Could the NBA playoffs be more boring?
By Jeremy Evans
Tribune staff writer
If you want to be a reporter for a newspaper, there are two maxims you must accept.
First, most people think that they’re a better writer than you and that your newspaper is nothing more than kindling for the fire. This type of rhetoric must be absorbed, even though critics’ e-mails are more confusing than an elementary school student’s first attempt at cursive.
Second, never expect to have a holiday off. It took my mom years before she understood this one. Eventually, she grasped the concept that if her paper arrives on Dec. 26, somebody was working on Christmas.
So I considered myself fortunate when I got Memorial Day off this week. With horrible weather again on Monday, I put on the long sleeves and went for a mountain bike ride, then grilled out at a friend’s house with the hope that I’d have the pleasure of watching the NBA Eastern Conference playoff game between the Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics.
It was such an captivating game that my friend chopping vegetables was more interesting. In fact, the only time I glanced at the television was when the announcer said the Celtics had cut the Pistons’ lead to single digits. But then Richard Hamilton would knock down a shot and, a minute later, Detroit was back up by 15.
Final Score: Detroit 94, Boston 75.
Unfortunately for those basketball fans who don’t regularly work swing shift, they’ve been treated to the worst NBA playoffs in recent memory.
Home teams are 49-18 (.732) and have been so dominant that the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, who qualified for the playoffs with a 37-45 record won all of three of their homes games against the top-seeded Boston Celtics, who had the NBA’s best record during the regular season (66-16).
And the only thing more predictable than the victors have been the outcomes. Expect a blowout, and be grateful for a tight contest. Of the 67 playoff games played, 41 have been decided by double-digits, and 11 games have decided by 20 or more points. The average margin of victory is 13.8 points per game.
In the conference finals alone, six of the eight games have been double-digit blowouts. In Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, the Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs 101-71. Two days later, the Spurs beat the Lakers by 19 points.
On Tuesday in Game 4, the Lakers held on for a 93-91 victory, an intriguing game only because L.A. is likely headed toward its first NBA Finals appearance since 2002, and San Antonio’s dominance might finally be coming to an end.
In these playoffs, it’s gotten so bad that the storyline has become more entertaining than the games themselves.
Just wake me up when the playoffs are over.
– Jeremy Evans is a sportswriter for the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at (530) 542-8008.