Sunday, April 15, 2012

The season of hate

A couple of months ago, here's what we had in the NBA.

> My Sixers playing a kind of zero turnover, total team, massive defense and bench edge ball that qualifies as the most unique path to a division crown, well, ever

> Boston dead and buried, looking to trade their one good young player, and seemingly on the verge of either a first round beatdown by vastly more athletic teams, or out of the playoffs entirely

> New York slumbering before the Linsanity, with Carmelo Anthony being fitted for his bust in the Superstar Team Murderer Hall of Fame

> Denver looking for all the world like the most fun dark horse you've ever seen, with athleticism to spare and a 10-deep roster of quality options

> Dalls with the potential to not even defend their title with a playoff appearance, and Mark Cuban to pursue a class-action lawsuit against Lamar Odom for being the reason why birds no longer sing, flowers no longer bloom, and the sun no longer shines for the Mavs

> Portland to suck in another group of stat heads and fools who fail to recognize that Paul Allen backed entities almost always fail

> The Lakers gag their way out of their automatic Pacific Division crown to the vastly more fun to watch Clippers, and

> The Wolves sneak their way into the playoffs for the first time since the Kevin Garnett Abomination Trade, with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love giving them all kinds of chances at extending a first-round series into the Hmm Stage.

Here's what we have now.

> The Sixers stumbling a nearly identical record and result as last year's Miami speedbag year, with no sustained development from the young players that have to carry the mail for them in the future

> The Celtics' 666th rise from the dead, and a likely first round matchup they will win, just to give us another 10 to 12 games and 3 to 4 weeks of Boston Boston Boston Boston

> New York getting enough shots from Anthony to emerge as a complete sucker bet against Miami or Chicago, and at least 1-2 more years of hearing how wonderful it is to have meaningful games in the Garden again

> Denver selling Nene Hilario for pennies on the dollar while getting slammed by injuries, making them just anotehr first round tomato can

> Dallas winning just often enough to set up a likely first-round series with San Antonio, also known as the only opponent they have a reasonable chance to beat

> Portland falling apart and throwing in the towel

> The Lakers getting exactly what they needed -- an actual point guard (Ramon Sessions) for no price -- and then having Kobe Bryant get hurt so that they could finally get all of those low-percentage shots out of the offense

> Rubio and Love getting hurt and the Wolves utterly tanking

In other words... just about every fun thing, and just about every thing that I was rooting for, going to hell. Which isn't to say that the playoffs are going to be unwatchable -- we're still going to get the Thunder going deep, the Clippers trying to get past the Lakers in a wildly bitter series, and some second and third round blood wars -- but yeesh. I was looking forward to a new kind of ball, total team movement and defense, new names and forces at work. Instead, we're going to have more of the same.

Which, for a Sixers fan, is... what the Association has been serving up for a decade.

Fun, huh?

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