I know NBA playoff ratings have made double digit gains vs. last year. I've been writing for months that the NBA is exciting again, and it largely is. Except for Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs. As I write this, the Suns are down 19 points at home early in the fourth quarter of game 3. I was out watching the game and it was such a disappointment that only drinking myself into oblivion would have made it entertaining and that didn't seem like a great idea.
That said, I'm not surprised. When I caught Steve Nash on Thursday's PTI "Five Good Minutes" (clip below) I thought, "Oh man, this is over by game 5 and perhaps the Spurs sweep in four!" I'm sure the Spurs watched it and thought the exact same thing.
For those of you who are anti-video, the salient points Nash made to me were:
- Losing game one was like a kick in the groin
- Losing game two was more like a punch in the mouth
- And he said something like "I don't think losing to the reigning NBA champs means we made a bad choice acquiring Shaquille" what seemed like about 10 times
Call me a cynic but I believe Mr. Nash thinks they made a bad choice acquiring Shaquille! Wilbon made a comment about how the Suns, known as the consummate fast-break team felt about being outscored on the break 26-4 in Game 2 . I don't remember his answer exactly but his response came out sounding like blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. His lips may have said "I don't think we're out of it," but his tone and demeanor suggested that he did think they were out of it.
Bad news for the NBA to have Shaq and Steve Nash out of the playoffs early and the Spurs still in there. Maybe this will be the year the Spurs get their appropriate share of love. They're a great team. But in their hearts, the upper management of the NBA would have rather seen the Kobe vs. Shaq playoff round. That looks very unlikely now.