Culture of Hoops

The Underwhelming NBA Playoffs with the Ending We All Want

Screen capture courtesy of the NBA/YouTube.

Screen capture courtesy of the NBA/YouTube.

The NBA playoffs haven’t been what we’re used to seeing. The seven-game thrillers, neck-and-neck competitive series, where every game could go either way. It just hasn’t been there this season.

Last year, we saw the Los Angeles Clippers face the San Antonio Spurs in a seven-game “slam dunk”, and we also visualized the Golden State Warriors play a tough series versus the Memphis Grizzlies. The East was increasingly more competitive because Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were out of the Cleveland Cavaliers fold for most of the playoffs, making opposing teams less vulnerable to a series sweep.

After two Western Conference teams won more than 65 games (Golden State and San Antonio), the Cavaliers struggling, and other Eastern Conference teams showing life during the season, I really assumed this NBA April and May would be as intense and gritty as ever.

I got my hopes up for a wonderful NBA playoffs and it hasn’t necessarily lived up to that incredible, edgy, mean-spirited dog fight that it was in years past. Golden State have had their struggles, but even with that, they’re in the Western Conference finals after losing only three games with their Stephen Curry out for a good portion of two separate series.

Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors for winning a franchise record in games, but seriously, they couldn’t translate their in-season form to the offseason, playing below average basketball. Thus making the Eastern Conference finals hard to observe or watch.

Boston vs. Atlanta, Blazers vs. Warriors, Spurs vs. Thunder, and maybe Toronto vs. Indiana? Those were really the only series of any intrigue. Even then, it still wasn’t anything as spectacular as last season was.

But if there’s one glimmer of hope, it’s for the potential NBA Finals series to be a considerable leap above the Conference first round, semifinals, and Finals in competitive performance, where both teams keep it close throughout each game. That can happen, if Golden State and Cleveland go head-to-head.

Golden State proved last season they could beat the Cavs without Kyrie and Love, but with them? I don’t want to start the hype, but I think it’s inevitable that this series is going to be great.

Yes, Oklahoma City has a chance, Toronto has a fraction of that, but in the possible scenario’s given Cleveland and Golden State is the one we all want to see.

The Cavs being a well-oiled machine through the postseason, undefeated in this season’s playoffs. The Warriors, being the NBA champs, winning the most games in NBA history, and having this incredible philosophy.

The only thing I hope is we don’t see a long series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors because the dubs need all the rest they can get against a fully-charged Cavs team. So while the playoffs have been a bore thus far, I think a potential matchup between Golden State and Cleveland would be one for the ages. The matchup would most certainly go down as one of the best in history.

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