April 21, 2003

Not even a debate.: Yet voting on the same site gives a 65/35 split in favor of the NBA playoffs superiority. This just roasts my chicken, and feeds the argument that something has to be done with the education in this country. Take the grit and violence of the NFL, G, plus the skill and creativity of World Class Soccer, S, and multiply it by end-to-end action, A, and you get the best 8 weeks of sports every year.

posted by garfield to hockey at 05:05 PM - 27 comments

well, this just illustrates yet again that a) Eric Neel is a moron and b) most of this country is made up of morons. I mean, smart sports fans are bored by squeakball and appreciate hockey, but most people aren't smart, and are entertained by a game where accidental wussy contact is illegal, allowing people to take 5 steps without dribbling and go uncontested for a layup...

posted by Bernreuther at 06:39 PM on April 21

This could quickly devolve in ugly trash talk. "My sport is better than yours!" Smart people who love basketball seem to think it's a beautiful game to watch. And it's true that there is some grace in the game's movements. I just can't buy it. Maybe it's because I have not been raised with basketball, but I can't feel passionnate about a sport where only the last 3 minutes count and the referees have such an impact on the game. That, and what Bernreuther said. Give me a good open-ice check over any fancy dunk, thank you.

posted by qbert72 at 06:54 PM on April 21

But Baseball clearly has one advantage, in that only the best 25% of teams are let in. If you are really interested in knowing who has the best team, then you can't be letting in teams like the Islanders and the Jazz.

posted by djacobs at 08:16 PM on April 21

6) Which is better? 68.9% NHL playoffs 31.1% NBA playoffs Total Votes: 48,231 They aren't so dumb after all! Side thread: How about those games tonight? The Wild pull out a beauty, and like a bad odour the Leafs won't leave. Tomorrow night...three game sevens! This is killing me!

posted by Succa at 09:59 PM on April 21

What a wonderful night of hockey. What in the heck was Cechmanek doing on that first goal? Go Wild!

posted by emoeby at 10:29 PM on April 21

Most of the reasons the NBA playoffs are better just sound like more arguments in favour of the NHL playoffs...

posted by Space Coyote at 10:40 PM on April 21

I don't even know how to ice skate and have never seen snow. But the NHL playoffs are clearly superior. 1. LESS commercials. The last ten seconds of NBA games seem to take 30 min. 2. NO celebrities in the front row. 3. Sudden Death Overtime. I grew up playing b-ball and still play to this day but on tv, hockey blows 'em away.

posted by silent4lie at 11:20 PM on April 21

Hockey playoffs: the only place where people willingly dive in front of 100mph bullets, knowing full well that they could break their legs or cost them some teeth. People get stiched up on the bench and jump back for the next shift! People play with fractures and breaks and missing teeth. The sacrifice that players show in the NHL Playoffs is far greater than in any other team sport. Yeah, perhaps I'm biased, but that's the way I see it.

posted by mkn at 01:40 AM on April 22

those games tonight were awesome, but man, who makes this schedule? The teams tonight travel and play again tomorrow... what ever happend to one on, one off? Go Leafs, Go Wild, Go Canucks! Sorry Succa, but I'm an Isles fan, and years of not being able to beat your Sens means I can't stand them ;)

posted by Bernreuther at 01:52 AM on April 22

This could quickly devolve in ugly trash talk. "My sport is better than yours!" my sport is better than yours. Go Canucks!

posted by juv3nal at 04:23 AM on April 22

OK, I don't have anything against hockey... but can we retire the old "only the last three minutes count" canard? Seriously -- if you want to talk about the faults of basketball I'm interested, but that comment only reveals that you don't understand the game. a) Lots of games are decided way before then. Not all games are nailbiters. And if a hockey game is won 1-0, are you gonna say that it wasn't decided until the last minute because (after all) someone could have scored in that minute? Nope. Extend the same courtesy to basketball. b) Even in close games, the previous 45 minutes make a huge difference. Who has five fouls and has to play carefully in case they foul out? Who's been abused all night by the opposing power forward and has no confidence? Who's making adjustments? It's said, accurately, that basketball is all about who adjusts better. That's true between games and it's also true during games. If a game goes down to the wire, chances are it'll be won by the team who made the better adjustments based on the last 45 minutes.

posted by Bryant at 06:28 AM on April 22

Sudden death overtime. Until it's over. I know that basketball could theoretically go on in the playoffs as well, but when was the last time two teams played the equivalent of two games in a night? Besides the Celtics-Suns game that's played incessantly on ESPN Classic because of its rarity. I like the NBA playoffs just fine, but I don't think it has the same drama level as the NHL, especially in the opening rounds.

posted by yerfatma at 06:47 AM on April 22

Ohhhh, I dunno. I'd be hard-pressed to fault the drama in the first Spurs/Suns game, when a guy who's shot ten three pointers all year banks one in by accident to take it to overtime. Ditto the first Celtics/Pacers game, when Pierce scored an astounding 21 points in the fourth quarter. On the other hand, sudden death has its very own thrill, so you have a point there. The Celtics/Suns game isn't played incessantly because it's rare, btw; it's played incessantly because it's an astounding game. If it'd been two teams playing an average game, it wouldn't get the replays. Hm. When was the last time a Stanley Cup Finals game went into three overtimes, out of honest curiosity?

