With last night's Phoenix Suns' loss in a series that was arguably decided by some silly rules by the commish and crew, the NBA season is officially over. I feel bad for the Suns' fans and NBA Nation as a whole. I do believe that the Spurs are the best team in the NBA right now and they would have beaten the Suns even if the league didn't have a vendetta against fun, but it would've been nice to find that out on the hardwood, not with some ridiculous suspensions to Amare Studamire and Boris Diaw. Aside from all 3 Spurs fans, the state of Utah, the ever evaporating population of Detroit, and the middle of nowhere Ohio, who really cares about what happens the rest of the way through?
Instead of being treated to a thrilling, throwback, fast-paced Suns-Warriors Western Conference Finals, we have to snooze through a tough, physical, ugly, and dirty battle between two boring, small market teams in the Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are going to whine even more than the Jazz at the refs, yet not be censured by the media like the Warriors were this past postseason, and most likely take this series in 6 games or less. By the way, is there anyone out there that doesn't believe Tim Duncan is the best player in the NBA right now? I won't say he's fun to watch or anything, but aside from his free throw shooting, his game is virtually flawless. Duncan dominates the game on both sides of the floor- something supposed MVP's Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki have never done, nor never will do.
Over in the Eastern Conference Finals we are unfortunately about to see a Detroit Pistons team, home to some of the most violent and classless fans in the league (despite having two great blogs in Need4Sheed and Detroit Bad Boys), knock off a mediocre Cleveland Cavaliers team in 6 or less. The funny thing is that the Leastern Conference's best Pistons would probably be second round fodder in the mighty West, while the mediocre Cavs would be lucky to even make the playoffs and be a first round knockout. Aside from the solid Pistons and the Heat (when healthy), the disparity between the two conferences is pretty embarrassing.
The NBA's TV ratings are about to tank and it's sad to see this doomsday for such a wonderful and entertaining sports league. This past season was highlighted by the regular season brilliance of the Dallas Mavericks, the usual run and gun Phoenix Suns, and the shock the world Warriors. Sadly, none of these 3 teams will be around late May and June. As a longtime NBA fan I feel robbed- robbed like the Pacers by the Warriors in that 8 player blockbuster deal.
As much of a hoops junkie as I am, I honestly don't think I'll even be paying attention to the rest of the 2007 NBA Playoffs. We all know we're in store for another unwatchable snoozefest NBA Finals with the San Antonio Snores and the Detroit Pissedtons. I'm thinking the Pistons will probably take it 7 (they had an easy path to the finals, while the Spurs have a much tougher and draining road) and avenge their collapse last season after that amazing regular season run
Mark your calendars for May 22nd for the NBA Draft Lottery and June 28th for the 2007 NBA Draft. Until then keep hitting the snooze button.
Another FANtastic season is unfortunately over.
Looking on the bright side (and it's not very bright), there's two storylines that will keep my room temperature warm interest for the rest of the NBA Playoffs:
Will CDubb CRing? I know there's a lot of resentment towards Chris Webber from Warriors Nation and around the league, but CWebb deserves an NBA Championship. People need to see the feud with Don Nelson over 13 years ago as a conflict between a young, still-growing 20 year old kid and a cranky grown man that used to be very, very tough on his players especially rooks. It's long over and everyone has moved on. If anything Don Nelson (and I'm one of his biggest fans) should've been the bigger man back then and worked things out with the kid. People need to stop seeing Webber as a cry baby that choked in the clutch against UNC and view him as a very intelligent man with extremely high hoops IQ, phenomenal passing, rebounding, and scoring ability, and a tough guy that recovered from a potenitally career ending knee injury. Don't forget Webber was an MVP-level player just a few short years ago. I hate to see the Pistons win another championship especially after that brawl, but I'm pulling for CWebb to get a much deserved ring.
- Will we all be witnesses? Sure, Lebron's Cavs are painfully mediocre and are only in a Conference Finals series because the East is just that bad, but it's still amazing that an NBA team led by a unworldly 22 year old is this deep in the playoffs. Can this young man and his squad upset the Pistons and a painfully dull Western Conference foe? Provided Lebron can escape the tiny market Cleveland Cavaliers sometime in his career, he's definitely going to win a few rings when it's all said and done, but will we witness this in 2007?
What percentage of the remaining NBA Playoffs will you watch now that we're left with the Spurs, Jazz, Pistons, and Cavs in the final four?
Also check out the poll Is the NBA Season Over? over at Ballhype.