The NBA: Where a pretty predictable post-season happens


Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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6 Responses

  1. Howie Hatrick says:

    This is why basketball playoffs are a bore: predictable. Great that you get the big showdown and all, and of course there is always the possible element of surprise, but I bet dollars to donuts this prediction comes true. Become a hockey fan, if only for playoff sake.Report

  2. Will says:

    Way ahead you, Howie (go Caps!), though I maintain the NBA is pretty interesting. If a few key players hadn’t gotten injured (Peja and Chandler for the Hornets, Jameer Nelson for the Magic, KG for the Celts), I think the title would be up for grabs. Right now, I think there are two overwhelming favorites (Cavs and Lakers), two plausible dark horses (Boston and Orlando), and a host of interesting second tier teams who have the talent to make a deep playoff run.Report

  3. Howie Hatrick says:

    Cavs-Lakers will be fun, don’t get me wrong. I guess the point – which you agree with clearly – is that hockey doesn’t have 2nd tier teams come playoffs. Perhaps if the NBA had a second tier competetion like the English Premier League, there would be something to get excited about before the inevitable clash. I like the idea of the top seed picking their opponent, a need that again reflects that the sport needs an injection of excitement in what should be their marquee event – the playoffs. Try that in hockey – guarantee that top seed would go down every time.Report

  4. Will says:

    Oh c’mon – I think the talent differential between, say, the Rangers and the Bruins is pretty substantial. I mean, would the Rangers have even made the playoffs without Lundquist? I’m pretty sure that every sport’s post-season features its fair share of second tier teams. In the NBA, at least, most of them have the talent to make a legitimate run if they get their acts together.Report

  5. Howie Hatrick says:

    Nope. I’ll keep pushing back on this. The Rangers as a seven seed have easily enough pieces to go on a run. Chart the history of hockey playoffs and see how many teams from the bottom four of the conference made the stanley cup or conference finals. Virtually every year. Almost never happens in basketball. Dallas’ loss to Golden State is still talked about simply because that never happens. In hockey, it’s assumed a one or two seed will go down in the first round. Heck, the six seed in the east, and eighth seed in the west make up two of the past three champions. There is no NBA team 5-8 in the conference who have the talent to ‘make a legitimate run’, that’s just false. And the playoffs will bare this out. So let’s check in in a couple weeks.Report

  6. Will says:

    I’ll concede that hockey is it a bit more unpredictable (it is, after all, a different game), but consider how wide open the championship would be if the Hornets had Peja and Chandler back at 100%, the Spurs had Duncan and Manu healthy, the Celtics had KG, the Magic never lost Jameer Nelson, and McGrady was back for the Rockets.

    Keep in mind that most pundits had LA winning the championship last year and Detroit was favored by many to win the Eastern Conference Finals. There is a bigger talent differential between NBA teams than hockey teams, but that doesn’t mean the basketball post-season is totally predictable.Report