10 Reasons to Love and Hate the NBA Playoffs
The NBA playoffs are one of the most exciting sporting events every year. Players compete for the ultimate prize, an NBA championship.
Is there anything one could hate about the NBA playoffs? Of course, and more than ever this year they are being exposed.
To be fair I will list 5 things easy to love about the NBA playoffs, and match them with 5 things just as easy to hate. Some more drastic than others.
LOVE: Talent Level
You've got the top players in the world competing against one another every day. What more could you ask for? The NBA playoff talent level is arguably greater than that in the olympics, a worldwide tournament.
If that doesn't put it all in perspective for you, I don't think anything can.
The level of talent seen on the court each night is something we often times take for granted. However, the appreciation is amped up a little bit more come playoff time when we watch these players continuously produce despite the hectic scheduling and traveling. We really start to understand the meaning of the phrase, "NBA talent."
This year more than any other in the recent past we have seen the impact of injuries on playoff teams.
We've seen last years MVP go down with an injury. We've seen nagging injuries take out the best big man in the league. And most recently we've seen a member of Miami's big three join the club.
These injuries are not a coincidence. With the shortened NBA season and sudden arrival of NBA playoffs, the grueling schedule proved to be too much for some of the NBA's finest players including Howard, whose chiseled body didn't even make it to the first round.
Injuries are not only horrible to watch, but can also taint the outcome of the playoffs and in order to address this issue there needs to be some changes made to the NBA playoff system, which will be addressed later on in this article.
LOVE: Where Legends Are Made
And this is exactly why Lebron James, a 3 time regular season MVP, is ridiculed more than any other player in the league today. He has yet to get it done in the post season and bring home a championship.
The NBA playoffs are where players make names for themselves. It is where they show their worth. Just look at big shot Robert Horry or Mr. Big Shot himself, Chauncey Billups. They earned these names in the NBA playoffs.
When you think of Derek Fisher's career, one of the first shots that has to cross your mind is the one he made with .4 left on the clock, against the Spurs, in the playoffs.
Just go down the list of legends and the marquee moments in their careers and it is easy to see where they made their mark.
Sometime between April and June.
What's not to love about a superstar looking to solidify his greatness, or a no-name hitting an unlikely big shot.
Legends are born during the NBA playoffs and this will likely never change. The true definition of gut check time.
HATE: The Wait
April to June is a very long time. College basketball has March Madness and it seems like just enough time to hold people's attention and give fans an adequeate amount of time to enjoy the tournament.
The NBA has far less teams competing for a title in the NBA, yet it takes twice as long to crown a winner. Of course, there are those fans out there who love that the playoffs are extended so long in the NBA because when they are over, so is the season.
However, the wait is unbearable for some fans not as diehard as others. They lose interest or, don't tune in until June. It's no secret that the NBA Finals TV ratings are much better than that of the first round.
We live in a world today that doesn't like to wait for anything, including the crowning of a championship in sports.
LOVE: The Competitiveness
NBA championships are paid for with blood, sweat, and tears, and never has there been a shortage of currency. The way these players compete each night is something to be admired and enjoyed as players are literally willing to do whatever it takes to help propel their team to victory.
More than at any point during the regular season do we see players willing to sacrifice their bodies. They dive into the stands for loose balls or step in front of a reckless man to take the charge, and heed applause and praise from their teammates and the home crowd who appreciate their competitive edge.
I get chills just writing about the competitive nature that we see during this time of year.
HATE: You Fall Behind on Your Other TV Shows
With NBA basketball on day and night when are you supposed to keep up with your other shows like American Idol or Desperate Housewives? Not that I watch either of those of course.
Better make sure you've got TiVO! Then you've got the best of both worlds, sports all day, and your shows right before you go to sleep.
If not, you're out of luck and you've got to make some sacrifices. What's it going to be? (Don't try switching back and forth, you're bound to miss a big play).
LOVE: The Unpredictable Story Lines
All jokes aside, could we predict half of the stories that have come about thus far during the 2012 NBA Playoffs?
Stoudemire's temper tantrum, D-Rose's injury, both LA teams advancing to the second round; these are just a couple of things not exactly deemed likely at the beginning of the year.
Both journalists and fans are able to enjoy these unpredictable story lines. There is nobody out there who can predict what's going to happen next in the NBA playoffs and that makes it even more exciting and fun to watch.
HATE: The System
The NBA playoff system is just too much.
I understand the fact that the NBA wants the best team to win and feels as though a seven game series will decide that effectively. I also understand that the NBA loves to extend the playoffs in order to make as much money as possible.
However, the current NBA playoff system takes away from the game, especially in the early rounds where higher seeds have to waste their time and energy on teams that have no business being on the same court as them.
If a team is better than it's opponent, shouldn't they be able to prove it in 3 games? It would prevent player fatigue and speed up the lengthy NBA playoffs that fans sometimes become bored with.
Imagine the intensity of an NBA game 7 at every game, well that's exactly what you would get with this system. As much as I love watching NBA basketball, something has got to be done about the system in use today.
LOVE: Seeing One Team's Hardwork Pay off
It's an amazing feeling seeing a team, whether it is the one you were going for or not, raise the trophy in June with a relieved look in their eyes and smile on their face. It really puts it all in perspective for not only the fans, but also the players, coaches, and every one else apart of the organization.
We forget that playing in the NBA is these guys jobs and at the end of the day, no matter what job you work at, all you want is a little recognition for your hard work.
In the NBA, it's just a little bit harder to get that recognition.
HATE: When They End
As much as I've complained and griped about the length and system of the NBA playoff system in this article, the bottom line is we all hate when they are over. When the champions hoist that trophy there are those who celebrate, cry, and laugh, only then do we realize that the season is over.
Luckily for us, we've got the Olympics to look forward to this summer. But there's just nothing like NBA Playoff basketball.