Fat Desired Truth
I'm not here to complain, but rather to voice concern: I'm not really sure what happened to this season. It feels like a ghost town around here. Bonzi is AWOL. Gilbert has ascended temporarily to heaven. D-Wade is in purgatory. Oden/Durant hopes got a bunch of invisible snipers hitting Michael Redd, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Mike Miller. Ben Wallace is catching the flu. And due to ABC/TNT/ESPN's contractual obligations to only show Lakers, Suns, Cavs, and Mavericks games, America hasn't seen guys like Kevin Garnett, Ron Artest (a PLEASURE to watch), or Jason Kidd for years. Then there is the quality of Eastern Conference basketball that has been mucking everything up (like, as a person who no longer plays fantasy basketball, how did I not know that Josh Smith and Eddy Curry are going stat-crazy just by default?).
One redeeming speculation has continued to cycle through my head. Something that could really bring me some peace over the coming months: When the playoffs start, the East is going to be the new West. I will get to the glory of the East in a moment, but first a quick explanation of why The West just doesn't have the intrigue come May/June. The Nuggets are a mess, Utah is invisible, we witnessed a few days ago the prophecy of the Suns inevitably crumbling to the Spurs (start grabbing those rebounds, fellas), Kobe Bryant is an island and is starting to become the symbol for everything eternally in existence...and this all means that we are left with only two hopes:
1) Nellie making the playoffs and getting his swagger back by winning a single game against the Mavericks while Chris Mullin (aka Pimpsoup) looks on proudly, copping many handshakes (S-Jax chest-bumps Biedrins in the background)
2) Yao and T-Mac win a goddamn series/startle the shit out of the Spurs or Dallas. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it + flashbacks to this:
"That was an inspirational move."
But really, the West is just delaying the inevitable Dallas/San Antonio rematch complete with a million Mark Cuban taunts, replays of Ginobili's stupid foul last year, and TNT graphics about Michael Finley's salary. Give me something I can sink my teeth into. Let's talk about:
A potential Dwight Howard/Shaquille O'Neal matchup at some point.
Bosh as the new KG (BUT WITH A BETTER POINT GUARD).
LeBron James playing the part of Carmelo in the 2003 NCAA tourney.
The Pistons actually becoming a pleasure to watch, as a result of Webber's passing.
Not to mention, "Chris Webber: REDEMPTION" as he leads the Pistons to the finals.
The Gilbert-less Wizards flailing around the court.
At least one huge scoring night from Antawn Jamison.
Jason Kidd in the playoffs.
Tyrus Thomas in the playoffs. TYRUS THOMAS IN THE PLAYOFFS.
Tell me that doesn't sound exciting. Just a few highlights, and we haven't even touched upon what a pissed-off LeBron is capable of doing. Especially when:
a) FT-shooting issues aside, he's finally playing like he grew a pair this past month, and I'm already seeing flashes of what he did in that Pistons series last year.
b) Everybody is gunning for him because he's pretty much the only person worth giving a shit about on that team
c) He understands "b" and hates his coach and non-defense-playing teammates (cue crucifixion from Cleveland fans).
Just based on the Cavs alone, I'm seeing a lot of potential for rivalries (Cavs/Wiz, Cavs/Bulls, Cavs/Pistons). Wiz/Bulls is always eventful, even with Tyson Chandler having moved on to greener pastures. Pistons/Bulls has an old-guard/new-guard feel to it. Pistons/Heat has history, as does Bulls/Heat. We could discuss the possible permutations for days on end. I'm starting to get excited about the league again (a feeling a haven't had for five weeks or so, ever since America became captivated with watching Oden in the HD flesh). The East brings insanity, neo-brutalism, anger, hints of Tim Thomas calling K-Mart a fugazi thug or Jamal Tinsley flopping like a trout after getting whisked by Paul Pierce, and most importantly, Tyrus Thomas in the playoffs.