This Week in Sports
The NBA's Nightmare Scenario
You can praise the Spurs' fundamentally sound offense and stingy defense. You can marvel at the Pistons' unselfish play and menacing toughness. But does the average basketball fan want to see those two teams battle for the NBA Championship? Probably not.
Last year's finals generated the lowest ratings in years for a championship series. The Spurs were matched up against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. I doubt James' high-flying dunks drove away viewers. More likely, it was the Spurs' ability to make him take jump shots or risk being fouled hard every time he drove to the basket. If NBA fans are forced to marvel at good, crisp passes and lock-down defense, expect a lot of television sets to be turned off.
Luckily for the NBA, both the Spurs and Pistons are down 2-1 in their series against the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics respectively. A matchup between Los Angeles and Boston would be much more to the league's liking. It would pit the two most storied franchises against one another for the first time in two decades. You can bet NBA officials are holding their breath, hoping for a clash of the titans, rather than another ratings meltdown.