Just what the hell, again, is everyone's problem with the Spurs? Yeah, Tim Duncan plods through life without flipping off Section 107 or getting busted with an Uzi in his britches. Big deal. We'll spot you Duncan, and still not concede that the Spurs play boring basketball. Michael Finley is an assassin, even at the ripe old age of 90. Manu Ginobili, bless his flopping soul, plays with a hair-afire urgency that made him one of the top clutch-time scorers in the league last year. Tony Parker slashes and crashes, always finding the open man or the open jumper. The whole roster does, in fact, all the way down to the supporting cast. (And despite the fact that their names are Roger Mason and Matt Bonner and George Hill, as though they're relocated mob informants.) Even surly-ass coach Gregg Popovich decided enough of the acne scars was enough, and is roaming the sidelines these days with a silvery full-head beard redolent of Donald Sutherland's yeti love child.
Do they not entertain you? Admittedly, they're not the automatic Spurs that used to coast into the Western Conference finals year in and year out. But watching the Machiavellian Bruce Bowen try to clamp down on Dwyane Wade - who may be en route to his first scoring title - will more than make up for any Duncan doldrums.
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See the 2005 NBA Finals that nearly was when the Heat face the Spurs at the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami). Tip off is at 7:30 p.m., Monday. Tickets start at $5. Call 786-777-4667, or visit heat.com.
Mon., Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m., 2009