Why are the finals so bad this year?
Anyone who says that these NBA finals are great this year must live in Cleveland, the Bay Area or would enjoy watching 30 and over softball as a past time. I mean come on, these are professionals we are watching and they are playing like elementary kids during rec. season. How many more times do I need to watch LeBron James slowly bring the ball up, pass it, run to the block, wait for the pass back, while four other players just stand around? At least Mozgov and Dellavedova are willing to try and get involved and take a shot. JR Smith, Triston Thompson, James Jones pass the ball around like it was a positive pregnancy test. Golden State is no better.
I saw an offense like this back in the day; it was called Kentucky Wildcat basketball with Rick Pitino as coach. This offense consisted of driving the ball, kicking it out, shooting a three. Repeat. Here is a reenactment of Steve Kerr in the huddles – “Ok guys, you are looking good out there! Bogut, rebound and kick out. Draymond, pass the ball to either Steph or Clay or shoot a three, but preferably pass the ball. Barnes, if open, and I mean jet landing strip open, shoot the three. If not, pass to Steph or Clay. And come on people, set screens for these two guys.” In the fourth quarter with time winding down, I watched Golden State set up a screen that involved all 4 players on the floor to free up Steph Curry. It was so good that there were tears in the eyes of NFL Offensive Linemen all across the country. And this is the NBA!!!???
Now how did we get to this miserable level you may wonder? Well the tone was set after game one of these finals. Each team decided to throw any offensive scheme out the window and just run screens. They ran so many screens that the very next day, I was unconsciously coming right off coworkers shoulders to beat other coworkers to the restroom. Now don’t get me wrong, I get it for the 4th quarter with a minute left that this might be effective. But this started in game one in the second quarter with 4 minutes left. It picked right back up in the first quarter of game two and three. Much like a cougar after three glasses of chardonnay, just hung around, and never let go.
So being a nice guy, I am going to tell you what happens in games 4 and 5. The first quarters, will be a lot of decent basketball, passing, get all players involved, until one team gets a lead. Once that happens, than the screens begin until the other team comes back and then it will be dueling screens the rest of the game. If you want to rejoin in game 6, I understand. At that time, Kerr and Blatt will have made some changes that will force the other players to get involved. At which point we might get to watch David Lee vs Mike Miller in a show down of who looks more like the other player. If I told you that they were separated at birth, you would think about it for a minute.
The point to all this is that we went from two great finals the past two years to this. Are the games competitive? Yes. Are we watching two top notch offensive players? Yes. Are we watching two great teams? No. Are we watching two cities enjoying the moment? No. (Come on Cleveland, Golden state has handed out Yellow shirts for every home game. You couldn’t make this happen for your first home championship game? Where is the sea of maroon?) It is little things like that and the bad basketball that has made this a championship series I want to forget already. And it isn’t even over yet.