Primarily my main thought is the obvious. There were so many key injuries that fans were robbed of what could have been a game for the ages. This is not to put down any of the remaining players’ efforts but that’s just it – they’re the remaining players – the only ones left still standing and some of them barely at that. While they did great, they’re not the players I want to see.
I want to see Kawhi and KD go head to head goddamet. The thought of those two going at it makes me giddy with excitement. Regular season, playoff or Championship, that’s a game I’d pay to watch, and I’m very very poor and stingy.
Anyway I’ve always felt that players were often far too played out at the end of every season and this year is probably the worst of all. Even the announcers kept saying how Coach Kerr was experimenting with line ups he never used in the regular season and that if Kerr did they’d never have gotten into the playoffs let alone finals.
Obviously what the NBA should do is to try to find ways for teams to keep key players healthy going deep into the year but that’s easier said than done. First, how the hell do you do that exactly? By limiting their minutes? By faking injuries like Shaq used to do? By lessening games?
None of those solutions are going to happen. Firstly the reason why a team gets into the Finals is because they play their great players to begin with. Secondly who is going to enforce that? Even if the NBA wanted Kerr to keep Durant on the bench to save him Durant and not to mention his sponsors would probably sue the team. And finally the NBA would never lessen the number of games simply because other teams in the past were able to weather injuries to make 3, 4 and 5 peats. If a modern NBA team wins a championship with any less than 74 games there will always be an asterisk beside their names in Wikipedia indicating ‘shortened season’. No self respecting team, coach and player would accept that.
And finally there’s the average fan who probably isn’t aware of this nor cares. Whether from Golden State or Toronto they just enjoyed a fantastic game and are happy with what they got.
Guys like me however, who are fans of the game rather than any of those teams (or any team at all in my case), are left wondering what coulda been. I do not usually do nor am fond of wishful thinking but I catch myself doing nonetheless. I want to see the best teams go up against each other all with healthy players in a showdown for the ages – just like it happens in the movies and in basketball fans’ (note, not a team fan’s) dreams. While this Championship was exciting sure, this wasn’t that showdown I was looking for. And at the end of it all I am hoping a solution be found.