A Tale of Two Sports

 

The NBA and NHL playoffs are in their Conference Finals and each sport portrays a different tale. The NBA Playoffs are a snorefest with both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors sweeping straight through to the Conference Finals while the NHL Playoffs have had only 2 sweeps, one coming from a Wild Card team topping the 1 Seed.

Almost every game this year in the NBA playoffs has been a lopsided win. Out of the 69 games played this year 38 of them have come from double digit wins. This trend did not randomly start this year. Last year, out of the 86 games played, 53 of the games played were double digit scores. That means out of the past two years combined, 91 games have been won by double digits!! Roughly 59% of the games for the past two years have been won like this. It’s not as if they have won by only 10-15 points, 43 of the 91 were decided by over 20 points! The competition or better “lack thereof” is so lopsided the Warriors and Cavaliers are a combined 20-0.

The Warriors +17.0 PPG differential is currently the highest in NBA Playoff history with the Cavaliers not too far behind. No team has ever gone 16-0 throughout the playoffs, much less 12-0 and there are currently two teams, 2 wins each, away from doing so. Luckily, while the Cavs are up by over 40 points, a different playoff series was going on.

The Penguins played the Senators last night in the NHL Eastern Conference Final, with the Penguins notting up the series at 2 games apiece with a 3-2 win. Each side of the NHL Playoff series, Eastern and Western Conference, are both locked in a tied series, the Western Conference Final between the Predators and Ducks.

For the NHL playoffs, there have been games won by more than 3 goals only 11 times this playoff season, out of 76 games. 47 of the games have been decided by only 1 point. The NHL is the real competitive playoff season, there is no need to wait for the Finals, like in the NBA, to see real competition. Each series has been competitive even when a team has swept. 5 out of the 8 games, in the series that have resulted in sweeps, have been 1 goal losses; compared to the NBA, where 10 of the 16 games were decided by more than 10 points.

At this point in time, the NBA Finals are set. The Warriors will face off against the Cavaliers for the third straight year but until that time we will have to continue watching both the Celtics and Spurs get blown and swept out of the stadium. The Finals start on June 1st. As for the NHL, anything can happen. Only one #1 seed remains and they are tied at 2-2 with a wild card team. The Predators, the wild card team, have played outstanding hockey in these playoff games along with the three other teams that remain.

Game 5 for the Western Conference Final will be held on May 20th, at 6:15pm CT in Anaheim and Game 5 for the Eastern Conference Final will be held on May 21st, at 2:00pm CT in Pittsburgh.

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