So here we are finally entrenched in the second round. Largely the first round oft he NBA Playoffs was extremely disappointing, aside from the brilliance that was the Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs series which is still giving me heart palpitations.
This leads me to my random thoughts on the NBA and the state of the playoffs:
First off, don't worry about playoff seeding and getting rid of divisions. I think people overreact to small sample sizes and with the East presumably getting some young talent in we will finally see an evening out (maybe not totally) of the talent gap between the two conferences as time goes by. As I say about draft picks vs. free agency ... these things run in cycles and it things will circle back to being more fair. Don't use the wonderful Clips/Spurs series as negative evidence for something that really doesn't need to be changed.
People say that I'm on some sort of crusade against the Atlanta Hawks. That is far from the truth. They are a fun team to watch and I really do hope they advance to the NBA Finals. My biggest issue with the Hawks is the whole cliched lack of stand out, difference making player thing. A player who is not a specialist. A player who can improvise and get the gritty points when everything breaks down ... It's more of a gut feeling though. It seems like the Hawks need their offense to work perfectly.. Like ... when things break down and the opposing team mucks things up (much like the Wizards did in game one of their second round series yesterday) the Hawks seemed to get tighter. Open shots were suddenly veering left. You know what? It happens. I think if the Hawks had a true, dynamic wing player they would be basically the Spurs 2.0. Right now it seems that the difference between the Hawks and Wizards is ... the Wizards have John Wall and Paul Pierce. One star, one gritty veteran. I will happily accept heckling if the Hawks continue to advance through the playoffs.
Adam Silver basically taunted the NBPA yesterday by warning them not to opt out of the labor agreement. Which is rather odd considering everyone believes the owners will opt out of the agreement at the end of the 2017 season anyway. So ... it was a bunch of hot air. You would hope that the two sides could come to an agreement without the labor rigamarole and understand they can't kill the golden goose. It just doesn't seem that way.
One thought from someone who knows a little about labor issues. You want to "smooth" the affect and cap spike of the new TV deal. Expand the league by two teams. Say ... Seattle and Vancouver. That ought to do the trick.