Tuesday, May 27, 2008

NBA Semi-Climactic

It's been awhile, Family. Ten days since I last graced Fundamentally UnSound with my unconventional thoughts. But I am back like I want Lauryn Hill to be, and equipped with freshly new ideas. Oh, and as always, I'm back with freshly searched random pictures...

The NBA postseason is now in its championship stages. The winners of the remaining series will receive a trophy for their accomplishments, and will forever have a place in history. It is in this that I'm torn while "watching" the semi-finals. Why is watching in quotation marks? Because for the past seven days—ever since the conference finals started—I have fallen asleep before during each of the games. At first, I didn't know why. Maybe I'm getting old. Then I realized, I'm 21 years old; old is light years away from me right now. I even began thinking that ten-plus years of watching Timmy have caught up to me; and I'm taking on his boring persona. But I'm too much of a big kid to be boring, so that's not it. I may have found, at least partially, the reason why...and it may startle fans of the Lakers...

To me, it seems that the playoffs are suffering from the same ailment that haunts the NCAA Tournament. During March Madness, there are Cinderella seeds planted, big-time upsets, and everlasting moments made. Then, as the lesser teams are weeded out, the Final Four results into something ho-hum; with last year being a recent exception. To me, the NBA games are getting less entertaining as the rounds progress. In the first round, there were a myriad of storylines that arose before and during the various series. Can the Suns finally overcome the Spurs? Are the New Orleans Hornets for real? Will anyone on the Wizards dare take a swing at Lebron and risk the wrath of David Stern suspension in a rivalry series? Combine that with the near-upset of ESPN's Boston's Celtics in ATL, and most of the games were watchable (sorry, Orlando-Toronto...not you guys). In the second round, each of the matchups seemed to be slated with some sort of underdog taking down some sort of favorite. The CP3s were trying to take down the defending Timmys, Lebron was trying to drag the rest of his teammates past The Boston Three Party on his cape, and Utah-LA was exciting as well (sorry again, Orlando but Hedo's dunk attempt was a no-no). This round is...*shrugs*...

The basketball purist in me understands that the four remaining teams are the best four teams in the league, and would probably play the best brand of basketball available to the Conference Finals. But these semis seem to lack something. They lack...stars. The casual fan in me needs something visually pleasing to keep me totally drawn into each game. Rodney Stuckey doesn't play enough in the East, and Kobe has yet to be amazing for an entire game. This is where Lakers fans should be perplexed. I understand the Mamba's star power and that he's arguably the biggest individual draw in the league. However, he's pitted against the most boring star player and team of the past ten years, so there are two somewhat counteracting forces at work. With Boston's almost-collapses in each of the first two rounds, I'm just sick of watching them play basketball. Detroit, minus Rodney Stuckey, isn't helping the matters at all, either. For example, the only part of the game I watched live was the surrounding minutes before and after Jason Maxiell's block on the Not-So-Big Ticket.

(*sidebar* Ray Allen needs to channel his inner Jesus Shuttlesworth.)

There's a couple of things that I can attribute to this feeling of blah that overcomes me while watching the Conference Finals. Part of it is because of my overwhelming infatuation for Chris Paul. Part of it may be due to the fact that Lebron's superpowers have taken a hold of me. The point is, because of the incredibly exciting play that occurred throughout the first two rounds has hindered this round, at least through the first seven games between the two series. Not even The Mamba's spurts of blurring the line between reality and video game gameplay hasn't been enough to keep me awake.

Because I'm entrenched in the love of basketball, I won't ever abandon it; especially during the postseason. Hopefully, I've been resting through the previous games because the upcoming ones will be memorable. I wonder how David Stern will feel about another Spurs-Pistons Finals (more on this in a future post)? If those teams meet again, no doubt there will be millions of casual fans that will go into hibernation until October. With that said, I can't wait to watch tonight.


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