When someone scores 85 points in an NBA game this season, don’t discount that accomplishment. I know Kobe Bryant’s 81 has been immortalized, and Lakers fans don’t have much to keep them warm at night these days, so they’re going to hang on even tighter, but it looks like someone’s going to get closer to the modern day mark. And that’s an oversight Donovan Mitchell’s 71-point performance earlier this season who was 10 shy of living forever.
The scoring explosion this season feels like the latest phase of a complete transformation into an era of pace and space. The rule changes are aimed at defensive gimmicks like tax loopholes, and any way to make the NBA defense’s job easier must be eradicated. However, no one can complain about that. Every time a professional sports league makes scoring easier, there is a segment of sports fans that screams on the death of defense.
I feel like that group of people are just quick to scream about anything, and have posted as many as 20 name-callings against Thursday Night Football. “What is that? The game is unwatchable. Are you kidding me @NFL?!” I’ll ask this: When was the last time America didn’t unanimously give its seal of approval to a high-scoring game?
That Chiefs-Rams 54-51 game on Monday Night Football was catnip, and all of NFL Twitter was so intoxicated by the offense that they sounded like Cris Collinsworth after Patrick Mahomes threw a jump shot. When was the last time you remembered a 10 o’clock Big Ten game where teams struggled to go 50?
Juice everything, who cares, the sun is going to explode
Right now, the NBA is in the middle of rivalry week, a contrived late-January plot to drum up interest in the dog days on the schedule, and I’m wondering why they don’t do a Rock-n-Jock week with four-pointers and money-ball minutes, when buckets of time do they count double? All records are meaningless and should be so hollow that the real focus of the game – who wins – becomes the only thing that matters.
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Don’t get mad at MLB for forcing balls. It’s more fun when the batter makes contact and the ball isn’t caught or turned into a double play. He’s hitting so many home runs, passing yards and three-pointers that it gives new meaning to the word surplus. I want to hear that hockey siren so bad I have to check outside for a natural disaster. I need “Rocky Top” ringing in my ears like it’s a Burger King jingle. Images of broken coverage, broken runs and unquestioned layups should take the place of Whoppers and French fries in my dreams.
As long as there is an illusion of defense that isn’t actually 7-on-7 or Tee-Ball drills, fans will accept the numbers. The only people who yearn for 90s basketball are Knicks and Bulls fans, and that’s only because that was the last time either team was good.
Oh, remember when real men played sports? Well, you, sir, are a sexist, and I don’t think you really enjoyed it when the average life expectancy of a quarterback was an English bulldog.
It’s all a series of distractions until you die
If you were wondering what my ending is, I don’t believe in anything (it’s implied in the title). Every World Cup we pray to the god of football for many goals and follow the results like rain in a drought. What’s wrong with our World Cup binge? Miracle goals, volleys and bicycle kicks should count three times. The degree of difficulty or the amount of mustard on a pull-off, chip, or one-handed catch should increase the value. I’m sick of the cliché that a dunk is only worth two points.
Let’s push the highlights and go spectacular instead of basic every freaking time. When you played catch while jumping into the pool as a child, what did you say? “Throw me one to dive for.” Alley-oops, completions and triple decks are better than attacking the shape, breaking the pass and attacking. Increase the size of the golf holes, because a tournament where players struggle to make par is a tournament I sleep through.
Above all, Americans want more points, goals, baskets, touchdowns and birdies. The point is the point of the game. Not that I don’t score. This is the future you’ve been asking for, and the NBA is only showing you a fraction of it.