For the third year in a row, the NBA Finals features the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers — and to be quite honest it is getting boring as hell.
Don’t get me wrong, the Cavs and the Warriors are obviously the two best teams in the league, but things have become so predictable that it is becoming almost unbearable to watch.
Even “NBA on TNT” analyst Charles Barkley has made the observation that the NBA Finals “have not been good” and even went as far as to say the NHL Stanley Cup Finals “have been amazing.”
I have to agree with Chuck on this one. The NBA playoffs, in general, have been a series of blowouts and stale games that have left fans heading for the exit gates early. Does Adam Silver think that is good for the league to have such lopsided games between its best teams?
It’s a tough question to answer but I believe that there are ways to fix the issue. For one, something needs to be done about the refereeing.
Home teams in the NBA have such an advantage when it comes to how the referees call the game, whether you want to believe it or not.
There needs to be a better balance. The referees need to bite the whistle and call a more even game. Players know that they can bait refs into making bad calls and the refs need to open their damn eyes and make calls based on their training, not their anxiety.
Sure, you can say that maybe the refs don’t want to hear it from the crowd, but when it comes down to it, they need to keep the integrity of the game.
Some of the fouls that are called in NBA today are astonishing. The players are duping refs into making terrible calls and it’s embarrassing for the game.
But it’s not all about the referees and how they call games. A lot of it has to do with the mentality of today’s NBA player and the “superstar” dynamic. Most teams today are trying to acquire these star players and focus solely on the success that one player can bring to to the team.
Let’s take LeBron James for example. The majority of the time, LeBron plays the role of a lieutenant in the Army and the rest of his teammates are his soldiers.
Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and the rest of the Cavaliers bench players adjust their play to optimize the success of LeBron.
It is a team solely focused on showcasing the talents of one player and hoping that player can overpower the opposing team’s five-man defensive front. It makes the team one-dimensional and if the opponent can work as a cohesive unit, LeBron can, for the most part, be defended.
During this NBA Finals, the Warriors have shown that they are able to put LeBron in positions where he has to rely on his teammates, which is something that he is not accustomed to.
I do not know if there is any real answer to this problem of unwatchable, egotistical basketball but I hope that NBA front offices start to realize that what is happening right now is hurting the game.
And a quick note, if you enjoyed this read make sure to catch me this Saturday on CBS Sports Radio from 2 to 6 p.m. I will be taking your calls and will be more than happy to discuss all of your questions and comments on the air.