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More Parity, Please

April 25, 2011

I have no idea how this year's playoffs will all turn out (Photo credit:

Last week, Henry Abbott wrote a nuanced and fascinating piece about parity in the NBA and what role a collective bargaining agreement (in any sport) can play in building, maintaining, or destroying that parity.

This morning, I pulled up the NBA schedule for tonight and tomorrow and guess what?  I want to watch every single game.  Doesn’t matter who is up/down in the series.  This isn’t always the case – there are some years where the first round garners about as much excitement as this year’s 4 “play-in” games for the NCAA tournament.  No one, except for fans of the winner, ever enjoys watching a team stomp another team by 25 points four times in a row.

This year, a few of my friends also have teams that are in the playoffs, which always leads to some interesting discussion.  We’re more than two weekends deep into the 2011 playoffs and what do we have to look forward to tonight and tomorrow?


San Antonio at Memphis (Memphis leads 2-1):

  • Was Memphis smart to purposely try to set itself up for a first-round match-up with SA? (yes)
  • Might we see the window of opportunity get a little smaller for Tim Duncan and Co. to add one more trophy (and more fuel to the Spurs v. Lakers debate over who was more dominant in the post-Jordan era)? (maybe)
  • Are the Grizzlies this year’s version of the 2007 Golden State Warriors? (never thought I’d say it but if that 2007 team had Tony Allen on it, it might’ve had a fighting chance in the second round)

Will my friend Darren forego all studying for his PhD general exams to watch this game? (emphatic yes)

Oklahoma City at Denver (OKC leads 3-0):

  • Will we have to wait another year to see if The Ewing Theory holds true? (guess so)
  • Did anyone else think that these Nuggets could’ve beaten the current Knicks? (because I did)
  • Will an OKC victory leave me simultaneously wishing that we could see more games between these two teams and thinking that the 4-0 sweep demonstrates that this year’s Thunder is ready to go deep in the playoffs? (yes)

Portland at Dallas (tied at 2 apiece):

Will my friend Adam faint if his Blazers somehow manage to line up a second-round date with the OKC Thunder?  (emphatic yes)


Atlanta at Orlando (Atlanta leads 3-1):

  • Does anyone have any idea which version of the 2010-2011 Hawks will decide to show up? (heck if I know)
  • Does Dwight Howard wish that he had the 2008-2009 version of the Magic back?  (after watching the 2011 version of Hedo Turkoglu clank six 3-pointers yesterday, all signs point to yes)
  • Does Jocelyn need this series to go to at least 6 games? (yes, plane tickets for Round 2 in Chicago already bought – I need Magic to hold out at least a few more days)

Has my friend Eugene been sucked back into Hawks fandom despite his best efforts otherwise? (emphatic yes)

Indiana at Chicago (Chicago leads 3-1): Duh.

New Orleans at LA (tied at 2 apiece):

  • Has CP3 presented a template of what D.Rose can work on in the off season? (yes)
  • Will Kobe’s injury keep him from game 5? (hell no)
  • Is this the most surprising series of the first round so far? (quite possibly)

Will my friend Geoff throw something at the wall if he sees Andrew Bynum get schooled by six-foot-tall CP3 for a rebound again?  (emphatic yes)

All of this is to say – the competitiveness in these series and the number of close games have made this for an extremely entertaining and not-very-productive week-and-a-half so far.  If this is what parity looks like, sign me up for some more!

Btw, it looks like I might get what I wished for – Celtics seem to be waking up.  I am going to love watching the Heat-Celtics series and a note to Knicks’ fans: maybe you shouldn’t have traded away all that depth for Carmelo. Just sayin’.


One Comment leave one →
  1. gchunt permalink
    April 25, 2011 1:24 pm

    Just one edit: please add the word “else” after “something” in your line about me. Seeing as it has already happened (possibly more than once).

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