Three reasons 2018 NBA playoffs are better than 2017s already
In talking with people around the league and the general consensus of the twitterverse, people are more excited about the playoffs. They are watching more games, talking and tweeting more, and are finding the playoffs more enjoyable. But why is this? What changed in the league? Well there are a couple things.
- The matchups are better and more exciting in the first round
Last year had several teams that people felt had no chance of going far in middle seeds, against bad teams at the bottom or teams no one cared about. Around the NBA, most people did not care to watch the grindfest that was Memphi-San Antonio. Everyone knew the Dubs would sweep the Blazers, and the Cavs would sweep the Pacers. Toronto, the Celtics, and the Clippers all had next to 0 chance of making the finals, and we all knew it. The bottom half of each bracket had teams that were outmatched, and we knew most of them had no chance. This year is different. All the matchups are fun outside of the Warriors-Spurs series, and that has its own reasons. Many of these games are close, with few blowouts. Every team has a chance to win every game, and the players from the bottom teams are stars in their own right. This creates an exciting atmosphere and great games in the first round.
- The storylines are better
Last year, many series were just boring. What was there to talk about during the Spurs Grizzlies? Nothing, that’s what. The Warriors were dominating and we did not care about what else was happening. We had a plucky Celtics team in the East, but they had to go through LeBron. Now this year, we have the rise of the Pelicans stunning the Blazers. We have the Young Sixers with a chance at making the finals from a third seed going against the feisty heat. The injured young Celtics trying to hold off the dynamic Giannis trying to will his coachless team to the second round for his first time. The rookie sensation Mitchell and the defensive team first approach from the Jazz going against the man who averaged a triple double again Russell Westbrook and his big three with the Thunder. I could go through each series and highlight a great thing about each one and a story to watch, we could not do that last year.
- The uncertainty of who will win
The Warriors and Cavs are not going to make the Finals again. Or are they? Last year, both teams walked into the Finals without any problems. This year, the Cavs have already lost twice in the first round, and Steph Curry is going to miss the whole first round, and at least part of the second. Neither team is the one seed this year. The Rockets have the MVP, and Toronto and the Sixers want to finally knock off LeBron. This year is more exciting because we don’t have a foregone conclusion. We can watch every Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid moment, and say “are they ready to take down LeBron?” We can watch the Rockets dominate a good team, and think “How are the Warriors going to keep up?” Anthony Davis and Demar DeRozan want to shine on the biggest stages, and we are going to see it. This year is more exciting because its more competitive, and we still have a long road to go to the finals.