How to avoid a lopsided Finals? A whole new playoff format
Updated: June 11, 2007, 7:18 PM ETBy John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
SAN ANTONIO -- For those of you who don't think the NBA's playoff system needs tweaking, let Game 2 be your wake-up call. The NBA's playoff system needs tweaking. Thanks to the incomprehensible mediocrity of the Eastern Conference, the NBA's marquee event is becoming a joke. The Spurs are so obviously better than the Cavaliers that, LeBron factor or not, this is sure to end up as a total ratings disaster for the league. Forget Tony Parker versus Tony Soprano; how about Tony Parker versus Eva Longoria? One wonders whether ABC would have been better off airing a rerun of "Desperate Housewives" rather than Sunday night's one-sided affair.
So while the Cavs spent the aftermath of Game 2 talking about improving their effort and their execution, we all know there's only thing that could give them a real chance: switching opponents and playing somebody from the East. Not that they'll admit it publicly. "It's just an upgrade from series to series," LeBron James said when I asked him about going from Detroit to San Antonio. "From the first round to the second round, conference finals, and then to the Finals, it's an upgrade. It doesn't matter who it is, the intensity level automatically picks up." Well, that's half true. For the Cavs, it's definitely an upgrade. For the Spurs ... not so much. This is going to upset some Cavs fans, but Cleveland is the weakest team San Antonio has faced in this postseason.
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty ImagesKing James' Cavs are proving that there's a huge gap in talent between the East and West.