What a week in NBA playoff basketball, the Raptors and Heat have turned the world upside down. Likewise, the power rankings have taken a drastic turn.
Before the second round of the NBA playoffs started, the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers looked to be the four best teams in the playoffs and the presumptive title favorites. Since the round started, they are a combined 3-7 in the conference semis.
Matchups are getting to be more of an impacting factor the deeper the playoffs progress. Fatigue and injuries are having an increased effect on every game. But one thing is for certain, the excuses need to stop.
Many fans on the losing end of the proceedings are starting to chirp about a potential asterisk because the “better” teams are beginning to struggle. That is simply disingenuous. The rigors that all these teams have to play through cannot be quantified. The civil unrest in this country is at a fever pitch. Being contained in a bubble for more than two months with limited access to family (none for the coaches) is brutal.
But they are all going through it. Yes, everyone handles situations differently. Other situations that would be handled differently is the pressure of the moment and that has nothing to do with a bubble. There is no reason to take away from the accomplishments of any of the teams or players who have given it their all on the highest stage.
For those committed to this league, the most important thing is to celebrate the fantastic accomplishments and listen to the message players and coaches are sending from their platforms. They are not making excuses and neither should the fans.