Player of the D.A.Y.

By Sam Rubenstein

Last year the NBA Finals was San Antonio vs. Phoenix. Don’t argue otherwise, it just was. So on a night of the Finals rematch, the obvious big game of the night, I will turn to it to pick a winner. But first…

Isiah and the Knicks organization and team have had some embarrassing moments. The trial, the Celtics loss, losing two straight to Philly, lots of disgrace to go around. But giving up a career high to Mike Dunleavy Jr. on the grand stage, the cathedral of MSG? Oh the horror. Nice game L’il Dun, but I think Knicks opponents have reached ineligible for Player of the D.A.Y. status because it’s too easy.

LeBron went to double OT and played 50 minutes for his 31-8-5. Brandon Roy kept the Blazers shocking streak alive, taking them over .500 by getting the better of Chris Paul and the Hornets. Al Jefferson had 22 and 20 in a loss, but let’s get to the main event.

Phoenix won in San Antonio, though Tony Parker didn’t play. It was hollow regular season revenge, but the added element of this rivalry is Grant Hill. He is Player of the D.A.Y. for leading his team with 22 points and 7 boards in the biggest game of the night, but also for this larger thought: The Suns have added someone, another great – at this point let’s call him very good player – to help them get by the team they have to beat. Back in the days of Purple Reign, San Antonio needed an extra something or someone to get by the Shaq/Kobe Lakers. This scenario would never have happened because of injury, but there was talk that the younger, Hall of Fame level Grant Hill could have chosen the Spurs over the Magic and it would have worked out for a little less money. Imagine the Spurs-Lakers wars if a healthy Grant were involved. I know, he was hurt before he signed with Orlando.
But now… maybe that wrong has been righted. Maybe Grant Hill is the piece to get Phoenix past San Antonio. It could have been Kurt Thomas, but I guess not.
(By the way the Lakers run of titles ended when the Spurs got that extra push from… STEPHEN JACKSON! The guy is a winner.)