The result has been frequent compelling matchups and tight playoff races in both conferences with a week left in what Commissioner David Stern called a "barnburner of a season" during a meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors.
Merriam-Webster defines "barn burner" as something "that arouses much interest or excitement," utilizing the sentence "the game should be a real barn burner" to showcase the phrase's usefulness. Though I prefer to use the description in a comment like, "looks like the barn burner set fire to another barn, and all the cows and chicken and pigs and fireman have sprained ankles, knee tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis from attempting to flee the scene and douse the flames." That's just me, though. Hardly a wordsmith.