The San Antonio Spurs are the 2005 NBA Champions! The most important factor was that their terrific defense finally reappeared. My theory is that playing that up-and-down high-scoring series against the Phoenix Suns kind of put the Spurs down the wrong track for a while. But in Game 7, they played excellent defense in the second half, and really limited the Pistons. The Spurs also shot three-pointers very efficiently. Plus, Tim Duncan rediscovered his outside shot, hitting a couple bank-shots that he'd been missing all series, as well as the long two off the pass from Ginobili towards the end.
Tim Duncan deserved the Finals MVP, but Manu Ginobili was really close. Both played excellent, and I hope to see them continue as the foundation of future Championship teams for the Spurs. Robert Horry and Bruce Bowen were also extremely important for this win. Bowen spent more time on Billups in this game, and consequently Billups was held to 13 points. Horry hit his shots, and he did several little things that kept the Spurs in the game. There are very good reasons why he's won 6 championships.
I think, perhaps, that the blowouts in the first two games gave an unfair impression that San Antonio had choked. The Pistons deserver a lot of respect and credit. They really are a terrific basketball team. Chauncey Billups is an impressive clutch player, who manages to both score and dish out assists at an impressive rate. Ben Wallace is a defensive monster, plus he really stepped up his offensive game in this series. Rasheed Wallace's jump shot seemed unstoppable, and his defense on Duncan was certainly effective. Rip Hamilton has an amazing mid-range jump shot that the whole league should be envious of. And Tayshaun Prince, though he struggled against the Spurs, is a terrific player and will continue to develop into a major match-up problem for the Pistons' opposition in the future.
My point is, that this championship for the Spurs shouldn't be diminished for taking 7 games to do it. Instead, this is a special championship: a very hard-fought win against a near-equal opponent: one of the best teams around. Congratulations San Antonio Spurs!