Fixing the NBA Playoffs

No, not the Tim Donaghy way… What do all three players in this “Finals” image have in common? All were able to compete for the NBA Championship this season. They also shared a 0% chance of winning it.

The first round of the NBA playoffs completed this past weekend. We had some surprises along the way, with sixth seeded New Orleans sweeping the number three seed in Portland, as well as seventh seeded Milwaukee nearly upsetting Boston. Cleveland and Indiana also went to a crucial Game 7, and these three series have been a joy to watch.

It reminds me of other great first round moments, like in 1994, when the eighth seed Denver Nuggets upset the Seattle Supersonics, becoming the first team to do so in NBA Playoff history. Or how about 2007, when the eighth seed Golden State Warriors stunned the 67-15 Dallas Mavericks, becoming the first eighth seed to do so in a seven game series? Boston vs. Chicago in 2009 was also great, setting records for most games requiring overtime (4) and periods played (7). We could even go back to 1989, as Michael Jordan hung in the air longer than his defender Craig Ehlo of the Cleveland Cavaliers, to hit the game and series clinching buzzer beater. All great and unforgettable moments.

Continue reading “Fixing the NBA Playoffs”

The James Harden Rule

Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller forced the NBA to change their rules. Should James Harden receive the NBA MVP this season, Commissioner Dan thinks it’s time to make another revision.

Last season, Russell Westbrook won the NBA MVP Award because he averaged a triple-double. As of this writing, he is 16 rebounds away from averaging a second triple-double, and becoming the only player to ever do so twice in their career; however, something tells me that even if he somehow is able to do this (edit: He did), James Harden is still going to be league MVP. Which boggles the mind the more you think about it. Scoring aside (Harden is leading the league, upping his average by 1.5 PPG), his assists (8.7 compared to a league leading 11.2) and rebounds (5.4 compared to 8.1) are all way down this season. Meanwhile, Westbrook’s numbers have only dipped slightly, and should he record the necessary 16 rebounds to complete the triple-double, does the argument for Harden as MVP truly exist? Continue reading “The James Harden Rule”

Commissioner Dan’s “Three Step Solution”

Recently, the NBA has promised to “crack down” on reckless closeouts and creating contact during shots. Commissioner Dan has a few ideas of his own.

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A new NBA season is on the way, and with it, a season chock full of fantastic plays, broken records, and hopefully an NBA championship for your favorite team (if they happen to be the Warriors). But along with all these great things come a host of issues we’d love to forget. Each year, the NBA comes in with the same mentality: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Even in a financially lucrative sport like football (say what you will about Goodell), the sport is constantly trying to improve itself. Why is basketball so stagnant? It’s not like there isn’t an outcry for changes. What to do about watching a Clippers/Hornets game, where both teams put the opposing center to the line 40 times a game, in hopes they will be subbed out? How about eliminating teams the ability to stack themselves so high with talent, competition becomes obsolete? Commissioner Silver has so far avoided even a fraction of the scrutiny David Stern encountered during his reign, but that doesn’t dismiss the fact he has allowed these issues to fester in the minds of casual and hardcore hoops fans alike.

Introducing, Commissioner Dan. My resume speaks for itself. I’ve been watching professional basketball under a microscope for 20+ years, I own and operate a basketball blog, and I’ve already held the title of commissioner for my fantasy football league for 6 years running; Moreover, I’m not going to sit on my laurels and wait for you to tell me what’s wrong with the current state of the NBA. I already know the problems, and I pledge to resolve them, in three easy steps. Continue reading “Commissioner Dan’s “Three Step Solution””