This expands on the articles about how bad the Orlando/Indiana series is and comments on the other series threads about how good the Mavs/OKC series is.
Bringing up the question: what TO YOU makes a good game of basketball.
Try to step beyond "my team wins", since we all know there ain't nuthin' better no matter how ugly. What do you like to see from both teams that makes an exciting game to watch?
1) Evenly matched skill-wise. I don't like to see one team run roughshod over the other (well, unless the Pacers are doing the running, but that would violate the guidelines I myself set ). They can be matched in different areas, but I want some sense of competition.
2) Playing hard affects the outcome. Effort plays like diving for a loose ball, fighting to force a jump ball, deflections, SENSIBLE steals, hard defensive rotations.
3) Few unforced turnovers. I hate to watch a game where one or both teams are throwing passes out of bounds, dribbling off a foot, traveling and/or double-dribbling, and so forth. FORCED turnovers are great, but the unforced ones demonstrate a bit of inattention to fundamentals.
4) Limited physical play. This one doesn't match a lot of people, I know, but I want the physicality to be within the context of basketball rather than bordering on football. A hard pick is fine, a brutally moving one is not. Heavy hands going after the ball is OK, coming down on a guy's shoulders is not. Running over a smaller guy in the lane just because you can ticks me off.
5) Good shooting on open shots and free throws. Rather self explanatory here, especially because it lends more gravitas to the next one:
6) Misses are due to defense not bad shooting.