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In watching Game 6 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night, with the Detroit Pistons playing the San Antonio Spurs, a couple of things came to mind.
One of the main reasons both teams are in the finals is superior defense. As the saying goes, "defense wins championships". The other reason is both teams have superior team play. Great defense and team play are both getting rare in the NBA, and is indicative of a group of people willing to suspend individual ego and glory seeking for a common goal.
The other thing I noticed in Game 6 the other night was some absolutely great "low ego" referrees in action. They were firm but fair, consistent, and called technical fouls quickly but only when needed. The players responded in kind with less whining about calls and more focus and intensity on the game.
The result of the low ego players and refs working their asses off, and some amazing play at both ends of the court was an absolutely great game. Last night they showed it again as an ESPN Instant Classic Game.