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Daily Commentary for 2022-05-24

The Emergence of the Terrific Trio by Chris Marlow

Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen. Magic and Kareem. Shaq and Kobe. In basketball, we frequently like to talk about great duos as the drivers of great teams. Perhaps it is because the NBA is a star-driven sport, that is how it and the media market the game. It is easier to say "MJ and Scottie" than "MJ Scottie Horace" or MJ Scottie Rodman. And for teams like Detroit - well, is it any wonder so little attention gets paid to them nationally? Who wants to say -- how about that "Prince Wallace Hamilton Billups McDyess" quintet?

Anyway, it is interesting (to me, anyway) that three of the four remaining NBA teams in the Conference Finals are defined by great trios: San Antonio has Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili; Boston has its Big Three of Garnett, Allan, and Pierce; and the Lakers have been dominating thus far with Kobe, Gasol, and Odom. The Pistons, of course, have no single great player, but a collection of excellence.

It may seem trivial to consider something like this, but I think that one of the reasons the NBA is beginning to re-gain much of the popularity it lost during the past decade is because the rule changes (allowing zones, calling hand check fouls, etc.) game now favors greater ball movement (i.e., teamwork) and less isolation (individual). As one on one plays become more rare, the need for more players to step up their game to help the team increases. Two giants are no longer enough, so we see the emergence of three-headed all-star monsters instead.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: It's sad that horse-racing has to pin its hopes for revival with the possibility of a horse winning the Triple Crown. If the only way the sport can get casual fans to watch is to hope that a horse accomplishes a feat approximately every 30 years, then it is deluding itself. Even if Big Brown wins the Belmont, it will only bring attention for a few weeks, if that. Just as Americans only pay attention to cycling when Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour de France, the world will only notices horse racing so long as the most recent special event is fresh in our minds, then consign the sport back into obscurity.

PREDICTIONS: The Red Wings in 6. I will be routing for the Penguins, but I think the Red Wings' great defense will be the difference. The Detroit Pistons in 7; I think Boston finally wins one on the road, but Detroit is mentally tougher and wins the finale. The Lakers in 5; I seem to predict every series will go like this for the Lakers, but I think the Spurs lost their great chance to put pressure on the Lakers and create a great series when they blew the first game.


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Past Commentaries

My Favorite Three-Headed Monster To Win The NBA Championship is ... by Donald Chisholm, II
Baseball Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect by Sally Solomon
My Favorite Ranking Question and Why by Mark D. Hauser
Why are None of the White NBA Stars from the US? by Mark D. Hauser
No Bite for Tiger in U.S. Open by Joe Miegoc
The Emergence of the Terrific Trio by Chris Marlow
Baseball in DC a Disaster by Steven Lienert

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