Both the NBA and NHL start and finish around the same time. Both leagues have players that are the best at what they do. We are seeing leagues at the pinnacle once the postseason begins. Both are exciting to watch, but which one is better?
Basketball is my favorite sport. I have played it all of my life, and could watch two flunky teams play and love it. When the playoffs come around though, it is another story. The NHL Playoffs are vastly superior to the NBA Playoffs.
I love the fact that an eighth seed can defeat a one seed. I love the fact that the eighth seed can make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. How many times do you see this in the NBA? Now that players are joining forces and combining their talents, the case for upsets is diminishing. I loved when Golden State upset Dallas in 2007, I loved when New York upset Miami in 1999 and I loved when Denver upset Seattle in 1994. Three isn’t enough for me, though. I am all about “the underdog”. I love the Boise State’s and the George Mason/VCU/Butler’s.
There have been nine upsets by the eighth seed in the NHL. Nine upsets since 1994 (switched playoff format) makes for special things come playoff time. Every team knows that they must bring it every series unless they will be watching from home.
The intensity of the NHL Playoffs is 100 times more fierce than the NBA. Fighting isn’t necessarily as common in the playoffs as the regular season, but is still seen. The constant checking is unbelievable compared to the regular season. Seemingly, after every play there is a tussle of some sort. This up and down pace is something that the average fan can grab on to.
For three out of four quarters, the NBA reminds me of YMCA basketball in the regular season. One pass and shoot shouldn’t be considered an offense. There is no question that the playoffs are much better than the regular season.
The fans get into much more than normal. But, the fans in the NBA don’t compare to the NHL. There are a select few arenas in the NBA where the word “intensity” is allowed. To feel that electricity from a playoff NHL crowd is something you got to see for yourself.
When thinking of which playoffs are better, be reasonable. Hockey isn’t the most popular sport in the world, but give it some credit.
The product of the NHL might be slightly inferior to the NBA product overall, but the playoffs are no contest.
The NHL Playoffs start Wednesday while the NBA has a few games to go. Let the games begin!
About the Author
Written by Justin Welton
Born in Franklin, PA. Life-long Pittsburgh sports fan + Boston Celtics. Attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Working for WCUC - 91.7 and WCUB-TV. Clarion Call writer for two years.