Your Annotated Smartphone Bathroom Reader for Sunday, November 18, 2012.

If I disappoint you because it seems I like my blog more than I like you, just remember: you’re not the only one that feels that.

Poor Bench Play Undermining Lakers, Other Teams Around NBA
Rob Mahoney
The Point Forward

Though the Lakers are included in the title (cause if they’re not, you’re far less likely to click on it), I liked this piece because it helped me understand why the Cavs were sitting shitty at 2-8, second only to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference.  In the words of James Carville: it’s the bench, stupid.  Indeed, the Cavs have one of the most productive starting-fives in the NBA with Kyrie, Dion, Tristan, Alonzo and Anderson, but their bench unit of Samardo Samuels, Jon Leuer, CJ Miles, Donald Sloan and Omri Casspi are so bad they essentially undo all of the good things that their first unit does.  According to Rob Mahoney, this affects other teams like the Blazers, Pacers, and yes, the Lakers.  This is an important reminder that you need elite players to compete, but you need quality depth to contend.

- JG

LeBron James Passed, and No One Cared
Tom Haberstroh
Heat Index (ESPN)

Tom Haberstroh draws our attention to a pretty interesting point: this past Thursday, in a very close contest against the Denver Nuggets, LeBron James passed the ball, and everyone was totally okay with it.  Perhaps folks would’ve gotten back on their “LeBron Hates the Big Moment” horses had Norris Cole not hit the shot, but championships do wonders for reputations.  In Hubie Brown’s voice, say this: “what we really like here are the assists he’s getting”.  Haberstroh points out that LeBron is averaging (an adjusted) 36 points and 12 assists in clutch; more than Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Deron Williams combined.  All hail hitting the open man — the right play, and the play LeBron has made for years for better or worse — and apologize to King James.

- JG

Why We Watch: Andrew Bynum and the Tyranny of Want
Mark Macyk
The Classical

The “Why We Watch” series continued in full force this week on the The Classical, with Brook Lopez, Andre Miller and Rajon Rondo getting love.  The best entry of the week was this piece on Andrew Bynum, the damaged Sixers pivot, and how his legacy in Philadephia will be defined by a city that has been crippled by what Mark Macyk terms “the tyranny of want”.  The “tyranny of want”, conceptualized through the fictional character of Rocky Balboa, and actualized through the career of Allen Iverson, dictates that effort is the paramount trait within an idealized Philadelphian professional athlete.  The “tyranny of want” glorifies those who put full effort into the big show, sacrificing their bodies for the good of the city.  The author sees a bleak future ahead for Andrew Bynum, who may find himself “winning the wrong way” if his current mannerisms, which could be favorably described as something in between aloof and petulant, continues.  I love this series, and will be sad when it ends.

- JG

I’m Comic Sans, Asshole
Mike Lacher
McSweeny’s

Comic Sans, everyone’s favorite birthday party and passive aggressive office note font, often gets a bad rap.  It of course has an everlasting connection with NBA memedom, due to its memorable role in Dan Gilbert’s infamous knee-jerk response to The Decision back in 2010.  I have been admittedly guilty of ridiculing it in the past, as well as the ways that it’s used.  But it’s back to tell me who’s boss.  Here I will quote the author directly, because nothing I can write can properly do this justice:

When people need to kick back, have fun, and party, I will be there, unlike your pathetic fonts. While Gotham is at the science fair, I’m banging the prom queen behind the woodshop. While Avenir is practicing the clarinet, I’m shredding “Reign In Blood” on my double-necked Stratocaster. While Univers is refilling his allergy prescriptions, I’m racing my tricked-out, nitrous-laden Honda Civic against Tokyo gangsters who’ll kill me if I don’t cross the finish line first. I am a sans serif Superman and my only kryptonite is pretentious buzzkills like you.

Needless to say, this is worth a read.

- JG

An Immodest Proposal: Shut ‘Em Down
Tom Sunnergren
Philadunkia

While common wisdom would say that the latest news about Andrew Bynum’s knees is about as bad as it can get for Sixers fans, Tom Sunnergren of Philadunkia is choosing to look at the bright side: there’s still plenty of time to tank.  Sunnergren sees Bynum’s injury as an opportunity for the Sixers to be honest with themselves.  He argues that the team has much more work to do before it becomes a contender, and that even the most unaware fan would agree with an assertion that the team is “a healthy Andrew Bynum away from contending”.  Sunnergren suggests that the team shut him down until 2013-2014, and perhaps lose enough games along the way to draft a talent like Nerlens Noel or Shabazz Muhammad to be better prepared for the future.  Interesting thought, but bad news: even without Bynum, and with post-defender extraordinaire (really) Kwame at the pivot, the Sixers probably will win 42 or 43 games, more than enough to make the playoffs out East.  Sorry, I guess?

- JG

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