A certain Bill Russell has been observing the NBA Finals and he is impressed with the players on show. So much so, in fact, that he wishes he could have played with them.
According to exnba.com he enthused about the Spurs’ big three and the Miami big two:
“I would have liked to have played with the three guys in San Antonio – Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – because they put the most pressure on the defence and if you could play at all, it would be easy and fun to play with them. The same thing is true of LeBron and Dwyane Wade. Both guys are really, really good”.
Bill Russell also uttered prophetic words. When asked what the deciding factors of the Finals will be he answered:
“Intelligent adjustments. Ultimately, this NBA championship will come down to intelligent adjustments”.
Adjustments like Popovich inserting Boris Diaw into the starting line-up perhaps? Playing the versatile Frenchman who has size, but with point guard skills has, as Popovich has publicly alluded to, allowed them to play big and small at the same time, and he can guard Chris Bosh on the three point line better than Tiago Splitter can.
Russell has been in 12 Finals and won 11 of them so he knows what he is talking about. In reality Russell team focussed game would be more suited to the Spurs system than Miami’s – Miami play small ball with a centre who plays more like a perimeter player to allow LeBron to thrive.
Then again LeBron could always adjust his game to let Bill Russell to dominate. And it would be spectacular to watch Bill Russell go head to head against Tim Duncan in their primes.