Latest posts by Ian Scott McCormick (see all)
- Copa America Preview- Ecuador: Anything But Middle Of The Road – June 13, 2019
- Not BOTG: My Trip to Sesame Place – May 27, 2019
- The Game of Thrones Finale Was Fine and Everybody Needs to Take a Nap – May 20, 2019
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 Neurosis is obsolete.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.