Friday, February 08, 2008

Let's Stop The Charade: Start NBA East Playoffs ASAP

Instead of saying, "If the playoffs started today...", in talking about the NBA -- specifically the Eastern Conference -- let's go ahead and do it.

Better yet, let's start the conference semi-finals right now and dispense with the rest of the regular season and the annoyance of a first round.

I'm serious. Let's seed the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, and Cleveland Cavaliers one thru four, and let them go at it. The Celtics can play the Cavs; the Pistons can battle the Magic. Some might even think THAT'S one round too many, and that we should let the NBA have its All-Star Weekend, then move right into conference finals play -- Pistons and Celtics.

OK by me; that LeBron character scares me.

But I suppose we should let the Cavs into our little four-team playoff; they ARE defending conference champs, after all.

The thing is, my tongue is only partly in my cheek as I bang this out. Not a day goes by that I look at the standings and am not disgusted with the non-competitiveness of the East. Celtics: .800 winning pct. Pistons: .729. Magic: .627. Cavs: .563. Everyone else: well, they'd give Ted Williams's batting average a battle, but that's about it.

It's ridiculous, really, how much the league is tilted to the left. I look at the West and I see 10 teams above .500 -- wayyyy above .500 in most cases -- and another at .468. This isn't a league; it's a teeter-totter, with Shaun Rogers on one side and Hannah Montana on the other.

These things go in cycles, I know. Maybe someday, in the distant future, the teeter-totter will sway, and the West will be puny and the East will be mighty. But how did it get this way? How did the East -- which not too long ago had contenders like Indiana, Chicago, New Jersey, Miami, and Philadelphia -- sink so low, so fast? Speaking of the Heat, how can any team with Dwyane Wade (and for part of the time, Shaquille O'Neal) and coached by Pat Riley lose 15 in a row? You'd think Wade, O'Neal, and three midgets could win a couple -- especially playing in the East!!

It shouldn't bother me, but it does. I hate to see such imbalance. Maybe I'm like OCD Detective Monk that way. If the NBA goes through with its plan to hold the playoffs in their entirety -- damn them to Hell -- then the Celtics will batter the Nets (a team whose winning pct. the Celts nearly DOUBLE), and the Pistons will toy with the Atlanta Hawks.


Forget it all, I say. Hold the All-Star Game as planned, then give everyone the rest of the season off. They need the time to regroup and be ready for 2008-09. Then let the Pistons, Celts, Magic, and Cavs go at it for East supremacy -- which is kind of like being mayor of Podunkville, I know -- but there you have it.

That way, the East champ will have some extra time to get ready for the winner of the West.

What do you think, Mr. Stern? Do we REALLY need to see the Celtics kick the Nets around for four games? Or the Pistons play Harlem Globetrotters to the Hawks' Washington Generals? Does the league need scratch THAT badly? They'd be the first two best-of-sevens in sports history to be swept in one game each. You can put "If Necessary" after Game 2's listing.

Get rid of Hannah, and put Refrigerator Perry on the totter opposite Big Baby. Come to think of it, that sounds more interesting than Celtics-Nets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the Pistons' regular season seems boring because you know they're going to the playoffs and will most likely play the Celtics.