I had the good fortune to attend two live NBA games in the last 8 days. The first was the Knicks-T’Wolves game on January 26th. Remarkably, the Knicks – who were 17-26 the moment the ball tipped – completely squashed the Wolves. The Knicks jumped out to a 15-0 lead, and were up by 28 at one point in the first quarter. Yes, the first quarter. The only reasonable conclusion to draw was that the Wolves had to be one of the worst teams in league history to get pounded so badly by a 17-26 team. Then, 5 days later, the ‘Wolves pounded the Knicks by 21. Thus, the Knicks are bad enough to get pounded by a team that was humiliated by a 17-26 team only a few days before.
I’m not sure what conclusion to draw. Perhaps the teams are inconsistent. Perhaps they are just both bad basketball teams, each capable of being absolutely horrific on any given night. Or perhaps they are both very good at home. Um, no. That’s not it. It must be something else.
On a different note, I was at the Celtics-Lakers game on Sunday. What a joy to watch. The teams were good, and, no less importantly, it actually felt like a basketball game. They didn’t have ridiculous entertainment during each timeout, like the Knicks and the Heat have (as I’ve blogged before). During timeouts, they played music to get the crowd going, and showed pictures of fans cheering for the home team on the JumboTron. Good for the Celtics.
Separately, I was hoopserving the All-Star rosters today, and noticed something. If you believe that a player is usually in his prime between the ages of 29 and 31, then the ages of the guys on these rosters are almost the exact opposite of what you would expect them to be. Check it out: of the 24 All-Stars, 7 were born before 1/1/79, which means that they are at least 31 years old. 14 of them were born after 1/1/82, which means that they are not yet 28 years old (for purposes of simplicity, I’m pretending today is January 1st instead of February 3rd).
A digression for a second… two of the All-Stars, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant, were born in 1988. Yup. Nineteen-friggin’-eighty-eight. I was already getting rejected by girls in 1988; these guys weren’t even crawling yet. Sigh.
Digression over… Only 3 of the 24 All-Stars were born in 1979, 1980, or 1981, even though the guys born in those years are the guys one would expect to be in their primes right now. So, there are 7 guys over 31, 14 guys under 29, and only 3 guys who are 29, 30, or 31.
I, for one, have no idea why this is. Was there some rule change in AAU basketball that impacted the guys from ’79, ’80, and ’81? Did something happen in the NCAA around the time those guys were in college? Is there any reasonable explanation for why this would be the case?