It only took 1,230 regular season games, with 65 playoff games on top, but the NBA has finally given us a reason to not touch that dial.
San Antonio Spurs. Golden State Warriors. Western Conference Finals. James Naismith’s pet project may not be an abject failure, after all.
The Spurs and their top-rated defense reminds us the NBA is not, in fact, a game of uncontested H-O-R-S-E. The Warriors and their top-ranked offense freshens up our No. 3 multiplication table skills.
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Golden State’s Stephen Curry is the MVP of the league, unless, of course, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard is. The Spurs’ Gregg Popovich is the coolest coach in town, until the Warriors’ Steve Kerr walks into the room.
What more could we ask for?
Glad you asked.
We want Leonard to be at full throttle after sitting a few games with an uncooperative ankle, because the only way to be the Most Valuable Player at season’s end is to be the Most Victorious Player at this time of year.
We want Curry to take every one of his shots from behind the other team’s 3-point line. After all, if he wants to repeat as MVP while sharing the ball with Kevin Durant, he’s either going to have to start cheating or really apply himself here.
Give us Golden State’s Draymond Green with as many points scored as technical fouls drawn, because at that ratio, he’ll make the Hall of Fame. Give us Popovich sitting his starters for Game 5, just to stick a scaffold rod in the commissioner’s eye socket.
Even then, give us more.
Lure Tim Duncan out of retirement, because the Spurs center is the greatest player to go this unnoticed by the upper-deck laity. Throw Fresno native Bruce Bowen back on San Antonio’s defensive end, just to see how many points the Warriors don’t score against the Tasmanian beehive.
Pray for Kerr to get his back back, because we’re tired of watching other guys win with his players. Give Spurs octogenarian Tony Parker a leg transplant to undo the damage of his season-ending injury.
Bring Chris Webber back to Golden State, because you can never take too many timeouts.
We want double overtimes, and demand a Game 8. Let former NBA commissioner David Stern sing the national anthem, because who else are we going to boo?
Let every 120-118 game be chased by an 82-81 follow-up. Make the courtside reporter ask Popovich questions that have no questions in them – think queries that begin with “Tell me …” – because every series needs at least one evil glare.
Give us something – anything – that makes us forget LeBron James will be getting up from his Eastern Conference nap when this nail-shard fight comes to a close.
Better yet, when this series is over, remind us to change the channel while we still like watching basketball again.
1. Have you seen the Sports Illustrated cover of Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, by way of Fresno State? Consider Judge baseball’s answer to NBA star Paul George – another Cedar Avenue superstar who got out of town with few recognizing their future greatness.
2. Baseball sights now seen in 44 years of living: Chili Davis playing catcher for the Fresno Giants, Madison Bumgarner throwing, oh, 22 innings in a 9-inning World Series game … and, last week, San Francisco losing 23 games in its first 34 games out of the gate. Not even an even-numbered year could save them now.
3. May the Ottawa Senators win Lord Stanley’s sippy cup, because 20 years is a long time for Canada to not be best at what Canada does best, and we don’t mean bottle maple syrup.