There are plenty of cracks in the NBA’s economic model, and they will likely get deeper in the years to come. As Mark Cuban pointed out when talking about why the conference system should be changed, there’s less incentive for teams in the East to get better because the bar for making the playoffs and winning a series or two is much lower. Stern always said the balance of power between the conferences was cyclical, but the last two generations of players have not been able to change the underlying dynamic, and there’s no guarantee the next one does either. As long as the owners in the East keep making money off their teams, they have no reason to change the way they are run.
May 26, 2018 | 10:03 pm EDT Update
Ramona Shelburne: Chris Paul is not playing in this game, but he is dressed. Mike D’Antoni joked with @ESPNRadio there needs to keep a buffer between him and CP so he doesn’t get tempted to send him in.
James Harden’s now-done drought of 22 straight missed 3s is the second longest such streak in the playoffs over the last 20 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info research. Robert Horry missed 24 straight in 2003.