As exciting as the NBA season has been this season, at the same time, it may be one of the most casual and boring NBA playoffs that we have seen in recent history. With the media circus that surrounded the boneheaded Donald Sterling, the actual game of basketball took a backseat view.
Sure, the basketball itself has been entertaining, but everything that was supposed to happen has happened. The playoffs are supposed to bring excitement as there should be opportunities for crazy upsets, but that has yet to happen.
Although there have been upsets on paper, there really has not been much to keep my eyelids from shutting. The Toronto Raptors were the closest thing to a crazy upset against Brooklyn, and it can’t even be considered an upset because they were technically the favourite.
The Wizards surprisingly defeated Chicago in easy fashion, but can this be considered much of an upset when D.J Augustin and Kirk Hinrich were the cornerstones of the Bulls offense? The Atlanta Hawks gave Indiana a run for their money, but at the end of the day, there was no chance a below .500 basketball team was going to win against a Pacers team that went 35-6 at home in the regular season and held home court advantage in Game 7.
Anyways, what I am getting at is that I could have blacked out for a month and the basketball world would be exactly where everyone thought it would be by now: The Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs.
Finally, after four long weeks of waiting, there are now some interesting storylines that will be worth watching in the NBA playoffs. King James and company have the chance to make it to an amazing fourth straight NBA Finals, or Paul George and the Pacers will look to make history of themselves by stopping the Heat and using home court to their advantage.
After two rounds of the playoffs, the Eastern Conference Final looks as if Miami will win this series in 5 or 6 games, but at the same time, it could be said that the Pacers have been overlooking their opponents thus far and have been focused on the Heat the entire time. After forcing the Eastern Conference finals series to 7 games last season, it may be time for someone else to represent the East in the finals. However, I can’t see LeBron James letting that happen and do not think that home court advantage will be a factor in this series. The Heat should win.
In terms of excitement and storylines, the Western Conference Finals should be a lot better than the potential ‘yawn fest’ that may entail in the Eastern Conference. This is an important series for San Antonio as it may be the last season that the Spurs’ core will have a chance to contend together, but then again people have been saying that for the last three years.
The Thunder swept the season series against the Spurs 4-0, though that doesn’t mean anything in the playoffs. Also, this is a 2012 Western Conference Finals rematch; where the Thunder railed from 2-0 down to win the series 4-2. The NBA wants a Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James final, and knowing the referees that the league hires, they are more than certain to get it.
After winning the 2013-14 MVP award, Durant has kept his amazing regular season going into the playoffs as he is averaging 31.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game thus far. No lead is ever safe with Durant on the floor, and barring an injury to him, he should be able to single handily carry his team into the Finals. The NBA needs a LeBron vs. Durant final and hopefully it happens because it would bring back great memories of a potential “Magic vs. Bird” like rivalry.
You can’t count out the Pacers and you definitely can’t count out the Spurs but in the end hopefully the MVP worlds collide and it’s a rematch of the 2012 NBA Finals: LeBron versus Durant.
Photo credit to trendingplayers.com