A question was posed to Mike D’Antoni on Sunday after yet another blowout between his Rockets and the Spurs.
A reporter wanted to know why the two teams, despite playing a bunch of nail-biters during the regular season, have played just one close contest through the first four games of their second-round series.
“I wish I was that smart that I could figure that out,” the Rockets coach said. “I don’t know.”
There’s seemingly no rhyme or reason why there have been three blowouts between the Spurs and Rockets just as there’s no legitimate explanation why there have been so many laughers in all the other series halfway through the 2017 NBA Playoffs. The definition of a blowout varies depending on who you’re polling. But for our sake, let’s cap a blowout as a 15-point differential. If that’s the cutoff, we’ve had 17 games—17!!!—out of 59 that have been blowouts. And a bunch of others have finished in the 12–14 point range.
In totality, it’s made for one of the most disappointing and anticlimactic playoffs we can remember. And to categorically call the action we’ve seen on the court anything other than trash means you either do PR for the league or haven’t been paying attention.
stuck in the middle of this slog of a postseason, we just want to know what we did to the basketball gods to deserve all these blowouts and when will they stop.
We’ve been subjected to three sweeps—possibly a fourth tonight—and a bunch of wholly unforgettable series in the first round, aka the one that lasts way too long. The second round was supposed to hold more promise since, you know, it features eight of the best squads in the NBA battling it out. But we’ve only had two games over the past two weeks decided by a basket, and those were first-round series—Game 6 between the Raptors and Bucks and Game 4 between Spurs and Grizzlies.
Seriously, can you recall an NBA Playoffs that have been so barren of drama and bereft of any real buzz through the first two rounds like we’re experiencing this year? Nobody expected much difficulty for the Cavs and Warriors running through the first two rounds, and that’s basically been the case. Cleveland took care of business, and the only interesting storyline around Golden State these days is the status of head coach Steve Kerr, who recently underwent another back surgery and probably won’t return to the sideline. But will his absence really make a difference? Tough to make that case when the Warriors are such a well-oiled machine and feature two of the top four players in the NBA.
The 2017 postseason can begin to redeem itself with spectacular finishes between the Rockets-Spurs and Celtics-Wizards. But based on how lopsided the outcomes have been through the first four games of each series, do you have any hope?
But before we get to those series, the Warriors will likely close out the Jazz in Game 4 tonight. Probably in emphatic fashion. Probably by double digits. Then come Tuesday, why would we expect anything but a Spurs rout of the Rockets in Game 5 back in San Antonio? After two straight clunkers, do you really think the Celtics won’t smoke the Wizards in Game 5 Wednesday back in Boston? There’s no end in sight to the cycle.
All can be forgiven if we get two great conference finals and another memorable NBA Finals. But stuck in the middle of this slog of a postseason, we just want to know what we did to the basketball gods to deserve all these blowouts and when will they stop.