On Thursday night, most people in Chicago were watching the Blackhawks play the Los Angeles Kings. Not me. Sorry. Don't care about hockey. I'm an NBA guy. And Thursday night was the first night of the NBA Finals, an epic showdown between good (the San Antonio Spurs) and blurgh (the Miami Heat). So, I settled in and decided to do a running diary of the proceedings:
7:38 p.m.: I take my seat on the couch just in time to see Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx doing actiony things to promote their upcoming movie White House Down in between scenes of basketball plays in one of those terrible movie preview/basketball mashups. I think there should be a new rule that theses mashups can only involve romantic comedies from now on. Who wouldn't want to see a mashup of an Austenland preview and Tony Parker dribbling between people's legs? Seriously, is it just me? It is, isn't it? Oh, well.
7:42: More commercials. I have a question about the one with the dragon? Why are missiles shot at the dragon at one point in the commercial? I'm OK with the dragon magically changing form. I'm OK with the dragon ending up in our current time and blowing heart-shaped smoke. But how did the dragon go from attacking a Medieval castle to avoiding heat-seeking missiles? Is it so fast it can travel through time? Did the Middle Ages have heat-seeking missiles I wasn't aware of? Why does this bother me so much?
7:45: Perhaps I should have waited until the game started. I hate pre-game shows. Talking heads bore me. Blah, blah, blah. LeBron James. Blah, blah, blah. So, I head over to Buzzfeed where I learn that there is a rapper named Kreayshawn who is having a digital baby shower with DJ Two Stack. Easily my two favorite names ever. Bless you, Buzzfeed. Bless you.
7:48: OK, fine. Back to the talking heads. Three have the Heat in six and one has them in seven. I have the Heat in five. I so, so, so hope I'm wrong. If I'm wrong, I'd be so happy I might even consider getting Kreayshawn a baby shower gift.
7:53: I might have too short of an attention span to pull this off. Couldn't help myself. Had to see how I had never heard of this Kreayshawn person before. Just finished watching her video that was big in 2011.
Um. Wow. I really was not missing anything there. Back to basketball.
7:57: Can I say how much I love Spurs coach Gregg Popovich? He was completely emotionless when they announced his name before the game. He's bringing his A game tonight. I can feel it.
8:05: Finally, pre-game might be over. A few more commercials then we'll have the game. Turns out Pitbull now is selling Fiat. Great.
8:08: Turnover. Dunk. Miami up 2-0. Blurgh.
8:11: Followed quickly by a 9-0 run in which the Spurs show their efficiency. It's so nice watching beautiful basketball. That sequence right there is why college basketball will never be better than the pro game. No college team could begin to match that precision. I'm gushing. You're making me blush, Greg Popovich. Stop it!
8:17: Miami responds with a run of its own. Though Bosh can keep shooting those 3s. Please? (Also, first Ginobles sighting. Yes, I call Manu Ginobili "Ginobles." Deal with it.)
8:21: Early thought: This series might be closer than I thought. Maybe. I don't really know. Blurgh.
8:27: The step-back 3 by James is just dirty. I might not like LeBron James the player. But I fully respect LeBron James the player. My guess is that when his career is over, I'll consider him the GOAT of the NBA. Nobody has ever been able to do on the court what he does on a regular basis.
8:33: Mike Miller's hairstyle. Discuss.
8:38: Good Pop interview at the end of the first quarter. Maybe he read this story about him being a notoriously bad in-game interview? Then decided to be nice out of defiance. "You can't define me! I'm Gregg Popovich! I spell my first name with 3 Gs when there only needs to be 2!"
8:43: Oh, no! Not the Robin Thicke song! I just got it out of my head. Oh, yeah, the Spurs might want to work on their closeouts. Five Miami three-point shots already.
8:51: I'm probably way too easily distracted to do this. Went to Facebook. Saw Mental Floss had a cool article on fan art. Spent the last five minutes looking at them. It's the second quarter. Nobody really cares about the second quarter anyway, right?
8:53: Back to basketball. Really like how the Spurs are running after every miss. Best way to go after Heat defense. Have to get to them before they can set up and start blitzing the pick-and-roll.
8:55: Best Dwyane Wade has looked in awhile. Six straight points and looking a bit like his old self. Positive sign for the Heat.
9:05: You can talk about the Heat's athleticism all you want, but what really makes them special is the execution. Have to give props to coach Eric Spoelstra for that. And, yeah, LeBron James, as well.
9:08: And Tony Parker just kicked Shane Battier in the face when both were laying on the ground. Battier did not look particularly pleased. To get back at Parker, he immediately missed another three-point shot.
9:13: Timmy Duncan with a stepback to end the quarter to make it a three-point game at the half. Fun game to watch so far. It's wonderful watching well-executed basketball. Looking forward to the second half.
9:31: OK. We're back. Did not watch any of the halftime show. Spent halftime debating whether or not I wanted to buy Civilization V on Steam since it's super on sell. Decision still pending.
9:37: Six straight points by the Spurs. Back within one. Heat seem to be a bit tentative in this third quarter. Not a good sign. Reminiscent of Pacers-Heat game six.
9:51: Was that our first Ginobles flop? Also, it's very possible this series might come down to who shoots better from mid-range: Duncan or Chris Bosh. Scary.
10:00: Mike Miler kicked in the face. Spurs are decidedly winning the kick-in-face contest.
10:03: Spurs not taking advantage of James and Wade on bench to start the fourth. Getting a little worried.
Next day: OK. I became way too tired at this point to keep doing a running diary . Decided to stretch out on the couch and relax the rest of the game. It was a long day and I was out of steam. As it happened, so were the Heat as they looked off the rest of the fourth quarter. A crazy Tony Parker shot essentially ended the game and the Spurs hung on for a 1-0 lead in the series. Like the Heat, I'm going to need to rest more before the next game.
• Going for Gusto is a blog by Joe Grace that looks for the awesome in life. Please support Going for Gusto by liking the Facebook page at Facebook.com/GoingForGusto.
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