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Outside the Hash Marks

November 10, 2017

It’s come to my attention that basketball season has somehow started? Sometime over the last three weeks, the yearly ritual of watching someone get beaten down by the Cavs and Warriors despite a great season began anew. And sometime over the last three weeks, the script got torn up, thrown out the window, and left in the rain.

For whatever reason, the NBA is competitive through three weeks of action. Somehow. Don’t ask me what happened. I’m just a columnist. For the first time in almost a decade, the NBA is worth watching again for reasons other than seeing some super team beat the pants off of the Pistons by five million points after sitting their starters at the end of the first half. I can’t say I predicted this, but I am happy about it.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room: the Cleveland Cavaliers have remembered where they play and now suck accordingly. And it isn’t even “LeBron isn’t trying yet” levels of sucking. We’re watching a team have LeBron put in nearly a triple-double and play point guard, and still manage to lose to the Nets.

Honestly, the Cavs are not good. They aren’t playing defense at all. LeBron needed a 57-point outburst to put away the Wizards, and then promptly lost to the Atlanta Hawks in what was allegedly a basketball game, though I am not convinced.

Somehow, the Spurs are mediocre. The Magic are good! Oklahoma City isn’t even in the playoff picture! The East looks like a real conference! We are officially in the basketball Upside Down.

Needless to say, this is really good for the league. With the Warriors playing as if they aren’t going to go 16-0 in the playoffs, the Cavs are playing like they won’t even make the playoffs, and the rest of the league is just existing as real teams.

The NBA is finally competitive. There are real storylines again besides “who gets to lose to the Warriors.” To be clear, Golden State will still win the championship. They’re too stacked not to. The super team era would crash, burn, and die if some non-LeBron team beat them. But the NBA’s competitive balance has been shot for years. And if the Cavs are finally the Cavs of the middle and late 2000s, and the Warriors are a mortal team, the NBA just may have saved itself from irrelevance. Dare I say: watch an NBA game or two. I hear the Knicks are fun again. Actually, just watch Philly 82 times. You will thank me later.

Anthony Adams
Political Editor

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