Right on schedule
It's ridiculous that the 8th playoff seed in the East got decided by a handful of regular season games against disinterested opponents. The league should set up something like the play-in bid (or whatever it's called) in the NCAA tournament for situations like this, so the Nets and Cavs could've played best of three for the honor of losing to the Heat. Clearly the Celtics had nothing to gain by winning; I guess there's some use to the argument that for a lottery-bound team, keeping someone out of the playoffs is the closest they'll get to a meaningful late season game. In this respect, the Raptors might as well have been in the finals last night. Still, you'll notice that Omar "Ishmael" Cook manned the point for almost half the contest (taking minutes from Skip, in what the Brown Recluse pointed out was a crucial internal battle between "troubled NYC point guards"), so they weren't really playing for keeps, either.
It's not that I wanted the Cavs in the playoffs, especially not in the shape they're in. The Nets can at least put up an entertaining fight against Miami. But I did want to give LeBron every last chance to salvage Cleaveland's season, and I wouldn't have put it past him to reel off some near-miraculous individual performances in the first round. We all want to see him write that next, straight-to-ESPN Classic portion of his career, which will doubtlessly begin much like Jordan's did—in epic fits and starts. History in the making is better than New Jersey maybe taking it to six games.
Actually, maybe a Wade/Carter shoot-out would be better than watching LeBron fight a losing battle. Only since the latter would also mean seeing the rest of the Cavs on the court again.
(I will refrain from making any playoff prediction, since I always pick wrong in the interest of things being interesting. Like I really want to believe that the Nuggets' frontline could slow down Duncan.)
(Skip Bayless is the biggest fucking idiot in all of sports media. He deserves anything bad that ever happens to him)
And, in another mind-boggling scheduling mishap, congratulations to the NBA for starting the playoffs the same weekend as the NFL Draft. I understand that the postseason is really fucking long, and they have to get it started sooner rather than later. The logic of the seven-game empire notwithstanding, couldn't they have at least waited a week? I barely follow college football and I'm more excited about the draft than this weekend's games, and it's due in no small part to the media's oversaturated draft coverage (is it really necessary to have a mock on every show, every day of the week?).
Before you go and call me a traitor, know that I do plan to watch both weekend triple-headers. And you can hold me to that.