National / Sports / April 16, 2014

Playoff paranoia underway

Because I have spent most of the last three weeks in the Knox athletic training room recovering from a knee injury, and because the TV in said training room is permanently locked onto ESPN programming, my consumption of sports news has gone from an already unhealthy level to what can only be described as disturbing.

My main discovery is that just behind the microscopic analysis of NFL draft prospects like Jadaveon Clowney or Johnny “Football” Manziel, which is so overblown that I’m afraid Mel Kiper Jr.’s head is going to explode, the coverage of the NBA’s final regular season games has been particularly annoying.

This is because of a realization that certain conversations will persist for the next two months that are completely irrelevant. So to save time here are the only things you will need to know.

1. The Miami Heat will either win and it will be the end of the world or will lose and it will be the end of the world.

The NBA world revolves around this team even if everyone loves to hate them. A three-peat will cement their dynasty status and in many ways legitimize the ridiculous claims LeBron Jame, Dewayne Wade and Chris Bosh made when they formed the super team. If they lose, there will probably be a few headbands thrown and the summer will be spent debating whether or not they will break up the band.

The NBA playoffs will determine whether or not the Miami Heat cement their legacy as a dynasty, but going home without a ring might also be the beginning of the end for the superteam. (Courtesy of http://goo.gl/TEuqwd)

The NBA playoffs will determine whether or not the Miami Heat cement their legacy as a dynasty, but going home without a ring might also be the beginning of the end for the superteam. (Courtesy of http://goo.gl/TEuqwd)

2. Kevin Durant will either continue to live in James’ shadow or finally emerge as a legitimate peer.

Durant is going to win the MVP and there is no debating it. But until he wins it all, individual accolades will have little to no meaning. He is an incredible talent and can do things on the court that few can, a championship skyrockets him up the all-time rankings.

3. If the Spurs win, they have a real argument for being the best franchise in sports

There was a stat going around a week or two ago that said Tim Duncan has more 60 win seasons than every franchise but one and it really hit home the fact that the Spurs win. They win, then they win some more, then they win when you think they are too old and then they win again. A fifth title for the Spurs will reflect the incredible stability the franchise has been able to display over the last decade and a half.

That’s it. While the NBA can be entertaining, if anything else outside of those scenarios comes to fruition it will be a shock to anyone that follows the game.

On the opposite side of the spectrum ESPN has been, as usual, devoid in coverage of the chaotic Stanley Cup playoffs outside of showing Barry Melrose’s face once in a while.

As a Blackhawks fan I would love to hear “Chelsea Dagger” blasted down the streets of Chicago during a victory parade once again, but with no team having repeated as champions since the 1990’s it is really tough to believe this year will be different.

Chicago begins their quest for a third Stanley Cup in five seasons on Thursday when they take on the St. Louis Blues.  (Courtesy of http://goo.gl/OMEX4O)

Chicago begins their quest for a third Stanley Cup in five seasons on Thursday when they take on the St. Louis Blues. (Courtesy of http://goo.gl/OMEX4O)

This year the Bruins, Penguins, Blues, Ducks, Sharks and Avalanche all have what it takes to win the Cup, and with a new playoff format division rivalries are going to ratchet up to another notch.

The passion of the Stanley Cup playoffs is unmatched across pro sports, don’t miss an opportunity to experience it.

Jackson White
Jackson White is a senior double majoring in political science and secondary education. This is his third year as a sports editor for TKS. Over the course of the 2010-2011 academic year, Jackson worked for cornbeltbaseball.com, writing feature stories and columns about high school and college baseball in central Illinois. Outside of the Publications Office, he is an information assistant for the Knox College Sports Information Department and a two-time all-Midwest Conference baseball player. Jackson is the recipient of five awards from the Illinois College Press Association, including two first place awards for sports game coverage and sports page design.

Tags:  anaheim ducks barry melrose boston bruins chicago blackhawks chris bosh colorado avalanche dewayne wade espn jadaveon clowney johnny manziel knox training lebron james mel kiper jr. miami heat NBA nfl nhl oklahoma city thunder pittsburgh penguins san antonio spurs san jose sharks st. louis blues stanley cup tim duncan

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Jackson White
Jackson White is a senior double majoring in political science and secondary education. This is his third year as a sports editor for TKS. Over the course of the 2010-2011 academic year, Jackson worked for cornbeltbaseball.com, writing feature stories and columns about high school and college baseball in central Illinois. Outside of the Publications Office, he is an information assistant for the Knox College Sports Information Department and a two-time all-Midwest Conference baseball player. Jackson is the recipient of five awards from the Illinois College Press Association, including two first place awards for sports game coverage and sports page design.




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