda executed a domino effect on the rest of the team, and Cavs took a 25-22 lead half way through the second quarter. Time-out called by the Spurs.

And then something happened during that time-out; Either it was old man Gregg Popovich giving a good pep talk to his players or Eva Longoria secretly giving a flying kiss to Parker, but after that time-out, the Spurs were on fire. Amazing assists (Steve Nash style) from Parker. The Spurs took a 9-0 run in less than one minute! Score- Spurs 31 Cavs 26. Another Time-out.

Lebron James is now on Parker, man to man. Immediately Popovich brought in Ginobili to help Parker in the offence. It worked. The Spurs were still unstoppable. Eric Snow (of the Sixers fame), the only “veteran” player from Cavs to have played the NBA Finals before, entered the game with around 14 seconds to go. The second quarter ended with Lebron James on just 1 assist and 4 points (all Free Throws) with a 0-7 Field Goal! Parker ended the first half with 12 points and 5 assists. Duncan had 14 points and 6 rebounds.

Spurs: 40 Cavs: 35


Half Time report on ESPN: “The special relationship between Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan”. Yawnnnnnnn. How clichĂ©d can things get? We’ve seen these things a zillion times whenever there’s an outstanding coach and an outstanding player making it to the Finals: Phil Jackson & Michael Jordan, Jerry Sloan & John Stockton, Don Nelson & Steve Nash, Larry Brown & Iverson, Pat Riley & Alonzo Mourning, etc etc. What we miss out the most during half-time when watching such a match on cable are the cheer leaders .

3rd Quarter:

Grant Hill and the other commentators at Half Time report were right; the game was becoming a Tony Parker show. Parker put in 6 more points in the third quarter. Lebron James scored his first Field Goal after 6 minutes. At this point, I think the best performer from Cavs would be Gooden with 12 points and 2 assists in this quarter, although that flagrant foul on Ginobili with 2:21 to go was unecessary.

Ginobili contributed well too, with 9 points and a 2-3 three point FG. Towards the end of the third quarter the Spurs seemed to have completed decimated the Cavs. Lebron James was still struggling with just 8 points and a 2-12 shooting FG! Tim Duncan reached his double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds before being substituted by Elson with 0:47 seconds remaining on the clock.

Spurs: 64 Cavs: 49


3rd Quarter break: I seriously felt the game kinda sucked. What makes a great game? At this point, both teams should have scored more than 60 points at least, with at least two key players from both teams in foul trouble. In this game, nobody’s in the danger zone when it comes to fouls. Hence, no thrill. I love it when the players had to change their pace and game-play because of foul troubles. Other incidents that make a game a great game: Over-Times, fist fights and heated arguments! Today’s game felt as if all of them were on sedatives or something like that. I’ve never seen such a pacified & tranquilized Finals as today’s.

4th Quarter:

Spurs continued to dominate. Although a part of me was happy, there was also a part of me disappointed because Cavs were not putting up a good fight at all. It definitely did not feel like the Playoffs, leave alone the Finals. Spurs surprisingly took more offensive rebounds than was expected. I think that was the main key to them taking such a good lead. Halfway through the fourth quarter Spurs were on an 18 point lead. Spurs had a good percentage from beyond the arch too, with most of them burying 3’s above 50% FG. James scored his first three points with 6:50 to go. Parker replied immediately with a coast-to-coast drive-in. Lebron then answered with a 3 point “back-to-back three” reply to Parker’s reply. Are things starting to heat up? Too little too late. Spurs were on a 14 point lead with 5:56 to go. Time-out.

Cavs came back and put up a worthy fight nevertheless. With 2:27 to go, the lead was reduced to single digit (78-69). Another Time-out.

Lebron James blocked Parker at one end (it looked like Goal Tending to me) and Gibson fired a three at the other, reducing the game to an 8 point lead with 1:45 to go. Duncan increased it to a 10 point game with 45 seconds remaining. Gibson fired another 2 point, 6-8 from the field, pulling back the lead to 8. Parker with a three point play put it back to 11 points lead. Again Gibson answered with a two (7-9 FG) with 8 seconds to go. Too late. Spurs clinched the first game with a 9 point lead. Yay.

Spurs: 85 Cavs: 76


Spur’s path to victory:

1. Spur’s excellent defence completely disabled Lebron James. There were always others around to help out whoever was taking James.
2. Offensive rebounds. Cavs took 7 offensive rebounds out of their today 32, while Spurs massed up a whooping 43 rebounds out of which 13 were offensive rebounds!
3. Apart from 24 points and 13 rebounds, Duncan also contributed to 5 blocks (I still love his shy smile after every time he blocks someone). Lebron James on the other hand had just 14 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block.

Players who scored doubled-digits in Game 1.

Players (team) Points FG Assists Rebounds
Parker (S) 27 12-23 7 4
Duncan (S) 24 10-17 1 13
Gibson (C) 16 7-9 4 1
Ginobili (S) 16 5-12 0 8
L.James (C) 14 4-16 4 7
Gooden (C) 14 6-9 0 4
Pavlovic (C) 13 6-12 0 5
Varejao (C) 10 3-6 0 4

Over all, Spurs had a 45.3 FG percentage while Cavs shot 42.9%

Hoping to see a higher percentage from both teams on the next game. Go Spursss!!!

Next Game: Monday morning 0630 hours IST @ ESPN.
Match venue: San Antonio.


ThugAngel said...

good report

thinchhia said...

va detail ham ham ve a, mak ve mai mai chu Parker,Ginobili te hi thiam hmel pu chu annilo ve ngawt mai.tak a link min peka 'thinchhia' saw mit a ti kham angreng :)..a sipel a diklo tlats auh

uncas said...

I like the origin of basketball, and when it is made into movies like Coach Carter, other than that it's a no go for me; i don't even know the rules.

But all sports are good for exercise and entertainment, I believe that includes basketball too! Bemused Kima? tongue-in-cheek.

illusionaire said...

@ thuggie: thankyou :-)

@ thinchhia: lolz. Parker chu tlem chuan thiam hmel chu a pu a lawm :) mahse nia, ginobili chu a thiamloh hmel khawp mai a hmel en chuan. hahaha.

@ uncas: welcome back to the blogging world :-) Frankly speaking, I don't like basketball movies that much. The end is always cliched! The hero's team scoring the match winning point with just a few fraction of seconds left... nahhh boring :-)