Are we there yet?
Like so many young children on the way to a summer vacation on the coast, NBA fans spend most of their time this year wondering how long they’ll have to wait for a predictable showdown between the Heat and the Western Conference champions this June.
You’ve heard the complaints. The postseason is way too long, there are never any upsets, and as they ensured with this blatant no-call in Game 2 of the 2011-12 Eastern Conference Finals, the refs will allow big name superstars to go deep into the playoffs.
These criticisms, while fair, were cast aside as the second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder and seventh-seeded Memphis Grizzlies played an instant classic on Monday night.
There was nothing predictable about the way this playoff game ended. Between Kevin Durant resurrecting the home team with an improbable four-point play, Kendrick Perkins sending the game to overtime with his sole field goal attempt of the contest, and Memphis stomaching the gut-check of all gut-checks to come out and outplay the home favorites in overtime, it was a remarkable finish.
Sure, the basketball played in the Eastern Conference’s first round games will be of exponentially lower quality tonight, and the second half of last night’s double header was an absolute beat down, but for several minutes, two equally matched teams (that are seeded far apart in an incredibly competitive Western Conference) showed us some things we had never seen while watching the NBA playoffs, and made us forget about the destination as we simply enjoyed the ride.
Nate Weitzer writes for multiple online publications as well as BU Today and The Quincy Patriot Ledger, follow him for Daily Fantasy Sports advice: @nweitzer7