NBA Preview: Spurs dig in for back-to-back rings

By By Chris Kamrani

By Chris Kamrani

There are many givens in this world. There will always be an abundance of Red Sox fans wherever you venture. Lindsay Lohan is always guilty. Furthermore, the Spurs will continue to dominate as long as they have No. 21 donning the black and white.

With the start of the NBA season knocking at our door, there are a handful of teams that are vying for a shot at “The Big Fundamental” and his San Antonio Spurs.

The Western Conference is once again cocked and loaded and ready to run rampant.

I look for Dallas and Houston to make some noise this season. Especially now that Houston canned Jeff Van Gundy and hired Rick Adelman.

Phoenix is back as always — attempting to rebound after that questionable series against the Spurs. Newbie Grant Hill is a huge positive (if healthy) as he is introduced to Western Conference basketball.

While Utah somehow got younger in the offseason, the Jazz look to annihilate said “unbalanced chemistry” and build upon last season’s success.

The crystal ball tells all, and here’s how I see it unfolding:

Phoenix (1) vs. Golden State (8), San Antonio (2) vs. New Orleans (7), Dallas (3) vs. Utah (6) and Houston (4) vs. Denver (5).

The Spurs immediately smell blood in the water with speeches of age and inability to race with the run-and-gun teams. Down-and-out situations are what fuel the fire for the Spurs.

A clean sweep of the Hornets, followed by a panicky, yet victorious seven-game series against the Jazz pits the Spurs against Phoenix in the Western Conference Finals.

This is the showdown of our generation. Forget Bulls/Knicks or Lakers/Celtics. This series will tell the tale of a dynasty continued or a dynasty conquered. Steve Nash (age 33) isn’t getting any younger — and there is no easier way to say that without Nash, the Suns are just confused.

The Spurs are victorious in yet another seven-game series — winning with precision, tenacity and contributions from all over. San Antonio gets MVP-type performances from their “Big Three.” No-names such as Francisco Elson and Ime Udoka make their presence known loud and clear.

In the East, there are about three or four proficient teams that have the tools to make a run at the facing the Spurs.

But I will not waste too much time with the junior varsity league. The facts are simple. The Celtics have their bandwagon seat warmed, so I must jump aboard and take Boston in the Eastern Conference. The crystal ball foretells a sweep of Zeke’s Knicks in the first round — followed up by defeating Detroit in the Eastern Semis. Garnett will be superlative — finally taking advantage of the chance to go after that ring.

Waiting for K.G. and Co. in the Eastern Conference Finals will be none other than Scott Skiles’ Baby Bulls — who dethroned King James in second round. The “King” didn’t go down without a fight — with an average line of 35 points, 10 rebounds and 10 dimes. Keep in mind that the Cavs have a more horrific supporting cast than Grey’s Anatomy.

In short — Garnett, Allen and Pierce are too much, too fast for the Bulls.

Although they match up well on paper, the Celtics lack the fundamentals and experience that Popovich preaches to his choir. Tim Duncan and his partners in crime proceed to outperform all. Manu Ginobili takes home the MVP award, and K.G. and his comrades are sent packing. The San Antonio Spurs will emerge victorious over the Boston Celtics in six games.

Is it just me or are the Spurs freakishly similar to the NFL’s New England Patriots?

Both carry a straightforward coach that brings in seasoned veterans and/or young castoffs. Furthermore, both whip together a perfect recipe of play-making ability and exactness.

Paging Bill Belichick?

To the sporting world, it would seem a tad ironic that a New England-based team is defeated by a coach and system that rivals one of their own. In other words, Gregg Popovich is the Bill Belichick of the Lone Star State.

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