The players might not be playing, and the owners might not be owning, but that’s not going to stop this writer from writing about what SHOULD be happening on the hardwood. Part 1 of a series that will last until the lockout is over. And yes, NBA, that is a threat.
11/1/11 – Opening Night: Dallas Mavericks at Chicago Bulls
Before the game, Mark Cuban unveils the Mavs’ much-lauded championship rings – each one a jewel-encrusted, petrified eye of a deceased basketball great – and everyone in arena rises and cheers as they hang the 2011 banner – which is somehow simultaneously platinum and a hologram. After that, they tip-off and the game is underway.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau reveals his new defense, which is pretty much exactly like his old defense, except that, on the offensive end of the floor, everyone but reigning MVP Derrick Rose stands around stretching and getting ready for the next defensive possession.
Even with this system, though, they struggle to contain Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki, who hits a number of seemingly impossible shots – a couple deep 3s, 1 half-court buzzer beater to end the first half, a shot that he somehow makes from inside the locker room during half-time, and another one that he shoots out of his sun roof on the drive home after the game. Everyone agrees that those last two shots should count, but no one is sure how many points they should be worth.
Final Score: Bulls 91, Mavs ???
Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers
Before the game, the Thunder are in a state of panic because two-time scoring champion Kevin Durant is nowhere to be found. He ends up arriving right before the national anthem, late because he tried use LA’s public transit system to get to the Staples Center after forgetting, once again, that he’s an NBA star and multi-millionaire and so he doesn’t need to do stuff like take the bus anymore.
Shortly after tip-off, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives to the basket, goes for the layup, sneezes, but somehow manages to finish and get an and-1 in the process. This immediately sparks a lengthy debate on NBA message boards about whose career is more notable sneeze-wise, Kobe’s or Michael Jordan’s? No consensus is reached.
The Thunder end up taking the lead and holding it through the 4th quarter. In the end, though, the real winners are those who stick around long enough after the game to hear Lakers Forward Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) give a long, rambling speech about how his entire basketball career has been an elaborate performance art piece that he conceived of while studying at the Yale School of Drama.
Final Score: Thunder 105, Lakers 97
I’m following the original TV schedule for the 2011-2012 season, so if you have a game you’d like to see covered, let me know in the comments.