While the basketball arenas of the New York area have been dark for almost two months, the NBA playoffs have been chugging on. For those of you who stopped watching in April, or hopefully earlier if you are a Knicks fan, the NBA Finals are upon us. This year, the World Champion, Detroit Pistons will take on the San Antonio Spurs for the title.
The Spurs are led by Tim Duncan, their multi-talented Center. Duncan has been the MVP of both NBA Finals he has been in and is currently averaging almost 25 points a game in the playoffs. Duncan had been hobbled earlier in the playoffs with an ankle injury, but he increased his scoring in each round of the playoffs and will have had ten days to rest by the time the Finals start on Thursday.
Besides Duncan, the Spurs rely on their guards, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili to lead their offense. Former Knick, Nazr Mohammed has been impressive in the playoffs, averaging over seven rebounds a game and providing the Spurs with a solid defensive player off the bench.
The Pistons are the Rodney Dangerfields of the NBA. Despite winning the title in five games last year, few predicted they would be able to beat the Miami Heat. Now they are underdogs against the Spurs. San Antonio should underestimate them at their own peril.
The enigmatic Larry Brown coaches the Pistons and while rumors of his departure from Detroit are rampant, he will have his team ready for this series. Richard Hamilton has become Detroit’s best weapon, but all five of the Piston’s starters are dangerous with another former Knick, Antonio McDyess providing quality minutes off of the bench.
Gothamist thinks this series will be a defensive battle with both teams struggling to score over 100 points a night. Detroit showed it could beat a more talented team last year and Gothamist has a feeling they may do so again. The pick is Detroit in seven.