Thursday, 20 June 2013

The 10-man rotation, starring Bill Russell, and many others, on Game 7

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.

C: USA TODAY Sports. Bill Russell, as told to Sam Amick: "Red used to have a phrase he used: 'I don't give a damn what they're going to do; This is what we're going to do.' The difference, especially in a seventh game, is 'Can I take my team and do what we do best?' And I'm going to respect the other team. The more I respect them — without fear, but respect — the better my chances are."

PF: Grantland. Zach Lowe: "This is for everything, and everything matters."

SF: SB Nation. Paul Flannery: "Sleep can wait for the weekend. This is too good right now and Game 7s are too precious to waste moments on something as trivial as sleep."

And Drew Garrison: "It may be a lot to ask at this point, but the Spurs need [Tim] Duncan to be excellent from wire-to-wire in Game 7. His individual greatness is critical for a Spurs offense facing the Heat's aggressive team defense."

And Dan Grunfeld: "He is the most unique player in the history of the NBA, and to illustrate this point, consider the following (which is just my opinion, one that I wholeheartedly believe to be true): LeBron is not just the best player in the NBA today; he's the best player in the NBA at four positions."

SG: Eye on Basketball. Matt Moore: "[...] for basketball fans — not casual sports fans, but basketball fans — it might not get better than this series."

And Zach Harper: "There will be dozens of plays in this game that make your jaw drop and your opinion change. You will believe in one player a little more than you previously thought was likely. Another player will probably let you down in not living up to expectations. And through it all, we will crown a champion that leaves little doubt as to which team was the best in the game of basketball over the past year. That's what the NBA gives us that no other sport can give."

PG: Miami Herald. Dan LeBatard: "The stakes do not get any higher than they are Thursday in sports, South Florida teetering on the tipping point. One game for everything, the lunacy of the past three years poured into a single night, maybe a single bounce."

6th: The Point Forward. Rob Mahoney: "San Antonio should have come up empty on so many of its trips down the floor, but managed to forge spot points by continuing to execute until the very last second. Some of that is a reflection of a team that better understands how to prevent [Tony] Parker and [Manu] Ginobili from being consistently swarmed, but the roster-wide ability to come up with improbable, momentum-breaking baskets is precisely why San Antonio is still in a great position to claim the 2013 title."

7th: The Gothic Ginobili. Aaron McGuire: "[...] when it comes to sports and the distractions we know full well are meaningless, we can assign as much meaning and import as we'd like. We can drum ourselves into righteous fury and not a soul can stop us. We can watch our pet sport's title game and pin glory and greatness to those who win the game. We assign immortality. Because at the end of the day, sports are meaningless distractions whose meaning is derived entirely from the soul of the fan and the love of the crowd. It is our molding clay, and diehards see fit to mold it."

8th: Hang Time. Jeff Caplan: "Maybe the Spurs win tonight and Duncan joins Robinson on the Spurs’ old-timer’s squad. He’s never seemed driven — or possessed — like Kobe Bryant to catch Michael Jordan at six rings. Maybe the Spurs win it all and Duncan wants more. Maybe the Spurs lose and he decides he can’t go through it again, or that he must. Who knows?"

9th: The Classical. Griffin Gotta: "The significance of Tuesday was the game itself, but also the promise of one more. We can wonder and ponder and project all we want, but that's not all we've got left. We don’t have to deal in theoretical contests: we've got Game Seven coming. It’s one game, that’s all, but it's a lot."

10th: Deadspin. Gregg Popovich: "grumblegrumblegrumblegrumblegrumble."

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