Game 1 of the NBA Finals was a fizzer. It was a fizzer because the three things I desperately wanted to see didn’t happen:

1) Lebron James throwing down a ridiculous dunk to go down in NBA Finals history (in fact, how about just one dunk LJ? That’d be nice.)

2) Duncan utterly dominating the Cavs frontline with 30 and 20 dispelling any theories the Cavs might last more than four games

3) Boobie going off from downtown to prove his 18-point quarter against Detroit was no fluke

None of that happened.

Lebron was pushed so far out from the hoop by Bowen and looked so unwilling to penetrate that the closest he got to a dunk was an acrobatic finger-roll (even though that might have been the best finger-roll I’ve ever seen). Duncan put up his default numbers, 24 and 13 with a few blocks, but go so many uncontested rebounds and had so little resistance from Gooden/Varejao/Z that it ended up being a pretty unimpressive 24 and 13. And then there was the glaring lack of Boobie. The game 6 star who single-handedly condemned Detroit to a miserable summer was inexplicably limited to 28 minutes, most of which came in garbage time when the result was beyond doubt. I’d support Coach Brown’s decision to use Boobie sparingly if Hughes was lighting it up, but Larry just isn’t cutting it right now and some of his shot-selection in game 1 was woeful (twice he made groan out loud to the alarm of my mates).

I can’t talk about game 1 any more without mentioning Tony Parker, who was simply the difference maker. I could go on and on about Parker, I love his game, but like any champion his game does enough talking of its own. I loved the segment showing Parker talking about his place amongst the league’s great point guards. Baron Davis and Deron Williams might be getting more of the spotlight and fan adoration, but at the end of the day “I will have the rings”. Damn straight Tony.

Other game 1 observations:

  • Is it just me or does Ilgauskas kinda look like Nicholas Cage? Am I the first one to recognise this? Am I going crazy?
  • Varejao might be the most uncoordinated looking NBA player I’ve seen. Seriously, he’s right up there with Mark Madsen and Bill Wennington in that very special class of giant clumsy token white guy. Love his hustle, but something tells me he couldn’t walk in a straight line if he was sober.
  • I’ve been trying to come up with the best way of describing Drew Gooden’s weird patch of hair, but I think one of my mates said it best while watching the telecast… “Every time I see that it makes me physically ill”.
  • Tim Duncan has this uncanny ability to grab rebounds without a) being in a good position to do so and b) jumping. He just puts his arms up towards the ball and it gravitates to him. A fantastic skill to watch, but also incredibly frustrating when you’re hoping for a Cavs comeback. I just wish there was someone on that Cavs team like Ben Wallace to rip a few rebounds down with force, sending a clear message to Timmy that “hey, you’re going to have to leave the floor to catch these!”.

Here’s hoping that game 2 has a little less fizzle and more sizzle!

(I should be in marketing ;) )

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