So Long ’till May

Feb 22, 2013 by

 

 

Sometime in February of each year the NBA invades a city to embark on their midseason weekend long All Star festivity.  The weekend kickoff Friday night with a game between the top rookies and second year players, which I never had watched in my life nor do I expect to in the future.  I would rather watch Michael Jordan play one-on-one against Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (not really).  Saturday showcases the skills challenge, 3 Point Contest and concludes the night with a lame dunk contest devoid of any players any NBA fan would have interest in.  Sunday night is reserved for the actual All Star game which was once televised in the afternoon, but now we must sit up half the night watching the league’s elite play an exhibition game.   I for one believe a pick-up game should never be shown in prime time.  I can’t justify staying up watching a game like this; it is meant to be shown on a lazy winter Sunday afternoon between naps on the couch.

In between the games and contests, the NBA hosts a concert of today’s chart topping overproduced Hip Hop acts.  I guess there is also a celebrity game thrown in the mix during the weekend as well.  The only rule I would have for the celebrity game is that the actors and musicians have played before.  Where is Master P?

This entire NBA weekend stands well above the rest of America’s professional sports league when it comes to all star games.  The NBA all star game and the entire weekend in general come off the most watchable compared to all others.  Baseball clocks in at a distant second to the NBA regarding their mid season affair.  The NHL goes unnoticed to most, and the game no one cares if it’s ever played again, including the players, is the truly embarrassing Pro Bowl.  The NBA is the only league who understands their demographics and does an adequate job of catering the events of all-star weekend to their fans.

If Lebron ever enters the dunk contest along with Blake Griffen; then you will see this weekend take off to new unbelievable heights in both media coverage and television ratings.  The excitement alone would leave all other sports leagues rethinking whether to go on with their scheduled all star events.

The All Star game weekend also marks the last day fans of basketball follow the NBA until the month of May.  Some casual sports fans don’t even realize games continue on throughout the months of March and April.  They think everything halts so the nation can fully give their complete un-interrupted attention to NCAA basketball and its season ending national tournament.

As a fan of the NBA, the mid season break is a good time for me to reflect on the first half of play. I found the first half to be quite enjoyable.  I have caught a good number of games this year thanks to increased coverage by TNT, NBA TV, and ESPN.  Top games for me so far include the early season game between the Thunder and Clippers on November 21st and the January 27th Celtics/Heat OT thriller.  Since I live in North Carolina, Fox Sports Something or Other shows all the Bobcats games.  I actually sat through the entire 48 minutes of a Bobcats game when they played the New Orleans Hornets late in December on their home court.  I am still trying to figure out why I did this…I guess there was nothing else worth watching or I was too lazy to remove myself from the couch and turn the station.  I relate the Bobcats to my daughter – full of youthful energy running around and playing well into the night.  However, when 8:00 PM roles around she becomes lethargic as the first yawns of the day make an appearance, her once spellbinding vigor wanes.  Soon thereafter she falls into a deep sleep.  In comparison, when the second half is under way, the Bobcats enter a dream like state and transform into a group of uninterested apathetic  shitty playing basketball players.

What’s in store for the second half?  Expect the following:

  • Dwight Howard to be traded to the Nets
  • Dwight Howard to continue to act like an attention seeking 8th grade boy.
  • Kobe Bryant is happy Dwight Howard has been shipped to the opposite coast.
  • The Clipper will underachieve in the playoffs.
  • Danny Ainge will continue to back off on pulling off a major move.  The Celtics will head into the playoffs with no Rondo and the same roster as they have today.
  • For Kyrie Irving to continue his march as the best point guard in the East.
  • No appearance from Derrick Rose in a Bulls uniform this year.
  • The Heat to roll through the playoffs and capture their second title in as many years.

There will be no mystery to who will win the title this year.  Miami will win it once again because no one can match up with them. Possible contenders are either too old, (Spurs and Celtics) inexperienced, (Clippers and Knicks) or just don’t have enough scoring options. (Everyone not named the Miami Heat)  The Heat could be pushed in a round against a defensively minded team like the Bulls or Celtics.  Unfortunately both those aforementioned teams do not have their starting point guards (best players) and not enough scoring punch to knock off a team like the Heat.  Plus if Lebron duplicates what he did last June then all other teams in their way can forget about their chances of pulling off the upset.  Plus it helps that Dwayne Wade has accepted his role as Scottie Pippen to Lebron’s Jordan making the Heat stay out of Laker territory with unwanted drama that always leads to distractions.

In a repeat of the 2012 NBA finals, Miami will take out the Thunder in 6 games.  James Harden watches from his Houston home with a smirk…

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