Welcome to your Daily NBA Fix for Monday, Feb. 17, the morning after the world’s most athletic rec league game was staged in New Orleans, complete with YMCA-esque sleeves!
Some general thoughts will replace the usual format today, but first … highlights!
I wanted to like the NBA All-Star Game Sunday night. I really wanted to.
I’m generally not a big fan of All-Star stuff—I find the whole concept to be a colossal waste of time, but I readily accept to being in the minority on that.
Still, Sunday night’s 163-155 win by the East that turned into an extension of the 3-point contest from Saturday night—100 3s, people? Seriously?—was hard to watch.
The jerseys were bad. The first 30 minutes of the game were atrocious, as players just sort of stood there and watched each other dunk.
When the effort did ramp up a bit in the fourth quarter, there were egregious mistakes, most notably James Harden fouling a 3-point shooter.
Couple that with some disastrous format changes for the played-out slam dunk contest and Adam Silver’s first All-Star Weekend as commissioner wasn’t so fantastic.
Maybe I expect too much, but the same problems that plague the NFL’s Pro Bowl are evident in the All-Star games for both the NBA and NHL; namely, they turn into video games. The games wind up not resembling the game they supposedly represent.
The All-Star Game featured 318 points and 100 3-point attempts. That’s not NBA basketball, that’s a very talented rec league.
Again, maybe it’s my expectations. I mean, I don’t expect Tony Allen-style lock down defense, but I do expect more than guys stopping to stare at the next guy in the dunk line.
And following social media during the game was a treat. Roughly 94 percent (OK, I’m guessing) of what I saw involved variations on the “why is Player X playing more than my favorite player?” theme.
I also learned that NBA fans are much like Goldilocks of the Three Bears fame … many of the same user names who complain about slow-paced, low-scoring regular-season and playoff games in the NBA were complaining Sunday night about the fast pace and high scoring nature of the game. Apparently, the “just right” zone is hard to find.
Another small criticism of the NBA All-Star Game: Was it just me or did halftime feel like it lasted about six days? Again, I freely admit to being in the minority on this one, but I really don’t need a full-fledged concert to break out in the middle of my big sporting event. I don’t want a full-fledged concert to break out in the middle of my big sporting event. No, what I want is my big sporting event.
It is as if we’ve become so unable to focus on anything for more than … wait, what was I writing about again?
Oh, yeah, we’re apparently so unable to focus on anything for more than a minute or two that event planners have decided that inundation is the way to go—just bombard attendees with so many sensations that they can’t get bored.
Here’s the thing, though: If halftime at a major sporting event becomes such a production that even diehard fans have trouble recollecting the first half … because it was so freaking long ago, you might have overstayed your welcome.
In any event, it’s an game that can be fun, yet difficult, to watch; even as I admire the athleticism, it just doesn’t resemble NBA basketball.
It tries to be the ultimate playground game, where style is more important than substance. I get that. But at least a nod to some sort of NBA-type substance might be a good addition.