During the 2018 NBA playoffs we’ve learned 4 simple things, Lebron James is the best player in the world, Toronto is sketchy in the playoffs, Houston may actually be legit and the Golden State Warriors are hands down without a question still the best team in the NBA.
In a season where going into the playoffs Steph Curry was injured and the team lost 24 games, there most since 14-15, people began to see a “chink” in the armor of the best team in the NBA for 3 straight years. However, nobody told the Warriors that this was the year they would take a step back. Since entering playoff action Golden State has gone 6-1, scoring an average of 110.3 PPG and holding their opponents to 98.3 PPG all while arguably their best player sits on the bench.
To put that into context, during the regular season the Warriors ranked 15th or higher in 4 categories defensively ranking 18th in opponents PPG (107.5), 26th in TOPG (15.0), 17th in RBPG (43.5) and 16th in ASPG (23.6).
So what gives with the NBA’s best team in the playoffs? The answer, the regular season simply does not matter. Head Coach Steve Kerr had this to say before entering their series 1 matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, “I think part of the problem the last month is we’ve been locked into the two seed,” Kerr said during an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump. “Obviously, we’ve had a lot of injuries, but the games have not been meaningful, and our play and our focus reflected that. The games are about to get extremely meaningful, as we know. I know our guys. I know how competitive they are. I know how talented they are. So I expect things to turn around pretty quickly for us in the first round.”
This isn’t the first time we have seen an issue with NBA players devaluing the 82 game regular season. Lebron James, arguably the best player on the planet and a top 2 player in NBA history has played over 80 games only 3 times in his career and during the 2017-2018 season, he played in all 82 for the first time, EVER in his 15 year career.
Insert players resting, the development of superteams and the length of the regular season debate here.
These issues have led to the NBA changing rules during the regular season regarding rest and when players are allowed to take it. There must be an injury reported for any player to take a night off in the NBA. These changes allow for the fans to see the stars they came to see and the effort they paid to watch.
In the end, the NBA is at an all-time high with the amount of talent in the game and young kids who are growing up in love with the games best stars. Until people stop buying jerseys, going to stadiums and the franchises begin to lose money, the owners and the league are not pressed to change anything.
So for now, get used to seeds 3-8 making headlines during the regular season and seeds 1-2 making all the noise when it matters the most. Here’s to another year of Golden State being in the finals, probably losing 3 total games in the playoffs and taking home a 3rd championship in 4 years.
Thanks regular seasonfor making me believe something different might actually happen.