Monday, June 17, 2013

The Points, They Are Tipping

Until recently, the definition of "oversteering" was "what Rich does when playing a racing game on his 360", which is why my nephew loves firing up Driver: San Francisco (Ubisoft Reflections, represent!) every time he visits - he's got a better chance of staying on the road than I do. I'll skid a little to the right, go hard left, slide out of control, try to go right, and end up with a perfectly harmless Alfa Romeo that never did no harm to nobody wrapped around the Coit Tower.

However, that definition has now been superseded. The new benchmark for oversteering is "breathless coverage of the NBA Finals", whereby every game's results are reported as the sort of titanic momentum shift that defines epochs, sacks Rome, and sends Gandalf sailing off to Elfland with Frodo and Elrond once the War of the Ring is done. After game one, it was "ZOMG, the Spurs stole home court advantage!" After game two, it was "ZOMG, LeBron reasserted himself!" Game 3, and it's "LEBRON IS FAILING!" Game four, and "THE HEAT ARE BACK AND THE SPURS MUST WIN!" And now, after game five, it's "MIAMI CAN'T WIN TWO IN A ROW AT HOME! THEY'RE DOOMED!"
Or, if you want another way of looking at things, it's two evenly matched teams that have traded wins evenly across a five game series so far. When players besides LeBron James have scored for the Heat, the Heat have won. When they haven't, the Spurs have been able to pack the lane and they've won. No earthshattering shifts here, no thunderbolts from Zeus. It's just a question of which team executed on a given night, in what has been an even series.
Now, sooner or later someone's going to land the killing blow. The Spurs have two shots at it, the Heat need to win two games to do so. But no matter which team pulls it out - and both are worthy of being crowned champions, regardless of their injury-smoothed paths to the Finals - there's going to be a whole lot of pointing to this game or that as "the pivotal one", when in truth there has been no pivot. Just some good teams, playing some good basketball, and that, honestly, should be enough.

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