Archive for the ‘Pau Gasol’ Category

It’s A Man’s World

June 2, 2009
I’ve just spent all day driving, to New Jersey of all places, so I’m going to keep this short. But I would be remiss if I didn’t make a few comments on the NBA Finals. With The Hoops Manifesto still in its infancy I really shouldn’t be contradicting myself already, but its not like anyone is reading this anyway, right?! So here it goes – THE BIG MAN STILL RULES THE NBA.

Now, I’m not stating that the best players in the League are big men (even though there really is no size difference between LeBron and Ben Wallace when they’re standing side by side), but to have any shot at winning an NBA title you can’t just have a passable big man. You need a stud, a star big man. In fact, no team has won an NBA title without having an All-NBA big man manning the paint since the Bulls in 1998. And, in case you forgot or are really young, that Bulls team had two of the greatest players of all-time out on the wing and Dennis Rodman, WHO SHOULD BE IN THE HALL OF FAME, down low. I’m not joking about Rodman and the Hall of Fame, but that argument can wait for now. With Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol in the Finals this year, the big-man-winning-a-title streak will live for another year.

So the recipe for a NBA championship squad is pretty simple to figure out, harder to actual put into place. Get yourself two star players – at least one of them a big man – and you’ve got yourself a legitimate shot (but that isn’t always good enough either – just look at Houston the past few years, or Utah back in the day). So Cleveland and Denver really didn’t have a reasonable shot at winning the title this year, unless they planned on slapping history in the face.

As much as things change, the more they stay the same. As much as many of us have hoped that a change was going to come to the NBA, that small ball and run and gun teams would have a shot at the title, the times aren’t a-changin’ just yet.

Oh, and in case the Lakers haven’t heard the news yet, Dwight says that God wants Orlando to win, so no sense even showing up.