Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
FORD: It’s okay, they said they wouldn’t destroy your house until they were finished with the beers.
ARTHUR: But can we trust them?
FORD: Oh, I’d trust them to the end of the earth.
ARTHUR: And how long will that be?
FORD: In about twelve minutes.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a book (and also an excellent movie) about a book. This may sound completely ridiculous, mainly because it is, but as the book will tell you, the Guide is no ordinary collection of words, but rather, the foremost repository of collected in the galaxy. It also goes on to say that it achieved this status for two reasons:
1) It is priced slightly cheaper than the competition.
2) It has the words “Don’t Panic” printed in large, friendly letters on its cover.
That first part is irrelevant for our purposes (unless you came here for an economics lesson, in which case, you have arrived at the wrong place, dear sir or madam, and the exits are located at the rear of the theatre), however, that second thing is one of the best pieces of information you will ever receive, and yet the hardest one to take. As human beings, it is in our nature to over-analyze small occurrences, trying to glean some type of great far-reaching nugget of truth from them as if wringing the last bit of juice from some wisdom-bearing fruit. We all do it. It’s okay. There is nothing wrong with it really.
Other than the fact that it is incredibly stupid.
Often times, an event is just that, one event. It does not constitute a pattern. A pattern is something that repeats itself multiple times, I assume we all had the same elementary school lesson on this. The fact that it rained yesterday, and I had a bad day at work, does not mean that I should call in on all future days where the sky leaks. That would be absurd, right?
Then why are we here at the start of a young season, where we knew that teams would be integrating new parts with almost no practice time, overreacting to every single event like idiots? I know the lockout left us with very little to talk about, but come on people, are we really going to start talking about how much Westbrook and Durant hate each other, or how Kobe is unhappy with the roster, or any other of the dozen completely ridiculous stories that have cropped up?
It’s one week. That’s all.
So let’s take a quick look at a few of these early season games and records, and try to separate fact from fiction.
Hit the jump too see why Jordan says Dallas, L.A., Boston & OKC fans should calm down…
DALLAS MAVERICKS: 0-3
Come on Mavs fans. Its okay. Come back inside. Get off the ledge. It will be okay. WHEW! Thought I had lost you guys there for a moment.
You suffered back to back blowout losses to the Heat and Nuggets, two likely playoff teams. That hurts, I know, but there is hope.
This is a drastically different team than the one that beat Miami in six games to end the season last year. Tyson Chandler is gone. Peja retired. Deshawn Stevenson and JJ Barea left town. That’s your starting center and basically your whole bench rotation. There is going to be an adjustment period when that many of the guys you relied on last year are gone.
I picked the Mavs to win 42 games and get the third seed in the conference, and I’m still completely confident in that. I love the pick-up of Delonte West. You guys are going to figure out what you have in Rodrigue Beaubois once in for all. You should have been wearing a ski mask when you stole Lamar Odom from a panicking Lakers front office. You gave an Oklahoma City team that many consider to be the West’s top seed all they could handle. That’s the only team that has Kevin Durant to beat you on a beautiful last second shot.
And you signed Vince Carter, so, uh, you know NO GET BACK IN HERE DON’T JUMP!
LOS ANGELES LAKERS: 2-2
I love how whenever someone wants to report something without saying that its 100% true, they say it has been said by “sources.” Sources report that green jelly beans are the best. Sources report that flightless birds are sad. Sources report that Kobe Bryant is unhappy with the Lakers roster, and may ask for a trade in the coming days.
The Lakers are going to be more than okay, as long as health holds up. Kobe’s sci-fi surgery seems to have worked out great, and has the added benefit of us now hearing the word “interleukin” during every Laker game this season. They are about to get Andrew Bynum, the second best center in the league back. And without him, they came within **one Derrick Rose miracle floater** of beating Chicago and beat the Knicks like it was drum circle night at Staples. If Kobe is unhappy, then I humbly submit that Kobe is an idiot.
Metta World Peace is looking ready to handle the second unit. Josh McBoberts is playing like a man possessed. Kobe is compensating for decreasing athleticism with pick and roll sets. I daresay these Lakers look……tough and gritty.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: 4-0
Can I just say its ridiculous that I even feel the need to write about a team that’s 4-0 as being “panicked?”
The narrative surrounding this team every since the playoffs last year was that OKC just isn’t big enough for both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Westbrook takes too many shots. This is Durant’s team, not Russell’s. Who should get the ball in crunch time?
Let me tell you a secret about “the narrative”, kids. People get paid to write it. Which means sometimes it’s massaged, exaggerated, or just plain made up.
Kevin Durant is one of the most humble superstars the NBA has. He is not going to ruin or stress the relationship with his young star point guard. They may get loud with each other now and again, but these are things teammates do. If they weren’t holding each other accountable for mistakes, then we would (rightly) be calling them out for that.
The coverage on this has been straight-up supermarket tabloid tripe. If the relationship between these two fails, it won’t be because they couldn’t get along. It will be because the media and blogosphere planted a seed in Westbrook’s head that took hold and made the situation unlivable for him. We can do better, basketball writers.
BOSTON CELTICS: 0-3
Boy the sky is falling in Boston, isn’t it? First 0-3 start since the Big Three were assembled. Is it the end of their relevance? Should they be dealt, and the rebuild begun? Should we put Danny Ainge’s head on a pike for trading Perkins last year?
The answer to all of these questions is no. Except for maybe that last one. These Celtics are still down their captain, and main focus of their offense, Paul Pierce. Trying to judge the Celtics without Pierce is like trying to judge the Knicks without Melo, or the Lakers without Kobe. You can do it, but you aren’t going to learn a whole lot from it.
Don’t get me wrong, the Celtics are one of the only East playoff teams from last year that it wouldn’t just completely surprise me if they melted down and somehow didn’t make it. But can we really write them off before we see them at full strength?