I think it's time for a confession. I am a basketball guy, through and through. Played hoop all my life, still coach the sport at the CYO level and love the game. I don't know anything about hockey. On skates, I can barely stand up, and it's doubtful I can even name all the teams in the National Hockey League.
Yet, in recent weeks, I am watching playoff hockey -- particularly the New York Rangers and a little bit of the New Jersey Devils. The NBA? I have watched about two minutes of New York Knicks playoff basketball and that's it. I won't watch any of Game 4 today when the Heat puts the Knicks out of their misery and sends them home for another offseason of discontent.
Why? Simple. Each and every playoff hockey games is enthralling. Each trip up and down the ice can change the complexion of a game, and maybe a series. NHL players are selling out their bodies and giving everything to try and win these games.
Has there been a compelling NBA playoff game yet? Why bother watching Knicks-Heat? We've known since before that series started who was going to win it. Is there a good reason to watch Indiana-Orlando? Chicago vs. Philadelphia? The Clippers vs. the Grizzlies? Nope.
Maybe you can find something compelling, something exciting, something worth giving a damn about when it comes to the NBA Playoffs. Sorry, but I can't. Even though basketball is my sport, I just can't.
Turn on one of these hockey games, though, and it's hard to change the channel. I don't know who most of the players are. I could care less which teams were better during the regular NHL season. Almost every NHL playoff game I have tuned into has been spectacular. Regular-season hockey not so much, but these games are incredibly entertaining.
There really is no better sporting event in the world than a Game 7 in an NHL Playoff series, especially a Game 7 that goes into overtime.
Whether you are a hockey fan or not, if you like well-played, emotional, gut-wrenching events that can turn in an instant the NHL Playoffs are providing that.
The NBA? A snooze-fest. Wake me up when we get to the Finals. I might watch. If the Rangers aren't on.