The NBA’s regular season is a grueling campaign. Yet, come mid-April, bottom-feeders and ne’er do wells are sent home early while the league’s best vie for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Of course, some squads will serve as fodder for the ensuing rounds. However this years match ups and trends warrant meaningful discussion. The old favorites return as heavyweights. Nevertheless, road to the chip is as open as it’s been in some time. This could be the year when the old guard gives way to new champions, like it or not.
More importantly, there are a plethora of angles to account for in this year’s post season. Take a look at the following themes NBA heads ought to keep an eye on. We’re all due for some great basketball for the next month and a half. So, without further adieu, let’s kick off the playoffs right.
1. Derrick Rose And The Curse Of The MVP
Remember “The Madden Curse”? What started off as a joke became a full fledged superstition as whoever graced the legendary football game’s cover either had a subpar season or had it cut short due to injury. Well, the NBA has a curse too, but theirs is far less physically taxing. We’re just going to assume Rose has the MVP squared away. It only makes sense, right? He’s top 10 in the league in scoring and assists and the unquestioned floor general for the best team – record wise – in the league. If that honor does come fruition, however, the chances of the Windy City seeing their seventh trophy does not bode well. You see, the last league MVP to go on to win the Finals was Tim Duncan in 2003. Don’t shoot us, we’re just the messengers.
2. The “L” Word
We football fans are dealing with the sports equivalent to a STD right now, that being a lockout. NBA fans will be forced to deal with the same reality in a few months as their players union and owners square off to see who will blink first. The question now is what’s the over/under for how many teams we’ll hear the word “lockout” over the course of the playoffs? 200? 250? Either way, by the time the Finals are decided that word will have become a derogatory term, slightly less offensive than “n*gger” and “f*cking f@ggot.”
Too bad the NFL or NBA has yet to come up with a cure for this STD (sports transmitted disease) even though we already know the name of it – collective bargaining agreement.
3. Spike Lee Vs. Kevin Garnett
Sweet baby Jesus, please let this pop off. Earlier in the season, the world’s most famous basketball fan (with Jack Nicholson being a close second), Spike Lee, had words for Boston Celtics future Hall of Fame power forward Kevin Garnett. Let’s say the Knicks actually make a series out of this and push it to six or seven games. We could possibly see Spike Vs. Reggie part deux, minus the theatrical three pointers, of course. Spike loves toss barbs at players and KG absolutely gets off getting under people’s skin. Add those two ingredients along with Twitter and YouTube to an already combustible situation, and Tyler Perry may have his next script already written for him.
2011 NBA Playoffs: 10 Things To Watch