Prior to your date with the best football on earth with the UEFA Champions final, we’re definitely set for an entertaining 2017 NBA Finals, on the other side of the world, with the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Golden State Warriors. This year the Finals look to be highly competitive, given that the Warriors added Kevin Durant in the offseason and are better than ever. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same thing about the Playoffs, overall they have been anything but competitive up to this point. Which is maybe the main reason why fans NBA fans have found the 2017 Playoffs so boring.
To start with this finals matchup was predicted back in June 2016, ever since the Cavs came back from a 3-1 finals deficit to shock the Warriors last season, most analysts predicted a rematch. These predictions only thickened when Golden State signed KD last July.
The Cavs and Warriors were never challenged, Golden State became the first team to start the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs with a perfect 12-0 record. The Cavaliers just missed this mark, going 12-1. LeBron James had a stomach bug in their lone loss.
Injuries are a part of the playoffs. But they were especially devastating this season with some key injuries that included:
Boston Celtics lost Isaiah Thomas in the conference finals.
Chicago Bulls lost Rajon Rondo in first round.
Houston Rockets lost Nene Hilario in conference semis.
L.A. Clippers lost Blake Griffin before playoffs.
Milwaukee Bucks lost Jabari Parker before playoffs.
Portland Trail Blazers didn’t have Jusuf Nurkic at 100%.
San Antonio Spurs lost Kawhi Leonard to start the conference finals. They also lost Tony Parker in the semis.
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Toronto Raptors lost Kyle Lowry in the semis.
Utah Jazz lost George Hill in the conference semis.
Upsets make the postseason exciting. But this element was completely absent in the first round of the 2017 playoffs.
The only upset involved the No. 5 Utah Jazz knocking off the No. 4 L.A. Clippers in seven games. Given the seeding and how L.A. didn’t have Griffin, this was hardly an upset.
Moving to the conference semifinals, the lower seeds were a combined 5-16.
This performance was highlighted by the Jazz and Toronto Raptors being swept by the Warriors and Cavaliers, respectively. The only lower seed that stepped up to the challenge was the No. 4 Washington Wizards, who fell by 10 points to the top-seeded Celtics. But even in this case, Boston proved to be a second-rate contender in the East.
From a sporting perspective, there doesn’t seem to be a clear solution from the league on how to make the NBA more competitive. This turns fans’ interest off when their team has no shot, from a punting perspective it doesn’t really matter as long as you bet smart, with no emotions attached to any particular team, however it still limits betting alternatives. Sign up at BetRegal.com