Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: nba
from Bob McManaman of azcentral,
If LeBron or Steph Curry have a bad game, there's a pretty good chance their teams are going to lose because of it. Let's face it, NBA teams rely on two or three players to get the job done. But in hockey, it's never just the marquee players that save the day with a big play or a game-winning goal. It could be, and usually is, just about anyone that happens to be on the ice at any given time. It was a third-line center, Markus Kruger, who scored the game-winner for the Blackhawks in their triple-overtime victory against the Ducks in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. That series wraps up Saturday night in Anaheim and don't be surprised if a role player emerges as the star.
This one isn't even fair. In the NBA, you'll get the occasional thriller. But in the NHL, they happen with far more frequency and the intensity level is ratcheted up a hundred times over. One mistake can kill you. It's sudden-death overtime. In basketball, you can miss a free throw or a three-point shot early in OT and still survive. There has been a combined seven periods of overtime so far in the Stanley Cup Conference Finals – with two games to go. Only one game went into overtime during the NBA's Conference Finals. Playoff games can go on for so long in hockey, you can actually have a pizza delivered to the locker room between periods like Rick Tocchet once did when he was playing for the Penguins. Now that's cool.
from Patrick Reusse of 1500ESPN (also writes for the Star Tribune),
The difference between the NBA and the NHL in the playoffs is simple: In the NBA, you play to 105 points and the best team generally is going to win. In the NHL, you play to three goals and it's a coin flip.
During the Wild's series with the Blackhawks, hockey interest was high around here and people would ask me, even me, "Who is going to win tonight?''
My answer was consistent: "Don't know. It's going to be 2-2 in the final 10 minutes and then one team is going to score.''
Hockey fans embrace the unpredictably that has taken over the playoffs. Fair enough. But for me, it's more interesting to watch the two best basketball teams in the world play for a title, than a fifth seed against a sixth seed.
Among the Twitter ridicule from the puckheads toward the NBA was this: There have been eight franchises that have won the past 30 titles. To me, that means that in more than any sport, you have to put together a tremendous foundation to win a title.
And, if this is the criteria that lifts the NHL over the NBA - the variety in champions over the past three decades - then the NHL takes a back seat to baseball, the sport ridiculed most often for its lack of parity.
from Jesse Lawrence at Forbes,
Tuesday night, Game six of the NBA finals scored ABC a 14.7 rating, the fourth-highest ever for an NBA game on the storied network. A bit further up the dial NBC has also been celebrating ratings for their NHL finals broadcast. Game one of the NHL finals between the Bruins and Blackhawks scored a 4.8– double game one from last year. For the NHL it was the highest rating since game six in 2011, which also involved the Bruins. If championship ratings are a reflection of the national sports interests, NBA is the clear winner.
Ticket prices, however, tell another story. Ticket prices for the NBA finals are at a 3-year high, averaging $941 for the Heat vs. Spurs series. This ranks a distant second to the Celtics vs. Lakers series in 2010, which averaged $1,805. Over the last three years, only one Stanley Cup finals–the 2012 Devils vs. Kings– has had an average price lower than the price for this years NBA finals. In the 2011, the Bruins vs. Canucks series had an average price of $1,437, almost double the price $758 for the Heat’s first Finals appearance vs. the Mavericks.
continue for some interesting numbers...
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
“I can relate to what the hockey players are going through,” said Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs. “For them, it’s got to be more frustrating because last time around they missed a whole season. To get locked out twice in a row and to miss two seasons definitely has to be a hard thing to swallow.”...
Having gone through it, Bonner says the decertification ploy has risks for both sides and shouldn’t be a path chosen lightly.
“It’s hard because it throws everything into chaos,” said Bonner. “It just adds a huge degree of uncertainty to the situation. It’s a tough decision for the players to make and it’s tough for the owners to deal with. That’s a possible strategy to get the owners to move, to budge.”...
“The bottom line is we did everything we could to get a deal up to that point,” said Bonner. “We reached an impasse where we didn’t feel they were negotiating and we had to do something drastic to negotiate with.
“That’s the decision we made. It throws everything into uncertainty. You don’t know what the outcome is going to be.”
via the AP at ESPN,
A year after a lockout that delayed the start of the season to Dec. 25, Stern was critical of hockey union head Donald Fehr for his side's negotiating stance in the current NHL lockout. Fehr said that sports with salary caps are more prone to lockouts because of their labor structure.
Stern disagreed and said the 50-50 sharing arrangement agreed to by the NFL and NBA, and proposed by NHL owners, was fair.
"They have no choice but to stand and protect such business model as will be left when the negotiations finish," he said.
That LeBron showed why he was the MVP last night.
That Evgeni sure was the best player in the NHL.
Juwan and Shane win their first NBA title as did Willie and Simon in the NHL.
You want to go old school?
Michael could do everything, so could Bobby in the NHL.
Isiah, pound for pound was the toughest player in the NBA, same goes for Ted in the NHL.
How come the first name only rule works in the NBA and not the NHL?
From Mac Engel at the Toronto Star:
“I learned a big lesson: It’s not a partnership. It’s their league, and you are going to play when they want,” he said.
Today, Guerin has hindsight and his experience serves as a giant caution to any player who thinks losing a game, much less an entire season, to this lockout is a good idea. His message is simple: Get what you can; start playing; you are not going to win what you think.
