3-Point Play: Basketball Is Back

Posted: December 23, 2011 by dontbeskerritt in NFL
“After everything the nba did to harm itself, it’s gonna make it. and there’s one reason: these players are incredible.”

That was a tweet from Bomani Jones during the Heat-Magic preseason game.  And he’s right.  I remember the days when you could easily just watch the last month of the NBA season and the playoffs and feel that you got a good gist of what the season is about.  That’s when Isaiah Rider was going to be the next Jordan, and we talked like T.J. Ford would because Chris Paul before Chris Paul entered the league.  Those were dark days from 1998-2004. But if that’s your mentality now, then I feel sorry for ya partner because the NBA is probably at its highest level of competition since the Magic-Bird days.

It’s safe to say that every team has a star to gravitate to except Detroit, Charlotte, Utah, Toronto and New Orleans.  5 out of 30 teams.  The league is infused with talent from coast to coast.  This might be the best talent pool in NBA history, only the period from Larry Bird to Len Bias may be better.  We saw what happened last season, when the Western Conference had as many as 5 legit contenders when the playoffs came around.  Guys are more competitive than ever, and they should be more so now, with contract lengths shortened and price tags lessened.

But it’s also safe to say that 5 out of 30 teams have a chance to win the NBA Title (if it’s that much).  People complain about competitive balance in the NBA, but has there ever been competitive balance.  Since my Washington Professional Basketball Team won the title in 1978, 10 different teams have won the finals. 10 out of 30.  The Lakers have won the title 10 times in that stretch alone.  But the NBA is different from the NFL, which values parity.  The NBA values domination; no one wants to see a league where most of the teams hover around .500.  Upsets are fun once in a while (Memphis last season, Golden State in 2007) but would really watch the Charlotte Bobcats and the Detroit Pistons in a first round matchup…NO!  Give me the Knicks, Heat, Celtics in the playoffs, with a little sprinkling of the Wizards/Bullets in there as well.

To start this NBA season in the Mancave, I want to introduce our 3-point play: 3 topics from the week that was in basketball and what you can look forward to during the season.  It’s our gift to you from the Mancave.  So let’s start it off right:

1. Lob City vs Slowtime – If you watched the much-hyped preseason games between the Clippers and Lakers, you probably saw the same things I saw; the Clips are amazingly fun to watch, and the Lakers look sssslllllooooowwwwwww.   Now will that translate into a transfer of power in the Staples Center?  I’m buying Kobe stock this year.  After probably the worst 6 months of his life, Kobe is going full Black Mamba this year.  He also might get some sympathy love, though he shouldn’t hold out hope.  And the experience the Lakers have should help them out in the end.  As for the Clippers, they are young and exciting.  But will Blake take that leap to become an actual power forward rather than a dunker?  He looked good in the preseason finale.  Their frontcourt depth is lacking without Craig Smith, and they are going to miss Eric Gordon on the perimeter.  But I do know never to bet against Chris Paul who, when healthy, led a team with negligible talent in the New Orleans Hornets, and took the Lakers to the brink.  What can he do with the leapers in Lob City?  I will be staying up at 10:30pm to watch.

2. Young Guns – Teams like Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Indiana give small-market teams (which I will include the Wizards) a blue-print for success.  Do you need luck?  Most definitely.  But if you stick to a plan, stockpile picks, make shrewd trades, and BE PATIENT, you can build a solid squad.  Remember when the Grizzlies traded Pau Gasol to the Lakers for a pre-owned copy of Live ’99?  No one remembers that Marc Gasol was part of that trade.  Now, the Grizzlies are on the rise, and the Lakers were trying to trade Pau.  Would you be surprised if you saw a Grizzlies-Thunder Western Conference Finals?  Indiana has been in the NBA purgatory since Malice at the Palace.  Larry Bird ripped the Pacers apart then built it back up with names you would think would be on a fantasy trash heap.  But look at that squad now; Granger, Collison, Psycho T, David West, Lance Stephenson, Hibbert, Amundson, and now my favorite player, Paul George who grew 2 inches over the summer!  That is a scary team that could easily finish 4th in the East.  Gotta stick to your guns if you are going young.  Watch for my Wizards, the Hornets, and the T-Wolves in the near future.

3. Feeling the Heat – In all of the chaos, it is the Heat that has slipped under the radar.  It’s a shame to; cause the spotlight should be the only thing that can beat the heat.  They have the talent, experience, and motivation to take the trophy this year.  No one is talking about them (thanks Chris Paul and Vanessa Bryant) and yet only the Knicks and Bulls have made a move to really push them.  The Bulls need to get the home field advantage to even have a chance this year.  If not, and the Heat stay healthy, I really don’t see a team that could stop this squad.  And for Mr. LeBron James, it will finally be time, after 9 years of being declared the king, for him to finally ascend his throne.

The action begins on Christmas and I can’t wait.  From all of us at the Mancave, have a safe and blessed Christmas season.  Hopefully, we get to hear from you on the other side.  Thanks for letting us be a part of you weekly reading routine.  Thank your significant other for allowing you the opportunity to watch sports in the safety and security of your mancave.  And if you don’t have a cave yet, maybe you need to start treating you girl a little bit better in the New Year.  Use this song to help you out.  Peace.

  1. LBC says:

    I don’t think think the Heat have slipped under the radar. Turn on ESPN right now I bet you at some point you will see the Heat come across your screen. Not to mention the most of NBA media says LBJ better win this year!

    Good post though. I don’t need to watch Clippers at 1030 just wake up in time for Top Ten on SportsCenter and the entire Clippers game will be there lol.

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