The NBA playoffs and regular season are a completely different sport. Can your team handle that? – News Block

We need to talk about the new sports season that just started this week.

I’m talking about the NBA Playoffs.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, George, the NBA Playoffs are not a new sports season. Basketball has been going on since October.

It’s not this kind of basketball.

Now more than ever, the NBA regular season and the NBA Playoffs are two completely different sports.

Do you think Tyler Herro goes after fumbles in the regular season? Hell no. And now he’s not going for anything because he broke his fucking hand.

Do you think Anthony Davis is putting his crystal bones and spaghetti ligaments on the line to take over for Ja Morant in the regular season? Absolutely not. And as a Lakers fan, I’d appreciate it if he didn’t do that again.

Ja Morant is lucky to only have a soft tissue bruise.

Do you think Devin Booker and Kawhi Leonard are rolling around on the floor trying to pick pockets in the third quarter of a game in November?

The playoffs are a different beast, but because of that, you have teams that struggle to adjust to differences in lineups, effort, physicality, and especially the way games are officiated.

I hate to always be the one to hound James Harden, but he scored eight points in Game 2 of the Sixers’ first-round matchup with the Nets. EIGHT. And the reason is that he can’t depend on the fouls he commits in the regular season.

Get this: James Harden has gone three straight playoff games without even taking a free throw. James Harden is tied for 12th in NBA history in free throws attempted per game, and he hasn’t taken a free throw in his last three playoff games.

And it’s not just James Harden who is affected by the referee changes. In the 2021-2022 regular season, Giannis Antetokounmpo was penalized for 48 offensive fouls in 67 games. In last year’s playoffs he was called up 21 in just 12 games. That’s more than double his regular season average per game!

The teams that win in the playoffs are the ones that don’t have to change their style to accommodate a completely different game. It’s the reason Kobe found success after Shaq. It’s the reason the San Antonio Spurs had more than a decade of sustained success. It’s the reason Dwyane Wade’s regular-season physique resulted in three championships and five appearances. And it’s why no matter how much of a headache he may cause, the Warriors have never walked away from Draymond Green.

The only way to win an NBA championship in 2023 is if you have the versatility to be a two-sport star. Regular season basketball and playoff basketball.

Let that sink in.

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