Boom-Dizl is helping bring iconoclast Don Nelson closer to mainstream, or bringing mainstream closer to him...
With Golden State putting the finishing touches on a historic upset, I can't help but think about how this will further the cause of neo-offensive ideology in the NBA. Drastic change only happens overnight if you're a gremlin, what we're watching now couldn't have happened without the likes of the Phoenix Suns and other pioneers (including a the one currently pacing the sidelines of the winning team) who held their philosophies while the slow-down-feed-the-post-bigger-is-better method still dominanted. Unfortunately, however clear the Warriors and Suns can make it seem, many in the NBA will cling to their post-centric values until something undeniable prys them from this belief. That something would be a new school offensive team taking the title.
Modeling happens in many walks of life, the NBA is no exception. Most teams look to see what is most successful and set out to emulate. This is why I've spent the last couple of seasons hoping for a Phoenix championship. I'd venture to say that we all should do this for the common good of basketball. If the Suns win the title, the old paradigm that such a free flowing team cannot climb to the very zenith will be obliterated. The shift in the dominant thinking of the NBA would be complete, and we would all benefit. The NBA would certainly enjoy the increased viewership.
Of course the truth in all this is that there probably isn't one single style that is much better than all the others, its all about having the right mix of talent and personality for the system. The Spurs are so good because their system fits their players (and vice versa), as are the Suns and Warriors, as are all successful teams. Still, it seems the preference is to copy what seems to work well for others. Because of this, the success and failures of teams that symbolize either change or the establishment are linked to mainstream thought in a big way. For a while we only had the Suns, but their success has helped the ascension of the Warriors. With the Warriors win tonight, the philosophy is beating on the door and demanding to be let in. To witness the door being knocked down completely, watch for the Suns (change) over the Spurs (establishment) in Round 2. Want to see somebody walk through the door and change everything? Suns NBA Champs 2007, we're ready.