NBA playoffs are running empty on dramaBy Matt Verderame
There are two schools of thought when it comes to dynasties in sports. One school believes they are inherently bad for the game, because most of the fan bases around the league know they have no real shot at winning a title. The other school says they are great, because it gives the entire country a villain to take aim at.
However, both schools can agree that dynasty or no dynasty, a sport needs drama. Without that component, it’s just a boring waste of time.
In 2017, the NBA is dealing with that problem. The league has a pair of juggernauts in the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. Barring some kind of massive disaster, the two teams are about to meet in their third consecutive NBA Finals against one another, with the first two meetings being split. When that series finally comes, it will be must-see television even for the most mercurial basketball fan.
Before that series comes, it will be time to hit the snooze button on the NBA once more.
Who could possibly get excited about anything we’ve seen thus far? The Cavaliers are 9-0 after crushing the Boston Celtics at TD Garden in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night. The Warriors are already up 2-0 on the San Antonio Spurs, after watching Kawhi Leonard go down with an ankle injury on Sunday afternoon.
Perhaps the first two and a half quarters of that game were the most exciting we’ve had thus far this spring. Leonard and the Spurs were up 23 on the heavily-favored Warriors when Leonard got hurt. Since? Golden State rallied to beat the overwhelmed Spurs before winning a laugher in Game 2.
As for any series that didn’t involve the Warriors or Cavaliers? Who cares? None of it really matters anyway. The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder squaring off in the first round was good theater, until it lasted all of five uninspiring games.
The NHL may never get the ratings of the NBA, but the sport is infinitely more exciting to watch, especially during this time of year. The NHL has already seen 25 overtime games, three short of a record for one playoff year. Any team that reached the postseason can win the Stanley Cup, as evidenced by the eighth-seeded Nashville Predators being two wins away from their first berth in the Final.
As for the NBA, the Warriors and Cavaliers are a combined 19-0 going into the rest of the week. We might as well be seeing preseason basketball. Maybe then Cleveland or Golden State would rest some of their star players and allow the other team to win for a change.