MONDAY: MIAMI AT BROOKLYN 7:30 East, 4:30 West
Can I be honest with everyone? We’re like three weeks in and I am starting to feel like I am falling behind on the show. I have watched most of the Trail Blazers’ games, and I feel like I have a pretty definitive opinion about what they’re up to (Same as last year, pretty much.) but I don’t know what the Miami experience is like, or what is happening in Minnesota (What is Andrew Wiggins? Is there a transcendence there?), or, shamefully, because everyone is just RAVING, New Orleans. I also don’t know anything about the Nets, but I think I am comfortable with that. Hopefully this will be the only game of theirs I watch, and I can build a definitive, presentable opinion around it.
TUESDAY: PELICANS AT KINGS 7PM West, 10 PM East NBATV
WEDNESDAY: SAN ANTONIO AT CLEVELAND 7 PM East, 4 PM West ESPN
The next iteration of this game will probably be the better one, since the Cavs might REALLY have their shit together by then, but this will be good, too. Kind of like a Finals rematch!
I was watching a regular season Knicks/Rockets game on YouTube once, a Finals rematch, and they had one of those narrative intros on before the game started. Apparently John Starks had a really good game against the Rockets the next time they played and in the little montage the narrator said “Starks redeemed his game seven performance by scoring such and howevermany points” and I thought “No he didn’t, people still EXCLUSIVELY remember that game as the one where Starks missed 10 or so three pointers!” The only time an NBA team have ever truly redeemed itself in the eyes of judgmental public is when the Spurs beat the Heat last year. Everyone else is trapped inside their shameful performances in the biggest games of their careers forever.
THURSDAY: CHICAGO AT SACRAMENTO 7:30 WEST, 10:30 EAST TNT
There’s only two games on and they’re both pretty good. I think the Clippers are in the other one. Maybe they’re playing, uhh, Toronto? Let me check. Oh, Miami. That’s a pretty star-studded affair, that could be good. I was watching Miami play Milwaukee today and I took a nap, not because the game was boring, it was actually a good game, but I was watching it on my bed and I was kind of tired. It’s been really cold and I think I am going to a kind of hibernation place with the NBA. Do bears have a League Pass equivalent? What game would a bear play? I think a lot of people might say football, but I think bears could only play on the line. The other day I was riding my bike and I got an idea for a video game where you are a coach and GM in a football league, and all different types of animals are the different types of players. I think Bears would be good sumo wrestlers. If their hands were better they would certainly be AMUSING hockey players, if not good hockey players. A bear batting in a cricket game would be fun, but not bowling. Hey, if you guys ever want to know about how cricket works, come ask me, I have a pretty good idea about it. Sometimes I think that my destiny is to travel the world, watching cricket. Like the American cricket guy, the American who knows shit about cricket. I could wear seerscker shirts and baseball caps to test matches. Maybe a Mets cap. Like, “Yeah, sure, I like this British sport, but really, I’m a cool American dude who really like the Mets. I’m both at the same time. Very classy, but also very down to Earth, like a guy who likes the Mets. Hey; maybe cricket is more down to earth than I originally thought, if this guy likes it. I can watch cricket, if normal, Mets-Fan Corbin is down with it. What a cool guy! What an ambassador for cricket.”
But do not make it a joyous spin. Look at this atrocity of a slate:
Shameful stuff. I order you to lie down on your couch and sadly slop through these games, one after the other, panning for amusement in a river of destitution, a sandy bed which holds only fish corpses. At around 6:30, pull out a tub of ice cream and try to find enlightenment there instead. At the end of the night, as the Warriors trot out their fifth unit against the Jazz in the fourth quarter, feel your eyelids shut. Oh, no, I don’t have pants on is your last thought before you go on a 12 hour journey through your own dreams, a mixture of the frightening or deeply boring things you say on NBA courts and the psychoactive dairy curdling in your deepest bowels. You wake up the next day, when your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend knocks on your door to take you to that tour of the local paper plant your had been planning for weeks.
SATURDAY: DALLAS AT HOUSTON 8 PM EAST, 5 PM WEST
THE GAMES OF THE WEEK SLEATER KINNEY SONG OF THE WEEK
THE SWIMMER from ALL HANDS ON THE BAD ONE
The coda of Sleater-Kinney’s fifth album is a melancholy ballad about a young woman who only feels she is herself while swimming; “On the land her body distorts/In the water lines are true to her mind.” Reflect on this masterpiece while you take in this contest between the Rockets and the Mavericks. Do you see the Swimmer in Patrick Beverly? I certainly do.
SUNDAY: CLIPPERS AT MEMPHIS 3PM WEST, 6PM EAST League Pass
There are some NBA writers who make a lot of hay out of trashing how the NBA markets their own product. I, personally, do not care that much about how much money the NBA makes, so I generally don’t have opinions of this matter. But I will say this: Clippers/Grizzlies should be a goddamn national holiday, front and center on TNT every time out, The Official NBA Game of Bad Feelings. Chris Paul and Mike Conley get in a chirping match at halfcourt: “This is an old school contest, Marv. These teams DO NOT like each other.” Marc Gasol, holding his hands up and walking away from Deandre. “I love it! Rough and tumble!” ZBo lays Blake out: “There could be a real incident here. The refs are losing control of this game!” But NO, BURIED ON LEAGUE PASS ON AN NFL SUNDAY! SHAMEFUL, NBA! SHAMEFUL!