"No, Jerry--That's Thirty-Seven Points! The Knicks Covered! You Won! See, That's a Cooool-G, Daddy-O--Now You Gotta Let it Riiide!"
I have to admit it--Last night, I finally caved and watched some of the NBA Finals. Actually, I was up reveling in the Mets' 9-7 victory over Philadelphia (which was punctuated by some timely strikeouts by Billy Wagner and an awesome defensive play by David Wright--good, good stuff), and I wandered over to ABC-HD to see if the Mavs-Heat tilt merited any attention. Anyone who knows me knows that these days, my level of interest in the NBA ranks somewhere between tracking the leading money-winners of the LPGA and finding out whether 7th Heaven will return for one more season on the new CW Television Network. However, because I keep hearing about how great this year's playoffs have been (mostly from local radio personalities and The Sports Guy on ESPN.com), and because live basketball looks so damn nice on my 42" flat screen high definition TV (though nothing looked quite as nice as the Gators' demolition of UCLA for the 2006 NCAA Basketball Championship--I really have to start working that into more posts), I decided last night to check out the Finals. Sitting on the couch with my laptop, I watched most of the fourth quarter, in which the Heat stormed back from a 13-point deficit to defeat the Mavericks 98-86. It was actually pretty riveting, and I stayed up until 12:15 a.m. watching Dwyane Wade put on a show and refuse to let Miami lose the game, scoring 12 points in the quarter (he finished with 42) and breaking up a pretty good alley-oop attempt by Dallas with 1 second left to preserve the Miami victory. For some reason, I was pulling hard for the Heat to avoid the sweep and climb back into the series. Maybe it was watching former Gator-center (and Miami native) Udonis Haslem grab rebounds, hustle on defense and sink two key free throws in the biggest game of his life , or maybe I just still dig the Shaq-Fu. In any case, it really is awesome to watch great athletic performances unfold in big moments (for me, there isn't much that will top watching Vince Young almost single-handedly dominate the USC defense and will Texas to a National Championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl). Will I watch the rest of the Finals? I don't know, but I may flip over and catch another 4th quarter (unless, of course, the Mets are playing or there's something good on the CW.)