The Warriors may be in the midst of a historic regular season, at least even money to win more games than any team in history, but let’s be honest here. The NBA isn’t a good product right now. In fact, it’s practically no-see TV unless the Champs are involved.
That fact was apparent again on Tuesday night, when Stephen Curry’s supporting cast beat the Atlanta Hawks in overtime. With reigning NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala also in civvies on the bench. The Hawks are alleged to be among the better Eastern Conference teams, mind you.
Really, take away the Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and maybe one or two others, and what’s left? A bunch of teams named the Washington Generals, that’s who.
Even TNT jokester Charles Barkley almost got it right when he told ESPN’s Mike & Mike on Wednesday, “I want to thank the Golden State Warriors because it’s been very awful basketball this year — awful. … I’m not no old guy hatin’, but unless Golden State is playing the [Los Angeles] Clippers, the [Cleveland] Cavs, Oklahoma City [Thunder] or the Spurs, I’m not gonna watch a full NBA basketball [game]. It’s not very good basketball — and I love basketball … The rest of the games aren’t worth watching top to bottom.”
If the competition is this bad across the board already, imagine what the No Balance Association will be like if free agent Kevin Durant joins forces with Curry and company in a few months …
JUST ASKIN’: Quick — name two Charlotte Hornets. And, no, Michael Jordan doesn’t count.
SWALLOW YOUR PRIDE: The local CSN sideline reporter told us how “proud” she was of Draymond Green after the Warriors’ close call, but five fouls, five turnovers and nine missed shots aren’t anything to puff out your chest.
Green continued to shoot the ball as if it were a hand grenade. His late 3-point prayer was just the 12th in the last 42 tries, a desperation heave that coach Steve Kerr admitted was “lucky” afterward.
In most games, the Champs can get by with Green at less than his best. At some point, though, he’s gonna have to make more noise on the court than off it, something the $82-million man hasn’t done consistently of late.
THE END IS NEAR?: Green may want to pack his A game against the Thunder tonight, when the Champs will aim to match the Chicago Bulls’ league record of 44 home victories in a row.
After eight- and three-point losses against the Warriors earlier this season, Durant and loose gun Russell Westbrook are due to close the deal for once, especially if Curry’s left bum ankle doesn’t cooperate again.
JUST JARED: If 49ers general manager Trent Baalke wants to improve his image not to mention and save his job, then he’ll find a way to draft Jared Goff this month. Because with quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Colin Kaepernick no longer options — hallelujah! — and offensive tackle Anthony Davis ready to come out of retirement, he has all the more reason to target the former Cal star in the first round.
New coach Chip Kelly had some interest in Bradford as a free agent, but the front office was fortunate to have the Philadelphia Eagles take the bait instead. Kelly’s former team signed him to a reported two-year, $36 million contract ($22 million guaranteed) that reeked of desperation.
What coaches see in Bradford beats the hell out of Balls. He’s Alex Smith Light in an oversized helmet, a munchkin who can’t throw deep and combines the durability of porcelain with the leadership ability of a turnip. Despite all that plus a 25-37-1 career record, the guy will soon have stolen upward of $113 million in his career, which says a heckuva lot more about the state of the position than his own ability.
MOMENT OF TRUTH: While we’re on the subject of Cal, have the No. 25 Bears peaked at the right time? We’ll know more in the next three days, when they’ll take a seven-game win streak to No. 18 Arizona and Arizona State to conclude the Pac-12 regular season.
If coach Cuonzo Martin’s squad was to sweep in the desert then run off three more victories in the conference tourney, it would own a 26-8 record and 11 victories against RPI top 50 teams. That résumé probably would be enough to warrant a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Hey, when your team hasn’t advanced past the second round of the NCAAs since the Randy Duck-Ed Gray-Tony Gonzalez days, Bears fans should be allowed to dream, shouldn’t they?
BEAT L.A.! BEAT L.A.!: The Giants absolutely had their way with the Los Angeles Angels in their Cactus League opener, 4-1, which was significant for these reasons: Manager Bruce Bochy stayed awake for the entire 8 1/2 innings, no player was seriously injured and the real Opening Day was one day closer.
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