2007 NBA Champions A Dynasty
Written by Randy Watson
The San Antonio Spurs finished off the overmatched Cleveland Cavs Thursday night, 83-82, and by completing only the eighth sweep in NBA finals history, became a legitimate dynasty. By hanging their fourth title since 1999, the Spurs have demonstrated that they are not only the best team in the NBA this year, but certainly one of the best of all time. And with a core group of young, but experienced players (Duncan, 31, Ginobili, 29, and Parker, 25), the Spurs seem to be perfectly situated to continue their championship run over the next few years.
Although the analysts, sportswriters, and a fair number of fans seem to feel that the series was boring, it certainly was not that way to San Antonio, or its players. Tim Duncan said that this one was the sweetest of all. Robert Horry, on the other hand, has more to compare it with since this is his seventh championship. But for Tony Parker, it was probably just a little bit sweeter than for anyone else, as his determination, grit, and hustle proved too much for the Cavs, and resulted in his being named Finals MVP. Parker was too fast, too deadly, too good for the Cavs, and time after time, the petite Frenchman slashed through Cleveland\'s defense for layups, assists, and hit key jump shots when his team needed them. Parker shot 57percent in the finals and averaged 24.5 points.
Although this game was closer than the first three in the series, San Antonio\'s stifling defense combined with cool, veteran leadership, allowed them to hit the key baskets and make the key plays down the stretch. Time after time, San Antonio managed to negate any Cleveland rally in the bud. When the Cavs would make a basket, San Antonio would make a three. If Cleveland would make a three, San Antonio would make a three and then get a steal. If San Antonio missed a basket, there was usually someone there to tip in a rebound. Time after time, the Spurs were just a little better, just a little quicker. While the Cavs are no doubt a quality team—winning four straight against the Pistons in the conference finals proved that - they are young, inexperienced, and do have a few holes to fill.
At the end of the game, Tim Duncan did not have a great night scoring only 12 points on 4-15 shooting, although he did grab 15 rebounds to go along with 2 blocks. Manu Ginobili bounced back from a terrible Game 3, going for 27 points (to lead the team), and hitting clutch free throws down the stretch. Tony Parker ended up with 24 points and 7 rebounds.
The current Spurs team is certainly one that has all the right pieces: a strong inside presence with Duncan; good outside shooting from a variety of sources; a point guard who can score, dish, and manage the game; and a defensive stopper in Bowen who can make life extremely difficult for opposing superstars. But probably the most important thing that they have is a willingness to work together as a team, and not snipe at each other over minutes, shots, and individual numbers. Contrast that with the implosion that the Lakers suffered after winning with selfish superstars, and one can see why the Spurs might be on the verge of something more than a dynasty. They might be on the verge of total league domination for the next few years.