Recently there was a post over at the Goliath to our David of blogs freedarko.com challenging their dear readers’ memories concerning the actual happenings of basketball contests versus how the NBA wants us to remember them. I was immediately reminded of the “Where will amazing happen this year?” commercial featuring Dwayne Wade. Now, I freely admit that my memory lapses are frequent and my recall ain’t what it used to be. In other words I couldn’t tell you from which year that Dwayne Wade layup/Gerald Wallace impression is, but that commercial immediately brings up in my mind the 2006 NBA finals and brings up into my mouth my last meal from my stomach.
I have a visceral reaction to the mention of the ’06 Heat/Mavs series because, at least in my memory, it was like watching the NBA die again after rising from death during those ’04 and ’05 finals when it was teams playing against one another or at least “Big Threes” playing against teams or other “Big Threes”. After those fun and competitive series it seemed as though the basketball black hole strategy was back.
I don’t want to come off as some sort of curmudgeon or traditionalist. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Orlando launch trey bombs and Hedo Turkoglo run the point forward in ways even the Prez appreciates. It has also been pleasureable watching the high-wire, clusterpooping, head scratchers that are both benches in the Western Conference finals (in different ways of course).
Less enthusiastically and with alarm it seems that the beautiful basketball period of Lebron James’ career is officially over or at least on hiatus in the second half of these games. Being confronted with the continued ineptitude of his teammates on the offensive end (Delonte West a slight exception in game 4), we viewers of hoops have been subjected to the back up and drive, basketball bull-rush version of Lebron on seemingly every possession. He inevitably ends up on the free throw line just like Dwayne Wade did in June of ’06.
The interesting part about this is that at least during Game 4 the strategy did not help them win and although outcomes often take a backseat to other more ethereal concerns here at The New Enthusiast, hopefullly the Cavs can find again Lebron’s missing beauty at the end of Game 5 Thursday night. Hell, they might even pull out a victory.