Levels Of Drama: The 2011 NBA Playoffs Are Off The Charts

With the NBA Playoffs looming, I’m not quite sure we as fans are prepared for the amount of parity and drama about to be experienced. With that said, I’ve developed a “Levels of Drama” scale to help us better understand what soon awaits us.

Level 1: Your girlfriend asks if this makes her look fat. You hesitate with your response.

Level 2: An episode of “The Hills”

Level 3: Two sorority girls showing up to the dance wearing the same dress

Level 4: The movie Mean Girls

Level 5: The 2011 NBA Playoffs

That’s right, the 2011 NBA Playoffs will be more dramatic than a notorious Heidi and Spencer fight. Even more dramatic than the scene in Mean Girls where Regina wears sweatpants to school on a Monday, directly violating “The Rules of Feminism” code the girls so religiously live by. (I swear I’ve never seen this movie…)

The 2011 NBA Playoffs are going to be special. I don’t know who is going to make them special. Heck, I don’t even know whose going to make the playoffs. But the 2011 NBA Playoffs are going to be special. That I do know.

Well what’s going to make them so special?

That’s the first question my roommate asked after I finished blabbering about how special I thought the playoffs were going to be. And after thinking about it, I finally came to my conclusion: the story lines. I can’t remember a year when each of the top eight teams in the NBA had such a unique story line. Let me break it down…

San Antonio: The Spurs, the team with the NBA’s best record (52-12), recently lost to the third place Lakers at home by 16. They were down 28 at half and simply looked overmatched. They also looked tired, slow and old – three words that make Spurs fans start convulsing uncontrollably. But what an interesting story line that creates. Will the Spurs’ age catch up to them come playoff time, or will their experience and veteran leadership carry them to the Finals?

Boston: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins have never lost a playoff series together. In three years, these five guys never lost a single playoff series when healthy. Two weeks ago, Danny Ainge traded Perkins to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. Enter your Boston Celtics story line: Are the Celtics better or worse after the trade? Who guards Dwight Howard now? Was losing Perkins worth a little more athleticism on the perimeter? Any of those interest you?

Miami: Can the Heat overcome all the adversity and live up to the expectations? Can they compete with the NBA’s elite? (They’re 0-9 vs. the top eight teams in the NBA.) Can Wade and LeBron learn to successfully co-exist on the court without one taking a back seat to the other? And most important, can their players stop crying after losses?

Los Angeles: A few weeks ago, the Lakers were “too old.” A few weeks ago, they couldn’t defend anyone and people wrote them off. Now they’ve won eight in a row and look like the dominant Lakers we’re used to seeing. So what’s the deal? Are they too old, or are they still the team to beat?

Chicago: Are they ready to eat at the big boy table with the adults? They are regular season “for real,” but are they playoffs “for real?”

Dallas: Does Dirk have a strong enough supporting cast or will the loss of Caron Butler be too significant? Potentially more intriguing, will Mark Cuban and Charlie Sheen team up to create the most shocking/fascinating show in the history of television? (Or at least a playoffs promo.)

Orlando: Will the Magic live by the three or die by the three in the playoffs? Also, will Dwight make it through all the games or be suspended for murdering Brian Scalabrine on the court after an obvious foul that isn’t called?

Oklahoma City: How good are they? Did the addition of Perkins make them the most talented and feared team in the West, or are they still just “another year away?”

New York: We know they can score, but can they stop anybody?

What do you think? What story lines are you looking forward to? Who do you think will win it all?

Follow Scott on Twitter at @scott_horlbeck.

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