Let’s imagine it’s 2020, and an eight-year-old kid just bought the newest edition of the NBA Encyclopedia (a book which I received at a similar age and treated like it was the bible).
As the hypothetical kid turns flips through the pages, he eventually finds himself at a page dedicated solely to the 2013-14 season. How will the season be described in one page? So far this year, there’s been way too much talk of tanking (something that happens every year to some degree, but for some reason has become a topic of serious concern this year due to a fairly good draft class), a top-notch MVP race between LeBron James and Kevin Durant, an ultra-competitive Western Conference playoff race, and the emergence of the Houston Rockets (okay, maybe that’s not as big of a topic as the other three things, but it should be… Can you tell I’m a Rockets fan?).
What the hypothetical kid probably won’t realize is that this year the difference between elite teams, back-half Eastern Conference playoff teams, and the lottery teams seems to enormous. As the playoffs approach, let’s look at the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the season thus far (which will make you more educated than hypothetical child who would probably read a praise piece about LeBron James approaching MJ or Durant getting over the hump):