Monday, March 30, 2009

It's Pointless In The NBA

Out here in Phoenix the daily story is about whether the Suns can catch the Dallas Mavericks for the final NBA playoff spot. The Suns are currently sitting 3 1/2 games back of the Mavs and both teams keep losing games to keep things close.

As a Mavericks and Suns fan, I understand that the teams have to keep trying to win games and not give up on this year. It's awful as a fan to watch your favorite team tank the final part of a season in a display of complete hopelessness. The teams need to keep fighting.

But as a fan, I can accept the harsh reality. What's the point for either team battling it out for this final playoff spot? The winner gets to play the top seeded Lakers where they will most likely be swept out of the playoffs before they can blink.

Such is life in the NBA where there is anything but parity and to me it shows exactly why the NBA playoffs are less entertaining than the playoffs in any of the other major pro sports.

In the NFL the Giants barely made the playoffs and went on to win the Super Bowl. Just this past year the Cardinals went from being called the worst playoff team ever to a Santonio Holmes away from a title.

In the NHL any team can upset another team at any time during the playoffs. While botto
m seeds don't usually make it all the way to a championship, it is possible as evidenced by the Stanley Cup run that the Edmonton Oilers had as the final playoff seed a few years back. The Oilers just missed and lost to Carolina four game to three in the finals, but it was close.

Major League Baseball may have the same playoff contenders every year due to it's ridiculous
financial set up, but even with the Yankees and Red Sox dominating the headlines there are different champions most of the time.

Not so in the NBA. It just doesn't happen. Remember how crazy everyone got a few years back when the Golden State Warriors upset the top seeded Mavericks in the first round? Remember what happened after that historic upset? The Warriors were easily flipped out of the playoffs four games to one by the Utah Jazz.

There are no historic championship runs in the NBA. If your team is good during the season, they will probably advance in the playoffs. If they are a bottom seed, they won't. It's a great league for anal-retentive control freaks. Very few
surprises.

So wh
ile I can enjoy the newspaper's ludic way of pretending it matters if the Suns or Mavericks make the playoffs, I know that in the end it's just a matter of a few extra games. In fact, I'd almost rather both teams lose that final playoff spot and take their chances in the lottery. That's how a championship team is built. See Duncan, Tim or James, LeBron.

Maybe I'm a bad fan for thinking like this. But I know that while the Dallas Mavericks are most likely going to make the playoffs, the Suns just need to wait a week before inviting the Mavs players to join them on the golf course. That's just the way it goes in the NBA and it bores me to death.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate the dismissive nod to my Warriors. God, what a mess they are now. But hey, pretty good draft pick coming - because obviously what they need is another athletic young player with lots of potential.

    Rooting for tanking is a complicated issue. I wouldn't mind the W's having a shot at an even higher pick, but when it comes to the Suns or Mavs, it probably won't matter either way.

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