By Chris Carlson
Generally speaking, based off the last decade or so the first round of the NBA Playoffs lack of real drama or any sort of champion meaning has put a bad tasted in the mouth of fans. And yes, I haven’t forgotten the intense 1st round series from two years ago that featured three separate game 7’s or the Chicago/Boston series in 2010. I’ll admit the first frame was pretty good this year and surprisingly played out way better then a dreadful 2nd round slate of matchups. Sure, the Washington/Boston series went the distance but only two games were worth watching heading in to a must-win seventh.
In years like this I wish they never changed the first round length from 5 to 7 games. The 2nd round was so downright awful I’m now considering a best of 3 for the 1st round and best of 5 for the 2nd in hopes of increasing the intensity of these blowout results we see across the NBA playoffs landscape. For the first time in a long while the NBA regular season had more thrills, storylines and impressive individual feats statically then anything that has transpired in the playoffs.
Yes, Cleveland looked vulnerable in spots with Kevin Love & J.R. Smith’s injured plus Lebron James’s sabbatical-like rest was worth noting during the regular season, but all along we knew deep down the Cavaliers and Warriors would meet for a third time in the NBA Finals. Fast-forward to the Golden State Warriors leading the San Antonio Spurs 2-0 after Tuesday night’s blowout of the Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs. Like it or not this series potential crumbled when ZaZa Pachulia took an extra step to get under Leonard’s jump shot resulting in yet another twist of his ankle.
The Pick: Golden State Warriors in 4 and if Leonard returns in 5.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics: Late in the season the Cavs and C’s were neck and neck in a bid for home court advantage in the East. Back to back to losses to Atlanta by Cleveland ultimately clinched the East for the Celtics, but on that night late in the regular season, Lebron and company showed Boston who was the real boss on the road when it counted the most. So whether it takes 5 or 6 games for the returning NBA champions to expel Boston it’s already been written.
The Pick: Cleveland Cavilers in 6.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of the Rope A Dope Radio & NBA Podcasts available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Subscribe on iTunes, Player.FM, Tunein, & Stitcher. Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio