The NBA Playoffs, A.K.A. ‘When Pro Players Actually Try’

By Marcus Shockley

Phil Jackson
Photo: BridgeTDS

It’s time for the NBA playoffs, and there’s a reason that Chuck Daly used to claim that it was the only time of year when the players actually listened to his coaching. I’ve long said that the NBA season is far too long; the reality is that vast portions of the season simply don’t matter, and everyone knows it. The fans know it, the players know it and the ratings show it.

But the playoffs actually count and suddenly players who were trotting back on defense and lounging on the bench in the fourth quarter are blasting up and down the court and diving for loose balls. This is the time of year when the effort on the NBA court overtakes the college game. This is, in effect, when the lights come on.

This is also why the regular season doesn’t really tell us who will win the title, but that’s not to discount a great season like the Chicago Bulls put together this year. It just means that now is when the players will bring their best every night, and it turns out, their best is pretty spectacular.

Who’s ready for some real basketball?

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