Friday, May 1, 2009
Its still the first round, but this years NBA playoffs has been pretty damn awesome so far. I can not remember the last time I was this interested in pretty much every series that was going on. Everything just seems...different.
I thought it was just in my head until I came across this post by the crew at The Starting Five. This really does seem to be leading up to a pretty special playoffs.
On the surface, it seems like there is just more passion and hustle out there. I always hate it when people make those kinds of statements because I think, for the most part, that players always play hard. But this playoffs, its almost like every team (except the Hornets and Pistons), really feels like they could win and are really leaving it all out on the floor.
So is it because guys are playing harder?
I say no. I think a lot of these younger teams have just grown up. Players have been in the league for a few years and now really understand what it takes to win. Guys like Ben Gordon, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Andrew Bynum, etc, etc have really come into their own this year.
Add that to some exciting rookies and second year guys and vets showing that still got it (Billups is on fire in Denver and I'm loving Artest with the Rockets) and the overall level of play across the league has improved and we're seeing it this playoffs.
We'll see if the playoffs can keep this early momentum, but its definitely been great so far.