Guest Alan Posted June 8, 2005 Share Posted June 8, 2005 Its that time of year yet again, the NBA Finals tip off on Thursday as the San Antonio Spurs host the Detroit Pistons, which is completely the opposite of what i predicted (Suns/Heat). It promises to be a very exciting Final series, as Detroit try to defend the title they won this time last year by beating the Lakers. Lets look at how the two teams got this far: The Western Conference representative in the NBA Finals this year are the San Antonio Spurs, who last reached this level just two years ago when they beat the New Jersey Nets to be crowned NBA Champions. A 4-3 preseason was fairly average for the Spurs, but as the regular season began in November they looked and played superbly. San Antonio went on a 6-game win streak and went into December with a 12-3 record. Losing just 3 times the next month showed everyone that the Spurs were playing just as dominant on the road as they were at home. Important victories over Detroit and Phoenix helped San Antonio go into 2005 with a very strong 25-6 record. 12 victories from 16 in January further strengthened their cause as they remained fighting for the top spot in the West with Phoenix with a huge 37-10 record. February was a slow month due to the interruption of the All-Star break, but of the 9 games the Spurs had, they managed to remain strong and win 6. March signals the final stretch of the regular season as the last two months of games get under way. It was during this month that San Antonio had their worst run of the season, losing 5 of their 15 games to move into April at 53-18. With just 11 games remaining of the regular season, San Antonio were still in with a chance of taking the number 1 seed in the Western Conference over the Suns, but going 6-5 over that time meant that they missed out. The good news was that their final regular season record of 59-23 gave them the second seed overall in the West, and they clinched the Southwest Division title. That second seed in the west paired the Spurs up against the seventh seeded Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. Denver had been on fire in the latter part of the season, and carried that form into Game 1 as they walked away with a shock road victory. San Antonio was not giving up their home court that easy though, and ran riot in Game 2, winning by 28 points and tying the series. The Spurs won easily in Game 3 in Denver, but the Nuggets were able to take Game 4 into overtime after a close match. San Antonio were stronger in the extra period and took a 3-1 lead in the series. Game 5 was in Texas, and the Spurs made use of the home court to clinch the series 4-1. The Western Conference Semi-Finals were next, and the team in the way of the Conference Finals were the Seattle Supersonics. San Antonio didn’t seem too bothered though as they were easily able to win Games 1 and 2 at home for the 2-0 series lead. Playing in Seattle seemed to produce a problem for the Spurs though, as they were unable to stop the Sonics from sweeping their home court and tying the series at 2. San Antonio recovered quickly to win Game 5 at home, and then in Seattle for Game 6 the Spurs were able to clinch a last minute 98-96 victory. On to the Western Conference Finals San Antonio marched, and here they encountered the number 1 seed in the West, the Phoenix Suns. The Suns had the home court advantage, but San Antonio overcame that and was able to shoot their way into a 2-0 lead after the games in Phoenix. It looked bleak for the Suns as they were trailing by 2 and away from home, and of course it was all in the Spurs favour. San Antonio was dominant in Game 3 on their home court, taking a 10-point victory and moving into a comfortable 3-0 lead in the series. Phoenix recovered eventually and was able to win Game 4, but the comeback the Suns were looking for never materialised as San Antonio earned a superb road victory in Game 5. That clinched the series 4-1, giving the Spurs the Western Conference Championship and the chance to win their second NBA Championship in just 3 years. Detroit were the underdogs in last years NBA Finals, but were victorious after upsetting the Lakers in 5 games. Again this year they go into the Finals as underdogs, but for good reason. The Pistons opened the year with a 3-5 preseason, which wouldn’t normally be anything to worry about, however it was the regular season opening that made people worry! November came and Detroit began the regular season in a very shaky way, especially for a team looking to get back to the Finals, as they went 7-7 on the month. Things improved slightly going into December as some encouraging victories came their way. However the Pistons continued to lose games they really shouldn’t have, and moved into 2005 barely over .500 with a 15-13 record. 2005 seemed to be when Detroit woke up and realised they were looking to defend their NBA Championship. January’s schedule held 16 games for the Pistons, and thankfully they won 11 of them, including 6 straight. That improved their season record to a much more promising 26-18, but it still could have been so much better. February was the best month for Detroit, as even with the All-Star break they had 10 games, and were victorious in 9. This greatly improved their standing to 35-19 going into the final stretch of the season. However the Pistons seemed to lose their way slightly going into march, as they lost 8 of their 17 games in that time. That meant their record barely improved, but they were lucky in the fact that their nearest contenders in the East were still quite a few games behind them. 11 games remained for the Pistons in April, and they went on a storming 10-0 run before losing the final game of the season in Charlotte. Their 54-28 record was good enough for the second seed in the East and the Central Division title. As the second seed in the Eastern Conference the Pistons were paired up against the 7th seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. Detroit began strongly in Game 1 at home, coasting to a 21-point victory. Game 2 also went the Pistons way, but by a slightly lesser margin of 15. Philadelphia were looking to defend their home court, and did so extremely well in Game 3 as they powered to victory. Detroit were still leading the series 2-1, and they added to that in Game 4 as they kept their cool in overtime to take a 3-1 series lead. At home for Game 5, and Detroit dominated the match and wrapped up the series 4-1. The Eastern Conference Semi-Finals saw the Detroit Pistons take on the Indiana Pacers. Detroit took Game 1 at home by 15 points, but effectively lost the home court advantage by losing n Game 2 by 9 points. The Pacers played well on their home court in Game 3 to take the series lead 2-1, but Detroit recovered quickly and dominated the next 3 games to take the series 4-2. Detroit then faced the top-seeded Miami Heat in the Conference Finals, and it got off to a great start as the Pistons dominated a disorganised Heat to win Game 1. Miami were quick to get back on track though, taking Game 2 at home then Game 3 in Detroit. The Pistons had been strong at home all year, and showed why in Game 4 as they tied the series at 2. Miami eased to victory at home in Game 5, before the Pistons defence tightened up during Game 6 in Detroit to tie the series again and set up a deciding Game 7. And it was the trademark defense that got the Pistons through, playing extremely well during the fourth quarter allowed them to earn a road victory in Game 7, and move on to the NBA Finals. So who will be victorious? Anyone going to be watching these games? I will be watching all 7 if needs be, and hopefully the Pistons can make it two from two. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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