Does NBA Finals Delay Hurt or Help The League?
Over Memorial Day weekend, there was a constant thought – ‘I should be watching playoff sports in some capacity.’ For Friday through Sunday, we did not have a single game of basketball or hockey. Stanley Cup Final kicked off last night with a rousing game between Nashville and Pittsburgh. NBA is on a week-hiatus almost like the Super Bowl. A case can be made that it hurts the league we have to wait a week, and an equally good case can be made for why it helps the NBA.
The build-up is not there. I know people want to talk about the rubber match, and how this is an actual rivalry akin to Magic’s Lakers versus Bird’s Celtics yet it’s just not there. People are excited for it, but the takes are all pretty tired by now with not much left to talk about besides making a prediction. If NFL had a Super Bowl with the same teams, three years in a row, it would be the worst. No one would care because the same topics would be brought up year after year for three years straight. Thankfully, MLB had a fight and Tiger Woods got a DUI which means the NBA isn’t hung out to dry as the only topic to talk about on Tuesday.
The biggest reason why it might be okay that we have a week off is the players get a ton of rest. They’re going to look rusty in the first half, and I would take the under in that situation for what it’s worth. But it’s going to make the brand of basketball much better than rushing the NBA Finals through. The last couple years I think the health of both Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors benefited from having the spaced out schedule. The NBA Finals could take 18 days to finish which seems excessive, but the product should be better then. They’re held to a higher standard.
Wherever you fall on this, I’m excited for Thursday night. There are going to be so many bad takes based off one basketball game, and I look forward to overreacting with y’all.