This is one of my favorite times of year as a sports fan.
The NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing. The only weird part is neither the Pistons or Red Wings are in the championship mix.
I want to clear up one of the most popular myths in sports as we enter the playoff season. There is no such thing as momentum between games. But a lot of people believe it is true.
Each game is a separate chapter to what hopefully will become a great book or playoff series. There is momentum within games but once the game stops, that is it. That momentum might last 30 seconds, 30 minutes or an entire game. It does not last for 24 or 48 hours.
Have you taken a peak at the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers series? The Penguins dominated Game 1 7-1 only to lose the second game 5-1. You can even make a cases of it in the Vegas-Los Angeles Kings series although Vegas leads the series 2-0.
Vegas won Game 1 during an emotionally charged game, but came out flat in Game 2 before playing better hockey during a 2-1 double overtime win. If anything the losing team plays better in Game 2 because it is more desperate and the coaching staff makes more adjustments.
Here is another silly myth teams tell fans. The Pistons sold their fans on the importance of finishing with a flourish to carry over into next season. No player will remember if they finished with a five game winning streak of five game losing streak when they tip it off next season. It won’t matter if they finished .500 or three games below .500 the first time they play the Indiana Pacers.
The momentum, if you want to call it that, comes when building the team. Did the Pistons get better players or did they stand pat?
Here is another silly question athletes are asked late in the regular season. If Team B beats a better team that it might face in the playoffs reporters always ask “Do you think you sent a message to Team A with the win?”
Players do not remember who won a random game in March. No messages are sent. They do live by the motto of one game at a time and one moment at a time. The past is history.
So enjoy the playoffs and the many different chapters and events they may present.
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