Brad Rock: In this series, boring is beautiful

Published: Saturday, May 26 2007 12:00 a.m. MDT

The Jazz-Spurs Western Conference Finals resumes tonight, so get ready for some real fun!
Watch in amazement as Tim Duncan performs a drop-step and banks a shot off the glass! Witness Tony Parker driving to the basket and drawing a foul! Thrill to the sight of Carlos Boozer picking off a rebound! Immerse yourself in Deron Williams' chest passes!
And that's just the beginning. After the game there's more.
Hear Spurs coach Gregg Popovich admit he patterned his philosophy after Jerry Sloan's! Hang on every word as Sloan tells a nationwide audience that the only way he knows how to win is to work hard!
It's electrifying. Speaking of which, who's thinking up the team slogans? The Jazz went with "It's Electrifying!" as their playoff rallying cry. Not to be outdone, San Antonio chose "Go, Spurs, Go!"
Did someone think these up on their coffee break?
In case you're not familiar with the situation, here's a little background. A long time ago, Sloan took over as Jazz coach and ever since has sprinkled his remarks with phrases like, "Yeah, these guys have been pretty good rebounders" (May 22) and "We've always been a pretty good offensive rebounding team, if we take decent shots and get our big people inside on the shots (May 7)."
Not exactly a stand-up routine.
Likewise, after being asked on Tuesday if there was anything specific the Spurs were doing to outrebound the Jazz, Popovich replied: "No, nothing."
But thanks for asking.
The best quote of the last game came after Popovich was asked if he challenged his players to rebound better and he said no, but "I think I might have said 'rebound more' — something really magical like that."
It wasn't really funny, but at this stage, wry will have to do.
Let's not even start with the sort of monotone stuff that comes from Boozer, Duncan and pretty much everyone else on both teams.
(Side note: Does Duncan ever change expressions? You gotta wonder if he was wearing that same blank look when the obstetrician first smacked him on the seat.)
The Spurs were fined $50,000 Monday for not making the players available to the media. If you've ever eavesdropped on a Spurs interview session, you know what a loss that was.
Is there a chance they could skip interviews after tonight's game, too?
But if you think the Spurs and Jazz are boring interviews, take a look on the court. When it comes to entertainment, they're not exactly the Blue Man Group. They play tough, unrelenting, fundamental basketball. Effective, yes. Entertaining? Not unless you enjoy watching stoplights change.
So a lot of people nationally are complaining about these teams, which makes sense. We're Americans. We invented street luge and Arena Football. We hate boring. But if you watch the Jazz and Spurs play, nobody hangs on the rim. No one talks smack. Seldom does anyone take a random shot.
Just a whole lot of 55-mile-per-hour basketball.
That said, there's probably an excellent reason the Phoenixes, Dallases and Golden States are gone from the playoffs right now — they all entertained us. But they couldn't control the games. Along came the guys with their lunch pails and eliminated them.
Some fans don't seem to care about thrills as long as their team wins. Give them a nondescript club that dominates and they're fine.
Razzle-dazzle is only interesting when you're riding the wave, anyway. But you won't see much razzle-dazzle in this series. You'll see a couple of nice, orderly teams, driving between the white lines with their hands on 10 and 2.
They may not score many style points, but as Herman Melville and the Toyota Camry proved a long time ago, sometimes boring works. If you're the Jazz and Spurs, you might even say boring is beautiful.

E-mail: rock@desnews.com

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