Infinite Nets Game 81: Tickets Punched

Ian Scott McCormick

Ian Scott McCormick

Ian is a New Yorker, a father, a husband, a sports fan. He covers a variety of subjects but really only appreciates burgers and cola.
Ian Scott McCormick

In the end, all the anxiety and melodrama were in vain. For what seems like forever, I’ve spent the end of this season, cursing the way things would ultimately shake out, but that’s over. Neurosis is obsolete. Pity is undeserved. The Brooklyn Nets are in the playoffs. The long fear that this season would have ended in the ultimate No-Man’s land of low lottery odds and no playoffs, are dead. They made the tournament, and they will play games in the fool’s quest for the Championship of the NBA, as unlikely as that may seem. That really didn’t seem as though it were in play. It really felt as though the end were coming, and that they would wrap the season this Wednesday, disbanding after Dwayne Wade had played his last regular season game. It felt as though the Bucks and Pacers would finish them off. They quite possibly had both slowed down, knowing there was little beyond chemistry to play for, but both still seemed like a threat to walk away with victories over a desperate team. Nonsense. Easy victories. They’re in. This season has been a success.

They flew out to Indiana after beating the Giannis-free Bucks. Indiana wore their Hickory jerseys. Sometimes gimmicks are stupid. Hickory, the hideous two toned jerseys, are a reference to Hickory High School, a fictional high school from the movie Hoosiers. Hoosiers, Hollywood basketball’s version of All Lives Matter, is a feel good story about a bunch of white kids coming together while playing basketball, beating a bunch of black kids from the big city of [checks notes] South Bend. They win by submitting to the will of a coach who makes them play boring and shitty basketball. Risk free, fundamental garbage. If they were a hockey team, it’d be about a school perfecting the neutral zone trap. If it were Rocky, Rocky would have spent the whole franchise ducking punches, trying to take rounds, and win decisions by the judges. Hickory HS makes the state finals and decide to play by the book. I guess implying that those Junior Mandingos would be too preoccupied breaking ankles (Not so hard in the era of Chuck Taylor’s), and abandoning their families. At no point does the movie actually show the South Bend Central Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers doing any show boating, but it’s just sort of implied…if you catch my drift. For all we know they take fundamentals just as seriously as Hickory HS, but then wouldn’t the team of better athletes win? All other things being separate but equal, wouldn’t talent + fundamentals blow grit + fundamentals out of the sky? But Hickory won, so I guess the other team wasn’t hungry enough. Or they were too hungry when they couldn’t find anything to eat after somebody from Hickory stole their green book. Of course the people of the state that had elected not one, but two of the Pence brothers to office would love this horse shit.

So how did today go for the Hickory Pacers? Well they didn’t rebound for shit. Is giving up second chance points part of Coach Dale’s grand design? Maybe you could learn how to box somebody out, you showboating punks. They’re fighting with Boston for home court advantage in the first round, so they still had some motivation. Perhaps instead of cosplaying as high schoolers from the Jim Crow Era, they could have worked on some fundamentals. The hoop’s still 10 feet high, boys.

Brooklyn won. They advance into the playoffs, and I have nothing further to worry about. Yes, I’d love for them to sneak past a sleeping favorite in the first round, but that is not where anybody’s realistic expectations should lie. This was a team that I had assumed would have been eliminated at least two weeks earlier when I started this column, and making the playoffs seems very much like a life goal being achieved. Great game by everybody. And because it was never personal, I want to come out and say that Traveon Graham has been very good coming off the bench in these past two games. I dogged him a month ago, and while I don’t take back any of what I’d said, he’s delivered of late. I’m rooting for him. I’m rooting for everybody on the Nets. I genuinely want to see all of these guys win multiple championships together and retire as good friends, with loving families. But this year has not been a kind one to him, and it is fun to have him show that he can contribute.

There is little to say, beyond the fact that I’m happy that Brooklyn’s season was completely validated, and that Hoosiers is a film with a pretty crappy message. And while I know the Nets are the underdogs in the playoffs, favorites be warned.

The Brooklyn Nets are 41-40 and can do no worse than 7th in the Eastern Conference.

Ian Scott McCormick
Ian Scott McCormick
Ian is a New Yorker, a father, a husband, a sports fan. He covers a variety of subjects but really only appreciates burgers and cola.
https://ianscottmccormick.com/
Please Login to comment
9 Comment threads
8 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
King HippoIan Scott McCormickDownfield MatriculatorRikki-Tikki-DeadlyLow Commander of the Super Soldiers Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Downfield Matriculator
Downfield Matriculator

Two thoughts on reading this:

1. As probably the only other Ohio State fan around here besides Redshirt, I gotta say I am happy for former Buckeye D’Angelo Russell.

2. What happened to Dinwiddie’s shoes (or did I miss something where that stopped)?

King Hippo

Methinks herodotus is also a theeeeee

King Hippo

they were gonna make Ian a general for this, and he wasn’t even in they army no MOAR

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

So, is Ian going to a playoff game?
comment image

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

There are plenty of reasons to hate Indiana, and Hoosiers is a good one. This sign is another.
comment image

Fun fact: I met the Indiana Governor before Mike Pence, Mitch Daniels. Here he is, being perfectly relateable by not wearing his shoes in the capitol.
comment image

LemonJello
LemonJello

Guess that’s better than not wearing pants around the Arkansas capital.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

[files paperwork to run for governor of Indiana]

– Rex Ryan

ballsofsteelandfury

” If it were Rocky, Rocky would have spent the whole franchise ducking punches, trying to take rounds, and win decisions by the judges.”

So, Rocky is Floyd Mayweather. Got it.

ballsofsteelandfury

Hoosiers is one of the most racist movies of all time.

No wonder it’s so beloved by critics and white people.

blaxabbath

“What about the reverse racism of Roots?!”

comment image

BrettFavresColonoscopy

If they win, do you move back to your old neighborhood?

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

“Oh come on, we just got things updated!” – sex offender registry

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

At no point does the movie actually show the South Bend Central Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers doing any show boating, but it’s just sort of implied…

Two portrayals of the “inner city” players from Hoosiers come to mind for me. The first is a series of somewhat menacing shots of these players using their size and “physicality” to dominate the boys from Hickory inside the paint as they built up their first half lead. The second was after the final whistle, when they showed one of them Adam Morrissoning, which I thought humanized the kids to some degree.

blaxabbath

“N-E-T-S! Nets! Nets! Nets!”

-Fireman Ian Scott McCormick