It means that the NBA is no longer dominated by one or two teams alone
Over the past three seasons, fans of every NBA team have to endure watching the entire 82-game regular season schedule that had been dominated two teams: the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference and, the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. While it's not the fault of the mentioned teams that their respective conferences are weak meaning no other teams could catch up to them, this pattern has been hurting the TV ratings of the NBA- particularly those that are featuring smaller teams because the audience already knew the outcome of the games themselves even before watching them. Why? Overall dominance. And sometimes, some fans are opting to wait until the playoffs to see some real competition.
Fast forward to the last stretch of the 2017-2018 regular season. Change is happening as neither of the mentioned teams above both teams are leading their respective conference. As we speak, the Golden State Warriors are currently in second place in the West with a 50-14 record- just half a game behind the league-leading Houston Rockets who are seemingly unstoppable as of late. Meanwhile, the Cavs of LeBron James are in third place in an Eastern Conference that is being led by the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics.
Just a few weeks back, both the Warriors and the Cavaliers lost tons of games- some of them were against some of the NBA's worst teams right now and frankly, it's not just the haters of both teams who were happy whenever their hated teams lost a game or two. Seeing the most talented teams in the league stumble to defeat helps ignite the excitement of the fans in general because of the mere fact that even the worst of the worsts is becoming competitive to challenge the best of the bests.
Competitiveness is Up
With playoff teams like the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City stumbling continuously, the Portland Trail Blazers, a team who is on an 8-game winning streak of their own, now own the third-best record in the West. And by the way, the New Orleans Pelicans are catching up too, winning 9 straight games despite missing DeMarcus Cousins!
And meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers, one of this season's biggest surprises, are catching up with the Cavs in the standings. The Celtics, for one, used to be the top team in the East and even gathered 15 straight wins during the early goings of the season before falling apart, momentarily.
Things will get back to normal. Eventually
With the playoffs fast approaching, the elite teams will have no choice but to buckle up for one last run. For the Warriors, catching up the blasting off Houston Rockets is still possible but the question is: do they need the top spot just to get back to the NBA Finals for the 4th consecutive year? If they intend to win the championship, then the answer is yes because of the homecourt advantage for the entire playoffs. For the Cavs on the other hand, they are now at a certain point where they need to show LeBron James that they are still worthy of his presence especially with the looming departure of the King this July. Win as many games from this point on and you get a better seeding come playoff time.
This pundit on wheels isn't saying that super teams who are dominating is bad for the NBA, at all. In fact, we all know that not all super teams have been able to dominate this season and that's a fact. The Houston Rockets? They cannot be considered as a super team but yes, they are a great team. Look at the Thunder for example. They have 3 stars on their starting line up and yet, they are lagging behind in 7th place in the West. If anything, stronger teams losing more frequently takes away the predictability in the NBA.