With the Thunder and the Wolves suddenly finding ways to scrap wins together, are the Wizards the sole outpost of hopelessness in the league these days? With Gil rumors flying, the team still losing, and one coach's head already rolling, it's hard to keep your head up in D.C. these days. Place the blame where you will, but this team should be playing better. Depressing. Milwaukee still manages to amaze me with all that they're able to do. I'm amazed by Skiles ability to let go of his Malik Allen mancrush. I'm amazed by this team not just getting by, but doing pretty damn well after replacing Mo Williams with Luke Ridnour. I'm amazed by their progress despite a significantly different cast of characters, and without relying on the emergence of Ramon Sessions. Who knows what will come of the Conley-Sessions-Alexander trade rumors, but this team is better than I ever and will ever give them credit for. Oh, and if the trend continues, they're due for a win tonight, as part of their every- other-game-is-a-win streak.
Oh, Thunder. I know now that you are more than a passing fancy. You're more than just Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Well, I mean, not really, but kind of. I think they spark a minor celebration in all of us when they scrape out of win, and they get a smile at the very least when I see that they're nursing a ten point lead. But I've learned to temper my expectations and to hedge my hopes for this team. All I wanted for them was to not be the worst ever, and they seem to be living up to that dream. Nets, whatever. Without Devin Harris it's just Vince Carter and company, and I don't know that that's good enough to pique my interest. He's doing a bang up job this year and I'll give him his credit for that, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm still slightly irritated by the fact that he isn't the Vince of old and obviously he's still Vince fricking Carter. Some scars never fade, Mr. Carter, and if mine's still stinging I can't imagine how people that REALLY hate you must feel (read: the city of Toronto). Old news, but it's something that Devin Harris' brilliance helps me overcome, and without him providing that welcome distraction I'm left with you being you. Deal.
More of a Legless Antelope Than a Wounded Tiger (Toronto at Boston):
The Raptors are the Raptors. And the Raptors with Jose Calderon still injured are terrible. Draw your own conclusions. The best way for the Celtics to get their sh*t together is to rock and sock a few teams into submission. Sorry, Rap fans, but this season isn't about to get any better any time soon until your squad can get a point guard that can create without a damn pick or a bench that can provide some backup vocals for Bosh. It's the same ol', same ol', but this is one team that's not going to change dramatically without some significant aesthetic alterations.
MORTAL KOMBAT! Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun-Dun, Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun-Dun (New York at New Orleans):
Cut me some slack, I've never been good at typing out sounds. But I imagine that if you played video of a SSOL team in fast motion and put the technoey part of the MK theme on top of it, it would make for a psychadelic projection piece at a rave. Test your might, Chris Paul.
But what kind of night is it if this is probably the best game on the slate? Pacers-Jazz might intrigue me slightly more, but only because I love them like I would a pet goldfish. Meanwhile the Hornets are still a pretty entertaining bunch, and the Knicks show a little fight in them when you least expect it. Still...it's Knicks-Hornets. Couldn't you throw us one more quality contest, NBA?
There Ain't No Party Like Danny Granger's Tea Party! Hey, Ho! (Indiana at Utah):
You should know my bias in favor of Indy by now. And you should know HP's "bias" against fans of the Jazz. I wouldn't say it's about stirring up controversy as much as it is a combination of differences in opinion and just seeing what makes people tick. So here we go: Granger scores 50, because the Jazz aren't that good at defense. I don't care if Deron Williams is sick, because I'm a jerk. The Jazz are dirty. Jerry Sloan is old. Carlos Boozer is all injuredy. And Chris Paul is probably better than Deron Williams. Not sure how that's related, but just roll with it. Should be a good game, supposing Indiana doesn't pull out one it's classic suck efforts or run out of gas from last night's thriller.