DUNCAN TKO'S PISTONS AND SHEED
Rasheed Wallace did not speak to the media which is appropriate since he was silent during most of the NBA Finals.
He blew Game 5, blew up in Game 6 and then completely disappeared in Game 7.
Rasheed giveth and he taketh away.
Perhaps it was too much to ask the Pistons to win two straight games in San Antonio. Perhaps we should not be surprised that super star Tim Duncan stepped up and lead the Spurs to a 81-74 victory to snatch the championship rings and belts from the Pistons.
I can't help but think Sheed's decision to leave Robert Horry, the NBA Finals all-time three artist, alone at the three-point line was the difference in this series.
One mental blunder by the least stable of the Pistons starters.
Sometimes that is all it takes to separate two very good teams. That is why focus should be the main priority for the Pistons next season. Of course a scorer off the bench would not hurt either.
But we will get to that on another day.
Strangely I felt proud of the Pistons even in defeat. Both teams went at each other like mad dogs going after raw meat. Unfortunately there must be a winner and a loser.
The difference is the Spurs leaned on their super star. Duncan pounded the Pistons for 25 points and 11 rebounds. And he also set his teammates up. He was so terrific that the Pistons felt the need to double team him more than usual.
If he wasn't slicing through the double team he passed to open teammates who sank seven of 11 three-point shots. It seemed as if every point went to Duncan or through Duncan.
Duncan validated himself as a great player. You would think a two-time Finals MVP would not have to do that. But he had to because the big fella' gagged down the stretch for the three games at The Palace. He seemed to tire and you could see doubt and fear cross his brow.
But on this night he out muscled the Pistons strong men. He once again showed why teams feel most comfortable with a super star in their line up.
The Pistons simply could not match him. And when they stopped moving the ball and hit their usual scoring lull, this game was over. This is where Bruce Bowen comes in. He made things difficult for Rip Hamilton during much of the series and he slowed Chauncey Billups down too with excellent defense.
This guy is not as good as Dennis Rodman on defense. But he sure studied the book on Rodman.
This is not a time to be angry or upset, although I watched the game next to a woman who broke out in tears. It is no shame to be second best. The Spurs were the better team on this one night and claimed the title that could have gone either way.
Duncan was the man this night and he deserved his third MVP award. But a part of me wonders why was he even out there Thursday night? Why were the Pistons even in San Antonio?
The Rasheed blunder haunted them to the bitter end.
Sheed giveth and he taketh away.