NBA’s Newest Strawman? Blaming Bubble Success
The media will do anything to discredit the teams that are currently playing in the NBA Playoffs. Why? None of them are the big names. For the first time since 2010, LeBron James or the Golden State Warriors aren’t involved with the NBA Finals. The dynasties of old are dead. Now, will someone start a new one? Or will we start to see parity develop in the league? Not surprisingly, the national media and/or public teams are starting to build strawmen to explain why the biggest teams are not making any progress this year. It’s fun to see develop in real-time. Let’s break this down, shall we?
The final eight in the bubble last Fall:
Toronto – Missed playin/playoffs
Milwaukee – On to 2nd round
Miami – Swept in 1st round
Boston – Lost in 1st round
Denver – On to 2nd round
LA Clippers – Down 3-2 in 1st round
Houston – Missed playin/playoffs
LA Lakers – Lost in 1st round
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) June 4, 2021
Toronto dealt with more COVID issues than any team in the league. It’s hard to count them plus they lost key players from that team. Miami wasn’t the team they were last season. The losses of Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynk were too big to overcome. Denver and Milwaukee still playing which means 25% of last years final eight are in the final eight again. Boston had injuries and a dysfunctional franchise. Los Angeles Clippers are a mess and nothing bubble-related. Houston quit on the season in the first few weeks. Lakers were banged up all season. Now, the Lakers may be the only team that has a legit case. Miami can say ‘Oh it’s the bubble’ but in reality, it’s the lack of talent. This will likely be LeBron’s excuse.
Denver and Milwaukee are still involved though. And if one of those teams goes far, it’s hard to make a case that the bubble directly impacted the season. Did it play a factor? Sure. But it’s not the sole reason all of these teams bowed out.