“It is not worth it to any of them to burn games or to burn an entire year. Burning a year was ridiculous,” Guerin said. “It wasn’t worth me giving up $9 million a year, or 82 games plus the playoffs, then having a crappy year and being bought out. ... Guys in the NBA making $15 million or however much better think long and hard about this.”
from Tom Van Riper of Forbes,
As NBA labor talks drag on with few hopeful signs, some talk has naturally turned to the potential value of basketball’s lockout to the NHL.
Unfortunately for the hockey, there isn’t much. The last lengthy NBA labor war – the one chopped the 1998-99 season down to 50 games – resulted in a flat attendance year for the NHL from the year before. Tempting as it is to pit hockey and hoops as winter competitors, there’s nothing beyond the time of year and the sharing of the arenas (in some cities) to compare the two. A Philadelphia 76ers fans is no more likely to substitute a Flyers game at the Wachovia Center than he is to check out the Indoor LaCross league’s Wings (an exaggeration there, perhaps, but just a small one).
They’re simply two different sports playing to two different fan bases. Not only is basketball far more popular in the U.S., it’s demographics differ substantially.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Last season, the Avalanche’s Matt Duchene — the No. 3 choice in the 2009 draft — made $900,000 in salary and his cap hit, because of potential bonuses, was $3.4 million. It’s a bit tricky because the NHL draft age is 18 (oversimplifying), and only the very elite step right into the NHL rather than remaining in major junior hockey or heading to college for a year or four.
That kind of “reasonable” deal makes the NFL jealous, not so much because of the dollar figure (everyone knows the NFL figures would be multiplied many-fold), but the concept of making rookies, even the most accomplished and highly prized, wait their turns.
There isn’t a lot of cross-ownership in the NBA and NHL, but I’m surprised that Stan Kroenke and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, for example, haven’t more forcefully said in NBA meetings: “You know, the hockey system is working. It’s relatively simple, it has held up, and it makes sense for everybody.” Now Kroenke can go into NFL meetings and say the same things.
The horses are out of the barns in some ways. The football and basketball players associations aren’t going to just say: “Sure!”
But the NHL has a system that’s working.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
I rag on NHL players a lot – and with good reason. Their boring nicknames roll off an assembly line, they’re far from the most worldly of individuals, and their union-maintaining abilities leave much to be desired.
But after witnessing the NBA’s orgy of egoism the last few weeks, I appreciate NHLers a little bit more than I used to.
Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t going to be one of the thinly veiled bigoted rants that often get tossed at NBA players. I covered the Toronto Raptors for a bunch of years – during the Vince Carter Era, mostly – and I found, in many aspects, basketball players and hockey players share the same experiences: the shortened childhoods; the temptations that come when the exuberance of youth and large sums of money are locked in the same room together; the drive to provide for families that sacrificed in the hope their prodigal sons would prosper.
From WCBS News Radio:
Ever had to eat tickets to a sporting event which took place while you were on vacation? Get this. New Jersey Nets season ticket holders can get in on the “Snowbird Exchange Program.”
[NJ Nets Press Release]: As cold weather takes hold of the Metropolitan area, the Nets and the Florida Panthers have launched the first-ever Snowbird Ticket Exchange Plan in which south Florida-bound Nets season ticket holders can exchange their unused game tickets for Florida Panthers hockey game tickets at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.
More on this from the Associated Press.
From Childs Walker at the Baltimore Sun,
A new arena is a poor risk for Baltimore if the city is counting on attracting an NHL or NBA franchise, sports business experts say, but some agree with city leaders that a proposed 18,500-seat venue could be profitable without such an anchor tenant.
Neither the NBA nor the NHL offers many relocation or expansion prospects, analysts said, and the presence of basketball and hockey teams in Washington make the odds even longer for Baltimore. [...]
NHL spokesman Frank Brown said the league has no plans for expansion or relocation, though several cities have expressed interest. He said questions about the Capitals’ sharing a market with another team are “way too hypothetical for me to answer.
From Adrian Dater at the ‘All Things Avs’ blog in the Denver Post,
I’m more proud than ever to cover the NHL, after watching last night’s triple OT thriller. It’s still the game of Real Men.
And that’s why, even though I bled green as a kid and have a virtual shrine to Larry Bird from where I write this, I probably won’t watch more than a few minutes of the C’s-Lakers Finals coming up in about 12 more days, or whenever they start a series in the NBA now.
I didn’t watch a full NBA game all year, and I’m not about to start now. The game is unwatchable to me now, and so are the god-awful broadcasts. I don’t need every 2-3 pass possession broken down 23 different ways by the men in pancake makeup, or the ditzy sideline reporter reporting that “Kevin Garnett told me the Celtics need to come out strong in the third quarter if they want to get back into this game. Guys, back to you.”
From Tom Jones at Tampa Bay.com,
First, I’m a hockey guy. I covered the NHL for 15 years and if the choice is between watching a hockey game on television and watching another event live from the first row, I’d probably pick the hockey game. To me, it’s the best sport there is, and there’s nothing like the passion, drama and intensity of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Except this year. (And, to be honest, last season, too, because I wrote about this same subject.) Quite frankly, the NBA playoffs have been better than the NHL playoffs. Here are five reasons why:
continued… and he’s got a couple good points, but I have a feeling that hockey fans are going to disagree strongly with some others…