The Eastern Conference’s playoff action thus far has been a weird mix of injuries and disappointments. Dwight Howard was out from the start, Derrick Rose didn’t make it through four quarters, and the Knicks were defeated by a fire extinguisher, if I’m remembering correctly. Of the four teams remaining, it’s clearly a one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other situation. Heat-hater or not, do you really want to see one of these other teams advance to the Finals?
The 76ers are a well-coached group under Doug Collins. They limit the turnovers, rebound, and play tough defense, which is a nice way of saying they’re profanely boring to watch. Seriously, before the playoffs started, could you name one guy on this team? (Andre Iguodala doesn’t count–everyone knows him from the Dunk Contest in NBA 2K8. 360 REVERSE WINDMILLS ALL DAY, BABY).
We’ve also got the Boston Celtics, who, if I was writing this four years ago, would be a lock to advance and a must-watch basketball team. However, their prime has passed. Rajon Rondo is fun to watch, but I’m not buying the senior citizens he’s got as a supporting cast. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce HAVE to both be at least 45 years old, which puts Kevin Garnett somewhere close to 50. Seriously, though, what’s the deal with KG? I never remembered him being a huge trash talker when he destroyed his body for those terrible Timberwolves teams. The older he gets, the meaner he gets. It’s only a matter of time until he turns into Deebo from Friday.
The Pacers are boring too. Their only interesting moment came when some guy named Lance Stephenson from the end of their bench made a choking gesture at LeBron James after a missed free throw. I don’t know who Lance Stephenson is, but I’m pretty sure my car insurance agent is also named Lance Stephenson, and I’m totally paying way too much (Side note: I HATE STATE FARM). My favorite part of this choke-story is that Juwan Howard decided he needed to go straighten Stephenson out before game 4. Juwan Howard is still in the NBA? Holy shit. Someone tell him to send the rest of the Fab Five a postcard.
By process of elimination, the Heat desperately need to emerge from the East to make the Finals worth watching. Without Chris Bosh, their road to the Finals will be tougher, and also without as many dinosaur jokes (Side note: he doesn’t look THAT much like a dinosaur, does he? No, never mind). If that means LeBron and D-Wade each need to score 35 every night for the Heat to advance, I’m all for it, and if you call yourself a basketball fan, you should be too. If your hatred for LeBron causes you to universally root against the Heat, then so be it. Just don’t let that make you do anything dangerously stupid, like rooting for one of these snooze-fest teams.
Follow Sean on Twitter: @sg44444