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NBA’s best of 2011

I participated in a 5-on-5 about the best of 2011 in the NBA. Unlike Patrick’s 5-on-5 about the strangest things of 2011, mine obviously didn’t include any Pistons moments.

Here’s No. 2 on my list, and it should give you a good idea of No. 1:

Dan Feldman, PistonPowered: Miami Heat reaching the Finals. THE story of the NBA season was: Will LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh win a title this year? Most fans rooted against them, but nearly every fan cared. By reaching the final round, the Heat allowed the storyline to garner attention as long as possible.


  • Oct 27, 201112:10 pm
    by Laser


    See, I feel like this is one of those things where there is a short-term positive that’s a potential long-term disaster. I always struggle with the “it’s controversial, but it’s got people TALKING, so it’s a win! if nobody cared, that’s when you know you’re in trouble.” But I don’t necessarily buy it.
    It’s the NBA. There are going to be storylines, and people are going to care. Hell, I think the Pistons’ championship season had the lowest Finals ratings of all time. Yet I doubt you’d dwell on that as a bad thing, instead touting it as a positive for the league that a mid-market team with no real stars won it all and ended a dynasty.
    I think this Heat situation is a bit of a tipping point, and it could go either way. There’s something to be said about the league having a true villain to hate and root against, who will probably go far most every year. But there are several ways in which these short-term gains could blow up in the league’s collective face. For instance, if the Heat soon became perennial winners and nobody else really had a chance. And/or the league eventually becomes a place where there are a small handful of superteams and the gap between the haves and the have-nots becomes uncloseable. If the new CBA allows for this AT ALL, it’s probably an inevitability. Every big name goes to Boston, LA, Miami or New York. You get the idea.
    So yeah, it’s temporarily good for the league… but what if Miami won? Hell, I’d say that would be the worst thing that could possibly have happened. They’re only going to get better from here, assuming a CBA that resembles the old one, and they can improve by leaps and bounds with a few midlevel exceptions. I’m just not comfortable with slapping a WIN label on controversial stuff like this.

    • Oct 27, 201112:18 pm
      by Laser


      Sure, people are talking. People care. But it’s a great game and people love it, and that has more to do with what’s come before than what storylines people are following at a given time. In short, failing a disaster of epic proportions, people are going to care and people are going to talk.
      In fact, one of the surest ways to get people to stop caring is to shatter any sense of parity in the league. Even just having a team of perennial winners who aren’t likable would get old fast. And in a worst-case scenario, this could well have been a quantum leap towards a grim future.

      • Oct 27, 20116:48 pm
        by tarsier


        The league doesn’t need too much parity. It’s “golden age” was when there were basically two teams in the Celtics and Lakers and then one unstoppable dynasty in the Bulls. Sure, Detroit and Houston each snuck a pair of titles in there. But that was not a time of any more parity than now. And, incredible as Miami’s big three are, I still don’t know that the Heat have more talent than the Lakers.

        Besides, is it really a bad story line to have the league’s best player take his fate into his own hands and win one or more titles?

        As long as the lottery is pumping out new superstars, bad teams will have a chance to rise up. They just have to build smart once they draft a fantastic player.

        My point is basically that the league has almost always been just a couple super teams. That just hasn’t happened by way of the top 3 free agents deciding to team up.

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