It’s my opinion that the NBA has the best playoffs of any sport. Some will argue football, but I believe they are too short, too few games. College football? No playoff, no dice. March Madness is a common pick. Rounds one and two are exciting, sure, but the quality of play? Puhleeease. This year’s national title game was a joke of a watch. The NBA is constantly exciting, the finale to the finest product in sport this side of the pond. But I’ve found a way to make it better. Following in the trend of the average NBA player’s extreme lack of loyalty to their team, I want to expand on that. Here it is in one sentence:
Whichever team wins the playoff series gets to choose one player from the losing team to join them for the rest of the playoffs.
As simple as that. The winning team wins the series… and a new player for the remainder of the playoffs. But there are some ground rules here, too.
1) To prevent diving, a series only becomes “player-rental-eligible” when the series is tied 2-2 (or 3-3, if a team up 3-1 loses two straight). This is to prevent a player from attempting to tank his team and move to the better squad.
2) Once a series has reached 2-2 (or 3-3), each team’s coach submits their prospective player to steal.
3) Teams who choose to steal a player do not have to cut any players.
For those of you who think teams won’t want to screw up their chemistry, I argue this: Tell me the Dallas Mavericks wouldn’t take LaMarcus Aldridge for the rest of the playoffs, or that the Chicago Bulls (the chemistry team) wouldn’t love to add Danny Granger, even if he just sat there waiting to shoot. So here is the potential player theft from round one of the playoffs, and we’ll play this through to the finals.
Bulls v. Pacers
If the Bulls win: Add Danny Granger to the already deep Bulls and they are now a much more balanced offense. Derrick Rose could lighten his load earlier in games. And let’s all pretend Danny Granger wouldn’t love this, too.
If the Pacers win: Derrick Rose plays one series for the Pacers and hates every second of it. Welp, should’ve taken care of business in round one, then, Rose.
Heat v. 76ers
If the Heat win: Andre Iguodala joins the Big Three to make it an actual Big Three, and Chris Bosh barely starts.
If the 76ers win: LeBron takes his talents to Philly, home of the only fans who hate anything more than Cleveland hates LeBron. (Note: Philly fans hate everything more than anyone else hates anything)
Celtics v. Knicks
If the Celtics win: They take Carmelo over Amare. Carmelo is a better pure scorer. He’s like if Paul Pierce didn’t fake injuries for attention.
If the Knicks win: I am so tempted to have the Knicks take Ray Allen, that way Jesus Shuttlesworth could reunite with Spike Lee at MSG. But they’d take Kevin Garnett in an attempt to have even a remote amount of defense. The Knicks need leadership and defense.
Magic v. Hawks
If the Magic win: Orlando pulls in Joe Johnson, a verified superstar, and becomes the most fun team to watch since the last team in this hypothetical.
If the Hawks win: Add Dwight Howard to the balance of the Hawks and you have an inside-out game that would be hard to compete with if you were the All-Star team.
Now let’s move to the West…
Lakers v. Hornets
If the Lakers win: Chris Paul. Now Kobe can sit back and rest on his ailing knees. CP3 can run the pick and roll with Odom and inside out with Gasol.
If the Hornets win: I think they take Gasol here. Even though Kobe may be the more popular option, the Hornets are going to invest in someone they know will be able to walk for a while (so that rules out Bynum, too… Plus, the players’ wives could never put up with Khloe Kardashian).
Spurs v. Grizzlies
If the Spurs win: I believe they take Marc Gasol to add a body to the middle and allow some mismatches for Tim Duncan.
If the Grizzlies win: They snag up Tim Duncan. Easy choice. YES. EASY.
Thunder v. Nuggets
If the Thunder win: They would be wise to snatch up Birdman. He’d bring elements to the table that OKC has never seen. Intensity. Spikey Hair. Tatz.
If the Nuggets win: Easiest choice in the whole thing. The Durantula crawls west a few states to Denver, and suddenly the Nuggets didn’t lose anybody this year.
Mavericks v. Trailblazers
Two team nicknames I forced myself not to abbrev.
If the Mavs win: Add LaMarcus Aldredge to the Mavs and you have a serious threat to somehow choke in the finals here.
If the Blazers win: Dirk Nowitzki will don a new uni, and everyone will think he looks even more awkward than before, including Mark Cuban.
This system would really shake things up and set up for even bigger and bigger matchups as the playoffs progress. My next post will happen at the conclusion of round one, previewing hypothetical match-ups I have created.
What do you think? Do you have a better plan? Hit up the comments, amigo(a)s!