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Spurs-Suns Preview:"A series the whole world wants to see"

By Daniel Strickland on May 5, 2007.

The San Antonio Spurs march to their fourth NBA Title continues tomorrow against the Phoenix Suns. Here’s what the press is saying about the matchup.

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Did Bill Ingram make a Freudian slip by writing that “two years ago [the Spurs] won their fourth championship of the Tim Duncan era?” Maybe. He thinks the series will come down to the veterans.

The absolute determining factor for the Spurs will be the contributions of their aging playoff veterans. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker can run with any team in the league and are arguably the best trio in the NBA. What about Michael Finley and Robert Horry? These are the guys who will be the difference-makers for San Antonio.

The big three will give the Suns’ defense all they can handle, but the key to winning for the Spurs will be Finley and Horry. If the aging veterans can turn in a few more clutch performances the Spurs should be able to take the Suns. If Horry and Finley struggle to hit open shots it could be a long series for Gregg Popovich and company.

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Tracy Graven writes, “Whoever wins this series, wins the NBA Championship.” Uh, that’s really going out on a limb. But I wouldn’t rule out the Pistons in the East — they won’t go down without a fight.

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What’s this about Eva Longoria implementing a “no sex” policy while her fiance Tony Parker and the Spurs are in the playoffs? Hey, whatever works.

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Phonenix columnist Mike Tulumello writes that the Spurs definitely have history on their side.

For the now top-seeded Suns, the door to a title has seldom been open wider. Too bad for them the NBA doesn’t re-seed playoff matchups, round by round.

So they must find a way to beat the now-No. 2 San Antonio Spurs, the team that’s been the most difficult for them in recent years; the Spurs have won 17 of the past 21 games, counting the regular season and playoffs, dating back to the spring of 2003.

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Jason M. Williams argues that despite the changes made this season, the playoff formula still isn’t working. Under his proposal the Spurs would face the Rockets/Jazz and the Suns would face the Warriors.

There is a simple solution to this problem: copy the playoff format of the NHL. Yes, the National Hockey League. The NHL reseeds each team following each round, which allows the top seed to continually match up with the lowest seeded team remaining in the bracket.

The NBA is the only one of the Big Four professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL) that does not serve up the lowest seed to the top seed in each round.

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Here are what the players and coaches are saying:

“I think it’s a Finals-type matchup, but there’s still a lot of teams left to play, and a lot of the teams left can create a lot of problems for everyone.”
–Phoenix guard Steve Nash

“This team might be tougher than Dallas, and I’ve thought that all along.”
–Phoenix guard Raja Bell

We feel optimistic. We know that we can beat them.”
–San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili

“We’ve got to get over 100 points. That’s going to be a big benchmark. If we score up in the 100s seven times, or how many times the series goes, we’ve got a heck of a chance of winning.”
–Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni

“I think you just have to be smart when you run, because we have Timmy and Timmy is going to do a lot of damage inside. I think we can run with them a little bit. We just have to do it smart.

“I think we can play both ways, like in ’05. When we had to play halfcourt, we played halfcourt. When we had to play fast, we played fast.”
–San Antonio guard Tony Parker

“It’s the two best teams in the West. It’s going to be a series the whole world wants to see.”
–Suns center Amare Stoudemire

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  1. Anonymous May 6, 2007

    The Spurs run has come to an end. The fourth quarter will determine each game because the “Old Men” team will not be able to run for 48 minutes.
    Steve Nash will prove he is the real MVP this year, again.

  2. Dingo May 6, 2007

    Anonymous, I take it you’re a Suns fan?

    The Suns bested the Spurs in the 4th quarter in 2 of their 3 meetings this season, but still split those games, and lost the November game that went to OT. So much for the importance of the fourth quarter.

    Two reasons why the Spurs will win this series in 6: Finley and Horry. They combined for just 3 points and 3 rebounds in the only game the Suns won. That’s not likely to happen again.

    Horry missed their last meeting and averaged just 1 pt and 3 rebounds in the two he did play in.


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