OT: NBA Playoffs are here!

Submitted by oriental andrew on April 15th, 2010 at 1:07 PM

So the NBA playoffs are finally here! I actually care because my home team (the Atlanta Hawks) are decent and have made yet another playoff run.

So who do you like to win it all? Conference finals?

Hawks have a relatively easy road, with the Bynum-less Bucks in round 1. Second round, though, is a toughy. No one to match up against Dwight Howard; struggles on the road (although spectacular at home); and haven't proven they can beat the top 2 teams in the east (Magic, Cavs) consistently (only 1 win against each in the regular season and, in the Cavs game yesterday, both teams basically benched all their starters). Ray of hope against the Magic is that the Hawks were winless against Boston in the regular season 2 years ago, but managed to take them to 7 games. Should the Hawks get past Orlando, chances aren't good against the Cavs (sweep last year in the playoffs still hurts). If Boston somehow manages to upset Cleveland (not likely), I like the Hawks chances.

As it is, I'll go out on a limb and say Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals. Cavs over Jazz in the championship.

Comments

e.go.blue

April 15th, 2010 at 1:18 PM ^

Let's start with a list of my priorities:

Spring practice/game >> NBA playoffs
MLB regular season >> NBA playoffs
NHL playoffs >> NBA playoffs

I could go on, but it would just get tedious. That being said, I'll take the Cavs winning it all in 6 against the Mavs. Simply because a rhyming, Mavs-Cavs final would be epic.

mattbern

April 15th, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

Lets go [insert Cavs opponent here] !

If LeBron wins a championship, Idk about his chances of coming to NY.

NY needs you LeBron. Theres only so much Knicks bball I can stand to watch when our star player is David Lee. No offense to him, but he's just not exciting.

Steve Lorenz

April 15th, 2010 at 1:46 PM ^

I had a dream last night that I ate dinner with Eva Longoria and Tony Parker and he was a complete d-bag. Suffice to say I am hoping the Mavericks defeat the Spurs in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

loosekanen

April 15th, 2010 at 1:51 PM ^

I was drunk and wrote this on my fb the other night. I have a feeling I'm not the only one around these parts with these feelings:

Dearest NBA:

Firstly I'd like to say thank you for your time. I know you're quite busy preparing a postseason that few have the ability for which to care. I also understand you care little of my opinion. I'm a 26 year old white male and obviously not in your target demographic. Frankly, we've lost our way as a couple. I guess we've known this was coming since 2004. I just don't think either one of us wanted to admit it. That said, I'm leaving you. And I feel it's only fair that I tell you why.

Your policies of rewarding tanking teams is what pushed this over the edge for me. Why on earth should I be forced to be angry at the Pacers, one of my top childhood devotions along with the Super Nintendo and pudding pops, for not losing enough games to get a realistic mathematic chance at winning the lottery. Your system has been broken since they changed it.

Your one and done policy is killing college basketball. I can't imagine UK fans actually being able to like that "team" Cal and Worldwide Wes threw out there this year. And I can't imagine they will like any of their teams in the near future. You, NBA, need to ditch that rule and let the kids join the league whenever they are capable of being selected and retained by a franchise in your league. It's unbelievably stupid to whore these kids out to a University for one semester (they don't have to go to class second semester) or force them to go to Europe to play for a year. Either make the minimum age 21 or axe it altogether.

I can't stand how your players on the court don't constantly try. I hate how the players don't really care to play hard against one another. Instead they're hugging before and after the games. There are no longer rivalries that persist from year to year. I agree that the Heat/Knicks "rivalry" was downright painful to watch, but if the officiating had been better I bet the quality of play would have improved as well.

Speaking of officiating you absolutely need to fire every official that is in service past the age of 50. There are times we all must retire from our chosen profession. Expecting 50 year old men to keep up with Lebron and Durant is absolutely stupid. Also, you need to revamp your training and evaluation system. Referees that cater to stars, call a game inconsistently, or are even suspected of fixing games should be fired immediately. Get some folks out there who take some pride in their job. And pay them a decent wage so they will keep improving for their own sake.

The final straw is the luxury tax, NBA. You have welcomed your first foreign billionaire owner who will care nothing for the luxury tax. These owners (it's naive to think more aren't on their way) will begin to outspend the others and turn the league into something resembling the English Premiership. Small market teams will have no chance to compete until purchased by another billionaire. You absolutely need to hard cap the league in your next set of negotiations or you will die a quick death in the American public's eyes.

So that's it, NBA. I feel you're beyond being more fan-friendly as a marketable product. I'm taking my money elsewhere. There will always be a spot in my heart for the Pacers but I can't continue under these conditions. There really is no hope for us, anymore. You've simply pushed me too far away.

In before negs because I'm a Pacers fan...

CWoodson

April 15th, 2010 at 5:12 PM ^

I agree with sections of this, but you don't understand the luxury tax. As a Knicks fan, at this point I could teach a graduate level course on it. It doesn't matter if you don't care about paying the extra money - Dolan certainly doesn't. Going over the cap with the wrong players can doom your team for at least a decade (again, I've been watching it).

