Playoff Diaries #13:
Duncan transcends chaos, LeBron is human, Ray Allen may not be

by & on June 6, 2014

In chaos, only Tim Duncan makes sense

Travis Nicholson: Nothing can make sense for too long. Before Game 1, a Finals rematch between the Spurs and Heat seemed like the most orderly, logical thing possible. Of the 16 teams that started the 2014 Playoffs and especially of the final four that remained, these were the two teams from both sides of the coin with unlimited potential and zero question marks as to how they would accomplish their goals. The Finals had promises of being an exquisite ballet following the unpredictability of a three round circus act that started in April. I expected order and I got chaos. For that to have been the results of these playoffs now makes sense in my head, but this is not something I was anticipating.

The air conditioning went out in the AT&T Center, which is both trivial and the most important thing. Narrative is bound to context but the numbers are not. The Spurs ended up winning a game in San Antonio they are expected to win and are now up 1-0 in the series despite committing 21 turnovers during the first 40 minutes of play — but people don’t care about numbers.

Tim Duncan had the quietest 21/10/3 on 90% shooting you could imagine in an NBA Finals game and it is something worth mentioning before LeBron’s cramps or the heat or the Heat. Chaos abounds but Tim Duncan is at peace in the NBA Finals.

Even towel dudes know where their place in the Spurs offense

Basketball for Romantics

@thirstyvillain: During Round 1 of these amazing NBA Playoffs, I gushed about Boris Diaw’s brilliance and how sometimes he could perform wonderfully yet have a relatively terrible stat line. I wrote that Diaw had 12pts, 3rbs, 2 TOs and finished with a -9 in plus/minus. Numbers I am deceptive of because of the basketball par excellence I had watched, but numbers I accept to be true. Fast-forward to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and Diaw finished the night with 2pts, 10rbs, 6ast and a +30. So perplexing!

Boris was everywhere during his 33 minutes of court time in Game 1; whether he was defending LeBron James, utilizing his pastry display case of a body to box out Chris Andersen for a rebound or throwing the most beautiful hook-pass I have ever seen to Danny Green for a dagger three. (Truly an outstanding act for a guy who plays on the same damn team as the hook-pass master, Manu Ginobili.) Diaw left his powdered fingerprints all over the crime scene of Game 1.



Unfortunately, all anyone is going to talk is a broken A/C unit, a suddenly human LeBron James, and the brilliant mastery of a pair of 38-year olds in Ray Allen and Tim Duncan.

What should be the focal point of last night’s game are the following:

  • An evenly called game from the referee crew;
  • A resurgent Dwyane Wade, followed by a depleted Dwyane Wade who stuck a dirty hip out while Manu Ginobili was coming down after a layup, and;
  • A beautiful, bountiful Frenchman named Boris Diaw – who Bill Walton once compared to Beethoven – controlling every aspect of the court while he was on it.

Oh, I suppose, also the point where San Antonio beat the Heat by 15 points while committing 22 turnovers. That point’s probably pretty relevant too.

Remember Ray Allen

Travis Nicholson: Ray Allen jumped a passing lane for a steal on a San Antonio fast break and found himself wide open in a familiar place.


Ray Allen is a man of deliberate practice. His jump shot has been the perfect mechanism of NBA basketball for two decades, the precision of it so tight any slight imperfections look glaring. Watch Ray Allen linger for a split second — an infinitesimal hesitation from anyone else, but for the deadliest three point shooter in NBA history more than enough time to give everyone in a suddenly hushed AT&T Center a friendly reminder of what happened in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals.

In case I needed another reminder that chaos reigns and I should only come to expect the unexpected, Ray Allen goes and does this. Slap anyone that tells you they know what is going to happen in Game 2.



Now we will reference #cramps

is eight feet tall and a hundred pounds, so yeah of course he can dunk. He is also FF's lead Raptors writer. He lives, breathes, sleeps and eats cured meats in Toronto and once saw a seagull pick up a whole panzerotto. He plays basketball at a church every Saturday. On Sunday, he reads psalms at the gym.

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