Spurs too seasoned, well-coached to be upset victims
Posted: Thursday June 7, 2007 11:45AM; Updated: Thursday June 7, 2007 12:44PM
Click here for five reasons why the Cavs could pull off a Finals shocker
SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan swears his team isn't drawing any extra motivation from all the attention being showered on LeBron James heading into the NBA Finals.
"We're not worried about who gets the hype or what gets hype," the Spurs' forward said. "We're about winning four games."
Duncan's no-nonsense approach sets the tone for his club and is part of the reason why it has won three titles in the past eight years. The Spurs just take care of business. They don't lose focus or get turned sideways because of outside factors.
The Spurs might have started the season slowly, but they were the NBA's best team after the All-Star break. They then dispatched the Nuggets, Suns and Jazz to reach the championship round. They are on a quest, and they are not going to let an offensively challenged Cavs outfit -- even one led by the magnificent James -- keep them from their holy grail.
Here are five reasons why the Spurs will win:
1. The Spurs have a superstar, too.
Given all the hype over LeBron, it's easy to forget the Spurs have a pretty good leader of their own. Duncan is only a three-time Finals MVP and arguably the greatest power forward of all time. He might not be as explosive as James, but he influences the game in so many ways.
Duncan's presence won't be just on the offensive end either. Every time LeBron posts up or blows past Bruce Bowen on his way to the basket, he's going to see the 7-foot Sphinx there waiting for him. Duncan will have to be careful not to pick up fouls on LeBron's drives, but he won't let anything throw him off his game.
"He's got a sense of poise and pace about him where he never looks rattled," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "It's scary because whether they're up 20 or down 20, you don't think they're ever out of the game because he's just steady. He's going to keep coming, keep coming, keep coming. That, and his intelligence is off the charts."
2. The Spurs have been here before.
Yes, experience can be overrated. NBA history is littered with young teams that vanquished proven former champions. Three years ago the Pistons didn't have nearly as much experience as the Lakers, yet they sent the Shaq/Kobe/Karl Malone/Gary Payton squad packing in five games.
In this case, however, San Antonio is not some old broken-down team nursing injuries or fractured by in-house feuding. The Spurs are healthy. They are well-focused. They might be a little old and a step slow at certain positions, but they are still fast enough.
San Antonio's roster features seven players who have won championship rings. Duncan, Bowen, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili each have at least two. Robert Horry has six. The Cavs have only ony player with Finals experience: backup point guard Eric Snow.
"It helps with adverse situations," Bowen said of his team's experience. "You almost know that you can't get too high or too low. ... You just have to move on to the next play."
That's what the Spurs do. They just keep moving on and playing, and eventually it wears down their opponents.
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