Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wild Speculation & Outlandish Guesses: Playoff Consumption Edition

These playoffs are passing by at a very rapid pace. Each series has a game every other night, and no team will get consecutive days off (besides after winning a series) until the NBA Finals. Next year, with a normal calendar, would you prefer to go back to the normal playoff schedule, or keep this condensed one?

Jordan Durlester: They have got to keep this setup in place for next year. It's fantastic. It's very reminiscent of the 3 weeks of the Olympic Games; Having a quality athletic event to look forward to every night is, for lack of a better word, awesome.

John Reyes-Nguyen: I would love to have this set up next year. Playoff basketball is always great, this year the east had some great series. Knowing I can watch playoff basketball every night is as good as it gets for a fan.

Jairo Martinez: I think that this schedule is done in part to not lose grip on TV numbers to baseball, Euro and college championship games. I would love to see a modified setup like this next year. Who wouldn't love to see compelling ball every day?

Jacob Greenberg: Nah, this is great. I love having basketball on every single night. This season has been such a whirlwind; we're about to go into the offseason and it honestly feels like the lockout barely ended.

Remember in the first round of the playoffs, when Baron Davis, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Avery Bradley etc. suffered devastating injuries, and we all blamed it on the condensed schedule? In the last two rounds we have really only seen Chris Bosh suffer an injury, and not even a long-term one at that. So was the hype about the schedule overblown?

Jordan Durlester: While I do think the condensed schedule bears a significant amount of blame for the injuries we witnessed, the hype surrounding it was certainly blown out of proportion. It was knee-jerk journalism at its finest. People forget that even though this isn't football the stress these guys put on their bodies, condensed schedule or not, is immense and injuries will always be a part of the game.

John Reyes-Nguyen: Injuries occur for different reason. But of those guys you listed, there are about three ACL tears. This is a catastrophic injury and occurs more often in football because of all the hard cuts, varying surfaces, and contact. It doesn't happen that often in basketball. It could be argued that muscle fatigue due to a condensed schedule can play a roll in an ACL injury. Studies have show women are more susceptible to ACL tears due to weaker muscles. So I don't see why this wouldn't correlate to an NBA player who wasn't in tip top condition. I don't think it's completely overblown but there are too many variables to blame it on the schedule. (I studied sports medicine in college)

Jairo Martinez: Injury is inevitable. Some of those injuries were plain freakish, others were just compiled and overdue. I still forsee some pretty significant loss of playing time due to lack of recovery time. The upcoming Olympic games will not alleviate the issue either.

Jacob Greenberg: Well, I never blamed it on the schedule. This stuff happens. It just happened to be a crazy week for catastrophic injuries that week. As for whether the rushed schedule played a role in these injuries: maybe? I don't know. I'm not a doctor, and neither are the people who loudly (and baselessly) blame these injuries on the condensed schedule.

The Discussants are a young, male (mostly, hi Symbol) group. Given that this groups is among the least likely to own a television, how do you watch the playoffs? Do you actually have cable? TNT Overtime/ESPN3? Go to a bar or a friends house? Stream?

Jordan Durlester: The biggest adjustment in my relocation to the Midwest from the West Coast has been the weather. However, the SECOND biggest adjustment has been that prime-time sporting events are on much later (well, only 2 hours to be exact). This has significantly changed my sports viewing experience. I now watch most games at home with my fiancee who has really grown to appreciate NBA basketball. I've never been more proud than the day Abby broke down Miami's defensive strategy during a mid-season Bulls/Heat game.

John Reyes-Nguyen: I never watch in a bar, hate watching anything in a bar because I can't pay attention. So I watch at home, in the comfort of my own living room on an old 720p TV, I know I'm slumming it. But since I have an 18 month old, 95% of the time I DVR the game and watch it around 10pm or later. At least this way I can fast forward through the commercials and free throws.

Jairo Martinez: An HD TV, smartphone, tablet and computer later I have been doing my best to keep up. Thank you technology and passionate /rabid fans....#keepwatching

Jacob Greenberg: What's gender got to do with it? If you like basketball, you like basketball. I watch ball the same way Symbol does: on a laptop. I had League Pass during the regular season, and have used a combination of ESPN3, TNT Overtime, and streaming sites to watch games during the playoffs. I may catch a game at a bar every 2 weeks or so.

I also realized that at most, there are 30 games on network television these days. ABC shows, what, 8 games during the regular season? And then, maybe 20 during the playoffs? Gone are the days of tripleheaders every sunday on NBC. And during the playoffs? NBC was ball all day. Wonderful. On the West Coast, I'd wake up to the Knicks, and eat dinner with the Blazers. Those were the days. Eat a fattie, ESPN.

And Symbol responds...

Symbol Lai: Since I'm being called out here, I don't usually like watching with a bunch of guys because it can quickly become a dick measuring contest, both explicitly and implicitly. If you're the only woman, oftentimes no one really cares that you're there or considers what you say. It turns what should have been fun and relaxing into a miserable experience. So, usually I watch games on ESPN3 or a stream so I can do whatever I want. I'll pull up a chat screen to comment on the game with good friends, who aren't hung up about their masculinity. Sometimes it's with another female fan. Towards the end of the Sixers' season, I was able to convince a good girl friend from the East coast to watch pro-basketball again with me. That was an accomplishment I'm proud of, since she prefers Temple basketball... See? I'm helping to rebuild the Sixers fan base one person at a time.

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