I agree with a lot of what you are saying. The NBA/NHL regular season seems like an appetizer for the "main course" being the post-season. I think both of these sports have sold their souls for the "excitement" of the playoffs. The "anything can happen in the playoffs" basically is just saying just finish in the top half of the league and you never know.
To me, some of the reason I won't bother watching too much basketball and hockey during the regular season is that the postseason is practically a season unto itself. When you consider that an NBA or NHL team plays 16-28 playoff games (20-35% of the regular season) and that the postseason takes a full 2 months to play out, there doesn't seem to be much point in watching regular season games.
In baseball, the playoffs are now 12-20 games (7-12% of regular season) and in football the playoffs are 3-4 games (19-25% of the regular season).
And in the NHL, for instance, the game is practically an entirely different entity in the postseason. It's not even the same game really.
I was against MLB playoff expansion btw, because I didn't like the fact you were allowing more teams to compete in the championship. The Cardinals last year proved get hot at the right time, you can ride that success to a championship. I believe championships should be more reflective of an entire season than a single team getting hot at the right time, which is why I'd like more sports reserve the playoffs for an exclusive level.