Heat, Spurs on a collision course to the NBA finals

Tony ParkerI 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 bit.)

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are playing at such a high level it’s 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. Read more here…

NBA Western Conference Finals: Spurs v Thunder

James Harden

There are several certainties when it comes to this powerhouse matchup in the West. These aren’t only the two most complete teams in the Western Conference, but in the entire league. There are stars all over the floor for both teams, and both squads are coming into this series firing on all cylinders. This matchup will be fascinating to watch, and if it doesn’t go at least six games, I’d be absolutely shocked.

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs (2) Oklahoma City Thunder

As far as predictions go, I’ve been thinking about this matchup ever since the Thunder had the Lakers down 3-1 in their series.Not even close. In my mind, one of two outcomes will happen. Either the series goes seven games and because the Spurs will be at home, and are the veteran team, they’ll have the advantage and win in seven. Or, the Thunder steal a game in San Antonio, defend their home court, and win the series in six at home before a daunting game seven can occur. 

Read more here…

Random thoughts on the NBA Playoffs so far, looking ahead

After watching the Clippers outscore the Spurs by 22 points in the first quarter of Game Three of their playoff series, it appeared, if ever so briefly, that San Antonio was not as invincible as everyone thought.  Then we saw them retaliate with a 50-17 run of their own and realized, perhaps they are.

At only 23 years old each, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are disturbingly good.  The Los Angeles Lakers had to play their very best just to be able to stay on the same floor as them.  The future of the league is in good hands.

Read more here…

Who’s the NBA’s real big 3?

Spurs Big 3

My head continues to spin as I’ve been tossing and turning over who is the real big three of the NBA? There have been impostors like the Washington Wizards who had Antwan Jamison, Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas. Now there’s others that have emerged Miami’s Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh. Don’t forget about the Boston Celtics Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. How about diving back into history with Magic JohnsonKareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy. Read more here…

Elite NBA teams win on the road

Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook

It’s no secret that in the NBA, in order to be an elite team-you have to win on the road. The Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and the San Antonio Spurs have a few things in common: these teams all have aging veterans, these teams have won 8 of the last 10 championships; and they all have losing records on the road so far this season.

Wait a minute! Losing road records for the most dominant teams in recent memory? How can this be? How can teams that are used to winning games at home and on the road all of sudden be losing on the road? The shortened season is definitely a contributing factor. Every team is playing games more frequently to make up for the condensed season. So when older teams play this type of schedule, the fluidity of games takes its toll. This is why we’re seeing older teams like the Lakers, Celtics and Spurs struggling right now on the road.

There was a time when the aforementioned teams were elite. Elite in the sense that they were virtually unbeatable at home and that same trend continued on the road. Any decent team in this league can win games on their home court. In fact, most average teams can manage to win in front of their home crowd. However, championships aren’t won by decent or average teams, they’re won by elite teams. And those same elite teams have the ability to walk onto someone else’s floor and beat them like they’re playing at home have historically been winners.

The Lakers along with the Celtics and Spurs used to be in that category. They used to have swagger when they stepped onto someone else’s floor. And why not? Most of the time there were more fans cheering for them than the home team. However, now it looks like the paradigm has shifted. The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls both have the league’s best road records. 12-5 and 14-6 respectfully. They also fall into the elite team category as well. Something the Lakers, Celtics, and Spurs used to have.

Terrance Shumake is a featured journalist for TSB and follow him on twitter @tmshumake

Tony Parker, Hall of Fame worthy?

Tony ParkerTony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs has three NBA championships, one NBA Finals MVP and four NBA All-Star appearances. All make for a decent shot at Springfield, Massachusetts immortality.

As one very new point guard in New York makes the headlines, another in the Alamo City keeps on running under the radar.

But, how much more can Tony Parker be ignored as a great player and awesome point guard? This past week he became the San Antonio Spurs’ all-time Assists leader, replacing spunky Avery Johnson at the top of the charts.

Also this week, he made his fourth All-Star team and represents the Western squad. He’ll be on the bench with Russell Westbrook, who is considered by many to be at the top of the list with Derrick Rose for best all-around athletic point guards in today’s NBA.

Both Westbrook and Parker are backing up Chris Paul in this year’s NBA All-Star game. Paul is considered as the best pure point guard by many of the inner circles of NBA critics.

Westbrook has been getting a lot of deserved attention over the last couple of seasons for his sensational quickness, athleticism on both ends and shooter’s touch. Rose is a ditto, but with a little more phenom than Westbrook. Paul is a maestro with pure assist-making and shot-making rolled into one body.

Jeremy Lin has set the sports world on fire this past week with his performances over the last 3 games, averaging more than 20 points while dishing assists and making big play after big play for the New York Knickerbockers.

Lin has the rare chance, like a Tim Tebow, to make a big impact because of what he brings to his sport outside of the skill needed to play. As an Asian-American, he has the chance to break down boundaries previously never broken before him. He is already a crowd favorite and media darling.

Before Westbrook, Rose and Lin, the cool, ‘in’ point guards among the critics had been Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams. Also, Baron Davis and Chauncey Billups had their reigns for some time.

For many years, the most familiar names to be called best point guards were Steve Nash and Jason Kidd. Both are locks for the Hall Of Fame. Their individual statistics are superior to any of the competition. Nash has two League MVP’s and Kidd is recognized for his overall longevity and championship with the Dallas Mavericks from last year.

The showman point guard position in the NBA is like the quarterback position in the NFL. They run the show, have to take the hits and get everybody else involved. They have to be crafty, heady and poised.

Parker is not in the top tier statistically all-time for point guards, but he is beginning to get there. The difference between him and the others is the multiple hardware to back it all up.

Parker has meant everything to the Spurs just as the other point guards have meant to their teams, but they don’t have the titles that Parker has. Of course, the others didn’t have Duncan and Ginobili in their primes either.

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