“I’m just glad to be here because the NBA playoffs have not been great, but the Stanley Cup playoffs have been amazing”
–Charles Barkley, Game 4 Stanley Cup Finals.
Before I begin, I would like to make a disclaimer that I am completely 100% biased in this argument. But I hope to shed some insight on the reasons why the uneventful NBA playoffs don’t even compare to the electrifying and mind-boggling NHL playoffs.
There is no doubt that the NBA playoffs had far more successful ratings than the NHL playoffs, especially in the finals. This is completely embarrassing and blows my mind. The NBA playoffs have been an absolute disaster. We had two teams, Warriors and Cavs, in their third consecutive finals. A finals matchup that was predicted as far back as the preseason. As if that wasn’t boring enough, I want to add in the fact that both teams had a combined one, yes ONE, loss leading up to the finals. I mean, if you’re the other 28 teams in the league why even bother? The NBA has the same predictable outcome every year, and while I can say the finals are entertaining, the rest of the playoffs are just an utter disgrace. The league cares more about the drama in the league and how much money they are making than actually seeing good basketball being played. I woke up after game 3 to see headlines following the Warriors taking a 3-0 lead reading, “How Much Money The Warriors Will Lose If They Sweep”. C’mon…. You’re kidding right?
Hop on over to the best sport on the Earth (biased like I said) and we see nothing but pure talent, excitement, and 3 months of unpredictable play being showcased by true athletes. To sum it up, just take a look at the finals. We had a Cinderella 8 seed in Nashville, going up against the second seeded Pittsburgh team who barely even got there. Yes they were a favorite to repeat, but they had to beat a deep and talented Columbus team, the two time reigning Presidents trophy Capitals in the second round (could’ve easily been a conference finals matchup but we have the new playoff format to thank for that), and a relentless Ottawa team in the conference finals who took the Penguins to seven games and a double overtime in that game. Nashville swept a cup favorite in Chicago in the first round…. who saw that coming (I did). They then went along to dominate the rest of the playoffs despite being the 16th out of 16 teams to get in. They showed immense amount of heart in their series with Pittsburgh, and despite being on the losing side, they put on one hell of a show. These guys in the NHL playoffs are playing through torn ACL’s, broken feet, and torn hamstrings after playing a FULL 82 game season, while the NBA rests their players in the regular season because they know they are gonna need them in the finals. What a joke.
The NHL is by far the better, more entertaining, and tougher sport. It is really such a shame the lack of attention it draws. Ill leave you with this commercial about what it means to win the cup.