This is probably Mr. Paul’s last chance.
Personally, I want to see the Suns, Hawks, Nuggets, or Jazz win the title. Bucks would be okay, I guess. I refuse to root for Paul George after the way he forced himself off of my Pacers, and I don’t root for any New York or Philadelphia teams on general principle.
With the Sixers out, the most “recent” possible champion would be the Bucks, who last won a championship 50 years ago.
Hawks last won 63 years ago; Suns and Clippers have never won. Clips have never even appeared in a Finals.
I was somewhat surprised that the Bucks won that series. They hadn’t won any games in that arena this season (I think)
Not for the first time have I thought the NBA postseason sure goes on a long time (It depends on how many 4-0 vs 4-3 series there are)
Reason #1 to reduce the length of the regular season (which of course they did this year due to the pandemic, but you know what I mean.)
This year was incredibly far from any expected norm. Started late, with almost no offseason due to last year’s “bubble”, even 72 games will take forever. We’re roughly two series behind a regular season, which is about a month. Adam Silver wants to get back to a normal mid- to late-October start to the season this fall, so players are looking at another (and hopefully final) shortened offseason.
But wait, there’s more! It’s possible that the NBA Finals will end maybe a week before the Olympics. Currently, there are three players still in the playoffs that have committed to Team USA - Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Kris Middleton. That’s even less rest for some of the top players.
The Bucks-Nets series - and to a lesser extent, the Lakers-Suns - showed exactly why you can’t crown a champion before the playoffs start. Kyrie Irving going down and James Harden having one working leg ended the superteam concept halfway through the series, even when Kevin Durant activated ALL the cheat codes to try to pull it off.
Not really. While the rest days between non-Finals playoff games can be adjusted based on the prior series length, the Finals’ dates are set.
My ideal seasons would be:
MLB: 100 games
NBA: 50 games
NHL: 50 games
NFL: 16 games
Less wear and tear, more importance and significance attached to each game, more rest, less travel, less potential for injury. A win-win-win for everyone, except the greedy money-grubbing owners and league office.
I sort of agree, but would probably go 20% higher than you on all of them except the NFL. NFL should stay at 16, but of course are moving to 17 this year (no .500 teams unless there is a tie), and likely moving to 18 soon.
I’d put MLB around 144. Shorter than now, but reasonably consistent with history.
The 1995 season was 144 games and that seemed okay.
NBA Playoff basketball.
The last two minutes of the Suns-Clippers game took a full 30 minutes! We went back and checked on the DVR. Sheesh.
I thought it was ironic that the Nets and Lakers, who made so much ado from getting such top free agents, didn’t make the finals. Don’t like players getting hurt, but it seemed to me almost karma as it seemed they were trying to “buy” the championship. May be a weird thought, but I tend to have weird thoughts.
Well, don’t forget the players that would all take a very healthy pay cut. For a few mega-stars it might be closer to a rounding error, but regular players would notice and for fringe players it would be a mighty hefty bite unless the current formulas and caps were heavily tweaked. Also remember that many athletes love to play, so some of them might also object to that drastic of a reduction. Not to mention rabid fan backlash.
More reasonable IMO, but still probably not more realistically achievable schedules:
MLB: 144, following RickJay - ~12% reduction
NBA: 72, uncompressed - also ~12% reduction
NFL: either 16 with a more attenuated exhibition/pre-season or 14
That’s more economically feasible, less likely to generate fan/player backlash and still offer significant relief from the grind of double-headers, back-to-backs and fewer weekly physical beat-downs in football.