There were a lot of double-digit wins and 20-point blowouts in the playoffs last season, but it felt like there was drama. This season, not so much. The average margin of victory this postseason is above 13 points per game. More importantly, the Warriors and Cavaliers are both on the cusp of going 12-0 and sweeping into the Finals, and that dominance has sucked the drama out of the playoffs (as have some untimely injuries).
While the two best teams are on a collision course, fans have been bored getting there. After he dropped 33 points, Kevin Durant was asked about that after the Warriors beat the Spurs by 12 in Game 3 Saturday night (a game that wasn’t as close as the score made it seem). He’s not concerned about fans level of entertainment.
What else was Durant going to say? “Close games are awesome, so we let up to keep this one tight, we thought the fans deserved it.” Or, “We talked before the game about taking it easy on the Spurs, not blowing them out, we know they’ve had injuries and we want them to feel good about themselves.” This isn’t U6 AYSO soccer where everybody gets a medal, this is a professional sport and Durant’s job is to make sure his team wins. He did that.
The problem is, fans do seem to be tuning out (based on ratings after the first round), and then with likely eight full days off between the end of the conference finals and the start of the NBA Finals (locked into a June 1 start) any momentum these playoffs had will be gone. This is not something the NBA can easily fix, it’s a bit of a fluke (there is LeBron James on one side, on the other the anomaly of a one-time salary cap spike allowed an NBA Finalist add Durant, neither of those are going to be repeatable).
Hopefully, we at least get a dramatic and interesting Finals. With all the key players healthy. We deserve that.
Just don’t expect Kevin Durant to care.