The NBA: Where boring happens? Where oh-my-god-not-another-sweep happens? Where disappearing acts happen? Please stop me, because I could fill up this entire column with my fill-in-the-blank answers that I find to be all too appropriate for these 2010 NBA Playoffs. There have been a total of four sweeps thus far, with a potential fifth in the Boston-Miami series, if not for Dwayne Wade’s own personal determination to will his team to at least one win in the postseason.
As I write this, barring a last-chance prayer from the Magicians in Orlando, a fifth sweep of the playoffs will be cemented in the books [Editor’s Note: Orlando won 96-92 in overtime].
The majority of the first and second-round series ended in five or six games, with only one seven-game series between the always exciting Milwaukee Bucks and the once trendy Atlanta Hawks. We all know it could not have been that thrilling of a series, as the only thing I can remember from it was that atrocious slogan, “Fear the Deer.” Excuse me, but I have come across plenty of deer that, when put in just the tiniest bit of danger, either freeze up completely or run for their lives. Try as you may Bucks marketing team, but the prevailing slogan featuring your mascot is, and always will be, “Deer caught in the headlights.” Period.
It is not just the amount of sweeps that have had me yawning throughout the postseason, but the teams involved in the playoffs. Without showing disrespect to the elite teams in the NBA, I am just bored with the same old teams doing the same old song and dance routine of getting to their usual first and second rounds only to make their usual exits.
It’s the lack of parity in the league that has begun to eat away at my very being, making me more likely to tune into my new favorite trashy show “Basketball Wives,” instead of watching their husbands, ex-husbands, fiancés, ex-fiancés and random hookups on the court. Seriously, if it is a choice between Dwight Howard and his cast of disappearing side-kicks putting in minimal effort against the Celtics, or Evelyn, Antoine Walker’s ex, throwing water in another wife’s face, I will shamelessly tune into the latter.
There are really only a few teams capable of withstanding the ups and downs of the regular season enough to make a solid and consistent effort in the playoffs. I am not saying that I am growing weary of this constant carousel of the same guys and the same teams popping up on my TV in late May to early June, I just want to let some others join the fun.
Without fail, we see the same teams out of the East and West, with maybe a couple surprises due to some intense regular season surges. But by the time they get to the postseason, these teams are usually burnt out and exhausted by the effort put forth in most recent games.
Take the Chi-town Bulls for example, who had a mad dash to the finish, just barely beating out the Toronto Raptors for the final position in the East. It literally came down to the last game, where the weak Bulls outmuscled the weaker Raptors. In my eyes Toronto got the better end of the deal, as they were able to get a jumpstart and clear advantage on improving their roster for next season. The Bulls, on the other hand, were basically a sacrificial lamb for the once-mighty Cavaliers. Their exit proved to be something that has become all-too similar in the last decade or so of the playoffs, and that is, at its most basic level, Darwin’s Evolution Theory. The strong will always overpower, overwork and overcome the weak.
Thus, I guess I need to accept the fact that the Lakers, the new Celtics, the Spurs, the Heat, the Jazz and the Nuggets will always be rearing their all-too familiar heads our way come playoff time, and will inevitably make it to their respective rounds. Furthermore, I will begrudgingly accept the fact that we will have yet ANOTHER Lakers-Celtics match-up in the finals. Even though there are as many sub-plots linked to this one as Lindsay Lohan has DUI’s, it adds to the evidence surrounding my point. This is my attempt at getting the other 24 or so teams to step it up and contribute to the league in some way. If the Wizards, the Timberwolves, the Grizzlies and the Pacers — to name a few — just accept the fact that they are worthless bottom-feeders, then that is how they will remain. They should put forth the effort and will for their team, their city, their organization and their fans.
Most importantly, they should do it so we at home can fill in the blank with something other than “Where yawning happens.”