The NBA playoffs come down to two things: wins and losses.

When we criticize, analyze and scrutinize every single move of each team, coach and individual player, it is all for naught. It is not about the clutch triple that Ray Allen had to pull out of his beautifully buffed head, again, to topple the Knicks in the first game of that series, or the holes that the Pacers are exposing in the one-man Bulls show. The level and style of play is not important. Only the victories — plain and simple.

Playoff games are simple equations disguised as intricate arithmetic. People complicate matters by introducing all kinds of “advanced” statistics, lessons from previous contests and conspiracy theories into every series.

A couple recent headlines from around the sports world involve the 2011 Lakers’ noncontention for NBA Finals because no Phil Jackson team has ever won when it has lost four games in a row, as well as the borderline neurotic notion that Joseph “Joey” Crawford has it out for the Mavericks given their 2-16 record when he is in the stripes.

These are just a few of the ridiculous concepts that only cloud what the NBA playoffs or any other tournament-style championship are about: wins.

Remember that equation I mentioned earlier? Here it is: Get to four wins before the other team does and move on. Repeat this three times for each series, and you have yourself a championship trophy. What is even more beautiful about this arrangement is that wins cannot be argued. It doesn’t matter if you earn them or even deserve them, it just matters that you have them.

So rest assured Lakers, Bulls, Celtics and Heat fans, or those of any other team that has been receiving undue criticism during this first round. The “end of the world” talk is prematurely fatalistic, and will be just as quickly swept away with the next win, the win after that, after that and … you get the point.

Talk is cheap. The wins pay the bills.


Daily Nexus NBA columnist Julia Speace comes down to two things: winning … and winning.