The NBA had a collective day off yesterday in honor of Election Day here in America and to encourage fans to spend the time voting instead. With results coming in from ballot boxes, the league will get back to its own results in the regular season.
Now that the Milwaukee Bucks have finally lost their first game, I’d like to begin by mourning the larger loss: That of our destined 82-0 season. Yes, we pretty much played pumpkin teams to start the year. Yes, we rarely left the Forum while doing it. Yes, all good things must come to an end. Regardless, I still had a sense that this might’ve been the group to do it, if only because Brook Lopez looks to have found God via that brand new bionic back of his. 34 years old and playing the best defensive ball of his entire life. That’s nuts!
With the loss column registering a 1, it is as good a time as any to look around the rest of the standings and take note of those who have been surprisingly close on our heels. The Cleveland Cavaliers sit only a game back at 8-2 in an early season stretch that appears to validate that front office’s aggressive move to bring in Donovan Mitchell via trade — excellent offensive guard play and a pair of young dominant big men looks like a winning combo. Boston and Atlanta both sit just behind Cleveland at 7-3, and after that it gets hazy. Both the Miami Heat and James Harden have underperformed to start the year, so expect them to climb higher than 12th and 10th in the standings, respectively.
Out West they’ve got a crowded theater. The Utah Jazz are, hilariously, Milwaukee’s only parter in the nine-win-club, and a total of 1.5 games separates them from the sixth seed Memphis Grizzlies. Presumably, eventually, maybe, the Jazz will fall back to Earth after Danny Ainge cuts the entire roster, and that’ll open another playoff spot up. But for the moment, it looks messy.
Tonight, Jazz-Hawks looks interesting, with Blazers-Pelicans tomorrow catching my eye and Nets-Lakers on Sunday in an early-season loser-please-disbands-the-franchise-entirely-for-the-love-of-all-that-is-just matchup.
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