If there were ever a year to get introduced to NBA League Pass, this is the year to do it. There are so many good players to watch on so many teams right now, and so little time. I don’t have internet at my apartment yet (we only get paid once a month in my school district), and the only time I can catch games is either at the bar, at work when I’m working late, or at the local Starbucks on their Wi-Fi. 17 more days of ducking and dodging, creeping and crawling, before I can start curling up in bed and falling asleep to west coast games.
The great thing about having that pass is that I can watch games retroactively. I’ve watched so many games retroactively that I no feel like less of a fan, and more like a university student doing homework. I can’t believe people get paid to just sit in dark rooms and watch film all day. There is an NBA Hardwoods Classic feature that lets you go back and watch classic games on there, but the best feature of all is the Condensed game; where you can watch what amounts to an extended highlights clip. This is the only way I can get through a Clippers or Rockets game, because their games take an extra hour because of all the whistles and flops.
A couple of weeks before the season started, a friend cautiously suggested that the Kings could make a run for that 8th seed in the West. I thought it was ludicrous because of the crazy front office situation, but I’ve watched at least a little of every Kings game so far, and they look good. Part of that has to do with Rajon Rondo. Anyone who has dated someone right out of a serious long term relationship, can understand that the Mavericks just ran into a buzzsaw. Here’s a guy whose formative NBA years were spent with one team–a team that won an NBA championship.
It wasn’t the best of endings, and before he even had a chance to process his feelings, he in another relationship with another team. This team thinks its found its point guard of the future, but Rondo I’m sure is looking at the roster thinking “I just left an old ass squad that is too slow to run with me, and I’m now I’m about to commit the remaining years of my prime to the same kind of team.”
Now Rondo is with an athletic team with the right mix of veterans and up and coming stars. That roster is loaded with talent, and is better than those Nuggets teams that George Karl was coaching with Carmelo. I slept on the Kings, but I’m sure taking them seriously now after watching their first 3 games of the season. They will be a hard team to blowout.
A few things crossed my mind during this week:
- If there were an “NBA Face Time” team for guys whose play makes you want to punch them in the face, the Clippers would be well represented. It’d be like that one year where the entire starting five for the Pistons almost made the All-Star Team.
- I should have studied the Milwaukee Bucks point guard situation more closely before I predicted they would be in Eastern Conference Finals. I’ve never been a fan of Jerryd Bayless (and not just because he’s light skinned). I guess if anyone is going to get the best out of that backcourt, it will be Jason Kidd. I do really like their uniforms though–they look pretty crispy.
- New Orleans can’t afford to have too slow of a start out West. Their defense has not looked good in the first few games. After giving up 39 in the first quarter in their first game against Golden State, they gave up 40 to the Trailblazers (My boy C.J. had 22 of them in a 37 point effort). I feel like I have been saying this every year since 2008, but the West has only gotten better.
- The Teen Wolves have been a fascinating story this year. Their season has an extra melancholic milieu to it with the passing of Flip Saunders. If Ricky Rubio can finally stay healthy, I think he can be the Spanish version of Tony Parker. I think Andrew Wiggins will be an All NBA defender within the next 3 years, and Karl Anthony Towns is my front runner for Rookie of the Year. What I really like about this roster is that they have KG, Tayshaun Prince, and Andre Miller in the locker room as player-coaches. This teams reminds me of the ’09 OKC squad that was right on the cusp of being in the playoffs. We’ll see what happens, but they may be a few off-season moves away from really giving teams some headaches next year.
Let’s get to these games:
“Tap that Vein” Tuesday
Atlanta-Miami (meh) Remember that condensed version mode? That’s how I’ll be watching this game.
Memphis-Sacramento Unfortunately our boy Boogie is on day-to-day status with an Achilles strain. The scrappy factor just went down a few notches because of that injury. Don’t rush back Boogie. WE NEED YOU THIS SEASON!!!!
Golden State-Los Angeles Clippers (GOOD ASS GAME OF THE WEEK)
Cancel. All. Your. Plans. This. Evening.
OKC-Chicago Two rookie coaches from the college ranks facing each other for the first time. I like the depth of the Bulls this year. I watched them play Orlando the other night, and I couldn’t help but wonder how relaxed the atmosphere must have been at training camp this year. I don’t agree with the method, but a coaching change had to happen up in the Windy City. Thibs is a grinder, and that roster didn’t need that. Let’s talk about that backcourt for a minute. Jimmy Butler may be the best two way guard west of Lebron James, and Derrick Rose may be the perfect sidekick to Mr. Buckets (Yeah I said it).
Speaking of coaching changes, I realized last night that Billy D. may be the best coach that either Westbrook or Durant have ever had. That kinda makes me sad.
Houston-Sacramento Did you ever think that the Kings would be making the Good Ass Games list twice in a week?
Minnesota-Chicago This will be a good gauge for the Teen Wolves. I’ll prolly be watching this one from a booth at Starbucks….grading papers or some shit to make me feel productive.
New Orleans-Dallas One of these two teams might miss the playoffs. For some reason this reminds me of the time I told my cousins that whoever won a fight between them could get next on the X-Box. Of course, I immediately felt bad afterwards and tried to play it off as a test of their character. By then it was too late, because one of them was crumpled into a ball after receiving a drop kick in the chest from his young brother. Needless to say neither of them were allowed to play the video games that day. #NONSEQUITUR
This is gonna be an old fashioned ass whupping, but it’ll be way better than watching the snuff film that the will be the Clippers-Rockets game.
Phoenix-Oklahoma City This game may get up into the 120’s. Running and Gunning. Gunning and Running.
Portland-Detroit if you really wanna tap that vein or avoid NFL (Is it the playoffs yet????).
Monday This will be the best day of the week for watching hoops.
Grizzlies-Clippers, Detroit-Golden State will be interesting (at this point I have to tune into every Dubs game just on principle). Ditto to the Spurs-Kings, and I must admit that I’m curious about that Hawks-Teen Wolves matchup.
Alright. Time to bounce before I burn up all of my planning period.