“Do it Norman!”—Chick Hearn
In the last Fanview, I asked for a cut to the basket…and on Christmas Day, I got a beautiful one from LeBron James…and I’ll get to it in a moment.
After watching all five NBA games on Christmas, I can readily understand why football remains the most popular sport in America. I didn’t watch the Saints & Vikings…Mainly because it was the Saints & Vikings.
I’m committed to watching as much NBA basketball as I can this season to confirm my long-held belief that the level of play stinks on ice. I’m going to point out what’s bad, what’s interesting, and what’s good.
The Good: In the second half, the Dallas Mavericks bring (A son of Anak) Boban Marjanovic into the game. On one possession, the giant (7-4) is guarding James in the low-post. No way is LeBron getting this ball…except…he CUTS backdoor! Hit with a pass, he converts a reverse lay-up. For me, it was the greatest play I’ve ever seen from James.
The Interesting: Do black lives still matter? Haven’t seen anything from BLM on the court to start the season. Was it a fad, was it a moment, was it detrimental to ratings and pocketbook? If it was important during the summer spent in The Bubble, shouldn’t it still be important?
The Bad: The uniforms…Nuggets wearing red, Bucks wearing blue…Lakers with the hideous garb they wore–yama hama, it was fright night.
New Orleans at Miami—Heat wins.
I’m asking NBA people—friends & fans—are Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson a good long term fit? Way too early for me to judge Ingram, but he strikes as just gifted enough to always look good on the stat sheet. Williamson looks like he could be a world changer.
I also want to see Zion use that body of his in a very physical way. This might seem crazy to some, but I’d show him tapes of Adrian Dantley down in the blocks.
Golden State at Milwaukee—Bucks wins.
Does anybody else think Steph Curry looks old? Everyone has a right to age, especially when coming off an injury…but is he on the decline? I think so.
Bucks in blue? Why don’t we put the Packers in orange…
Did you see Khris Middleton? I’m starting to believe in Milwaukee for the long-haul…I know this goes against better judgment–the Bucks specialize in heartbreaking–but I’m going to hang with them for a while.
Brooklyn at Boston—Nets win.
Okay, we can talk about the Nets…As I watched them, I’m thinking when they play a physical team, they’ll get brought back down to earth…But then I remembered, there are no physical teams in the NBA.
I cut my proverbial NBA-viewing teeth on Bill Bridges, Maurice Lucas, the Beef Brothers (Jeff Ruland & Rick Mahorn) in Washington, then there was Charles Oakley, and the Pistons…But those teams, those players, don’t exist anymore. So why not the Nets?
Kevin Durrant looks excellent, and Kyrie Irving proved why he could carry Lebron and Cleveland to a title a few years ago. So why not the Nets?
Because they are the Nets.
Dallas at Lakers—Lakers win.
I know the Lakers were attempting to rep the old school—new arrivals in LA—Lakers with the blue and white…But it stinks, looks stupid…hate them.
I did say the Lakers should beat the Mavs. And I’ll join the chorus with everyone else and say we’re not going to know about Dallas until Kristaps Porziņģis returns.
Marc Gasol bounced back from a shutout on opening night to register a pair of free throws for Christmas. He’s still looking for a field goal and on the dark side with two turnovers to one assist.
I didn’t get the correct quarter, and it was above the waist, but Anthony Davis went down—for a long time—with a split lip. I like watching Davis, but how would he have faired against a Maurice Lucas?
Clippers at Denver—Clippers win.
I thought the Nuggets uniforms looked like a mix of the old Atlanta Hawks and the Soviets. I kept expecting Dominique Wilkins and Šarūnas Marčiulionis to come in off the bench.
It hurt to lose Montrezl Harrell, but Serge Ibaka offers a lot more. Add to Ibaka, Nick Batum…And the conclusion—after two games—is the Clips are better this year than last.
I’m not sure if the Nuggets are aware that they are no longer in The Bubble, and a new season has started. Someone may need to remind them.
Trevor Ariza is still in the NBA?
NBA Games Seen: 8
The Dude abides…
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
MeWe: Joe Torosian