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Why are there no games tonight? Blame the Lakers.

May 9, 2013, 7:21 PM EDT

empty staples center

We’re two games into each series of the conference semifinals, all of which are competitive and saw the higher-seeded team lose home court advantage.

The NBA says it’s the first time since the league went to a 16-team playoff format in 1984 that all four series are tied after two games. So why is the schedule blank Thursday night, with zero games being played to keep the momentum going?

Henry Abbott of ESPN’s TrueHoop has the answer:

No games in the whole league on Thursday. I’m told it’s in fact not because of the “American Idol” final, but because several first-round series ended early, moving the start of some second-round series into last weekend. Now they need to stretch out the second round a tad to reduce the risk of a long layoff before the start of the conference finals, which has a fixed start.

So essentially, like seemingly everything else, it’s the Lakers’ fault?

Well, at least partially.

The Lakers and the Bucks fell victim to the Spurs and the Heat respectively in very quick first round sweeps. Instead of extending the layoff beyond eight days for Miami and San Antonio, they started their second round matchups as soon as their opponents were ready, despite every other first round series lasting at least six games.

There would seem to have been a way for the schedule makers to have given us at least one game on Thursday, instead of having double-headers every night until this point. But with the Conference Finals scheduled to begin no earlier than May 21, and the NBA Finals set to start on June 6, the only way to avoid ridiculously long layoffs in the unlikely event we see one or more semifinal series wrap up quickly was to create a small break in the action.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - May 9, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    I can see games being fixed to extend series with them making these types of comments.

    • fanofevilempire - May 10, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      I hope that Mr.Stern alerts the refs to the huge TV market in NYC and
      the Knickerbockers vs whoever can send the ratings to the moon.
      I’m just saying…….

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        That no longer matters anymore, though. Before I drop the facts, think about it…

        The NBA markets individual players (and, in Miami’s case, the team along with it). They’ve brainwashed a huge portion of an entire generation into becoming Heat “fans”. The NBA capitalizes on where its marketing dollars go. Those dollars are largely behind James, Wade, and the Heat, Durant, Westbrook and the younger guys. Melo isn’t anywhere near the top of that pecking order. Now, if a “story” can emerge; something that they can run with and milk for dollars, then that’s when all that conspiracy stuff comes into play.

        The Heat draw far more ratings than even the 4.5 million of us who routinely watch Knicks games in the tri-state area, and the 1.2 million of New Yorkers who live elsewhere now, who watch from afar. There was a time when this that you mentioned was the case, but they reap larger benefits from the Heat’s success, not the Knicks’.

  2. goraidersgospurs - May 9, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Soo its the Lakers & Bucks fault but yet title only says Lakers!!!

  3. yousuxxors - May 9, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    no one cares about the bucks

  4. timb12 - May 9, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    I stubbed my toe earlier and blamed the Lakers. It all makes sense!!

  5. watermelon1 - May 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Or… It’s the officials fault for basically giving the heat a sweep and not even giving the bucks a chance.

    Nba wants Lebron rested, and we all know it.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 9, 2013 at 8:07 PM

      I mean a week’s rest ha?

      The Knicks should not be getting all these 3 day breaks, either. It makes for bad basketball when the teams DO reconvene.

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - May 9, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    I just don’t know why they would even go public with this (even though it is already known), because it just feeds into the thought that certain games are fixed.

    Why fix a date for the conference finals and The Finals (we know they have done this for years), but let them play out? I know arenas have certain shows and features on certain dates during May and June, but come on…

    • badintent - May 10, 2013 at 2:29 AM

      Lets blame Billy Hunter for everything that is corrupt in the NBA(I see you Stern, hiding behind the door)

  7. thenew013 - May 9, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    thank u. goin to BED!!! It is hard to sleep knowing the playoffs are on. especially the super late games i am barely awake for. fix a game so it comes on at a decent time. i work first shift man.

  8. 00maltliquor - May 9, 2013 at 9:20 PM


    I feel you on that one!^

    However….dammit! I finally get to be home at a decent time to watch a late game live instead of at midnight on DVR AND THIS HAPPENS!! Lakerrrs!!!!! *shakes fist*

  9. dyn0myte - May 9, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    I believe, more specifically, the blame falls upon a Mr. James Buss.

    • dyn0myte - May 9, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      Jim Buss said he was determined to “change the culture of the Los Angeles Lakers”.
      He succeeded.
      The jewel of the NBA
      is now the cubic zirconia of the cirque du soleil…

  10. gmsalpha - May 9, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    If the Lakers had somehow beaten the Spurs, they’d be heading into game 3 on Friday night, because they MUST play as many home games on Sunday as they possibly can, so they can whip out those snazzy white home alternates.

    Therefore, the Lakers series would not be on tonight, in any scenario.

    So….yes. Lakers fault.

  11. sportsnut101 - May 9, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    They coulda had bulls play game 2 tnite n just had spurs vs warriors last night or vice versa

    What a joke

  12. socalgal64 - May 10, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    I blame Obama.

    • manchestermiracle - May 11, 2013 at 1:29 AM

      I was wondering how long it would be for this to appear. I appreciate your sarcasm (it WAS facetious, right?) even if no one else does….

  13. manchestermiracle - May 11, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Really? Is this the only way PBT can get hits now that the Lakers are out of it? C’mon, there are myriad other story lines to develop. Just keep posting the fluff about Pau’s surgery and Kobe’s spat with his mom. That would be plenty without this claptrap.

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