Did you hear?
The NBA PREseason is finally over!
Let’s face it, the NBA season is an 82 game formality anymore! Did 82 games really need to be played to find out that the eight teams from each conference are going to make-up the 2017 NBA Playoffs? The lone surrprise of the 16 teams that will fight to extend their basketball season to mid-summer for a shot at the finals, is that Lebron’s Cavaliers aren’t the top-seed in the Eastern Conference. (1) But this season nothing on the court should be surprising. Instead, what should raise eyebrows is the amount of times “DNP – Rest” shows up on a nightly occurrence.
This reoccurring stat omission is not in jeopardy to even once great things that kept the NBA “watchable” throughout the dull of winter. Some of those great things used to be team rivalries, player rivalries, and drama from the OUTCOMES of GAMES. Now, thanks to DNP-R, All-Stars joining up and other factors we have lost a lot of those things.
Example – Now, the drama isn’t from the outcomes of games but rather the outcome of “Twitter Shade” between passed between players. But one of those things that should never have been lost are the beloved SPOILER GAMES at the end of the season.
Spoiler games you ask?
They are the games that take place at the end of the season that all teams should be amped up for.
The point to these games?
To sell tickets and give one final nod of respect to the NBA’s fans that paid and slaved away nightly for seats to be entertained by these basketball sorcerers.
Spoiler games can take on many reenactments. It can be a team trying for home-court advantage and a non-playoff contender trying to prevent them from a comfy post season. It can be a top-seed team looking to knock down or knock-out a late season bloomer just on the fringe of the playoff field.
This past Wednesday, the NBA season finale night, had multiple chances to recreate beautiful spoiler scenarios. Instead, this generation of NBA athletes chose to just toss the apples of entertainment in the trash rather than bite into the spoiling fun!
The Chicago Bulls took on the Brooklyn Nets, presenting the BK-boys a chance to ruin the Bulls playoff hopes. Maybe igniting a storyline to be cliff-hanged for next season when the Nets and Bulls face-off again. Instead, the Nets sat their players, enabling an easy 112- 73 Chicago victory and forgoing the fun of a knockout. (2)
The same thing took place not far away in Indianapolis where the Atlanta Hawks sat starters allowing the Pacers to clinch the eight seed of the East. The Indiana win also ensured that the Miami Heat would stay shored on the beach of the Playoffs instead of bathing in Late-April basketball waters! (3)
The Pacers are in, the Bulls are in and the Heat are left out. No harm done right? Think nothing was lost in the absence of spoiling in 2017?
But the damage won’t show in May and June, it will show in the loss of fun storylines that the fans love in 2018. Now, the drama in next year’s regular season can not exists between teams with recent history like the Bulls and Heat or Pacers and Heat or the division rivalry between the Bulls and the Pacers.
Imagine those lines say if the Heat had replaced one of the other two due to a spoiled loss. Or how heated the Pacers-Bulls matchups could be if their was an added lingering feel of playoff envy next winter. How great could a a first round series between Miami and Boston have been had the spoilers effected it accordingly? It might have reignited that recent great rivalry between the two franchises!
But no, thanks to the SHAM of DNP-R, the spoilers did not happen and ultimately the league will have to suffer.
The NBA spoiled our spoiler night, in the Mets case for the sake of rest before off-season rest. (*Shaking My Head*)
It’s been a long and dreadful NBA pre-season that has ended just in time for the Easter holiday. Luckfully, we can all take pleasure that the NBA’s REAL season has rejoined us. So, rejoice this holiday weekend NBA fan, meaningful basketball has hopefully finally risen.