The playoffs start tomorrow. With the schedule for the first weekend released, we can now see which playoff teams the NBA thinks will draw the most viewers. And to nobody’s surprise, the Heat, with their Sunday evening time slot, are one of them. The other game that pulled a prime time slot is the Chicago Bulls visiting the Brooklyn Nets. Which also shouldn’t be surprising, considering they’re two of the biggest markets in the country.
As for who is driving viewers away? Well, the Hawks and the Pacers got stuck with 1 p.m. Sunday, and the Grizzlies and Clippers are playing at 10:30 ET on Saturday, which has to somewhat limit the potential audience.
As for who will actually win the games, check out Chris Sheridan’s pick for the NBA champion, and of course our big index of playoff previews. Plus, Rick Warner has a column up on some of the biggest upsets in NBA history, just in case you think we should declare the Heat champions now and skip the preamble.
- The 76ers will look back on this season as a major disappointment, and a lot of people will look at the Andrew Bynum trade as a big reason why. But Sixers managing owner Josh Harris says he’d make the trade again. Here’s Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com: “While Harris, who made his money as a leveraged buyout specialist, admitted the ROI (Return On Investment) with Bynum and the Sixers wasn’t so good this year and they “don’t have a lot to show” for a payroll of $84 million, he said “if I had to make that decision again, I’d make it again” to trade for Bynum. The Sixers dealt Andre Iguodala, young players Nik Vucevic and Moe Harkless, and a protected first-round pick for Bynum and Jason Richardson on Aug. 10. Harris insisted four highly respected doctors approved the trade after seeing MRIs and other test results of Bynum’s knees. “We took a shot with Andrew Bynum and we made a couple of big moves,” Harris said. “Injuries happen. We did what we thought was intelligent risk. Things don’t always work out.”