For the first time in almost two weeks, an NBA playoff game was decided by fewer than 10 points.
And yet the Cavaliers’ 111-102 Game 4 victory over the Celtics also never quite felt in doubt.
Which is a worrying trend.
Why the 2018 NBA playoffs are boring your ass off
After all four conference semifinals series went five or fewer games, fans have been subjected to nothing but blowouts in the conference finals.
Even the participants have admitted to taking games off.
“I think we’re at our best when we feel threatened,” Draymond Green said after his Warriors fell to the Rockets in Game 2. “Game 1, we felt threatened, we came out with a sense of urgency. Game 2, we didn’t feel as threatened, and the sense of urgency wasn’t there. … When we have our backs against the wall — I don’t think they’re against the wall right now, but when we’re threatened … we just play with a great urgency and hustle.”
The Celtics’ Terry Rozier expressed a similar sentiment after a Game 3 loss to the Cavs.
“We needed to get our butts whooped,” he said. “Come back to reality and take care of business on Monday.”
He added: “I feel like we needed this to get us back, to get us ready for Monday.”
So teams are openly half-assing it. Very cool.
But that’s not even the most maddening part.
The root of the 2018 playoffs’ boringness is the same as the 2017 playoffs’: The 2018 NBA champions were already decided on July 4, 2016, when a top-three player agreed to join probably the greatest team of all time.
In 2017 we at least had a sliver of hope that LeBron could carry the Cavs past Kevin Durant and Co.
But the Warriors dispatched Cleveland easily in five games. Since, the Warriors have gotten more talented, and the Cavs have gotten worse.
Now we’re just waiting for Golden State’s coronation, and we apparently won’t be having any fun in the meantime.