(pause for breath)
Even though our beloved Warriors weren't involved, game six of these NBA finals proved to be one of the greatest basketball games ever played. With those stakes on the line? In recent years, only game six of the Bulls-Utah series, with Jordan's evisceration of Malone over the final three plays, really comes close. Before that, you probably have to go back to the '80s, and while I watched some of those games live I can't claim to really remember them.
But game six had it all, with a twist. So often these final games come down to one team screwing up, or turn into ugly slug-fests. But one of the amazing things about game six was how well both teams played, for the most part.
There are so many questions, and it's all on the line. There is no game 8.
Will game four's Wade show up? Game five's Manu? Will older-than-father-time Duncan be able to put up another dominant scoring line? Will we see the Chris Bosh who seems to be able to block simultaneously on all parts of the court? Will Danny Green get on track as a three-point shooter again? How will Popovich counter Miami's highly effective four-shooters-and-LeBron strategy? (Hey Lebron? Imagine how that would go with Curry, Klay, Barnes, and Rush as your shooters).
Or maybe it'll be a blowout. Maybe Miami will unleash 48 minutes of the hellacious defense we saw at the end of game two. Of maybe San Antonio will get out to a big lead, the Miami crowd will head for the exits, and it'll never be in doubt. On the other hand, after what Miami did to come back in game six, how little time has to be left for the result to be certain?
That's just the tip of the iceberg, and we haven't even gotten to the question of Lebron. The league's best player. One of the league's most polarizing players. The guy who looked lost against Dallas two years ago in the finals and tore the heart out of Cleveland. The guy who looked like he could challenge Jordan for GOAT in the 4th quarter last night. The guy who manages to frequently be the best offensive player on the court and the best defensive player on the court?
Does a Spurs win put Duncan into top-five all time territory? Does a Heat win make those Jordan comparisons not ridiculous. Even more importantly, does a Spurs win improve the odds of a sneak-attack free agency move to the Warriors by LeBron?
(To any non-regulars: I do not think such a thing will happen. It makes a ton of basketball sense, mind you, but I do not think it will happen).
I'm excited. If you love basketball, how can you not be excited? The game couldn't possibly live up to game six ... but if it does, don't you want to be watching?
Talk about it here!
There is no game 8.