Thank you, oh, Lord, for returning the NBA to us. Just as the shine from football starts to fade (*yawn* Patriots win everything, *yawn* Ohio State gets killed by SEC team in the BCS Championship, again…), you bring us the insanity, the measured malevolence, the sheer disregard of logic that is the NBA regular season.
Thank you, Lord.
We’re getting in gear here at the Paroxysm.
Here are 15 reasons to watch the 2 games on tonight.
1. The Greg Oden Supporting Band, starring LaMarcus Aldridge!: LaMarcus Aldridge is a pivot point for the Blazers. If this team hopes to head in the right direction in preparation for Senor Oak Tree’s arrival next year, they’re going to have to get some production out of the 4 with Aldridge. He showed bright spots last year. This year, he’s got to put it together. Stepping up tonight against the Champs and at least making a showing would be a good start.
2. Yao Ming’s opening salvo in the MVP war: The big Yang to McGrady’s Ying, Ming’s gotta be the guy this year for the Rockets. This gives him a great stage to show how dominant he can be, against a still green Bynum.
3. Manu Ginobli and the Plus/Minus Rating of Hell: Here’s a list. Dwayne Wade. Paul Pierce. X Player. Dirk Nowitski. Who’s the X? Manu. What’s the list? Top +/- last year. Don’t get me wrong. I despise pretty much everything about Manu Ginobli. His game. His face. His continued existence on the mortal plane. But why do I hate him? Because he’s a bad guy? Because he flops too much? Because he kills puppies? No. Because he’s really, really, really ridiculously good. And he is the nitro boost to the Spurs’ otherwise Ford Sedan-ish offense. His numbers are just sickening.
4. The Kobe Bryant Suicide Watch: He’s listed as inactive for the game tonight, which means it could be 3 hours of Dick Stockton analyzing the Chicago/Houston/Phoenix/DC/Brazil/Detroit Shock trade. If he does play, can’t you just see him stealing the ball from his own teammate, draining a fallaway three and then turning to Jackson and screaming at him while he trots back upcourt? I’d love to see the guy just go maniacal bad guy tonight.
5. Franchise Back in Town: You know, for a coach that doesn’t like bench players much, Adelman’s got a pretty big one. Stevie’s got 3 players in front on the depth chart, but he still might catch some daylight. And he’s either going to be surprisingly good for a bench guy, or, well, you know… Steve Francis.
6. Luis Scola: International Man of Mystery: He’s Argentinian! He’s good looking! He’s 6’9”! He’s one of the biggest pickups in the offseason! He’s starting! We have no idea about anything else about him! Come witness the wonder!
7. Rick Adelman Is Hungry… For Blood!: Wouldn’t you be pissed if you brought a team out of darkness and into the warm light of playoffs only to be shown the door because you couldn’t overcome the combined might of Kobe, Shaq, and the refs? And what does this guy do with a loaded roster?
8. Channing Frye, Back in Black: I’m a firm believer that anyone that was trapped in IsiahLand is worthy of a second shot. Frye’s got size, some touch, some agility. He could be an absolute wash. Then again, what if all he needed was to get out from the All Seeing Eye?
9. Michael Finley Cares Not For Mortality: Screw Brett Favre. This guy’s a gunslinger. Old, crusty, banged up, and still able to knock you to the saloon faster than a stiff shot of whiskey. He’s back in the starting spot. Again. Knocking down threes. Again. The guy has a world of heart, even for the soulless Spurs.
10. Tim Duncan Is Great: There’s nothing else I can add to this. He’s simply one of the greatest players of all time, and any time you can watch one, you should.
11. Eva Longoria Parker: She’s hot, and much more fun to watch than her husband. Who just cut to the basket, missed a runner, flopped, and drew the foul by the way. Repeat. Ooh, Eva.
12. Josh McRoberts on the Bench: There’s always a chance we’ll see the big white Duke player doing something silly, like playing with an etch-a-sketch or something.
13. Jordan Farmar: “Ooh, the Lakers have no point guard.” “Why won’t the Lakers get a point guard?” “If only the Lakers had a point guard!” You know what? Joardan Farmar is pretty damn good. He had a great preseason, and he’s another of those up and comers. Should be fun to see him stick it in people’s faces.
14. Ronnie Turiaf Is An Excitable Boy: Turiaf plays hard on every play. He explodes to the basket, works the boards, sacrifices his body for possessions, the whole thing. On a team that’s uninspiring, Turiaf is worth watching.
15. Bruce Bowen’s House of Pain: Call your friends, and take bets on who Bowen’s going to injure with the Cobra Kai leg sweep tonight. Fun for the whole family.