Thursday, June 4, 2009

In case you were wondering, the NBA Playoffs are not over yet

Life gets busy, so at times, we need to forgive ourselves for not staying completely current on the happenings outside our own bubble.

One piece of news that might catch a few off guard is that the NBA playoffs are not over yet, but not staying up-to-date on this warrants no self-pardon. The one needing forgiveness is the NBA, not the fans.

If you are not a Lakers or Magic fan, forgetting the playoffs are still going on is absolutely acceptable (and I wouldn't be that surprised if fans from L.A. and Orlando have forgotten, too) for the sole reason that the Conference Finals ended five days ago.

Five days! If a best-of-five series started immediately after the Magic clinched their trip to the Finals, there would have been enough time to finish it before Game 1 of the NBA Finals started (if it was a 3-0 sweep).

Five days! That was long enough for LeBron to leave the court without shaking any hands, stand up the media, come up with an excuse and talk to the media the next day about it, have David Stern want to talk to you about it, maybe talk to him about it, have a benign growth removed, and be back at home resting comfortably by tip-off.

Five days! That was long enough for Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to travel from Florida to the friggin' moon - a total of about 240,000 miles!

Five days! That's long enough for wives to make their husbands watch everything from Steel Magnolias to The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood to make up for the months of neglect sports brought to their lives.

And it is long enough for the NBA to lose all of the momentum earned through two hard-fought, could-have-easily-gone-the-other way conference championships - not mention all of the great series that came before those.

Why would they do this? Three days would have been fine, but five days is poor marketing. We have experienced one of the best playoffs in recent history. And it's not just the drama of nail-biting finishes, but the drama itself has brought more and more viewers back to watching NBA action. Compared to last year's playoffs, TV ratings were up over 30 percent for Eastern and Western Conference Championships.

But a lot of that momentum is gone now, and barring outstanding game-winning shots or even a brawl in Game 1 or 2, the NBA Finals - TV ratings-wise - will fall considerably short of what they could have been.

1 comment:

  1. Merideth SullivanJune 8, 2009 at 8:04 AM

    I agree. I wondered why they took so long off too. It may not have killed the momentum as much had it been a Cavs/Lakers (Lebron/Kobe) finals, but in a Lakers/Magic finals I think it was certainly detrimental.