South Florida is paying attention to the 2017 NBA Finals. A look at the numbers …

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is defended by Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during the second half of Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 4, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

MIAMI — Is South Florida turning into a basketball town?

That’s been a question asked by many since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami to form the Big Three in the summer of 2010.

It’s unfair to answer this based on one game, but the television ratings for Sunday’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals are worth noting. According to Nielsen, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market ranked fourth with a 17.7 rating behind just Cleveland (32.4), San Francisco-Oakland (31.1) and Columbus (19.5) — three markets with an obvious rooting interest in this year’s Finals between Golden State and Cleveland.

South Florida was also watching Game 1, as the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market ranked fifth with a 15.8 rating behind Cleveland (33.4), San Francisco-Oakland (30.9), Columbus (17.3) and Memphis (16.3).

The West Palm Beach market ranked 16th for Game 1 with a 12.7 rating and 17th for Game 2 with another 12.7 rating.

This isn’t the first year that an NBA Finals game not involving the Heat has drawn an impressive TV rating locally. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale market ranked fourth for Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals between Cleveland and Golden State.

By comparison, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market did not rank in the top 10 for Super Bowl 51 in February.

What’s the reason for this? It could be South Florida’s love-hate relationship with James or it could just be that South Florida is slowly turning into a basketball town.

[Do Heat need another ‘super team’ to compete with Warriors and Cavaliers? Udonis Haslem says, ‘No’]

[Will Dion Waiters give the Heat a hometown discount in free agency? Waiters didn’t rule it out]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s