Thursday, June 1, 2017

Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends

As a public service, I'd like to remind you that the NBA Playoffs are still going on.  You probably needed that reminder since it has been a week since anybody has played a game.  I guess the two teams involved in the Finals are to blame for that.  Golden State swept San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals--so they haven't played in 8-days.  Cleveland beat Boston in the East in five games--leaving them with nothing to do for 7-days.  You would think that the NBA would move up the start of the Finals so that both teams could stay sharp and maintain momentum--but ABC gets the final say on scheduling matters now--and they wanted a specific date to promote for the start of the Finals and June 1st became the "set in stone" day.

Of course, it's not like the two teams are going to face a grueling schedule now that the series is finally getting underway.  After tonight's game one, there will be two off days before game two is played on Sunday night.  That will be followed by two more days off as the series shifts to Cleveland for game three next Wednesday.  That makes me wonder if the teams are traveling by covered wagon or steam train that they need two days to get from Oakland to Cleveland.

Hopefully the Cavs and Warriors can handle just one day off between games three and four--which is scheduled for next Friday.  Fortunately, they won't have to worry about playing any of next weekend--those are "travel days" as the series heads back to Oakland--again by mule team.  Game five is followed by two off days again--as is game six.  That means game seven--if necessary (and knowing the NBA's reputation for "controlling the action", it likely will be)--will be played on Sunday, June 18th.

To put that into perspective, it will take 18-days to play just seven games of a championship series.  The last Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil took just 16-days to complete competition in hundreds of sports.  When your championship takes longer to play than the Olympics, you may want to reconsider how you are scheduling your games.

Now, I probably won't watch much of the Finals--because most of the games will tip off at 8:00 our time--and I'm usually in bed less than an hour after that.  That's a 9:00 start time for the East Coast--meaning kids still in school won't see much of those contests either.  That's a great way to build your sport's popularity!  But it will still affect me because the convoluted schedule also results in the NHL Stanley Cup Final being dragged out as well.  NBC has no interest in having a Cup Final game on the same night as LeBron and Steph Curry are playing--so the back half of the hockey series is also being staggered to avoid potential TV conflict.  (However, the way Nashville is playing, they are likely going to be swept out of the series by Monday night.)  Still, we don't need hockey on June 14th.

While we are on the subject, I may as well make a bold prediction on the NBA series.  I'll take Golden State in overtime on the 18th day of the series.  No sense in deciding a winner too quickly.

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