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NBA finals draw biggest rating since Shaq/Kobe teams

Jun 1, 2011, 2:12 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game One Getty Images

It’s a glass half full or half empty kind of thing.

The facts are that Game 1 of the NBA finals Tuesday — Miami’s 92-84 win over Dallas — drew a 10.7 rating nationally, the highest rating for a Game 1 since the 2004 NBA finals (the Pistons vs. the Lakers of Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone and Gary Payton).

That is a 3 percent increase over Game 1 last season, between the Lakers and Celtics. Remember that last year’s finals featuring the two biggest rivals and two of the most tradition heavy teams in the league saw a 20 percent jump over the 2009 finals.

But this game also trails the level of gains seen earlier in the playoffs, particularly on TNT, where the increases were closer to 25 percent.

CNBC’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell also tweeted this:

Prediction: As the Heat take more control of this series, ratings will continue to fall. Fans rooting against Heat will drop out.

Maybe. But previous series have not seen that kind of drop off involving the Heat. For the NBA to maintain or improve on the level of last year’s finals just emphasizes the momentum the league has right now. Momentum the lockout will kill if games are missed.

  1. purdueman - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Good luck keeping up the ratings after last nights stinker of a game. Before you self-espoused “basketball purists” start ripping me for calling last nights game bor-ing because of the shut down defense of both teams, it doesn’t change the fact that players at this level should be able to put the rock in the hole a heck of a lot more often than they did last night (on both sides). Zzzzz-zzzzzzzzz!

  2. ernestotig - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Two words: BOR-ing

    Watching the Heat is less exciting than watching a 12 year-old play NBA Y2K.

    Wake me up when the series is over.

  3. louistaylored - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    I dont wanna sound cliche and run with the majority, but the Heat games are rather ugly and boring for someone like myself who isnt a Heat fan. Not to be confused I love defense, but I also like offense and when the ball goes in. When both teams shoot under 40% its never a rather interesting game, but there were interesting moments a la LBJ’s fadeaway 3. Although being the fan that I am, Im gonna watch regardless hopefully it gets a little better.

    • purdueman - Jun 1, 2011 at 5:19 PM

      louis… I couldn’t agree more! The only playoff games that I can EVER remember that were more boring and disinteresting than last nights game was way back in the day before college basketball had a shot clock and North Carolina’s Dean Smith would simply freeze the ball for huge chunks of the game at a time with a four corner non-offense.

      • hnirobert3 - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:41 PM

        Were the last 3 minutes of game 5 in the Chicago series boring?

  4. purdueman - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Pretty much. Even as a Bulls fan, when Tibedeau decided to not insert Thomas into the Bulls second team rotation after Asik went down for the series with a fractured ankle,

    I knew that the Bulls season was over. Noah and Boozer were asked to suck up the extra minutes that Asik otherwise would have gotten, and they were both clearly gassed by the middle of the fourth quarter every game after Asik went out as a result.

    Tibedeau simply got out coached in the Miami series. Once Miami got comfortable with the fact that the Bulls had no low post scoring threat, it enabled them to constantly double and triple team Rose, as well as the luxury of putting a much taller and bigger James on him in the 4th quarter.

    The young Bulls went MUCH farther though than ANYONE in Chicago (as well as all Bulls fans), ever thought possible at the beginning of this season. All you can do is thank the Bulls for a fun season and tip your cap to the Heat. Once the Bulls were eliminated, the only interest I have in the NBA Finals is to watch good basketball. Unfortunately what we got though last night was mostly garbage.

  5. louistaylored - Jun 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    @hnirobert3 What about the 1st 45?

  6. rodge1 - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    What a bunch of haters! You all sound like scorned ex girlfriends. Put your whining and hate for the Heat aside and enjoy the two best teams playing in the finals…

    • purdueman - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:03 PM

      rodge… I tuned in the game last night expecting to see the best two teams playing in the finals, but what I saw was one very, very BOR-ing, poorly played basketball. For the kind of money the guys on these two teams are making, you’d expect that they could do a whole heck of a lot better putting the ball through the damned rim!

      • progress2011 - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:14 PM

        For basketball fans, basketball is full of ‘ FUNDAMENTALS ” !!! Defense, Assists, Rebounds, Blocked Shots, Tough shots, Ball Distribution, the ability to completely shut another great player down etc. etc. etc.
        The NBA is not the European league where all the teams play like the Phoenix Suns ! That’s not fundamental basketball. That’s just a bunch of guys ( aka Steve Nash ) that are excellent on offense but a liability on defense. If that’s what you like, get your cable or satellite provider to give you access to European channels.
        As for me and the other ” NBA ” fans ( as proven by the ratings show ), the game was very entertaining.

      • purdueman - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:17 PM

        (lackof)progress… If you think that last Tuesday nights game was entertaining simply because of the “fundamentals” that were played, you ought to try getting into something REALLY exciting… like outdoor soccer (lots of technical fundamentals there), synchronized swimming, curling, bowling (ever try picking up a 7-10 split consistently?), and archery!

  7. rodge1 - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    Your right purdueman. There could have been more points scored. I’ve been reading your Lebron hating posts all season without one single post giving Miami any credit. If your favorite team was in the finals instead of Miami and shut down Dallas’ amazing offense I guarantee you’d be singing a different tune. And that goes for the rest of you Heat haters too…. Just saying

    • progress2011 - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:15 PM

      Great comment rodge….call a spade a spade !

      • purdueman - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:57 PM

        Just like calling a Homer a Homer… you Heat Homer! You wouldn’t be puffing up your chest had the Mavs won last night, but that’s life on the old bandwagon!

        If you want to call a spade a spade, then spade this: “Multi-millionaire basketball players should be able to collectively shoot better than 40%!”. The defense on both sides prevented many shots to be taken, but of those that were most left us with that hollow “CLANK!” sound. When a good shot goes through the rim, it should be a “SWOOSH!” sound, not a “CLANK!” sound!

    • purdueman - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:54 PM

      Not true; I know lousy entertainment and last nights game was LOUSY ENTERTAINMENT, regardless of who won. Both teams sucked; multi-millionaire professional basketball players should be able to put the ball in the hole when they shoot it!

  8. 00maltliquor - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:39 AM

    Derrick Rose sure does clank a lot of shots, never heard you whine about that. Bulls Homer.

    • purdueman - Jun 2, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      Derrick Rose is just one guy; Tuesday night we all saw TEN supposedly championship players clank after clank after clank! That’s not championship basketball, which by the way is the same reason that the Bulls aren’t in the final series. Surely one would think that one of Miami’s Big 3 Prima Donna’s would be able to hit a few lousy jumpers, but no… just stinko basketball thusfar.

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