If you’re a fan of professional winter sports, this time of the year is like the Christmas season. After many meaningless regular season games, the playoffs are here and teams in the NBA and NHL are battling for those coveted trophies to be awarded sometime in mid-June. In my household, I find myself on many occasions staying up well past my bedtime to watch an exciting playoff game or games. When I am out and about, I closely monitor my Android to get caught up on the latest scores and updates. Yes, you could consider me one of those radical fans who loves this time of the year! It is playoff time!
Being that both sports, professional hockey and basketball hold their playoffs at the same time, my question to all you sports fans out there is this, which sport has the better and more exciting playoffs? If you’re a passionate fan of either league, obviously your answer will be biased. However, if you’re a lukewarm fan of both leagues, what is your take on which playoffs is better to watch. I have some interesting personal takes that I would like to share.
I consider myself to be a rather huge fan of the NBA and have been for many years. Basketball is a passion of mine and it would only be naturally for me to follow a league with the best and most talented players in the world. Hockey on the other hand is something that I only occasionally watch during the year. The NHL and hockey is general is not something that I relish watching because of the low scoring and my lack of a background in the game. You could say that I am a very luck warm fan of the sport.
Having said that, I find myself surprisingly watching more than my share of NHL hockey games during the playoff season, even more than the NBA. There is just something about the NHL playoffs that seems to draw me towards watching a sport and league that I would otherwise neglect. First of all, it really helps that our local franchise is a strong contender in the playoffs. It’s only naturally that any sports fan from my area would have somewhat of interest in seeing how our local team is performing with the national spotlight on them. Second of all and perhaps the most important reason that I watch is unpredictability of the NHL playoffs. It is never uncommon for a lower seeded team to advance far into the playoffs even go as far as winning the championship (Stanley Cup). Now compare that with the NBA playoffs. The higher seeded teams nearly always advance deep into the playoffs. Very seldom will you see a number 8 seed knock off a number 1 seed. This year’s NBA playoffs have started off with a total lack of drama. At the time of this writing, there are potentially four series sweeps that could take place. In basketball, the better team normally wins a playoff series. In hockey, sometimes the better team does not always win a series. A team can dominate another team and lose the series because of a hot goalie. Or there may times a bad bounce goes against a team. Those things happen a lot in hockey. Furthermore, there is nothing more exciting than watching a NHL game go into overtime, especially if it a game 7. Knowing the next goal will either advance your team into the next round or send them home for the summer is one of the most nerve-racking feelings a sports fan will ever go through.
Based on what I said, I think the NHL has a slight in overall excitement and may be more exciting to watch and follow. The NBA and basketball is just a far more predictable sport. As I said earlier, the better teams usually win a series. The unpredictable nature of the NHL playoffs makes it so appealing to so many, including myself. Even so, both leagues have great playoffs that any sports fan should enjoy watching.