NBA Playoffs: Underdogs or Favorites?

To all viewers of the NBA, from Portland to Charlotte, I congratulate you. It has been a long time coming but we've finally arrived at the Conference Finals. The regular season consisted of terrible ball play by tanking teams versus the league's "super teams" that are literally stronger than the gosh-dang PowerRangers. So finally at the start of Playoffs we were hoping for some real solid gameplay and no more of the obvious stuff. Now that may have sounded like I'm an NBA-pessimist (mainly because I am one), but the beginning series games had me hopeful. I said things like "Wow, I can't believe the 76ers could pull this off" and "Donovan Mitchell might just propel the Jazz all the way"... but those were the words of a fool. If I would've opened my eyes and thought with logical reasoning than I wouldn't have been so dumb. 

Of course the Celtics and Cavaliers were gonna make it to the Championship. What kind of fantasy world did I think I was living in? Neither one was the #1 seed, in fact the Cavs were the #4 seed for the East. But thinking that their low(-ish) ranking was going to negatively effect their ability is like thinking that adding more wood on a fire makes it harder to burn. All it'll do is delay and intensify the fire once it begins to burn. And trust me, these Cavs are SCORCHING everyone else. They beat the Raptors so bad that the town of Toronto got renamed and Drake got bullied by Kendrick Perkins. Make no mistake about it, the Cleveland Cavaliers are definitely the #1 seed. This is Playoff basketball and they have the Playoff King. And the King doesn't lose; he conquers.

As far as the Celtics, Warriors, and Rockets are concerned; they just beat every other team and did what they were supposed to do. But I've seen this play out a thousand times. And when the nose hits the grindstone, both top ranked teams will fall off. Don't get me wrong. No one is more tired of the Cavs/Warriors rematches than me. I would absolutely LOVE to be wrong. But when a singer starts to lose the attention of the audience, he plays the classics. And there's nothing more well known than that stupid repeating series. The "Cleveland vs Golden State" rivalry is the "Piano Man" to Adam Silver's Billy Joel. It's guaranteed to get cheers and it works for the fair weather fans who don't know the other options. But the diehard fans wanna hear "Vienna" (a.k.a. "Philly vs Houston").

Whatever happened to the good ole days when anything could happen in playoffs? The NHL knows what I'm talking about. All 4 of their teams still in the running for the Stanley Cup weren't even competing for it last year. One of those 4 teams didn't even exists at this time last year. And the Philadelphia Eagles might've been the #1 team for their conference, but I'm not exaggerating when I say NO ONE expected them to beat New England. No one even favored them to win the 2 games leading up the Super Bowl. Where was that kind of passion from the Raptors or Thunder? 

Look, I don't wanna sound ungrateful. Basketball is a quality sport and I appreciate when a team like the Celtics can win games despite persisting injuries. I appreciate the 2nd GOAT play during a time when I can watch him. I appreciate GSW having some of the best players in the league and the skill to maintain a relevant dynasty after so many years. And I definitely appreciate seeing a James Harden get so close to earning a well deserved title. But I just want more excitement. Like I said earlier. I hope my Finals prediction is wrong. I love things sports because they're unpredictable, not because I'm a Cavs or Warriors fan. That's all.