OT-NHL Playoffs vs. NBA Playoffs

Submitted by maizenblue92 on April 13th, 2011 at 12:32 PM

This is a good discussion to kill time on a Wednesday. Which is better/do you prefer? NHL or NBA Playoffs. I personally prefer the NHL playoffs and it is not close. The games are more entertaining, there is more real drama (NBA has fake drama), and the grind it takes to win shows just who is the best. But that is just my opinion, what is yours?

Go Wings!



April 13th, 2011 at 12:39 PM ^

Maybe it's cause the Pistons have been terribad since they traded Chauncy but I prefer the NHL playoffs. How many teams lower than the 3 seed in either conference make it to the NBA Finals? There is so much more parody in the NHL playoffs, to have the Flyers the 7 seed play the Canadiens the 8th seed in the conference finals is pretty cool.

Chi Go Blue

April 13th, 2011 at 12:52 PM ^

I agree...I think that besides the very rare NBA playoff upset (the Warriors over Mavs was one of the best series I have ever seen in any sport), you can pretty much figure out who is going to make it to the East/West finals each year before playoffs start. There are way too many opportunities in basketball for things to even out over the course of a game. NHL, on the other hand, has more teams on equal footing. The change in the game momentum caused by a penalty or goal has a lot more impact than say a dunk or 3 pointer. This causes hockey players to play at 100% all the time, finishing every check, etc. Plus, you get the rare 4 OT games that are absolutely ridiculous, and cause me to stay up until 3am keeping my neighbors up by screaming and yelling at the TV all night.

And I'm pretty sure there aren't too many comedic situations in the NHL playoffs, you might be looking for the word parity.

Pull that Rope

April 13th, 2011 at 4:40 PM ^

A few reasons why I agree that NBA playoffs are Not as good as the NHL playoffs, other than parody (which is a big one)

1. There is no defense in the NBA, in the playoffs teams play more defense but it's still nothing even compared to March Madness

2. A basketball team can win the NBA playoffs with basically 7 guys. 5 starters, 1 6th man that can shoot and 1 backup big man. I will agree that a goalie can take his team all the way in hockey but it's not the same.

3. Basketball is a game about stars like Kobe, James, Pierce, Rose, etc. Yes, the best teams have more scorers than that their big star but compared to hockey it's nothing. Look at the San Jose Sharks (GO SHARKS) with 7 20 goal scorers, that's a team effort.

4. Golden Goal: 3rd period tied up hockey games, and ones that continue into OT, are more intense than just about anything else you can watch.

5. Basketball players get ticky tack foul calls all the way through the playoffs (I will concede that refereeing basketball is possibly the most difficult sport to referee) Fouls also don't mean very much. Given fouling out can impact a game, but a power play and penalty kill is way more intense than an inbound or foul shot.

6. Basketball has too many timeouts, I know most people here agree with this.

7. The only part of a NBA game that matters is the 4th quarter. Hits, Fights, Breakaways, Blocked Shots, and Goals. Everything just matters more in hockey. 1 penalty, 1 goal, 1 save can change a game and a season.




April 13th, 2011 at 12:42 PM ^


Biased as I grew up playing hockey and royally sucked at basketball but I also don't like the pro game in basketball. Much prefer college ball to NBA. Regardless, NHL in a landslide.


April 13th, 2011 at 12:56 PM ^

Also, I became a Wings fan when I was very young, before I moved to Chicago, and didn't even know the NBA existed at the time. Once I had gotten to about 4th-5th grade and followed anything other than hockey, the Bulls were playing sans Michael and haven't been relevant until now, with DRose.


April 13th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

Not even a debate from my perspective and I totally agree with the above post how even a lower half seed has a chance in the playoffs whereas in the NBA it is usally a foregone conclusion for over half the teams that they are not going very far.   

aMAIZEN slot ninja

April 13th, 2011 at 12:56 PM ^

NHL and its not even close.  There is nothing more exciting then watching a deciding playoff game that is in overtime. That sudden death moment can either bring you excitment or break your heart in just one shot.  Nothing can stand toe-to-toe with the toughness of NHL playoffs either.


April 13th, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

Granted more people in the US watch/play basketball just because of the ease at which you can procure a round bouncing ball and go into your backyard (and it's cheap for many people who aren't at least middle class), the NHL playoffs blow the NBA playoffs out of the water.

Many of the NBA players seem disinterested and seem to worry more about their vodka brand or clothing line sales than winning a championship.  You won't find a hockey player who wouldn't throw themselves in front of a train for a Stanley Cup.  The intensity is just much higher.

I don't want to be the guy saying it's a culture thing, but it's hard not to label the NBA as not caring about winning as much as who looks cooler and who sells the most shoes (or throws the most baby powder in the air).   


April 15th, 2011 at 11:51 AM ^

in the top 20 images for Laimbeer (i was spelling it wrong) there's a lot of this:

  and not one 3-point shot. (although there is a decent amount of hoke-esque pointing )

I thought his/everyone-but-Dumars' walkoff was classless, and his recent comments about Derrick Rose prove that he's more of a dick than a hoops fan. Thomas and Dumars have said nothing but good things about the kid, and Laimbeer's remarks were a total 180.


April 13th, 2011 at 5:32 PM ^

but how in the hell can you love basketball and not like the NBA?

The X games over it?  Are you effing serious...

The NBA playoffs are awesome.  So are the NHL playoffs.  I just don't know how you can like bball and not the NBA.

