Thursday, June 07, 2007

Spurs turn King James into a pauper in Game 1

You gotta love this look Duncan shoots James; it says 'you know you want what we got, and you ain't gonna get it this year'.

Game 1 NBA Finals: San Antonio 85, Cleveland 79
POINTS: Gibson- 16/ Parker- 27
REBOUNDS: James- 7/ Duncan- 13
ASSISTS: James- 4/ Parker- 7

The San Antonio Spurs welcomed LeBron James to the NBA Finals by showing him and his fellow greenhorn teammates what it's like to play on the game's largest grandest, most important stage.

Needless to say the experience wasn't pretty for the league's anointed savior.

The Spurs carved up James & his Cavs like butter-soft prime rib
, with the Batman & Robin duo of Tony Parker, a.k.a The Luckiest Man on Earth, doing his best Steve Nash imitation, and Tim Duncan rejecting LeBron so much he must have felt like Anthony Michael Hall in a John Hughes flick.

LeBron was a miserable 4-16 from the field, tallying just 14 points, and although he did grab seven rebounds, he had only four assists and one steal while turning the ball over six times.

Those TOs were the result of poor, cross-court passes that the Spurs guards intercepted like DBs snare lazy laterals, and whenever his highness did try to go to the basket, he was met by a phalanx of security forces that cut off his path and/or shoved the ball back in his face.

While it took James until nearly halfway through the 3rd period to score his first basket, Parker & Duncan were having their way with the over matched Cavs from the get-go.

, who is marrying actress Eva Longoria one month from today (7/7/07), played like a man who is about to win his third (championship) ring and then hand his first (wedding) ring to one of the hottest women on the planet. He scored 13 points in the first half, most of them on speedy, twisting trips through the lane, a-la Nash, and if he wasn't scoring then he was completing picturesque bounce passes in traffic to his teammates for roof-raising assists, another forte of the man they call Nashty.

Much like this loose ball, a Game One victory was out of James' reach

By the time James scored his first bucket San Antonio had turned a 5-point halftime lead (40-35) into a 15-point bulge (74-59), and although the Cavs didn't go down without a fight (they cut the lead to 7 with a few minutes to go but couldn't get over the hump), the fight was taken to them tonight, and they played the role of Coco jaw to Tony Soprano's foot.

Game 2 is in San Antonio on Sunday night, so LeBron, coach Mike Brown and the rest of the Cavs have a couple of days to come up with a gameplan that either forces James to be more aggressive in his game, or that will enable his teammates to make some of those shots that he can't.

One good place to start is to give electric rookie guard Daniel "Boobie" Gibson more PT.

After his coming out party vs. Detroit (31 points in Gm 6), Gibson saw limited action in this game, but did manage to lead the Cavs in scoring despite playing only 28 minutes.

Plus, who doesn't want to see more boobie? Sorry, that was poor.

Oh, and another piece of advice for Cleveland: downplay that poster-job of LeBron over Duncan.

After all, that play came during the regular season.

When the ball doesn't taste nearly as bad.

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