posted by Bryant at 07:13 AM on April 22

Answer: 1999. OK, I'm impressed. :)

posted by Bryant at 07:16 AM on April 22

"When was the last time a Stanley Cup Finals game went into three overtimes, out of honest curiosity?" 2002. The Detroit Red Wings beat the Carolina Hurricanes in the 3rd OT with a beauty of a shot by Igor Larianov.

posted by NoMich at 08:05 AM on April 22

Sudden death OT, the toughness of the players, and shorthaned or even strength four-on-four makes hockey playoffs far superior. The problem with hockey for the average fan is that its marketing is way inferior to the NBA's. The average sports fan could probably name at least one player on every single NBA team, but they could only name maybe 10 hockey players total.

posted by vito90 at 08:07 AM on April 22

I hate Jeremy Roenick, but just watching him play in this series against the Leafs makes you appreciate playoff hockey. He's dished out some questionable hits and made some questionable plays, but he's also been on the other side of plenty as well. Just when you think the guy isn't even going to be able to stand up anymore, he'll score a goal on you. There's nothing in the NBA that can even come close to that kind of physical play and toughness. The bastard. (For the record - I'm a mild Leafs fan, but mostly a Philly hater.)

posted by Samsonov14 at 08:43 AM on April 22

I prefer the NBA playoffs to hockey, mainly because I'm just not that big of a hockey fan. It's very entertaining, but I just don't have as much of an attachment to it. College basketball is still a million times better than the NBA though.

posted by corpse at 09:10 AM on April 22

I wish the NBA would just go away...

posted by StarFucker at 09:22 AM on April 22

I wish the NBA would just go away... We can dream. I'd also like to see the NHL take its rightful seat at the top of the sports universe in the US, but alas...

posted by Succa at 10:40 AM on April 22

6) Which is better? 70.3% NHL playoffs 29.7% NBA playoffs Total Votes: 51,148 I stand corrected. (Though this linked from the NHL page, not the NBA page.) Yeah, loved the hit on JR. Hated his goal. Beauty shot though. I heard Buccigross called him out on the whining and the double standard he applies to himself. And Reichel, what the F? Finally gets some respect, scores an early goal. Then blasts a dud on a penalty shot? At least stutter the delivery or something. JEEZ. Didn't see the Wild game, but that Park kid impressed during the regular season. I may be wrong, but it seemed Park was in Pats head a bit, looking pass initially, dragging the puck and then roping a wrister....pretty sweet.

posted by garfield at 10:53 AM on April 22

I watched the Leafs-Flyers game last night with a Leafs fan, and as much as I hate them (I'm required to under Bylaw 34 section x of the "Growing up in Montreal" code), I can't stand Bobby Clarke and especially Jeremy Roenick. You do have to give him credit as a hockey player, but he's also a cheap shot artist, and I was cheering when Berg wholloped him. I was even happy when the Leafs won. As for the comparison, I don't think that anything really compares with NHL playoffs, although I have watched some exciting NBA playoff games. It's all in knowing about the players, the strategy, and getting involved.

posted by sauril at 11:44 AM on April 22

For whatever reasons--Canadian government-sponsored Internet access, the close pyschological interrelatedness of nerdity and hockey appreciation--there are about a million more hockey fans than NBA fans online. So there's my explanation why that poll has the 5th American pro sport all over the 2nd American pro sport. Plus hockey has never transcended its hockey cult roots, while the NBA became an important part of our culture starting in the 80s with Magic and Bird and going into full cultural takeover mode during the Jordan era. So--I mean--the cultishness of the NHL has probably driven a lot of fans online, where things that are underserved by mainstream media interests thrive. I prefer the NBA playoffs myself, as I cannot enjoy the ulcers overtime NHL games give me. Plus NHL series always seem like they're won by luck more than anything else, like you could run through the playoffs 16 different times and get 16 different winners. I dunno. Anyhow, sitting through NHL overtime makes my stomach hurt. Watching Stephon Marbury score a miracle three as time expires makes the world seem like a better place to me.

posted by Justin Slotman at 12:00 PM on April 22

Baseball and basketball have two similarites that influence how I watch them. There are too many regular season games, so the individual games don't matter that much, and I usually don't pay all that much attention to either sport until the playoffs. I love the drama and excitement of the playoffs, though. (One difference is that too many NBA teams make the playoffs; less than 50% of the teams should make the playoffs in any sport.) Also, there's a mental aspect to both sports that makes them more interesting to watch the more you think about them. On the surface they can both seem boring, but the more you pay attention to the strategy, the moves and countermoves, the better it is. (I'm sure hockey has similar nuances, but I don't know them, so I'm not as interested in hockey.) Even if an NBA game comes down to the final minutes (and are we really complaining about having a dramatic ending?), the story of how the game progressed is interesting. Finally, the NFL has the same play-until-you're-done, sudden death format, plus there's only one playoff game, so it's win or go home. Doesn't that make the NFL playoffs at least as good as, or even better than, the NHL's?

posted by kirkaracha at 12:20 PM on April 22

Yeah, football playoffs are pretty sweet. Nothing to worry about, though, because the NHL and NFL playoffs aren't on at the same time.

posted by Samsonov14 at 12:58 PM on April 22

The last minute of a basketblal game would be more exciting if it didn't take 10 minutes to play. All the stopping and starting is counter to what makes it a fun game to watch.

posted by Space Coyote at 01:04 PM on April 22

Can't disagree with that, Space Coyote. It wouldn't upset me greatly if you couldn't call timeouts in the last three minutes.

posted by Bryant at 08:09 PM on April 22

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