There is an unspoken understanding between the NBA and its casual fans: We will ignore you for most of the winter in favor of football and college basketball and pay attention come playoff time. You, in turn, must deliver exciting action. Rest your stars and beat up on the 76ers all you want in December. But the final two minutes of most playoff games better be entertaining.
The NBA has not held up its end of the bargain in 2016. Not even close. There are numbers that prove this: There have been 10 games decided by at least 30 points. The previous high for one postseason was seven such games. On one day in the opening round, three of the four games had at least 20-point margins. The average victory margin was at a record high of 14.2 before the first three games of the finals were decided by 15, 33, and 30 points.