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Mark Gaughan’s Power Take: Beauty of the NBA too often underappreciated

Western New York sports fans don’t appreciate the NBA enough. I’m talking about the 40-and-over crowd, especially fans who remember the Braves and were turned off by their departure. Many 30-something and most 20-something fans I know love the NBA. Nevertheless, NBA TV ratings in WNY lag well behind the national average.

There’s a misguided perception of the NBA around here. It’s comical how some people think there’s little defense played. If you can’t play defense, you get run out of the league. One reason why Golden State is so good is almost every guy it has can defend four positions. The Warriors can switch on every pick and never get caught in a bad matchup.

Smart sports fans tell me there’s too much clear-out, one on one. Please. That’s been out the window for more than a decade. The modern NBA offense is: Four guys facing the basket, drive and kick; or pick and roll; or space the floor and try to play five on four. The ball moves. Watch the Warriors or Spurs and it’s unbelievable how the ball finds the open man every possession. It’s like magic. If you love basketball, you should love the NBA.