Sunday, April 19, 2009

Instead of Waiting For Cavs-Lakers, Enjoy the Rest of the NBA Playoffs

I was watching ESPN's "The Sports Reporters" today (the show that spawned pretty much every bit of originial programming on the network) when Bob Ryan complained that we need to "hit the fast forward button" to get to an anticipated Cavaliers-Lakers Finals.

As a Laker fan, I can get with that. Still, that doesn't mean you don't have to enjoy the journey there.

Have we learning nothing from the NCAA Tournament? Yeah, we had North Carolina, Michigan State and UConn in the Final Four ... just as many people figured they would when the college basketball season began. Yeah, much of the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament are really useless in the big picture of the dance. Yet it is the best part of the actual experience.

Same goes in the NBA. While the Lakers and Cavaliers are thrashing through their series, there are some interesting things going on elsewhere.

Road teams are stealing games. Dallas went into San Antonio and stole Game 1. Chicago stunned everyone by beating the Celtics in their series' opener. Philadelphia got a huge shot by Andre Iguodala to capture Game 1 in Orlando. Houston went up to Portland and completely smoked the Blazers.

Every series has played one game (the Nuggets-Hornets series is beginning as I type this). Half of the series have already seen the homecourt advantage flip. Two of the series where the home team won ... were those heavily favored Lakers and Cavaliers.

That Sixers-Magic game was awesome to watch. That Bulls-Celtics game was darn good, too. Even the Lakers-Jazz game got a bit lively and chippy. The Cavs, Rockets and Hawks blew through their opponents and making those games afterthoughts, but we saw those teams playing at a high level.

The point is that we need to slow down sometimes. Yes, the NBA playoffs seem like they last forever, but you'll miss it once it's over.

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