There is a big market-small market problem developing now that ticket sales are down, but the cap system isn't the problem. It's actually pretty close to a hard cap (with a few exceptions). There can't be a Yankees/Red Sox/Mets in the NBA - the cap system effectively bars it.

UMaD

April 15th, 2010 at 5:34 PM ^

Right, the NBA hates targeting 26 year old white males. Its not an important demographic for marketing. You're dead-on here..

Every major American league rewards losing for competitive balance. NHL, NFL, MLB. Dynasties already happen often in the NBA. You don't want to encourage that.

One and done is bad for college but is great for the NBA. Gives rookies a marketing platform that makes them better known. NCAA is far from being killed, but thats not the NBA's job anyway.

There are plenty of good rivalries in the NBA. See Boston and any other eastern conference team of note.

Players don't "constantly try" in any sport with over 80 games. Ever watch MLB?

A hard cap would make it harder for teams to retain their super stars. Only a few teams have overtly ignored the luxury tax, and Dallas is the only one who has experienced consistent success from it.

In conclusion. These cliched critiques are just a lame aggregation of what many other people say without thinking about it, considering the flaws of the alternatives, or comparing it to other leagues.

panthera leo fututio

April 15th, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

I know it's lame to go with best records, but I think this is the most probable outcome, and I'd be pretty happy with it. I'd love to see Bron get his first ring this year, hopefully of many, as I think the guy's a much more sympathetic character than Jordan, and I think the world could use a new GOAT.

Leaders.and.Best

April 15th, 2010 at 3:41 PM ^

Cavs over Lakers, as a Cavs fan I absolutely love our matchups for this playoff. We get to beat Chicago, Boston, Orlando, and hopefully LA. I want LA I dont know about how other Cavs fans are but I want LBJ to beat Kobe and that will serve as the official passing of the torch.

CWoodson

April 15th, 2010 at 3:50 PM ^

If you really like and watch basketball (and have moved in your intellectual capacities past "they play no defense" "it's all a 1-on-1 game" "too many THUGS!!1!"), there is almost nothing better than the NBA playoffs.

These guys coast through a regular season that is entirely too long and pointless, but they turn it all the way up for these games. It's usually incredibly high quality basketball, and you get the added bonus of feeling like you're watching in a room with Chuck, Kenny and EJ half the time (and the other half, you get to listen to Van Gundy ask why Mark Jackson and Breen won't invite him to dinner - it's win-win).

I get the hockey fans loving their sport (I'm a mid-level fan but very frequent player), and really get why everyone hates the regular season, but why the hate for the playoffs?

befuggled

April 16th, 2010 at 11:17 AM ^

In that way I'm a lot like many of the teams that are going to lose in the first or second round of the playoffs. I just can't get rid of my apathy for the first-round games, and often not until well into the playoffs.

Having said that, I usually wind up watching at least some of the NBA and NHL playoffs every year. Especially if the Pistons or the Wings are involved.

UMaD

April 15th, 2010 at 5:36 PM ^

Don't think the Mavs are that good but matchups are favorable for them and they're the only healthy team in the West.

Portland over Phoenix is the only major first round upset I expect.

jmblue

April 16th, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

I actually care because my home team (the Atlanta Hawks) are decent and have made yet another playoff run.

"Yet another" playoff run? Uh, what?

TheLastHarbaugh

April 16th, 2010 at 8:25 PM ^

NBA PLAYOFFS!!!! THIS IS MY NCAA TOURNAMENT!!

I watch every game I can, and I always get way too excited (but how can you not?).

As much as I like the Cavs, and as much as they've been hyped, there are a few things that make me weary. Last year's team was, according to the numbers, much better defensively. This year's team is better offensively, but I'm of the mind that defense wins championships.

Call me crazy, but I'm not a huge fan of 38 year old, coming off an injury, Shaq. Antawn Jamison is definitely an upgrade, but I think that the Magic are better than last year.

I guess I'm a hypocrite, because I always laugh at those experts, and my friends, in my fantasy baseball leagues who draft Francisco Liriano every year in the hopes that THIS is the year he finally returns to form, but I think that THIS is the year the Vince Carter finally cares enough to carry a team all the way to the finals. He certainly has the talent. If you watch him night in and night out, then you understand that Vince can make shots that only one other player on the planet can make, Kobe Bryant.

This is his year.

Magic vs. Lakers in the finals.

Sadly, even in Vince's best year, he can't match the best closer, and still the best all around basketball player in the game, Kobe Bryant (sorry 'Bron, but until you learn to shoot, you'll never better than Kobe).

Lakers in 7.

TheLastHarbaugh

April 16th, 2010 at 10:14 PM ^

As in NCAA Basketball. Basketball - Talent = Basketball I still care about as long as Michigan is playing but don't care to watch.

Would this ever happen in college?

A player's chauffeur decides, hey, I think it would be a good idea to fill an extremely volatile player's car with buttered popcorn, and then that would have an impact on the post season.

Only in the NBA, and that's why I love it.