Did the bubble meet expectations?

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Photo Courtesy of Peter Stanton-Shepard

Sophomore Peter Stanton-Shepard gets excited for the Lakers championship.

Every year people from all around the world tune into the NBA finals to watch the best of the best face off in a best-of-seven series to crown the champion.

In August, the NBA started a bubble in Orlando so teams could finish the season while staying safe. Although most players stayed safe, a few had issues with the rules. “A faction of players have raised problems with the isolation, including a rule that would prevent visitors after the first round of the playoffs,” according to NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.

Most players who had eligible teams came and gave it their all, whereas some players stayed home to protect themselves and their loved ones. Star shooting guard for the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal, was having the best year of his career, averaging over 30 points per game. He had the opportunity to bring his team to the playoffs, but he decided to stay home with his family. And to the shock of absolutely no one, the Washington Wizards did not make the playoffs and were annihilated night in and night out.

The NBA consists of 30 teams with 15 teams per division. After the regular season, 16 teams make the playoffs. Due to Covid-19 occurring during the middle of the season, the league had to figure out a way to decide who made the playoffs. The NBA made the decision to take every team that was out of playoff contention and not let them play in the bubble. That narrowed it down to 22 teams. “I liked the idea of only having contending teams make the bubble, that way teams don’t make the playoffs because of an easy schedule,” sophomore Peter Stanton Shepard said.

I find it ridiculous how a team can go undefeated and still not make the playoffs, it’s like they went for nothing.”

— Devlin McCarthy

During the games leading to the playoffs, the ratings were insane. New fans were tuning into the NBA to fill time. Another aspect that made the bubble so entertaining was the upsets. Night after night the underdog would blow the best teams out and nobodies would drop 45 points. Leading into the seeding games, the Phoenix Suns were one of the worst teams in the bubble. Then, they went on fire, going 8-0 and absolutely embarrassing the higher seeds. Unfortunately, after all of their hard work, they did not make the playoffs. “I find it ridiculous how a team can go undefeated and still not make the playoffs, it’s like they went for nothing,” sophomore Devlin McCarthy said.

As the playoffs started, young stars began to shine. Players like Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell started stealing the spotlight. But once the bubble was coming to a close, fans lost interest. The NFL took over and people realized it was going to have the same result as everyone expected.

Lebron James and Anthony Davis would go on and carry the Los Angeles Lakers with no team putting up a fight. On Oct. 11, the last game of the finals, the NFL Sunday night football game had double the viewers as the NBA finals. Some fans are saying to put an asterisk next to the Lakers in the history books, whereas some fans believe that this ring solidifies Lebron James as the greatest of all time. But in the end, it was the sport everyone missed that we were finally able to watch.