The NBA regular season is finishing. Russell Westbrook and James Harden have been compiling stats. SportsCenter entered a segment questioning whether this was the best NBA regular season of all time.
Perhaps anticipating we (or someone else) would do a post on such an absurd premise, ESPN did not offer the money graphic with the entire phrase in one shot.
Hardcore NBA fans will watch come what may. But, for everyone else, this NBA regular season was a major dud, something you need to endure while waiting for Cavs-Warriors Round 3.
Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors was the biggest story entering the season. That move did not add drama. It eliminated it. It gutted the team that gave the Warriors the most trouble in the West. We’re left with faux professional wrestling storylines and questioning whether the Warriors are worse with Durant because they are only going to win 65-67 games? Feel the excitement.
This would be like the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals happening. Then Isiah Thomas signs with the Celtics, improved healthcare preserves Bird and McHale for a few more years, and Michael Jordan does not exist. A TV network then tries to sell you on Bill Laimbeer being angry for months. Except Bill Laimbeer fighting the Celtics starting lineup 2-on-5 with Rick Mahorn would have been far more entertaining than Russ being petty.
The NBA season played out predictably. What if I told you the Warriors and Spurs would finish 1-2 in the West, well ahead of the pack, and Cleveland would still be the best team in the East but fade a little bit to conserve steam for the playoff run? It’s exactly what you would have expected.
But, there’s an exciting race for the No. 1 seed in the East, right? So exciting and meaningful the Cavs may be conceding it to rest players for the basketball that matters.
Resting players is something we should discuss. That has been the lead story of the regular season. Teams are benching stars for marquee games to the point ESPN talent has been given license to complain about it on air. Let’s reiterate. The season has been so bad ESPN itself has been complaining about how bad it is.
The hottest non-MVP debate in the NBA right now is how to fix the regular season and the playoffs.
How have fans reacted to this best regular season ever? Regional sports network ratings for NBA games are down double digits, and marquee national broadcast ratings of late have been brutal. But, we’re sure the Westbrook and Harden highlights have been the greatest social/streaming/insert buzzword here event in NBA history.