OK so Game 1 didn’t go as I thought it would. Well, actually it went exactly like I thought it would but just not like I had hoped. Breaking news from J-Beanie: The Spurs are a good basketball team. They controlled the whole game from the opening tip to when Mike Brown threw in the white towel with still 1:08 left and only down eight (more on this later). But when I say from the opening tip, I mean literally from the opening tip. It was the first jump ball Z had lost in a long time, losing it to “power forward” Tim Duncan. Michael Finely came down and hit a jumper and the game was over from there.
The Cavs just looked completely overwhelmed. They couldn’t make shots, couldn’t rebound, couldn’t defend Parker, couldn’t take care of the ball, couldn’t get any calls, couldn’t get key stops and when they did get a stop they couldn’t convert it into any points.
So that begs us to ask the question, Are the Spurs that good or are the Cavs that bad? I’m learning towards a little of column A and little of column B. I don’t know if I should be encourage that the Cavs played like high schoolers and were in the game for the most part (third quarter excluded) or annoyed that they didn’t come to play. I don’t know what to make of LeBron’s game. Did he play bad because of the pressure of being in the NBA Finals? I want to say no to this because he has performed at every level in every situation but he didn’t look right. Was it because of the defense? Partly, but he’s played good against good defenses before. Maybe it was just an off night, like Game 1 against Detroit. Maybe he will rebound with a great Game 2. He needs too. As bad as he played in the first half, the Cavs were only down 5 (should have been 2 but a great substitution by Brown putting Eric Snow in the game allowed Ginobili to hit a three with 2 seconds left). If shows up just 70 percent its a whole different game.
It was a very frustrating game to watch. I think by halftime, everyone outside of a 45 mile radius of San Antonio and Cleveland turned the game off and was enjoying Godfather on Bravo.
Couple of things we learned yesterday that were on my list of 50 things I’m looking forward to in yesterday’s column…
9. Seeing which one of the two players listed in No. 8. (Varejao, Ginobili) flop more/draw more offensive fouls. We learned that Varejao will flop and try to draw more fouls but Ginobili is the best at it. That charge against LeBron, the great acting on Gooden’s flagrant foul and a few more scattered in. Well done Manu. Hopefully we’ll get some of those calls at home too.
34. We saw LeBron grow up. We saw Boobie grow up. Now let’s see if Mike Brown will grow up.
Simply answered no.
That goes right a long with No. 13. Seeing if now that Daniel “Boobie” Gibson has become a household name and has all this hype on him, if he can now live up to what he built himself into or if he falters under the pressure.
Simply answered yes, he is good. So my next question is why does Brown insist on using the same rotation he has used all year even though Boobie is by far a better player right now than Hughes. Hughes can’t guard anybody. He’s hurt. He can’t hit a jumper if he was using a women’s ball and throwing it into a hoop as big as Lake Erie. I’m fine with Hughes starting. Gibson off the bench is a good thing. Kind of like our own Ginobili effort. But it doesn’t work when Brown waits until the 3-minute mark to bring him in the first and third quarters. In that third quarter the Cavs were struggling very badly. So does Brown call a time out before things get out of control? No. Does he go to his bench to mix things up? No. Does he even change anything? No. Someone please tell Brown that Gibson is good. And not just from the outside. He played good defense, took the ball to the whole, challenged the Spurs big men and made some sick lay-ups. Why Brown doesn’t play him 40 minutes a game I’ll never know. There’s no point in being loyal to Hughes anymore. And for that matter, Hughes should be a team player and tell Brown he can’t give him what the team needs. I appreciate his effort to play hurt but it’s not a good idea when it’s killing the entire team. It’s like when you have to put your sick dog down because he is suffering, no chance to get better, and has diseases that could harm your family. It’s tough to do but you have to do what’s best for everyone. Brown has to realize this and play Boobie more. He has all the confidence in the world right now so use him. We’ll find out in Game 2 if Brown learned anything from Game 1 by seeing what time Boobie comes off the bench. If it’s before the half way point, that’s good, he learned. If it’s not until the 2-minute mark again, the series is lost because Mike Brown doesn’t know how to make adjustments. Notice when Ginobili comes off the bench for the Spurs. There’s the difference right there.
Also, why did he take LeBron out with just over a minute to play and down 8? That was giving up right there. Yes, it would take a amazing, unheard of comeback to pull out a win but it was still possible. Score, foul Duncan or Bowen. Repeat. Extend the game. Does Brown to that? No. He gives up. Unacceptable.
Now I’m pissed and went on a little rant. Sorry. But it needed to be done. I’ll try to lighten things up a little bit from some other observations from Game 1.
Very disappointed in ABC for showing Eva Longoria only once. Although it nice to know they will be getting married in exactly one month from last night.
What was up with Greg Popovich appearing after a commercial in the second quarter and saying Tim Duncan and I were alone on the beach and it was a nice time to get to know one another? I didn’t watch the halftime story on it but it seemed a little odd ABC would have that open after a commercial with no introduction to it.
Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy are a very interesting broadcast team, to say the least. JVG is kind of funny and has good insight but Breen is bad and Jackson must have said I completely agree with you (JVG) four times. Why are Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown doing radio? Let them do the TV broadcast please.
The National Anthem was unique in it’s own way. First, Jordan Sparks, American Idol winner, sang. I found this funny because in Game 4 of the Pistons series, Cleveland and Melinda Doolittle sing. She was the third-place finisher on AI. SA upped us on that. And two, how come during the American National Anthem, they kept showing Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Varejao, Z, Fabricio Oberto? I wonder what’s going through their hands when the song is played?