ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Monday, June 20, 2011

Championship Season

Dallas finally won the NBA Finals.  Good for Dirk.  Good for Mark Cuban.  But very good for the NBA.  While the Heat are fun to watch and should be very fun to watch over the next few years their model for winning is unsustainable.  There are only so many stars in the NBA so when three of them (and I use the term star for Chris Bosh lightly here) head to the same city, it puts a star power drain on every other NBA team.  Hopefully this championship shows NBA Owners and GMs across the league that it's possible to win without the starting 5 from that year's East All Star squad.  

When Dallas had to score points, Dirk was unstoppable.  He found ways to get open and made what seems like every shot he took in any time loosely defined as crunchtime.  Oft-reviled LeBron James did just about the opposite.  He played great in just about every game of the Finals until about 6 minutes to go when he would turn into the most recognizable roll player in the NBA.  It was kind of amazing to watch such a force drive to the hoop like he usually does then leap high into the air for what looks like a good chance for a layup if not a trip to the free throw line then awkwardly try to dish the ball back out to the three point line to a guy who probably had to beg to get his talents on the roster.  Shocking.  I'm not sure who said it but he was described by either Mike Wilbon or Rick Barry as a front-runner and that is such a perfect description of how he played.  The exact opposite of Dirk.  Hopefully he was taking notes.  

Oh and as far as Cleveland goes, do you blame LeBron for leaving at all?  The team was abysmal this year without him then the Cavaliers organization and the whole city acts like a bunch of five year olds gloating and carrying on when the Heat lost.  Awesome place you've got there Cleveland.  I'm SHOCKED that the biggest star in the NBA would rather go to a place with awesome weather, to play with his best friend, and for people that love him than deal with all that.  SHOCKED!

Oh and Boston won the Stanley Cup last week too.  Like Boston needed another championship with which to fuel its' self-esteem.  Pretty soon Boston's head won't be able to fit through the door.  But seriously, Tim Thomas' performance in goal for the Bruins throughout the playoffs was just outstanding.  He was absolutely dominant almost every night.  Boston also brought the heat to Vancouver.  The Canucks usually crisp game was nowhere to be found as they were continuously pounded into the boards.  Their physicality was established early and often by giant hockey player Zdeno Charra but in my favorite play of the Finals, Thomas himself JACKED UP Henrik Sedin.

Nothing says awesome like a goalie sitting in his seat and jacking a guy up.  From this moment on, people had to know that Boston was going to win.  Well, maybe not but it was great.  Now Boston is going to complain in that condescending way that they do when the Pats miss the playoffs again.  Ugh.  Hopefully there is some NFL this year so we can at least hear those complaints.  

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