A year ago, the Golden State Warriors rolled through the NBA regular season and playoffs en route to a world championship. They finished the regular season 67-15, and then went 16-1 in the playoffs, with only a Game 4 NBA Finals loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They simply overwhelmed teams.
Today, the Warriors face the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. They won each of their first two rounds 4-1, but now have to win in Houston to secure a spot in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors-Rockets series has been a peculiar one. Games 4 and 5 were close, with the Rockets winning the two games by a combined seven points. However, the winners of Games 1-3 and 6 were all double digit victors. However, even with the blowouts, Game 7 still has an epic-ness to it as the two best teams in the Western Conference reach the final elimination game.
The Eastern Conference Finals also went to seven games, and the NHL Eastern Conference finals went to seven games as well. This has gotten me thinking about how a Game 7 compares to the one-and-done nature of an NFL playoff game.
Football cannot have the same kind of lengthy series as the other three sports. And so, instead of getting a building momentum over the course of two weeks, we get the immediacy of a single game. If you lose there is the proverbial “no tomorrow.” If you win, you advance knowing that you are still only one loss away from elimination.
What do people think about the excitement of a Game 7 vs. that of the single playoff game in the NFL? For a Game 7, you’ve built up nearly two weeks worth of storylines and drama. Even if some of the games are blowouts leading up to it, that Game 7 still carries the dream of an epic finale. For an NFL playoff game, the nerves are there from kickoff, and you really never get comfortable.
One notable difference between the two is that when an NHL, NBA, or MLB series starts, we are not guaranteed a Game 7. But right now, I’m asking more about the drama and nerves of Game 7 vs. the drama and nerves of the one-and-done playoff game. I think Game 7 can offer a deeper experience, but a one-and-done game offers the roller coaster of drama and excitement of a seven-game series packed into a single game. I prefer the idea of a Game 7, but when the 49ers are playing in a playoff game, I get plenty of nerves and excitement out of it!