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The Best Thing About These Finals: There Are No Goats

When Game 1 of the NBA finals ended, we expressed a hope that this series would last forever. What we've ended up with is the next best thing: seven games, with last night's overtime, instant-classic, scare-the-cat-and-wake-up-the-neighbors thriller setting up a finale on Thursday that will be the closest pro basketball gets to having a Super Bowl. This is so much goddamn fun, and the best thing about it is that there are no goats.


It's getting hard to remember all the various moments of isolated greatness. Chris Bosh, after getting chewed up on the block by Tim Duncan for most of the game, gave us three all on his own last night. Tony Parker's stumbling game-winner seems like it happened years ago, as does LeBron's decimation of Tiago Splitter. Remember when Danny Green turned into Steph Curry and, briefly and ridiculously, became the clubhouse leader for finals MVP honors? Or how about the Gary Neal Game? Even creaky Manu Ginobili and earthbound Dwyane Wade, the biggest smudges on an otherwise spotless series, each helped swing a game in his team's favor.

Everyone who has been brilliant has also sucked; everyone who has sucked has also been brilliant. Only in this series does Mike Miller hit a clutch three-pointer with one shoe on.

After Game 1, we brought up Dave Hickey's essay about Dr. J's iconic hanging, dipping layup over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. We thought of that essay because we'd just watched two teams do over 48 minutes what Hickey saw Dr. J and Kareem do in less than a second. He saw faultless basketball, an unplanned conspiracy between two opposed geniuses to produce something brilliant for the rest of us. And that analogy has held for the whole of this goatless series. If we're lucky, it'll keep hanging and dipping for another 48 minutes, at least.

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