NBA Finals: Give Houston What It Wants, Rashard Lewis Vs T-Mac
Oh, wait a second...Gary Neal just hit another three...okay, continuing...
We interrupt this widespread panic for a request....
Damn! Danny Green just hit another three!
Okay, Gary, Danny, we get it. You don't get this stage very often, and the two of you were glorious last night in the Spurs' 36-point blowout of the Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Spraying heat checks from every corner of the building, both of you. Fine, I'll recognize. Before my request to the basketball gods, here are all thirteen -- THIRTEEN! -- of Gary Neal's and Danny Green's three pointers, rapid fire style:
Here are Neal's trifectas...
...and Green's gaggle of goodies...
It's worth mentioning that every team in the league could have had either of these guys about ten times over. Neal was undrafted in 2007, played in Turkey, Spain, and Italy before finding a home in San Antonio. Green was drafted in the second round and cut by the Cavaliers before the start of the 2010-2011 season (the first season post-LeBron, so he was cut by a soon to be awful Cavaliers squad).
Is there a team in sports with a better sense of self, with a clearer awareness of their identity, and a nose for finding players/people that fit that identity than the Spurs? Name one. It's not even close.
Ok, now that the barrage of Spurs' role player threes appears to have died down, here is my request to both teams and to the basketball gods:
Two of the first three games in these Finals have been blowouts, they were OVER with anywhere from six to ten minutes still to go in the game. So if this is how it's gonna be, if the only close game we are gonna get is the Parker Circus Shot game, if we are going to be emptying benches with nearly an entire quarter left, then on behalf of Houston, please have the other eight players on the floor clear out so that we can get what everybody truly wants to see -- RASHARD LEWIS and TRACY MCGRADY going one on one!!
1. Between the two of them, Rashard Lewis ($152,646,157) and Tracy McGrady ($162,994,186) have "earned" (using that term very loosely, especially for Lewis) $315,640,333. So if nothing else, perhaps in a league where the owners have to put rules into the collective bargaining agreement to protect themselves from their own proclivity to spend, spend, spend, this matchup would provide a PSA of sorts for what can happen when you give the wrong guy maximum dollars.
(In Tracy McGrady's defense, at least there was a time when he was considered an elite player in the league, so his $162 million is not nearly as offensive as Lewis' $152 million. Tracy was a two time scoring champion and a seven time All-Star. Lewis making $152 million is beyond absurd. The guy was a two-time All-Star, that's it.)
2. I'm a bit of a quirky sports fan. Most people enjoy watching sports because they like to see superior human specimens perform feats that we ourselves couldn't dream of achieving. Certainly, I watch it partially for that. But also, I enjoy watching certain athletes stumble and bumble their way through their occupation, as a brief reminder that even the pros occasionally do things that are indicative of the same complete and utter lack of ability that I possess!
To that end, Lewis and McGrady both look like they barely care to get up and down the court at this point in their careers, and Lewis loves to chuck. He always did, even with Seattle and Orlando, but now he's awful at it. If you could somehow use CGI to pluck Lewis' and McGrady's video images from the Finals footage and superimpose them into a pickup game at Lifetime, they'd blend right in.
In short, highlighting the two of them will make me feel better about myself, and as many of you may know, it's all about me.
3. We are talking about two players who've never had a memorable NBA Finals moment. Lewis shot 40 percent in a five game Finals loss to the Lakers in 2009, and Tracy...well, every moment that he's on the court in these Finals is tied for first place as his most memorable Finals moment. Can you imagine the buzz in the crowd if the floor cleared out for Lewis vs McGrady? Can you imagine the laughter about a minute in?
"Decrepit Old Man One-On-One" would be talked about now and forever. Hell, ESPN might even break away from Tebow coverage to relive the magic! It would be the "Roy McAvoy's 12 at the U.S. Open" of NBA Finals moments!
Come on, basketball gods. Spice up garbage time. Give Houston what it wants.
Rashard! T-Mac! Only on ABC!!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.