The NBA is a feel-good place where the public focuses on the positives instead of wading into the muck and mire to bring everyone down. And, hey, that’s a good thing because sports are supposed to be fun. But what might it look like if we applied the same “is this bad for the sport” trigger mechanism to what’s going on in both conference finals?
It has been 12 days since there was a playoff game decided by fewer than 10 points. The average margin of victory in six conference contests has been 24 points. The tightest one, the Boston Celtics’ Game 2 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, checked in at 13 points. Last night, the Golden State Warriors decimated the Houston Rockets by 41.
Look, let’s take this opportunity to deliver all the necessary caveats. Viewers are being treated to some of the world’s best athletes playing at a high level. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and James Harden are doing spectacular things. The Celtics’ underdog run has been compelling.
But is it too much to ask for one competitive game among the lot, one nail-biter where the result is in question for more than a half? You know, something with meaningful possessions after 11 p.m. EST?
As an a la carte NBA consumer who checks in for the playoffs, this is a terrible development, exacerbated by the way the regular season serves as little more than an appetizer for the postseason. Just wait for it, they say. It’s going to be magical to see the best teams going hard when it matters come May.
We’re still waiting. We must wait through off-days that help the series move at a glacial pace. Truth be told, time is running out. There’s precious few opportunities left for someone — anyone — to make this interesting.
People have flocked to the NBA en masse recently because it’s delivered high drama. Now, it’s over-promising and under-delivering. If that happened in another sport, the microscopes would be dragged out of storage to dissect the issue.