Do the long seasons and playoffs cause you to lose interest in the NBA and NHL?

My major complaint about the NHL and NBA is the long regular season followed by two months of playoffs. Hockey starts in October and ends in June. The NBA starts in November and also ends in June.

The NBA and NHL are leagues I start to pay attention to after the Super Bowl while I’m waiting for baseball to start. Sure, I"ll watch a game if its on earlier in the year. But, it is usually on a weekday night when there is no college or pro football on.

Now, if both sports could wrap up things by May 1 or so, I might actually pay more attention. But, by late June, I find myself losing interest. Hockey, in warm weather states, in June? For some reason, it seems less relevant than the Pro Bowl.

This doesm’t really answer your question, but I’m completely excited about the Lakers. I pretty much gave up on them after Kobe went bat-shit insane. However this year when Bynum started to play really well and Kobe started acting like a team player, I got interested again. Once they got Pao Gasol, I was back on the bandwagon (Thank you Jerry West, you’ll always be a Laker in my heart). Now that they are crushing in the playoffs, it is really easy to be a fan again. I guess I’m a pretty piss poor fan. It’s just easy to get disillusioned when they’re shitty after having followed them since the late 1960’s.

Well it makes me lose interest in the regular season. But the NBA play-offs rock. 'Course being a Spurs fan they do have a tendency to capture interest for a longer time.

And if the Spurs get through Phoenix I expect a Spurs/Lakers finals. And that is what I would call a coin flip. Preceded by a whole heck of a lot of haymakers, roundhouses, body checks, etc.

I’m a huge hockey fan but even I find the length of the NHL playoffs exhausting. We’re not even close to halfway and it’s almost May.

I certainly don’t have any problems with the length of the NHL’s playoffs. Four rounds of seven game series are necessary to pick off the pretenders.

Hockey and basketball should not be played in June. Ever. The season is too long,The fact that winning the season is an afterthought proves it should be much shorter.Then too many teams make the playoffs anyway.

That’s my biggest gripe. Tighten that up and maybe you wouldn’t have to do so much “weeding” with the extended playoffs.

I was musing the other day that you have to win 16 games to win the NHL playoffs. That’s an entire NFL season.

And baseball season is short? Its almost November before the Championship wraps up, fercryinoutloud. And 162 regular season games isn’t considered excessive?

If pro hockey (with very rare exceptions) was played outside, I’d see your point. Being arena sports, the NBA and NHL are somewhat less susceptable to local weather conditions. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not saying this necessarily is the case with gonzomax, but a lot of college basketball elitists make these complaints about the NBA, then turn around and say the NCAA tournament field should be expanded (again) so we can see more Davidsons and George Masons. In fact, one could say the NCAA regular season is completely irrelevant because regular season champs are not automatically included in the NCAA tourney.

For me, the length of the NBA season is just fine as it is. The season length is well established and has been consistent for many years, as has the playoff format. If pro hoops or hockey is not your cup of tea, then I doubt shortening the season or reducing the number of teams in the playoffs is going to change your perceptions.

So, while everybody’s entitled to their opinion, its not like David Stern or Gary Bettman is going to come to your home and force you to watch their product. ESPN only shows about 2 minutes of NBA and NHL highlights (combined) on SportsCenter before turning their attention to the statistics of each and every participant in the baseball/football games of that particular day, so I wouldn’t worry too much about pro hockey or basketball harshing your mellow. :slight_smile:

Not that it matters much, but you’re wrong about the last sentence. I would definitely watch more pro basketball if either: (1) The regular season were shorter; or (2) fewer teams made the playoffs.

The baseball regular season is long, damned long, but it works because at the end of the season, only 8 of 30 teams make the playoffs. The teams that make it have all been clearly established as the best; there are no (or very few) weak early-round matchups.

By way of contrast, the NBA basketball season goes on for very nearly as long as the baseball season, then ends by letting more than half its teams into the playoffs. The relevance of the regular season is called into question when that many teams make the playoffs. I can get excited to watch a random regular season game in MLB because in all likelihood, a team will have to win 90 games or close to it to make the playoffs. In basketball, all you had to manage in the East this year was a .450 winning percentage.

