With the NBA Playoffs kicking off today, you might be thinking: Do I care? The answer is, or should be, a resounding yes. The National Basketball Association pits some of the world's most impressive athletes against one another in fast-paced, high-scoring games—and in this era of endless streaming, on-demand content, live sporting events remain some of the only entertainment that you simply have to watch live. You never know what might happen. (Case in point: could anyone have predicted that Kobe Bryant, at the age of 37, would score 60 points on Wednesday night?)
Quick primer for those who may not know: the 30 teams in the NBA are divided into two conferences, the Eastern and the Western. After an 82-game season, the 16 teams with the best records—eight in the east, and eight in the west—earn the right to compete in the playoffs. In order to win it all, a team must emerge victorious in four consecutive best-of-seven series.
Pick a game, get some friends together, and start cheering. The drama, the stakes, the urgency—the NBA Playoffs have it all, and, once again, they start today.
Here, 15 reasons you can't miss this year's NBA Playoffs.