The too many fouls thing is overrated.  The too many timeouts things is the same in college bball, especially this yrs tourney.  

Hate Isolation basketball? watch the spurs

Hate teams that don't play defense?  Watch the bulls, celtics, heat, nuggets, blazers.

I dont know if you personally are guilty of it, but I hate people that perpetuate these false perceptions about the NBA - they dont care, dont play D, ballhogs, crowds suck - all these are either false or greatly exxagerated.


April 13th, 2011 at 4:49 PM ^

for three quarters and the first 10 minutes of the 4th with one guy trying to "posterize" or out highlight the next. They  really only appear to truly give two craps and settle in during last two minutes.

No sport is more about the name on the back of the jersey than the one on front than the NBA is.


April 14th, 2011 at 9:06 AM ^

If you don't think that David Stern and the NBA conciously markets players over teams you're nuts. How can you be such a die hard NBA defender/fan and not understand their most basic theme of the last 25+ years?

Lastly, beacause some people don't like the same thing as much as you do and make points as to why, they suck? That's an extremely juvenile mind set and one of the biggest issues on the board these days. 


April 13th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

The individual players may be more entertaining, but the majority of players in the NBA seem to be way more interested in their own stats and their own image than in playing as a team and winning games.

So I guess if I played fantasy basketball I'd care more about the NBA.


April 13th, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

I seriously doubt youve watched an NBA game intently in the last 5 years.  There may of been a generation of selfish stars(Iverson, Carter) and non-stars(Darius Miles, Ricky Davis) who were just gunners.

NBA teams used to be dumb and just paid players who could score.  NBA teams are much more analytical now in finding players who truly provide value and that is where the money is shifting.  Guys used to be able to get paid by just chucking the ball up there.  Not anymore.  These guys are finding themselves on the end of the bench and teams generally avoid them.  There is a lot of good basketball out there if you are open-minded enough to realize it instead of forming an opinion based on 30 seconds of play while you were flipping through channels.


Only an idiot could come to the conclusion that this generation of NBA players is gunning for stats.  You either can't see what's in front of you, you rely on false perceptions about the league to form your opinion or you just havent watched  the NBA recently


April 13th, 2011 at 3:29 PM ^

I agree. There are so many young stars in the NBA. More specifically, I'm really excited to see what Rose, Durant, and Westbrook can do in the playoffs. People need to start paying attention because those old NBA stereotypes are going out the door....though Andray Blatche is still around.


Also, I can't stand hockey. It is a scientific fact that basketball is a better sport.


April 13th, 2011 at 1:07 PM ^

Even though my team hasn't been to the playoffs recently (Go Leafs Go!) I still follow the playoffs if for nothing else the Michigan ties.  I love seeing former M-Hockey players do well.

Yinka Double Dare

April 13th, 2011 at 1:14 PM ^

Normally I'd say the NHL but this year the NBA playoffs should be ridiculous.  Should be some great series out West starting right away in Round 1, and the East Semis and Finals should be dynamite.

Although it's all for naught if we get a Lakers/Heatles finals, in which case everyone will be rooting for the meteor.


April 13th, 2011 at 1:18 PM ^


First, let me state that I am a hockey player, have been since 3, and I am not good at basketball except at the Jewish Summer camp I went to when at 5'11'' I was a dominating post presence.

The NHL wins in my eyes for a few reasons (but it's close):

1. the 1st round. In the NBA the first round is a joke. it's Best of 5, and often the last few teams in aren't even above .500 (i believe they all are this year). Whereas this year the last team to lock up a spot is last year's champs and they have 97 points. So let's chalk that one up in the NHL's favor. 

2. Officials. We saw the other day (grumble) how crappy officiating can change a hockey game, but that is very rare in the NHL. In the NBA however the Miami Salvatores have their 2006 championship and the Lakers only beat the Kings in a HUGE joke of a game in the early 2000s (game 6 was bad refs. Game 7 had Horry-over-Webber).

3. The ability of One, superior athlete to DOMINATE a team game. In the NBA we see this occasionally, but not too often. Wade played real well in 2006, but let's not forget when he got hurt and Shaq put up a 1999-esque 40 pts or whatever it was. Last year's finals MVP was up for grabs until the clock read all zeros, it wasn't obvious. But in hockey (the ultimate team game, the best players are on the ice for about 30/60 minutes per game, they can't play all 48 like in the NBA) 1 man can change everything EASILY. Last year Halak won two playoff series. Not Les Habitants, Halak. Goalies can change a playoff more than any other position in any sport, and I love it.

One thing in defense of the NBA however:

Many people hate the NBA. They look at college (with it's huge talent deficiencies) and say "Those guys try!" and they flip on the pistons/bobcats and see a bunch of immensly talented millionaires not caring. But all that changes once you get to the NBA's second round. If you are a fan of good basketball, this is the best you will see. In the East we'll have Bulls/Magic and Heat/Celtics. For 7 games (or fewer). Then two of those teams will play. In the West it's more of a mess, but all the teams are good. If you don't like the NBA because it's too watered down and they don't try hard enough, wait till the 2nd round. That's when the cream rises and plays its ass off.

And now, bring on the negs, because I don't have to choose. Go Bulls, Go Blackhawks!!!


April 13th, 2011 at 2:12 PM ^

It went to best-of-seven in 2003.  That saved the Pistons that year - they were down 3-1 to the #8 seed Magic before rallying.  

At any rate, I liked it when it was best-of-five.  It made upsets more possible.  Now the first round just takes forever.