There were 115 triple doubles in the NBA this year, setting a new record for the most triple doubles in one season. It shattered the previous best 78. We also saw the most 50 point individual performances ever. The most team three pointers in a game. We saw Devin Booker scor 70 at 20 years old, Klay Thompson get 60 while playing for just 30 minutes and Kevin Love score 34 in a quarter! The NBA is obviously getting more exciting, right? But these weren’t the only records broken this year. We also saw the most turnovers by a player in a single year. In fact, two people broke that record this year. Who were they? The two frontrunners for MVP, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, who had 460 and 434, respectively. And worst of all, we saw the least competitive season of basketball in the NBA’s rich 70 year history.
Everyone knew that the Golden State Warriors were going to be nearly unstoppable this year. They took a 73 win team and added arguably one of the league’s top three players. After watching these Finals, some people might believe that Kevin Durant has taken the crown right off of King Lebron James’ head. Neither here nor there, this NBA season, in particular the playoffs, have been uncompetitive and ruled by one team.
The postseason has featured just two series go to seven games, and five four games sweeps. Luckily, the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off quite possibly the greatest offensive performance in playoff history, scoring 86 points in the first half of Game 4, or else that we would have had a fifth. When it takes a James triple double, a 40 point game from Kyrie Irving, another 23 from Kevin Love, subpar play by the Warriors and a home crowd for the Cavs to take a game from the Warriors, you know something isn’t right. Cavs in 7? Keep dreaming Cleveland. The NBA has allowed a group of stars bully up on the rest of the league. And it isn’t stopping anytime soon. This is a superteam unlike any other. A flashy, star studded, determined group that serves perfect as the face of the commercial commodity known as the National Basketball Association.
Since when does it take three stars to just survive in the NBA? When James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh teamed up in 2010, it was unprecedented. Now, every team has three all-star caliber players. Adding a fourth to the Warriors made it impossible to keep up, but what about the Cavs? Without Golden State in their way, they could have gone down as one of the best teams in NBA history.
This isn’t just about the Warriors, though. This is a trend that the NBA has to deal with. There have been more one sided games this year than ever, and in the long run, it hurts the NBA as a product. People want drama and excitement, and although 70 point games are great, nothing compares to watching a close game in its final minutes. Maybe the NBA should examine this reality.