Well the TV ratings are in and game #1 ratings are down 24% from last year game #1.
I heard all day long yesterday from media member after media member about how "unwatchable" the Spurs v Pistons game #1 was.
On "Outside the Lines" last night they spent 20 minutes not talking about anything other than how unwatchable this series is and why the ratings are down.
It is strange because many argue the NBA needs more substance, more defense, more teamwork, more teams and less stars. Well that is exactly what this series gives us. And the ratings are down and the media is whinning like a bunch of 3rd graders.
I think the defense being played in this series is the best I've ever seen. Why can't fans enjoy that. Why can't they enjoy seeing blocked shots, great help defense, help asnd recover, you know the stuff that wins games. I hope next season the Pacers defense is as good as these two teams. Yes I said it the Pacers defense needs to get better perhaps even more so than their offense.
One thing that really bugs me is when people suggest that these two teams just aren't very good because the scoring is down. What are they saying the wrong teams are here, that the Spurs and Pistons aren't the two best teams.
There are so many issues involved in this, I realize I'm all over the place.
But let me get to this. Why is defense a bad word in the NBA when in Football it is celebrated and in baseball pitching is celebrated.
Here is a good article on this topic.
There was little time or space in this one, and that doesn't figure to change as the series unfolds. Before it even began, there was the typical national hand-wringing about the Pistons' and Spurs' defensive styles. It's as if some observers worry the Pistons' muddy handprints will ruin the NBA's showcase event. What they decline to note is, the muddy handprints are what set Detroit and San Antonio apart from the rest of the league.
Here's a thought. Maybe if other teams -- hello Miami, hello Phoenix -- relied less on flash and more on mash, they'd show up in these events more often. It's funny because almost every other sport celebrates defense, but in the NBA, it's a nasty word.
The flash came before the game, when actor Will Smith took the floor for a singing, dancing show. Oh, there was some flash during the game, like when Billups dribbled toward the hoop, faked a behind-the-back pass to freeze defender Robert Horry, then swept in for the layup. That was an ohh-ahh moment, a classic big-game play by Billups, the reigning Finals MVP who tried desperately to keep the Pistons in the game.
Most of the moments from both teams were more eww-ahh, unless you crave blocked shots and missed shots. The low score couldn't have pleased viewers who prefer their basketball as some sort of athletic ballet. This definitely was not ballet. This was more like square-dancing, in clogs.
The Spurs can do that to a team, though, make a guy just disappear. Before the Pistons were the defensive scourge of the NBA, it was San Antonio's role, winning the title in 1999 and 2003.