Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Heat in Seven

Have we come full circle?  Not quite -- I think my original prediction was six, not seven.  But manomanoman, that was a game.

It's been well-chronicled in these pages that I watched the Thrilla in Manila via closed circuit TV for one of my late-teen/early-twenties birthdays.  If I'm not mistaken, that was the fight that left Ali so beaten up he looked like the loser and not the winner.  He later said he literally thought he was going to die during the fight.

That's what the guys on the Spurs bench looked like last night near the end of the game.  Tony Parker, in particular, looked like he was in physical agony.  He looked utterly spent, but still ready to suck it up for another couple of minutes.  Barring outright injury, one usually doesn't see NBA players in that level of extremus.  Breathtaking.  What a game.

The Heat just barely survived the worst the Spurs could give them.  But survival is the name of the game, and I think they are going to gain strength from the experience.  The Spurs, on the other hand, are a tough-minded team but I think the emotional agony of having the game (and the championship) in the bag and then losing it will occlude them with a malaise that won't clear til, perhaps, August.  I don't expect Game Seven to be a close one.  Heat by eleven.

[Injury report:  One of the Heat -- perhaps Chris Anderson -- accidentally rolled up on Tim Duncan's left knee late in the third quarter.  He wasn't the same after that.  I wouldn't be surprised if there was a lingering effect.]

Occlude?
Yeah.  What of it?

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