The Air Done Changed
You know what I never want to hear again? "This is the playoffs," or "adjusting to the playoffs can be difficult," or "playoff experience might be the deciding factor." I'm sorry, but it's still a fucking basketball game. Maybe some young players, or those used to being slumped up in a culture of losing, find the buzz disorienting. Seriously though, they get so shook by nerves and circumstances that they can't execute? As Adam Morrison fans love to tell me, I've never been much of an organized basketball player, or else I would know stuff like this for sure. I suspect, however, that NBA-bound persons deal with varying degrees of spotlight from about age sixteen on, and that playing on the home court, at noon, in round one, is not like being pulled off the street and asked to start the Super Bowl. Hell, half the reason the playoffs last forever is so the build-up is steady and amenable to participants, virgin or otherwise.
Half the Raptors bench is now chewing their nails in unison, so maybe I should reconsider this point.
I guess there could be some truth to the brand of play differing greatly. However, couldn't any man off the street tell you what the hallmarks of postseason basketball are? It's not like they're secret, or impossible to prepare for, or unrelated to all the other competitive and technical education these pros receive. Or even applicable on any regular basis. I can see how, IN THEORY, if a team is just not constructed to get dirty like this, some problems could be presented. You know, in the same way that the Phoenix Suns can just zip right through everyone they face in the regular season. Please explain to me why that postulate doesn't grip in the playoffs, but slowing it down against the Suns does.
Do it without appealing to "playoff basketball," since a game between two teams is a two-element dynamic. It really comes down to this: teams try harder in the playoffs. The Suns can't just blow teams out because no one wants to get blown out. Teams that haven't been there before aren't used to everyone giving a fuck. I'm overstating this, and obviously this is problematic for me as an NBA fan. What I don't need to hear, then, is this double-edged cliche situated as a staple of NBA announcing. That's not shifting an embarrassment over to the strength column, it's just straight-up self-playing.