Then the playoffs come. The early-round matchups are filled with mismatches because of the teams that got into the playoffs without deserving it. If there’s a Cinderella team that makes a series of it, like Atlanta is doing right now, that’s kind of fun, but: (1) it further mocks the value of the regular season; and (2) it’s rare enough that watching a minimum of 32 first round games in the hope that a small percentage might be competitive is not rewarding.

If basketball changed one thing - awarded playoff spots like MLB - here’s how the current postseason would have shaken out.

Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (WC)
Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic

Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs (WC)
New Orleans Hornets vs. Utah Jazz

Kick off the playoffs with those four matchups, and I bet you ratings would increase, not just for the playoffs but for the regular season. Down the stretch, every single game played by a team in the Western Conference would have been fraught with meaning, as Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver jockeyed to take one of those spots. The Spurs wouldn’t be able to play the entire regular season in third gear. It would have been epic.

And it would have concluded with a managable playoffs with three wildly compelling first round matchups: LeBron vs. the Team of Destiny; Kobe vs. Duncan; Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams.

Lord, the idea of it gives me the chills. Imagine watching Phoenix, Houston, and San Antonio fighting every night for that lone wild card spot? Instead we get our late-regular-season “excitement” from Atlanta and New Jersey competing to see who can be slightly less worse.

Do you know how often a seventh seed beats a second seed in the NHL? It happens with regularity. My team, the Ottawa Senators, has been involved in four second vs. seventh first-round matchups. 3 out of those 4 series, the seventh seed has won, and all of the series ended in 5 games or fewer.

It’s not about weeding out the weak lower seeds – it’s about weeding out the weak high seeds.

ETA: Oops, I forgot about 1997. 3 out of 5 times, and that last time Ottawa drew it out to seven games.

storyteller0910 hit the nail on the head.

Whoever made the first round NBA playoffs best of 7 should be paddled too. These things should all be best of 5 at most, and they should all be done already. Instead, the drag them out over two weeks. Why they need that many off days between games is silly. The fact that the Cavs and the Wizards are only playing game 5 tonight for a series that started a week ago Saturday is a travesty on two fronts: that it isn’t over already, with Cleveland wining 3-1, and that its taking this long to conclude it.

You could pick off the pretenders by simply adopting the MLB process of only letting eight teams in.

Sure, you’d get rid of 7-beats-2 scenarios, but what gives the #7 team a right to even have a shot? Of course they might go on a run, but that just raises, again, the value of an 82-game season that eliminates less than half of the league. I’m sure the Blue Jays could win some first round series if the AL let eight teams in - last year, under NHL/NBA playoff rules, the Jays would have been up against the Indians in the first round. Sure, they could win that series, but so what? I mean, it’d be great for me as a Jays fan; they’d have made the playoffs nine of the last ten years, and in recent years might damned well have won it all (pitching-heavy teams tend to do a bit better in postseason play than their regular season records suggest, and the Jays are all pitching and no hitting.) But that’d cheapen the regular season quite a lot.

Of course, the NHL also lets teams into the playoffs that won fewer games than teams that DIDN’T make the playoffs, which is disgraceful, so a you can tell I’m not a fan of their format at all. But that’s just me.

A possible compromise; how about we reduce the first round to best 3 of 5, but all five games are played in the arena of the higher seeded team? At least you’re forcing them to really earn something.

Amen. What do you mean half the teams get to the postseason?!

Baseball isn’t hockey. In baseball the Jays would have a chance to beat anybody in a seven game series because they’re putting Halladay on the mound for 3 of those games. Hockey doesn’t have that problem.

If the #2 seed can’t beat the #7 seed 4 times out of 7, what gives the #2 seed the right for a shot, either?

In the NBA 16 out of i believe 27 teams make the playoffs.

Or, and this is an idea that I really like, a 5 game total goal series. IIRC, there used to be a total goal format somewhere in hockey history, maybe it was in the WHA. It puts a premium on scoring and should make for some fun, wide open games.

Hockey in warm weather states at ALL is a bit silly to me, but yeah, hockey in June is odd. Too many teams make the playoffs, or the season itself is too long. I still watch it all, though, because it’s in my blood.

Kicking ass throughout the grueling regular season.