The Deviousness of David Stern

John Hollinger:

Maybe the NBA conspiracy theorists' take on this year's playoffs is that the league is trying to prove there's no conspiracy. With every incentive to set up a Cavs-Suns final, the two biggest officiating situations in the postseason thus far went against those very two teams. Not to mention a lottery that sent two hugely marketable rookies to the far corner of the country -- as opposed to, say, Boston and Chicago.

Indeed. On the other hand, from the perspective of the more serious fan, Pistons-Spurs has a kind of drama and resonance that a Cavs-Suns matchup would lack. Similarly, arguably the Celtics are going to have fans whether or not they suck, whereas the Pacific Northwest teams are actually in need of improvement to retain the loyalty of their audience.