Do it do it ....do it ! One of the more consistent teams in the play-offs and one that is getting to the Finals for the first time in its 37 years franchise history. Yes San Antonio Spurs vs Cleveland Cavaliers !
Finals Match-up :
As indicated this is their first Final in their 37 years as part of the NBA. They have exceeded expectations especially beating regular play-off finalists Detroit Pistons ( yes OK Mr.Macaca you won the bet....!).But this is not surprising especially since they signed Lebron James in the 2003 season. He was picked as the 1st pick , first round draft and heralded as good enough to become an NBA great. He has shown this consistency and if he wins his first NBA Championship ring, it will be a landmark for the franchise.Incedentally he wears #23 (need I say who else wore this number...?) hence his being referred to as 'heir apparent' !
Last year they blew a 3-2 lead to lose to Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference. Well they had their revenge and as underdogs have performed exceptionally well. Other inspirations include rookie Drew Gooden ,Lithuanian Zydrunas Ilgauskas. They also have Larry Brown, one of the best NBA coaches known to turn non-championship teams into winning outfits. He also assisted Greg Popovich in the 1990s.
San Antonio Spurs:
This is labelled as one of the more boring sides of the NBA for their non-flashy players. But that's just it, they dominate and win. They are aiming for their 4th championship ring since 1999. Without a doubt, they have the pedigree;
Tony Parker- Frenchman said to be one of the fastest guards on the ball in the NBA. He has led the team in scoring and easing off the burden the big men which Spurs were used to relying on.
Tim Duncan - best exemplifies the team's attitude. He'll make a big move in the paint, dunk and go back to the D without as much as a smile or roar. He's dominant in the paint and is nicknamed 'The Big Fundamental'. He'll be looking for his 4th championship ring and also 3rd NBA Play-off MVP.
Manu Ginobili-one of the best shooting guards in the League and also good on the transition. He has his guard up too defensively and has become a valuable player for the team off the bench.
Robert Horry-if there are veterans in the Game it's Horry. He will be looking for his 7th championship ring having won his first 2 with Houston Rockets (1994,1995),3 with L.A Lakers during their '3-peat'(2000,2001,2002) and San Antonio Spurs(2005).
Others include Fabricio Oberto, Bruce Bowen who will be involved in more than one way in the realisation of Spurs success.
1. NBA's total attendance for the 2006-7 season both regular and play-off season has hit 23,362,721 with an average of 20,016 fans per game for the post-season attendance.
2.There are 128 TV broadcasters with increased international interest. The Play-offs will be shown in over 205 countries and territories and done in 46 languages.
3.The NBA Play-off Finals proper will have 8 foreign players;
(for San Antonio)
- Tony Parker (France)
- Manu Ginobili ( Argentina)
- Fabricio Oberto (Argentina)
- Francisco Elson (Netherlands)
- Beno Udrih (Slovenia)
- Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Lithuania)
- Anderson Varejao (Brazil)
- Sasha Pavlovic (Montenegro)
4. For only the second time of the NBA history, 3-D imaging will be used to try and get as much interaction with game as possible for the fans. It was first used during the NBA All-Star game in February 2007.
San Antonio Spurs(SAS) 85- Cleveland Cavaliers(CC) 76
Tony Parker 27 points, 7 assists,
Tim Duncan 24 points, 13 rebounds & 5 blocks
Manu Ginobili 16 points (3 3-point shots)
Lebron James 14 points