Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday 04/18 (NBA Playoffs) Quickie

The difference between the NBA Playoffs and the NBA regular season is so profound that it's little wonder the NBA's regular season is as meaningless as exists in sports, a few Blake Griffin YouTube clips and the occasional match-up between heavyweights that have a "playoff feel."

But there's no replicating the playoffs. There's no replicating Derrick Rose's contortions or Chris Paul totally raising his game or the Grizzlies looking nothing like the Memphis teams of previous years in dispatching the 1-seed Spurs in San Antonio or Ray Allen's dagger 3 or Serge Ibaka's block capping the 8th -- and best -- Game 1 of the first round.

And yet there is this interesting feeling: Yes, lots of love for the Game 1s -- it was our first taste of playoff basketball this year and the games had high levels of drama. But best-of-7 series have a way of mitigating Game 1s -- and even opening-round series. We rarely remember Game 1s and we rarely remember first-round series -- short of rare foreshadowing of "Michael Jordan's Bulls will be pretty good in a couple of years," repeated 25 years later with Derrick Rose against the Celtics. Game 1 storylines rarely hold through the course of a playoff season -- let alone a first round... hell, let alone a Game 2 or 3 or beyond.

But damn if these playoffs aren't off to a thrilling start worthy of a sport reaching the apex of a Golden Age -- right before they shut it down for a labor battle. Enjoy it now, friends.

-- D.S.

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