With the Lakers having long ago been eliminated, I am a free agent rooter. At the start of the playoffs, I was hoping that the Mavericks could pull it off after having come so close last year. Their elimination by the 8th seeded Warriors came as a shock. Now there are only three teams to choose from- the Spurs, Pistons and Cavaliers.
I can’t root for the Spurs, not after the manner in which they beat the Suns. I like many of their players ( Duncan, Ginobili, Parker) and I admire the way in which Popovich has put together this team. However, I have always considered the Spurs’ Bruce Bowen a dirty player and Horry’s body block of Steve Nash was despicable. Nash may not have been hurt badly but that incident resulted indirectly in Amare Stoudemire’s suspension for the pivotal fifth game. With Amare in the line-up, the Suns would have won at home ( as it was they came very close even without Stoudemire) and had a good chance of eliminating the Spurs in 6 or 7.
No, I cannot root for the Spurs.
As I write, the Eastern Conference Final is al tied up at 2-2 with the 5th game to be played tonight at Detroit. I like both teams for different reasons. The Pistons, unlike the other two teams, are a team without superstars but they are an extremely well balanced team led by the unselfish and perrenially underrated Chauncey Billups. Rasheed Wallace may have a screw loose but he is playing very well .Hamilton, Prince, McDyess play well within the team concept but Detroit has been plagued by cold shooting and will have to improve if they are to oust the Cavaliers. Cleveland depends heavily on LeBron James and he has been magnificent, improving from game to game. The rest of the Cavaliers( Ilgauskas, Marshall,Gooden, Snow etc. ) have provided just enough support for James.Tonight’s game is therefore a toss-up but I’m going to stick my neck out and pick the Pistons to win it and go on to win the series. They do have the home-court advantage and their cold shooting can’t continue forever. Or can it ?
In the end, it doesn’t much matter because I’m afraid the Spurs are too well-balanced and well coached a team for either the Pistons or the Cavaliers.