The NBA season is about two weeks away from getting started, after a long and painful lockout that made a lot of fans sick. I know I was sick.
The NBA announced an opening day schedule of heavy hitting matchups for Christmas to open the season, but with so little time left, what is the product on the field going to look like? Is the damage from the lockout already done? Because it really looks like the preparation time, or even the time to fill rosters, is going to get hairy. And the bottom line is now that the owners and teams have started spending again, I must say it looks like the same old stuff. Overspending is already rampant.
OK so a few teams that used the amnesty clause (like Orlando on Gilbert Arenas and San Antonio on Richard Jefferson) may have saved some money. But a near max offer from the monetarily loaded New York Knicks for Tyson Chandler? Chandler is a player that has size and impacts games, and that has a value, but roughly 15 million a year? Even the concept of the big three is getting diminished, as Chandler/Anthony/Stoudamire seems B class. And the fact that they have to sign old ass Mike Bibby to run the point instead of Mr Big Shot, well, I’m actually not quite sure the Knicks are more than a 45 win team.
The Lakers are looking to put the next generation around Kobe, and they keep getting blocked by the league. Why is the league blocking this trade? So they own the Hornets. Here is a trivia question I’m just asking, because I don’t know the answer – when was the last time a trade in the NBA was blocked?
Going into the final two weeks, I predict someone is going to ask for another postponement. The trades and signings that occur are often intertwined, with teams deciding on moves as a reaction to the changes in the market, in their divisions etc. If teams cannot pull the trigger on major trades, then the whole system stalls.
The main thing is that as a fan, I am already getting a 66 game season this year, and that sucks. And the more and more I look at this, the more crazy it gets. It will be at least 25 regular season games before teams start to gel and grow in their new systems, especially if they have a group of new faces to assimilate. So how is this season of any value? The champion will be forced to repeat, if not it will look like the won a championship ‘LITE’.
This NBA season is going to be a lot of going through the motions, and it will be the death of older teams like the Celtics and Spurs. Maybe one of them can steal a final title, but it will be a last hurrah with an asterix.
The next title in the NBA to have any meaning will be the 2013 title. And wouldn’t it be funny if the Heat won the abbreviated 2011-2012 title? And as a hater it would be great if we could look back in 20 years and say that is the only title the Heat one, with an asterix, during an abbreviated season. That might make it all worth it.