This year's NBA Finals may be no picnic for NBC. Unless the Knicks eliminate the Pacers—"the Hicks," in New York tabloid headlines—the Finals could feature the two lowest-ranked television markets since Syracuse beat Fort Wayne in 1954. If that happens, the network may have to get creative in plugging the series' best matchups.
KNICKS VS. BLAZERS
The nation's top TV market vs. No. 23—the best NBC can hope for.
TV households: 7.8 million
Matchup: Latrell Sprewell against Isaiah Rider
TV promo: It's the Choker vs. the Toker!
PACERS VS. BLAZERS
The 25th-biggest market vs. No. 23 won't do the peacock proud.
TV households: 1.95 million
Matchup: Antonio (left) and Dale Davis against Brian Grant