Time to write has been scarce on my part. Growing up has meant a gradual loss of free time and facing massive exhaustion upon completing my duties I am unable to muster the energy needed to pen my already half assed columns. Life was so much simpler a few short years ago. It also helped I wasn’t a black-pilled nihilist utterly disgusted with the eebs and flows of basketball.
I’m going to be honest with you, dear reader… I haven’t watched much basketball these last couple months. Most of that has been by choice. The Celtics being a miserable affair on a nightly basis, followed by me bogging myself in the same Twitter arguments left me wanting to create much distance between me the game. While all the other teams have fun because Coronavirus hadn’t handicapped them, I stew about handwringing over the uncertain future that lays ahead. Frankly, I am curious and worried Brad Stevens won’t have it in him to make the trades needed to revamp this roster which had several issues. While general managers hardly form emotional attachments to their players, to make it easier to cut and have contentious contractual negotiations with, a coach NEEDS to have one.
There’s been some scuttlebutt about Marcus Smart hitting the trade bloc and that Dallas was a potential suitor. I advise you don’t put any stock in this at all. But I can also say that even if Dallas had players I would want in return for Smart, I doubt Stevens has it in him to cut loose someone he’s worked with everyday for seven years.
Team-building is important. But over the course of the last couple of years I’ve noticed it’s decline in the past. The Miami Heat were Trail Blazers when they carved out three max contract slots for Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Having little to no imagination for how the rest of the roster came together the top heavy squad relied on Mike Bibby and Noris Cole to provide the spark guys like Jeff Hornacek and James Posey have for their respective teams in the past.
The Miami ideology worked itself out in the end, even after a defeat at the hands of Dirk and the Mavericks. Mercenaries like Shane Battier joined the fold and acted as the adhesive for when the big three started to lose their grip. When the walls began to cave in middle of the fourth, facing a potential 2-0 hole vs the OKC Thunder who were their good guy doppelgänger, Battier abruptly stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer that sailed Miami to the much needed win. If he hadn’t been there the Thunder, who once upon a time wasn’t a ticking time bomb, would be up in a series nobody expected them to be in vs the franchise that desperately needed to win now least they show their pride the door.
Team-building. It matters.
Fast forward to now… who the hell makes that shot for the Nets if Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden aren’t doing so well. Because EVENTUALLY they’ll all go cold during a critical stretch. I’ll tell you what happens… it’ll wind up matters very little and this top heavy roster that fell into the laps of overachieving idiots like Sean Marks and Steve Nash cruise to a championship because the NBA is not a league where you can afford things like patience and roster construction. Just wait for dumb luck to strike and cash out all your draft picks for the disgruntled star that suddenly became available.
People say the Celtics in 2008 did the same thing, but Ainge gave “his friend” Kevin McHale a draft pick that could have been Stephen Curry if he picked him over Johnny Flynn. The Rockets aren’t assured a damn thing with the bundle of picks they received.
The most talented team is undoubtedly Brooklyn. For Christ sake, the Bucks are letting Blake Griffin score off them. Things are real bad. On the bright side we can all finally agreed Kyrie sandbagged Boston in the Milwaukee series… right? Oh, yeah. Everyone thinks the people who live in New England are intrinsically evil and deserve hell.
We already know who will win the championship. That much is assured. The NBA is a league of unstoppable forces and immovable objects. One of those being LeBron, was sent home so the table is set for the three greatest scorers this league has ever seen to win a championship together and nobody outside of Twitter will give two shits because basketball isn’t as big as that hellscape of a platform says it is.
In the more fun (but not better) conference the scrappy Nuggets face the Suns and Chris Paul hunting for his first ring. The Jazz play their first game in over six months vs the perpetually self destructing Los Angeles Clippers.
Just how the stage is set for red headed bastard step child of New York to rise in the East, it is ready for the red headed bastard step child of Los Angeles to do the same in the West. Only the Clippers weak spots are more pronounced and insist on showing themselves at the worse times. How ironic, considering Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are probably the best equipped to handle the Nets. Second to Philly… which reminds me.
Why play Joel Embiid at all if you’re going to chicken out at the finish line anyway? A torn meniscus is not something to joke about, but Jo-Jo did look sublime out there in Game 1 and almost mounted a comeback vs Atlanta. Despite the loss the Sixers will defeat one of my favorite teams in the Hawks in rather decisive fashion. They will not shoot over fifty percent every night. This isn’t the bubble.
If any team not named Brooklyn wins it’ll be a much needed win for team building. Each team having to show patience with a player or coach or signing quality role players to assist their star. Phoenix it’s DeAndre Ayton. Atlanta it’s signing Gallinari and Bogdan. For Philly it’s somehow turning Tobias Harris into their 2nd best player. For Utah it’s fixing Jordan Clarkson. For Denver it’s persevering through injuries.
For Brooklyn… It’s the perks of technically being a big market team when fans don’t give two damns about you and won’t attend your games even if you advertise free beer.