For the second straight season, Nellieball will rule the NBA finals. This season, it ruled even in the conference championships. Those series were played almost entirely without centers. Joel Anthony, Greg Stiemsma, Tiago Splitter, Dejuan Blair — and even Kendrick Perkins at times — were all sent to the bench, revealed as regular season cannon fodder. The power forwards — Serge Ibaka, Chris Bosh, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett — were shifted to the middle, and the small forwards — Durant, James and Battier, Pierce, Leonard and Jackson — became Nellieball power forwards.
The Nellieball four is now supreme in the NBA. Is it a coincidence that the last two NBA finals have featured the three greatest Nellieball fours to ever play the game? Dirk Nowitzki, Lebron James, Kevin Durant.
At a time when Joe Lacob is trying to turn back the clock, and turn the Warriors into a 1980’s style halfcourt team, the NBA is moving in a completely different direction. At a time when Joe Lacob is insisting on “changing the culture” of the Warriors back to the Ewing Knicks and Smits Pacers of coach Mark Jackson, the culture of the NBA is moving in the opposite direction, towards the vision of a crazy man with a penchant for Dewars and fish ties.