The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Detroit Pistons in game 7 of the NBA playoffs at 9:40 am, IST, Friday (today) June 24th. Thursday evening US time. I'm delighted to learn the result. I love the best basketball. I love the beautiful dribbles and the big three pointers.
For those new to the game or the NBA, NBA is National Basketball Association - the governing body of basketball in the US. NBA hosts a tournament featuring teams from all over the US and Canada. The teams play in two leagues - the eastern conference and the western conference. Most teams are named after their base city, for example, Detroit Pistons are from the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan. This is north of Chicago on the eastern side of the US. The state houses the great lakes.
The tournament format is league matches based on which teams will play a number of matches in round-robin format. Then, there are the playoffs in which top scoring teams qualify and are paired in a seven game series. A team that first wins 4 games wins that series. At the end of some months of basketball, one team each from the eastern and western conference emerges winner. The finals is played between these two teams. It is a seven game playoff.
This year, 2005, the Detroit Pistons were the eastern conference champions and the San-Antonio Spurs, the western conference champions. Detroit pistons have a blend of excellent runners, superb finishers, a huge shot blocker and an incredibly consistent scorer. San Antonio also have a superb dribbler, a reliable senior player, one of the league best three point scorer and a talented reliable all-round player.
The key player for the pistons is Chauncey Billups. Billups was MVP or Most Valuable Player last year (2004). They are blessed with an extremely hard-working guy, Richard Hamilton, who runs his socks off, tries to get every ball, tries to make space all the time, and keeps coming at the opposition. The "big" Ben Wallace is a huge 6ft 8 man and is excellent at blocking shots and tap-ins. The pistons owe several turnovers to him in this years finals (turn over means taking possession). Rasheed Wallace is extremely popular and key player of the Pistons. He is an all-round player - good at defense and scores well. Tayshaun Prince is an awesomely talented guy scoring a lot of points for the pistons.
The Spurs have an excellent team. Led by Tim Duncan, MVP in 2002 is excellent at rebounds and scores lots of points. He has been reliable in the past but markedly struggling under pressure this years finals. But the man everyone is talking about is Manu Ginobli. His excellent dribbling make him a lethal weapon for the Spurs. I still remember his dunk in the 3rd quarter after dribbling past 2 defenders. Tony Parker is an all round player capable of turning on the heat when needed. The big 3 point scorer is Robert Horry. This man can score the big points from range with awesome consistency. He is almost single-handedly responsible for the Spurs 3rd win to take them 3-2 ahead in the series in the crucial 5th game.
All in all, I enjoyed this years finals. Hope those of you who knew little about the game got some inspiration and information. And those of you who watched the game got back some memories. And those of you who missed the game got a pulse pounding inspiration with the game account.