Playoff Time in the NBA

By: Anthony Lima
By: Anthony Lima

In this week's edition, Anthony questions everything we know to be true about college basketball's playoff format.

After a regular season roughly ten months in the making, the NBA finally will begin the process of determining it's champion - well, in another three months. What the sport may lack in regular season excitement, it makes up in it's second season (one that often feels longer than the first).

Let me first address this misguided notion that the NCAA tournament is an overall better tournament. It's not. Sure, the one-and-done format allows for for a high stakes lose-and-go-home scenario that titillates the average fan.  However, it doesn't necessarily produce the best team in the country. As much as my coworker Courtney Rochon would hate to admit, the Syracuse Orange were only a three seed when they won the title in 2003.  They put on quite a show in their three week run, but that's the problem. Three week run. Just doesn't seem like a champion should be decided in the same amount of time my first television gig lasted.

The NBA on the other hand, makes you truly earn a championship. Sure, the regular season is far too long.  I wouldn't mind about 65-70 games.  But even then, teams would start tanking for a lottery pick by the second month of the season (also known "LeBronning" - made famous by the Cleveland Cavaliers).

The greatest aspect of the NBA's current setup, is that a team isn't out of the playoffs after one bad shooting night, or an evening of foul trouble with your best player.  You get four different series to prove that you are the rightful holder of the title. Each series is full of miniseries that test the resolve of each and every team, with the momentum changing multiple times throughout, and even some occasional hijinx from the corrupt officials thrown in for good measure.

And let's be honest, who wouldn't want to see a game seven in June between Kobe and LeBron for all the marbles. Sounds a little better than UNC vs Michigan State right?


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