The Pacers-Hawks series in the first round was all-but-forgotten, and the upcoming Warriors-Spurs series is not exactly a marquee matchup for the casual fan. If the Lakers, Celtics, Nets, Clippers, and Rockets were all bounced in the first round, that's saying goodbye to four of the biggest TV markets in the country in NYC, LA, Boston and Houston. Next round, the league will most likely bid farewell to the Knicks and Bulls, and in a disaster scenario, possibly OKC, which features the only superstar left not named LeBron James.
How would a Grizzlies-Spurs Western Conference Final look? Heck, even a Heat-Pacers matchup would struggle to pull eyeballs, since most folks may not tune in thinking a Heat victory is a foregone conclusion. Basically, David Stern et al will be praying that America suddenly falls in love with Tim Duncan and can carry the ratings for a few more months.