Yep, the Spurs are on their way to the 2007 NBA finals as they defeated the Utah Jazz in a lopsided victory (109-84). May I be as so bold to predict that the Spurs are going to go all the way? Why is that? because it is their time.
If we are to follow what history has taught us, that the Spurs are never a back-to-back championship team, then Hell Yeah! it is their time. The Spurs last won the championship in 2005, prior to that they won it in 2003, so historically putting it, they should win it in 2007.
You know its a blow out (without looking at the scoreboard) when:
- You don’t know who the players are on the court - 9 minutes remaining in the 4th, Greg Popovich pulls out the starters and puts in some 3rd stringers. The offense was led by 2nd stringers Vaughn and Barry.
- The commentators stop talking about the action on the court - Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy were busy talking about a match-up game between the ESPN and TNT commentators. Of course the ESPN guys would lose because the TNT guys have Grant Hill, Reggie Miller, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley on their team.
Keys to the win for the Spurs were:
- Deron Williams sprained foot - I have to feel sorry for him, he played a great series but couldn’t play through his injury. Tony Parker was therefore ruthlessly taking advantage of his inability to keep up with him. This in turn put him into early foul trouble and put him out of his shooting groove, it also enabled Parker to put up 11 pts in the 1st quarter. With him out and no able back-up PG to orchestrate, the offense of the Jazz sputtered and was inconsistent. Not to mention that he was ably harassed by Horry during the inbound causing him to make turnover after turnover.
- Jazz in foul trouble - Boozer, Williams and Okur were in early foul trouble that negated their offense. Look at it this way, when your top 3 players are on the bench at the same time and the deficit is 20 pts, then that really is a recipe for a blow-out.
- Duncan preserved his fouls - Case in point, Duncan incurred his 1st foul in the 2nd quarter with only 40 sec remaining on the clock. The Big Fundamental was able to chalk up 21 pts in this game.
- Fisher was out for the first half - You can really see the importance of Derek Fisher to the Jazz team. He was out the entire first half as he still was arriving from New York. He had accompanied his 10 month daughter to New York because she was undergoing chemotherapy for a cancerous tumor in her eye. With him gone and Williams in foul trouble, there was no able PG to quarterback the team during the first half. This in turn helped the lead to balloon to more than double digits against the Jazz.
- Home Court - yep, that time tested 6th man for the Spurs was their home crowd. That place was rocking and the Spurs were on fire with their shooting because of the crowd support.
As the Spurs are going for their 3rd finals appearance in 5 years, I can’t help but notice that the 2007 Finals is more of a Team World vs Team USA sort of thing(rather than an East vs West). This is because 5 of the Spurs players are foreigners. Parker (France), Ginobli (Argentina), Oberto(Argentina), Elson (Netherlands), and Udrih (Yugoslavia) are International players. Cool eh?1045 [source]