For pretty much the NBA's entire history, there's been little reason to tune in for the playoffs until they got to the finals.
The numbers were released following the final round of regular season games on Wednesday.
No matter how much the Cavs have struggled at times this season, LeBron James isn't losing in the first round of the playoffs.
With the 2018 NBA playoffs starting this weekend, 16 teams are on the quest to capture the NBA Title. A fourth straight trip by either of those teams alone is far from certain, either.
It has been a season of turmoil for Cleveland, their inconsistent play, roster turnover and the health of head coach Tyronn Lue sending them swirling in adversity. Finishing ahead of them were the first-place Toronto Raptors, whose stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have finally matured into legitimate threats.
We all know how the story went from there. With the Hawks looking into the playoffs, I am watching this year's playoffs as an analyst.
The Warriors-Spurs game will be followed Saturday by three other openers - Washington-Toronto, Miami-Philadelphia and New Orleans-Portland.
The 2017-2018 NBA Regular Season has come to an end and 16 teams-eight from the East and an equal number in the West-made it to the post season. "That's all you can ask for".
The league says average national viewing was at a Nielsen 1.28 million versus 1.19 million across four TV networks: ABC, TNT, ESPN, and NBA TV - the highest since the 2013-2014 NBA regular season.
The Raptors have been rapping at the door of the NBA Finals for several years now, having lost to the Cavs in six games in the conference finals two years ago and having been swept by the Cavs last year in the semi-finals. Towns led the Timberwolves back to the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons, keeping up on his promise to end the NBA's longest postseason drought.
He's already the all-time postseason leader in points, is seven steals from passing Scottie Pippen (395) for the playoff record in that department, is four shots from passing Kobe Bryant (4,499) for another career postseason mark. I think this series goes seven games, but the experience, star power, and home-court advantage of the Thunder will prevail.
With the Warriors winning two of the three finals matchups against the Cavaliers, it will be interesting to see if Cleveland can tie it up at two or if Golden State will continue their domination. Leonard got hurt when he stepped on Pachulia on the landing; he and the Spurs haven't been the same since. Kawhi Leonard isn't likely to play (maybe ever again for the Spurs), and it's basically a random (and highly trained) group of guys surrounding a happy LaMarcus Aldridge, who feels kinda like Portland again.
From the top seeds in Houston and Toronto, to the old stalwarts in Golden State and Cleveland, to the brash up-and-comers in Philadelphia and Minnesota, there are potential storylines galore and no real way to predict how it all may shake out. With Stephen Curry not set to return from a sprained MCL until at least the second round, Golden State is vulnerable to an upset against the right team. Combined with the Celtics' turnover troubles over that same stretch, bettors should consider taking the Bucks against the spread - or even as a straight-up underdog, which they're sure to be in the first two games of the series.
But the records all reset now, and the Warriors have been waiting to get the postseason started. "Our intention is to hang another banner", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.