Home Sport Sagen Sie, was Sie über die NBA wollen, sie schätzt ihre Titanen immer noch

Sagen Sie, was Sie über die NBA wollen, sie schätzt ihre Titanen immer noch

von NFI Redaktion

Despite all the misguided complaints about the melodrama that the NBA can sometimes be, or claims that its „woke-ness“ will be its downfall, or how the league is making a mess of itself with load management or whatever, it still offers something that none of the other three non-NFL leagues can. And that is regular season games that feel important. The Nuggets and Celtics matchup last night is just the latest example.

They put on a 48-minute treasure, which is unsurprising considering they are the two best teams in the league (if the Timberwolves or Thunder balls fall, they can complain about that statement). Even a casual basketball fan could recognize the class difference last night, even though the victory in the overall standings only meant something to Denver, as the Celtics‘ place at the top of the East Division is virtually secured.

The ball movement, defensive rotations, crashing the boards, shooting, and those who showed up in the final minutes to make the necessary plays were crisp. You couldn’t watch Nikola Jokic, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum (not having a relatively easy night either), or Jrue Holiday without believing you are seeing the best the NBA has to offer.

And the fascinating thing about a game like last night’s surely implies something. Fans know this is an actual preview or the beginning of a story that ends in June, or a strong likelihood of it. It’s something to follow.

The NFL and its parity, which it will tell anyone it’s built on, are their own creature. No other sport compares to it. It’s a unicorn. The NBA Finals have surpassed the World Series in terms of TV ratings and interest. There may be many reasons for this, but one must be that the Finals feel like the conclusion of a months-long, if not years-long, story. Even in last year’s Denver-Miami series, which hardly featured famous teams, Jokic, a two-time MVP, was there justifying his personal accolades through team accomplishments. Basketball fans know who he and Jimmy Butler are.

Meanwhile, the World Series has become about the two teams that emerge from baseball’s random playoff system in October. Fans didn’t tune in for the Rangers or Diamondbacks in the same way, especially the latter, as they spent most of the regular season stumbling over their own tails and just happening to stumble less than other teams trying to secure the final wild card spot.

But that’s been the story for years now. The NBA showcases teams where almost everyone knows their basic story. And you can tune in on a Thursday night in March and get a taste of what’s coming.

This is partly due to the nature of the NBA, where two or three great players always make sure a team is around in the competitive scene. Building a competitive NBA team requires less than building a competitive MLB or NHL team. But judging by the ratings, it’s also what people want. After last night, there will be many hoping that Denver and Boston make it to the Finals six or seven more times in June.

Kyle Dubas Abandons the Penguins

When you move to one of the NHL’s most storied teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins, you might have to ask their GM Kyle Dubas what he’s doing here?

Dubas officially waved the white flag on the Pens by sending Jake Guentzel to the Carolina Hurricanes for a mishmash of meh and huh. The Penguins had three suitors but none expecting to come anywhere near the first-liner that Guentzel still is. There were a few hints, but only a first-round pick if the Canes make it to the Stanley Cup Final. It’s not an impressive return for the best forward on the market that several teams were hoping for.

Dubas made a big splash when he took over the Leafs in 2018, as the rare non-ex-player and analytical type taking the helm of a team. And he’s shown he can make bold moves, like acquiring John Tavares in Toronto or trading for Erik Karlsson in Pittsburgh. And that’s a good thing more GMs shouldn’t be as afraid to do.

But the rest Dubas hasn’t quite figured out. The Leafs haven’t won a division title and under his leadership have only mustered one playoff series win. The Penguins will narrowly miss the playoffs, as both teams lag far behind their stars. Dubas’s drafts in Toronto produced… Rasmus Sandin? Nicholas Robertson? Sure, the Leafs were always late, but GMs need to make something out of the picks they get. Or turn them into something through trade. Dubas hasn’t really done that.

Dubas inherited most of the Pens‘ issues, but that doesn’t mean he’s not responsible for wasting another brilliant season from Sidney Crosby as they wind down. He was the hope of hockey observers who wanted to see a team run differently than the grunting and farting style of the past, yet Dubas has insisted on going big-game hunting without bringing the undervalued players to light. Head-heavy teams need to fill the bottom six or the second pairing behind the names in lights.

Maybe Dubas is just good at covering up allegations of sexual misconduct.

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