Posts Tagged ‘Tim Duncan’

I know the NBA Conference Finals have barely started but I want to skip ahead and talk about the NBA Finals.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are going to win their series. I don’t want to disparage the Boston Celtics or the Oklahoma City Thunder by already writing them off but I can’t see it turning out any other way. (Okay, maybe I wanted to disparage the Celtics a little bit.)

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are playing at such a high level its almost scary. They aren’t getting too much out of the rest of the team but so far they haven’t needed it. They will need it when they meet up with the Spurs in the Finals, though.

And that’s where the problems will start. The Spurs are just too good and too deep to be beaten. The Heat will not be able to keep Tim Duncan out of the paint and no one has had an answer for Manu Ginobili. It also doesn’t hurt that they have one of the best point guards in the league with Tony Parker.

LeBron and DWade will have to score 80 combined points each game if the Heat are to have a chance to beat the Spurs. And I just don’t see that happening. That’s why I’m picking the Spurs to win in 6 games.

I know it seems odd that I’m willing to ignore the Conference Finals happening right now but the Heat and Spurs seem so far ahead of the competition they are bound to meet in the Finals. I hate to spoil the playoff for you but this is what’s going to happen.

My brother Tommy (@tsoliz602) and I argue about a lot of things. But mostly we like to argue about basketball. He is a San Antonio Spurs fan. I am a Lakers fan. (I think he may be adopted but my dad has never been willing to confirm this.)

We like to argue about which team dominated the 2000’s. I say it was the Lakers: six final appearances, four titles. He thinks it’s the Spurs: Three trips, three titles, perfect record. As you can see, he’s always wrong.

Lately, what we argue the most about is Pau Gasol. Tommy likes to call him “Chicken Man” a) because he looks like a chicken and b) because he’s “scared” to play down low with the big boys (aka Tim Duncan). Okay, he may resemble a chicken at times but one thing is for sure, Pau Gasol is certainly not soft!

Chris Dudley is soft. Kwame Brown is soft. Eric Dampier is soft. Pau is so far above these guys it not even funny.

Gasols’s game is more European than anything else. He can handle the ball better than any seven-footer in the game today. He passes the ball and facilitates plays better than most guards in the league. (Gilbert Arenas, I’m looking at you.)

The Lakers were better after Gasol’s arrival than they were before he showed up. Think about that. Gasol come to the Lakers midway through the 2007-2008 season and they rolled right into the NBA Finals. Unfortunately they lost to the Boston Celtics in six games. But they go right back to the Finals the next year and beat the Orlando Magic in five games. Currently the Lakers are three wins away from heading to the NBA Finals for the third straight year.

Tim Duncan may be the best power forward ever to play the game and Pau matches up with him in every category. In 12 seasons in the NBA, Tim Duncan’s stat line looks like this: 21.1 PPG, 3.2 APG, 11.6 RPG with 50% shooting. Gasol’s stats look like this after eight years in the league: 18.8 PPG, 3.2 APG, 9.0 RPG with 52% shooting.  As you can see, Gasol matches up nicely with Duncan. And Pau is only 29. By the time his career is over I’m sure he will match Duncan in every category, including NBA Championships.

So if you still think that Pau Gasol is soft, then, like my brother, you are wrong. And possibly adopted.