Basketball picks & Sports picksJune 7, 2007

Cleveland’s not-so-ready-for-primetime-players

The 2007 NBA Finals begin today and the two teams representing the NBA couldn’t be more different. The Spurs are the veteran no flash, all business representative of the Western Conference. From the East we have “The King” and his court of knavish, youthful ballers. So when it is all said and done, who will hoist the trophy and who will go home empty handed? Can the Cavaliers finally cast off the close-but-no-cigar reputation that has put Cleveland near the top of championship-starved cities? The Cavaliers have a chance but in all reality, this is not their year.  On paper, predicting this season’s champion couldn’t be any easier. Sure LeBron James has gotten to the NBA finals faster than almost every other superstar in the league’s history – even faster than his “ariness.” But will LeBron’s youthful exuberance be enough to stop the Spurs in their quest to become one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history? With all of the hype generated by James, the league couldn’t be happier with their representatives from the east. LeBron James is a ratings goldmine. The James’ gang is the kind of sexy marquee team that makes people want to watch. Even non-basketball fans could pick James out of a lineup because of his Nike commercials that seem to run incessantly. That can’t be said about any of the Spur’s starting five.  While we don’t hate the Spurs they don’t really do much to make us get up and cheer, unless Tony Parker’s fiancé is in attendance. We don’t really hear much from the Spurs during the regular season, they prefer to do all of their talking and hype making on the court.  Their workman like attitude and lack of inner-team turmoil wouldn’t make for good reality TV. There will be no dramatic early-round exits for San Antonio. The Spurs don’t need the kind of Cinderella run put together by the Golden State Warriors. San Antonio is a small-market team that just wins baby. If that makes them boring, then the Spurs would probably hope to be the NBA’s most boring team in history, if that also means being the winningest. The Spurs are on the verge of their fourth title in nine years and only two other teams from the modern NBA era have accomplished such a feat. The first was the “Showtime” Lakers form the 80s lead by athletic footnote Ervin “Magic” Johnson and the other team was anchored by a little-known player out of the University of North Carolina – Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Now that’s pretty decent company for a team that doesn’t seem to get us all that excited. The league’s best (and quietest) player in the NBA, the Spurs Tim Duncan is only 31-years-old. San Antonio’s Manu Ginobli (29) and soon-to-be Mr. Eva Longoria, Parker is 25-years-old so there will be no changing of the guard this year. The Spurs could go on to win several more titles before this group ends their run.  Cleveland’s improbable run will end with San Antonio. The Spurs won’t allow LeBron and company to carve them up like Christmas turkey the way Detroit did. There will be no 48-point performance from James against the Spurs. Cleveland’s chance is within their style of take-you-out-of-your-game down and dirty basketball, the same style made famous by none other than Duncan’s Spurs. Tim will be dunkin’ more than donuts, Ginobli will be dangerous from mid-range and Parker will cut through the Cleveland defense. LeBron does have enough natural born basketball talent to keep a couple of the games close, but Cleveland’s latest and greatest chance at bringing home a championship will probably be another heart break in just about two weeks.  But, don’t be sad Cleveland, football season is approaching and I hear Brady Quinn…oh nevermind. And when you’re making your NFL picks for the super bowl, just be happy you’re not Buffalo.