Friday, May 4, 2012

The Bored Supremacy: Why The NBA Playoffs Are Putting Me To Sleep

I was hoping to wait until the end of the first round of the NBA Playoffs before writing this, but I could not hold out any longer. Normally, I watch the NBA Playoffs. Most of the time I down right enjoy the NBA Playoffs. But this year they have frankly been unwatchable. The 2012 playoffs are showing me why the NBA's ratings make the game America's fifth favorite sport (behind NFL, college football, college basketball and baseball). While I know television ratings are not everything, they can be used as a gauge for how many people want to watch the sport. 

Maybe the games will get better as the playoffs continue. Maybe there are a few elite teams and the rest are mediocre. Maybe I am just too used to basketball games that are actually entertaining. Maybe it is because the NHL playoffs have had umpteenth overtime games or games that were decided by one goal. The NBA needs to improve their playoff games before no one is watching. Let's take a look at 2012's games:

#1 San Antonio vs #8 Utah

  • San Antonio won game one 106 to 91. The Spurs also won game two 114-83. In two games, the average margin of victory is 23 points. How can the NBA expect me to watch the game when it is over by halftime?
#2 Oklahoma City vs #7 Dallas
  • This series has actually been one of the only watchable series so far but that is only because each team has made a come back in the first two games of the series. The third game was another blowout 95-79. Average margin of victory: 6.7 points
#3 Los Angeles Lakers vs #6 Denver
  • The first game was another amazing blowout while the second was a bit closer. Average margin of victory: 9.5 points. However, you have to wonder if Metta World Peace was able to play if the Lakers would be winning by more.
#4 Memphis vs #5 Los Angeles Clippers
  • This series looks deceptive because the Clippers came back from 27 down to win game one. When you take that into account, the series is not as close as it looks. This is another series that has been exciting to watch. Average margin of victory: 4 points.
#1 Chicago vs #8 Philadelphia
  • Another series that would be different if everyone was healthy. Derrick Rose gets hurt in game one and now the series may have a different outcome. Neither of the games have been that close. Game one was 103-91 and game two was 109-92. Average margin of victory: 14.5 points
#2 Miami vs #7 New York
  • Three games. Three opportunities for me to fall asleep. Miami has been in cruise control the entire time. Winning all three games. Game one was 100-67. Game two, 104-94 and game three, 87-70. Average margin of victory: 20 points.
#3 Indianapolis vs #6 Orlando
  • Again injuries are impacting another series. You have to wonder how the games would end if Dwight Howard was not out for the season. Game 1, 81-77, game 2, 93-78 and game 3, 97-74. Average margin of victory: 14 points.
#4 Atlanta vs #5 Boston 
  • This series has been closer than other games but you should expect a 4-5 series to be closer than the rest. Game 1 ended 83-74 while game 2 came to a close at 87-80. Average margin of victory: 8 points
Overall average margin of victory: 12.46 points

By now you are probably asking what all of these numbers mean and what will they be compared to? Well let's take a look at the 2012 Final Four. Now before I begin I know I am comparing a handful of games to four games, but it is an easy comparison for now. 

Semifinal #1 Kentucky vs Louisville - 69-61 - Margin of victory: 8 points
Semifinal #2 Ohio State vs Kansas - 64-62 - Margin of victory: 2 points
Championship game Kentucky vs Kansas - 67-59 - Margin of victory: 8 points

Overall average margin of victory: 6 points 

Again, this is quite a smaller sample size but I think it would be hard to find someone that would tell you the 2012 NBA Playoffs have been exciting. Sure, a game or two have been fun to watch, but outside of those, the playoffs have been boring. What is to keep me from changing the channel? I like sports because even if you do not have a team to root for you are more times than not entertained. Close games where teams go back and forth are exciting. Games where one team is up by twenty points at halftime make me want to run to watch something else. 

Ultimately, I am rooting for an Oklahoma City vs Miami Finals because I think it could yield close games but until then it is hard for me to give reasons as to why you should watch the NBA playoffs. Until the games get a little closer, 2012 will have the NBA Playoffs starring in the Bored Supremacy. 

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