IT'S NICE THIS WINTER ISN'T NUCLEAR
By Travis Huber
February 18, 2012
Does anyone remember when phrases like “Nuclear Winter” and “players disbanding” and “anti-trust lawsuits” were being thrown around like midgets in a classic Woody Wood orgy? Man that seems like a distant memory. Yet back in November and December that’s the only thing we heard about the NBA. Most of us hung on to hopes of our football teams to make a deep run into the playoffs, if only to make the concept of “nuclear winter” seem less important. However, I am a Dallas Cowboys fan so my hopes are usually thrown out the window in December and that is the reason I needed the NBA - and my San Antonio Spurs, winners of 10 straight - to curve my depression. Alas, here we are almost halfway through the shortened season and fans can barely remember the spectacle that was the 2011 NBA lockout. In fact I am a firm believer that the condensed schedule is only helping the league gain more attraction with the fans, however it is also proving to hurt players. With injuries to All Stars like Chauncey Billups, Derrick Rose, Manu Ginobli, Paul Peirce, Amare Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony the season has already taken its toll. In the NBA’s wisdom to make a “profit” out of this half season they found a way to jam pack 1,980 games into little over four months of time. Insane is the only way to describe the schedule, with teams having to suffer through back-to-back-to-backs. Or should I call it LINSANE?
The compressed season is only halfway through, but it has already given us storylines out the ass. Let’s have a look, shall we?
- Jeremy Fucking Lin. The second year Harvard grad Jeremy Lin has broken out in New York, to group with a Knicks team that can eventually rival heralded squads of old. After making moves last year for Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony as well as the offseason pickup of Tyson Chandler (leading the league in FG%) the Knicks were a point guard away from making themselves an honest contender. Along comes Jeremy Lin whose talent combined with the media market in New York has created a world wind of spectacle that is the NBA.
- Who could forget that perennial powerhouse in LA? No I am not talking about the Clippers. The Los Angeles Lakers made a move for All Star point guard Chris Paul only to have Darth Stern back slap the trade and every NBA fan in the process. But as well all know, Kobe Bryant (leads league in points scored) is Kobe Bryant and the man will assist himself if he has to.
- The ageist NBA analysts all but wrote off the San Antonio Spurs, yet here they riding a ten game win streak while on the Rodeo Road Trip, and they also hold the rights to the best home court record. The Spurs are second in the West and only proving more and more that this team has four future HOFers in Coach Pop, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker who are doing their best at turning back the clock and propping up that window of opportunity.
-Speaking of old the big three in Boston aren’t looking to shabby either as they are playing the same game as everyone else: make it to the playoffs, then the real season will begin.
-Oh yea and Lebron is still in Miami doing what he does with D-Wade and Bosh on his side.
The team that will end up hoisting the trophy at the end of the year will have nothing to do with who has the best record or who has to most all stars on the roster. In a season that is compressed tighter then my asshole on a field trip to the prison the winners will be the team with the freshest legs. This season is set up unlike any other even prior lockouts are not comparable to the one we have before us. The coaches this season are the real ones fighting it out, which ever coach is able to be the best minute manager are the ones that will help lead their teams to the finish line. Another aspect of this season will be the depth of lineups, teams that do not have to depend on their starter’s night in and night out will only help their run to the Finals. Mark my words the last two teams standing will have managed their minutes and have bench players that can make huge contributions.
It is nice to be writing about basketball rather than making snow angels in a world of “Nuclear Winter.”