Tonight, while I'm treated to stomach-turning images of Robert Horry gloating over his seventh ring, I began to ponder the sea of "what-if's" that surrounded Cleveland's performance. What if LeBron drove more? What if Eric Snow turned back the clock and shut down Tony Parker? What if Drew Gooden cut off his rat-tail and stop making rookie mistakes on defense?

And then I realized...the Spurs have won their fourth championship in nine seasons and I am still not giving them any respect. At their core, the '07 Spurs are the same 59-win team that won the rings in '05, except that Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are now more grizzled and experienced, and are coming off career years. Swap Devin Brown and Nesterovic for Michael Finley and Oberto, and this team is better than the '05 Spurs.

But, partially due to their Conference Semis bounce in '06, the Spurs became the forgotten team. The league was distracted by the Mavericks nearly posting 70 wins, Nash's almost MVP three-peat, the Miami implosion, the Melo-AI tag-team creating nightmares (sometimes for George Karl), etc. But the Spurs quietly went into their business-like defensive assassin mode and, officiating and thuggery aside, a 16-4 postseason run and four game sweep in the Finals is not a fluke.

And there is no reason to think they won't be back again next year. Tim Duncan is 31 and will perform at a high level for at least a few more seasons. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are both in their 20s and are the best backcourt in the league (put your hand down, Detroit). The only issues are their older-than-dirt role players. You can only put Bruce Bowen in that hyperbolic chamber so many times.

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