Wednesday’s Nuggets-Suns NBA second round Game 2 averaged 3.53 million viewers on TNT, per John Ourand of Sports Business Journal — up 1% from Blazers-Nuggets on the comparable night two years ago (3.51M). Viewership actually declined 18% from the comparable game in the “bubble,” with the caveat that last year’s game was a first round Game 7 (Thunder-Rockets: 4.29M).
Storyline: TV Ratings
According to Synergy Sports, that isolation frequency was the highest mark any team has had in the playoffs since at least 2005, which is as far back as its database goes. In other words, the Nets leveraged hero ball even more than those Rockets teams, which had conceivably pushed the strategy to its limits. This makes sense; 53 players isolated on at least 100 possessions across the league this season. The most efficient of them was Bulls guard Zach LaVine. Behind him was Durant. Then Harden. Then, you guessed it, Kyrie.
The Rockets’ Gretchen Sheirr, who was promoted to the position from her previous role of Chief Operations Officer just two weeks ago, is well aware of the statistic. There has been a recent admirable charge for increased diversity in sports, and while the number of hirings of women and minorities show at least some signs of progress, there is still a long way to go. Sheirr understands that her hiring is a big step not only for the Rockets, but for the NBA overall. She’s spent the last two weeks responding to the flurry of congratulatory calls, texts and emails. At some point, she says, there will be time to sit and reflect on the moment. What she doesn’t want, however, is to focus on the number of women in her role. “I know that currently, there’s four of us,” Sheirr told The Athletic in a recent phone call. “And my goal is that one day, we stopped counting how many there are of us because that’s not right. That’s not the story. It’s the accomplishments that have happened. But until we get there, we’ve got work to do. And hopefully, I represent us well.”