Two words that every kid dreams of when they are little. Whether be in the driveway, in the schoolyard, a dirt field in front of a barn in Indiana.
When you're imagination is alive, you never think about the 58th game of the season in Utah during the fourth game in five nights. How your knee is banged up and you're dying to sleep in your own bed for the first time in two weeks and how upset you are you left your iPad in Milwaukee.
You're thinking about game seven, NBA Finals, sold out arena, a haze in the air from the pre-game fireworks, the crowd electric, slapping fives with the other team right before tip, but the adrenaline is flowing so hard you can't feel it. That's the dream, man (and women). It's what I did on my many rainy days and nights in Aberdeen. Losing time to the steady beat of the ball on the cracked concrete that was poured almost a hundred years before I was born. Taking that pass from Gary Payton on the wing, realizing it was just you and Hakeem Olajuwon, six seconds on the shot clock.
The first game seven of the NBA Finals happened on April 21, 1951. The Rochester Royals defeated the New York Knicks, 79-75. The Spurs are 1-0 in game sevens in the Finals, 3-4 overall. The Heat come into the this one never having played a game seven in the Finals, but are 3-3 overall in game sevens. There have been 19 game sevens in the Finals up to this point, the home team is 14-5 and the last time a home team lost game seven at home was in 1978 (DAMNIT). Of the 112 game sevens in NBA playoff history, only 23 times has the road team won.
This could be ring number five for Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. No team has won two straight in this series and the Spurs were so close to winning in game six that the champagne was wheeled into their locker room, their lockers covered in plastic and the court started to get roped off. They could taste the champagne. They have a lot of history to overcome. Can they let the '78 Sonics off the hook? Can they become the 24th team ever to win a game seven on the road?
The Heat and LeBron James are looking to get their second in a row, Dwyane Wade would get his third. They unlike the Spurs have history on their side and have played a game seven in the last month, which they won, which they actually won by a lot.
Tonight, I make no predictions. I'm just going to kick back and enjoy this game.