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That the Golden State Warriors are on the verge of knocking the Dallas Mavericks out of the NBA playoffs is one of those great underdog stories — No. 8 seed dumps No. 1 — but it's potentially rotten TV box office for the league. The playoffs are when the NBA hopes to capture something that resembles a national TV audience and to do that, it needs to have its showcase players still being showcased.

Already, the defending champs, the Miami Heat along with Shaquille O'Neal and Dwayne Wade, are finished, dispatched by the Chicago Bulls.

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Now, last year's other finalist, the Mavs and Dirk Nowitzki, could be sent home by the Warriors. Forget about the exuberance and grit the Warriors are showing in trying to become only the third team to knock out a No. 1 seed in the first round. That storyline goes out the window as soon as Golden State runs up against a team it doesn't match up with as well as it does against Dallas.

And the NBA is a league built on personalties. Without those big names in the playoffs, it's a TV ratings problem.

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