Before we begin, a little gloating is in order.
The Spurs were my pick to win the NBA title last year, so I feel like I'm due for some self-praise.
"But wait," you say, "the Spurs barely lost to the Heat the year before. Picking them to win a title wasn't much of a stretch, was it?"
"Oh," I counter, "but it was."
The Spurs were coming off a rough (read: devastating) loss to the Heat in the previous year's Finals. They had to endure seeing that Ray Allen three from the corner approximately 8 billion times throughout the season and playoffs (not unlike what we're headed for with Voldemort's triple). Their fans weren't used to losing at that stage of the playoffs (they were 4-0 under Pop and Duncan before that), and other teams seemed like they were going to pass the Spurs. Even teams that didn't bring in new players were one year older. The Spurs were also one year older, but not in a good way.
I called last season's Spurs the Bayern Munich of the NBA. For the uninitiated (or the THIS IS AMERICA GODDAMMIT I DON'T WATCH THAT SOCCER BULLSHIT! crowd), Bayern is an elite soccer team in Germany. They almost always win the Bundesliga and win a bunch of trophies. In 2011, they made it to the Champions League final, which is like the Super Bowl of club soccer in Europe. The predetermined site of the final just happened to be in their home stadium. They were playing an underwhelming Chelsea team that had squeaked into the game and were missing their captain.
Everyone expected a blowout. A 5-0 scoreline wouldn't have been surprising. And when Thomas Muller (I can't get the umlaut to work) finally scored in the 83rd minute, the match was over we all figured. But then it all went downhill. Chelsea scored 5 minutes later and eventually triumphed in a penalty shoot out. Again, in Germany, in front of a mostly German crowd in the home stadium of the team they were playing.
So what did Bayern do? They regrouped, and they went on a vengeance tour the likes of which hadn't been seen before. They won the treble (domestic league, domestic cup, and Champions League) in relatively dominating fashion. Redemption oozed out of every quote from this group.
That was last year's Spurs. They just took everyone out back and whipped the crap out of them. Their passing will never be replicated. Their defensive system worked to perfection. Their role players played like stars. Their aging veterans played the way they had to when the team needed a spark.
Now comes the hard part for the champs: repeating. They've never done it, and until they do Rockets fans can always pretend that Hakeem is better than Duncan because he repeated and the Big Fundamental hasn't.
And by "pretend," I mean that Hakeem is obviously way better than Duncan because I'm incredibly biased.
Oh, and tonight's game will almost assuredly consist of bench players and guys trying to make the team or trying to impress other teams.
As always, Tony must dominate fisher. Because fuck fisher
Tip-off is at 7pm CST. It's scheduled to be on CSN Houston, so this might be CSN-H's last broadcast. I just want to wish the best of luck to those who worked at CSN Houston in the future. The people who worked at that station were hardworking and dedicated, and it showed to anyone who was able to watch the channel on a regular basis. Please do not confuse CSN-H with Comcast, because our grievances should only be directed at the latter. Seriously, try to get through this video without choking up.
Spurs vs Rockets coverage
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