If a quarterback does an outstanding job, wins games, leads his team and is kind to grandmothers and animals alike, he’ll still get slammed with “But he’s no Joe Montana.” It is also sometimes known as the “But he’s no Michael Jordan,” axiom, the “But they’re no ’27 Yankees” principle, and sometimes the “But he’s no Muhammad Ali” contention.
In other words, fans are hooked on once-in-a-lifetime greatness. They desire it, crave it, pine for it. Often, they are blinded by it. Rarely do they get it.
Right now during the NBA playoffs, hoop aficionados are in a flip-flopping frenzy, trying to decide which team is the clear favorite to win the championship. The Lakers? The Cavaliers? The Magic? The Celtics? The Spurs?
Fans need an intervention: There is no great team. Stop kvetching about it and just enjoy imperfect basketball.
The Lakers get hammered regularly for being less than dominant. There have been spurts in which they have looked fantastic. But those have been far and very few between. Most of the time they appear as if they’re just getting to know each other, or they seem as if they’re unsure that basketball is what they really want to do with their lives.
Yet they’ve had a slew of injuries, they’re suffering from “repeat-itis,” they’re slow at point guard and they have targets on their backs.
The Cleveland Cavaliers looked like world-beaters, until they didn’t anymore. There was a time not long ago when they had all the pieces working together, they were a defensive machine and LeBron James seemed destined for his first ring.
That was a week ago.
Now LeBron’s throbbing elbow is getting so much attention that it makes Dwight Freeney’s Super Bowl ankle look like a footnote. Mo Williams can’t hit sand with a beach ball. No need to put up a statue for Shaquille O’Neal, because he is a statue. And there is no other reliable scorer on the team.
The Boston Celtics were said to be the only team in the league that qualified for senior movie tickets. Their big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were in failing health, and it was only a matter of time before their heirs fought over their estates.
That perception was reinforced when they couldn’t hold on to a lead in Game 1 against Cleveland. But lo and behold, they pushed the casket top off in Game 2, and even though the series is tied 1-1, they’re up and the Cavs are down, perception wise.
The Spurs are another old bunch who really shouldn’t be a factor. But they are. The Suns scored an average of over 110 points a game this season, but gave up an average of over 105; you can’t win a title that way.
You can throw in the Atlanta Hawks, too. Yet they’re too young and inexperienced. You can throw out the Utah Jazz: They have an abundance of hustle but a shortage of healthy bodies.
PBT: LeBron James took over the 4th quarter, Ray Allen hit a huge three to force OT and the Heat survived to force a Game 7.
Video: NBA from NBC Sports
Spurs fall in Game 6
The Spurs didn't have enough to hold the Heat in Game 6. The Spurs were outscored by Miami 38-25 in the 4th Quarter and OT.
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