As entertaining as the playoffs are, it gets incredibly old to hear the same old phrases and storylines recycled over and over again. We get it, we understand and it's time to move on to something new.
It'll probably never happen, but here are some postseason cliches that the basketball gods should outlaw immediately.
Anyone else tired of hearing about how everyone needs to "make adjustments" or has "made adjustments?"
Don't get me wrong. I don't mind it when the discussion is over real, specific adjustments teams are making to try and win the series they are currently in. That's timely, important and interesting.
What is annoying is when we are fed just the line about "making adjustments" without much else to back it up. Like when someone mentions that the San Antonio Spurs will make adjustments between the previous game and the very next game. Wow, a team featuring Tim Duncan and Tony Parker and coached by Gregg Popovich will make adjustments to try and win?
Give me a break and cut it out.
Should LeBron James have a ring? Probably so. Does he need to win one to get the monkey off his back? Absolutely. Does he need one to be remembered as one of the all-time greats? Absolutely not.
James averages 28.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per playoff game in his career. He's been to two NBA Finals, losing one to the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 and one to the Dallas Mavericks last postseason. Those, along with his impressive stats, are enough to guarantee Hall-of-Fame status and probably Top 10 of all time consideration as well.
However, forget whether you agree with that point. The problem is that both sides of that argument are sick of hearing the same old storyline about how James shrinks in the clutch and must win a ring to validate himself as a basketball player. It's old and tiring.
Unfortunately, probably the only way this will die is if James wins a ring.
Another huge cliche that is recycled over and over and almost daily is the whole "sky is falling" routine. What do I mean exactly?
After the Miami Heat had gone down 2-1 to the Indiana Pacers in the second round, what was the general rhetoric? It was all about how the Heat were in big trouble and the Pacers were really pushing them and Dwyane Wade and LeBron James couldn't mesh well enough together. What happened next? Miami won four straight games and sent the Pacers home.
It happens constantly. We overreact to a game or two and count a team out, only to realize that it is never really over until it is over. We often talk about how players need to take each series one game at a time, but we as fans and media never, ever actually follow that mantra ourselves.
Speaking of which...
I know, I know, I just used it. But it really is used way too much.
In fact, it's used too much outside the postseason. We hear all the time in nearly every sport about taking "one game at a time." It gets even worse in the playoffs as we repeat the mantra over and over while also committing the formerly mentioned sin of counting a team out too early.
Plus, a lot of teams don't even approach the playoffs that way. The Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs are notorious for giving games away in order to rest up for the next battle. The Spurs did it last night against the Thunder.
Fans don't follow it, the media doesn't follow it and some of the players don't even follow it all of the time. Let's put it to rest.
How many times have you heard an analyst or player talk about how the team "held home court" and, by doing so, "did their job"?
Let me let everyone in on a little secret: For 15 out of 16 NBA teams, just "holding home court" has a zero percent chance of winning an NBA title. There is literally only one team every year that could just win at home and still win a title, and almost always those are the teams that are smart enough to realize just how dumb that is.
It is not a team's "job" to "hold home court." Its job is to win the series it is currently in. Holding home court can be a part of it, but it really doesn't matter if you can't in on the road. It's time we recognized that and stopped letting teams that can't win on the road cop out.