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The great Yogi Berra said “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
Folks, the NBA Finals is over.
Yeah, yeah. There’s that pesky Game 7 to play still. That game matters about as much as a tasteful wardrobe matters to Lady Gaga.
But instead of, as Yogi insists, taking that fork in the road, stick that fork into the San Antonio Spurs. They’re done.
The Spurs had their last hurrah through the first three quarters of Tuesday’s Game 6 in Miami. They led by 13 points late in the third quarter and by 10 heading into the fourth.
They led by 5 points with under :30 remaining.
Now, I’m not saying a team won’t ever come back from being down 5 with time winding down. Obviously, as was the case Tuesday, it happened. But it shouldn’t happen as easily as it did.
James hit a deep 3-pointer after a Miami offensive rebound. Ginobili missed a free throw. Leonard missed a free throw. Allen hit an off-balance 3-pointer after a Miami offensive rebound. And we go to overtime.
And where, pray tell, Mr. Greg Popovich, was future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan through all this?
Here’s what the Spurs needed to win in regulation Tuesday, listed in no particular order: a bucket, a defensive stop, a defensive rebound.
You know who’s good at stuff like that? Future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan. You know where he was? Sitting on the bench.
Yeah, Duncan’s a little longer in the tooth than he used to be. So what? I don’t care if he’s 80. He needs to be in a potential title-winning game with said game on the line.
So now, San Antonio has a problem and only former Florida resident Ponce De Leon can help with, assuming that whole Fountain of Youth thing paid off as well as he’d hoped.
The Spurs are old as dirt. Too old, I’m afraid, to get their tired bones up and going again for a Game 7.
Maybe in San Antonio could the Spurs muster something. In Miami, they’re as finished as a retiree sipping iced tea on his porch.
The Heat, who pulled off an impressive fourth quarter comeback, spearheaded by LeBron and capped by a couple of huge defensive plays and offensive rebounds from Chris Bosh — which I reiterate, Bosh probably wouldn’t have had if Duncan had been in the game — have all the mo’ heading into Game 7.
The Heat are riding high. They’re at home. They’ve got a title to defend.
And while I hate to argue with the profound logic of Yogi, this one is over before it starts.
Like déjà vu all over again. Heat win in a rout, 105-80.