I don’t know about you, but I’ve been all-in on the NBA for awhile now. I don’t think there’s anything more amazing than giants who stop on dimes, point guards who throw down in the clouds, and guys who play 1 through 5 and look like an all-star at each.
Now you’re saying, “I don’t want to watch 48 minutes of Iso alpha-ball.” But that’s not what the NBA is. The Warriors have ushered in an era of fast-paced, gun-slinger ball that highlights stars AND showcases how a good system can benefit any player. The good news is you don’t even have to watch every game to see all the stars; the stars are pairing (or triplet-ing) off! The league is flying high right now (except for the Bulls, Hawks and Suns, it’s looking pretty rough this year, but the Hawks have Budenholzer and the Bulls have Markannen, so not all bad), and it’s not too late for you to stake your claim to what’s looking to be one of the more exciting seasons in recent memory.
The number of teams hovering around .500 has ballooned this year. Surprising teams, like the Pacers, Magic, Knicks, and Pistons have added flavor to an Eastern conference that’s been bland and predictable. The Celtics lost Gordon Hayward, arguably their 2nd best player, in the first quarter of their first game, AND ARE NOW GUNNING FOR THEIR 14th consecutive win. The Knicks have a 7′ 3″ God in Porzingis, a lock-down defensive stopper in the form of a French 19 year-old, and a Turk who’s feuding with LeBron and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And those Cavs who made the finals last year? Well if the season ended today they’d be tied with the Magic for the 8th playoff seed in the East.
It’s been argued that watching the NBA season is a waste of time; we all know that the Warriors will end up in the finals against one of a handful of East teams built for realistic playoff runs, the Cavs and Raptors of the world, but that’s a terrible argument! We don’t watch sports just to find out how it ends, we watch sports to be amazed. They won’t win the title (this year), but I’ll tune into any Bucks game to see a 7′ Greek Freak take two steps from the three-point arc and slam it home. They’re a basement team, but the Suns have Devin Booker, a straight gunner who dropped 60 last season and can drop 30 in any game without breaking a sweat. If those two don’t prove my point, what about the aforementioned Kristaps Porzingis, the towering Latvian who shoots over ANYONE and is making his case as a top-ten player in the league while playing for the Knicks, a team whose win total over-under was set at 30.5 to start the year.
If you’re one of the many who fell away from the game as it lost it’s luster in the late ’90s / early ’00s; come back. Watch the 76ers whip it around and find the 7′ Embiid for a silky jumper. Watch Kyrie Irving split 5 defenders and put impossible relish on the ball to spin it in while falling out of bounds. WATCH KRISTAPS PORZINGIS. Give it a chance, you won’t be sorry.