The NBA was on fire in its return to Thursday night on TNT

The NBA took a backseat to the NFL on Thursday night, as the league handed its featured night to the football juggernaut. TNT, which had not aired an NBA basketball game since December 19, 2023, had to settle for the scraps left by the NFL. However, despite the disappointment, it was a night filled with thrilling basketball moments that showcased the high level of athleticism in the NBA.

The Milwaukee Bucks faced off against the San Antonio Spurs, and the game was a spectacle to behold. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Victor Wembanyama, both towering figures on the court, played basketball with a level of skill and intensity that resembled the Empire State Building if it were equipped with Dr. Octopus’ metallic arms. Their performance was nothing short of spectacular, and it was a treat for fans to witness.

But the excitement didn’t end there. In another game, the Denver Nuggets took on the Golden State Warriors. The Nuggets found themselves trailing for the majority of the game, but they mounted an impressive comeback in the final minutes. They went on a 25-4 run to secure a thrilling victory, capped off by Nikola Jokić burying a 39-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer. It was a game-winning shot that will go down in NBA history.

Despite the thrilling basketball on display, it is important to note that the NBA’s decision to hand Thursday night over to the NFL was not without reason. The average viewership of NFL Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video for the 2023 season was nearly 12 million viewers. The NBA simply cannot compete with those numbers until playoff time. While the Jokić game-winning three and Wembanyama’s block on Antetokounmpo were true moments of greatness, they may not have the same widespread appeal as NFL games.

The NBA’s decision to prioritize the NFL on Thursday nights may have been disappointing to some fans, but it is a reminder that the league has 82 games in a season, compared to the NFL’s 17 or less. Quantity often trumps quality in terms of viewership, and the NBA understands that. However, it is worth noting that when given the chance to shine on Thursday night, the NBA delivered with two thrilling games that showcased the best of the sport.

In the end, while the NBA may not have the same ratings as the NFL, it is moments like the ones witnessed on Thursday night that remind us why we love basketball. The high level of athleticism, the thrilling comebacks, and the game-winning shots are what make the NBA special. So, while the NFL may dominate the ratings, it is important to appreciate the greatness of the NBA when given the opportunity to do so.

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