Finals Matchups

John Hollinger on television ratings:

I think Spurs- Bulls would pretty much be a nightmare scenario for the folks at the league office. The only saving grace for ABC would be the heavy cross-promotion for Desperate Housewives. To borrow a line from Bill Simmons, "HINRICH!!" "GINOBILI!!!" It's the NBA Finals on ABC!"

Indeed. I must say, however, that I would sort of enjoy that matchup. From a marketing perspective, I feel ike Houston-Miami probably offers the richest plotlines in terms of the Shaq-Yao generational struggle along with the epic story of Pat Riley versus the Van Gundy family. And, of course, ratings-wise an awful lot of people live in China. In aesthetic terms, Phoenix-Detroit has a certain appeal, since the Saunders and Webber-ized Pistons actually run a pretty neat, fluid offense. The incredible contrast in preferred pace would be interesting, too. Unfortunately for the league offense, I think San Antonio has the best shot to come out of the West and Chicago has the best shot to come out of the East. The odds of any particular Finals combo, however, don't strike me as especially high. Both conferences second-round matchups should will be pretty competitive.