I was one of ten people in Philadelphia who cared enough to watch the Sixers v. Portland game. As much as the two teams tried to play a fun and exciting game the NBA managed to ruin it. Everything that was wrong with the NBA was on center stage for everyone to see if you were paying attention. It's a shame, it could have been a great fun game to watch if the NBA just had stayed out of the way. If you had watched the game from Philadelphia, this is what you would have noticed.
Pregame: The Sixers from the opening bell of the season have once again cemented themselves as the team with the worst pre-game show in the league. Can someone please find Jim Lynum a rocking chair, a warm blanket, and a cup of hot cocoa. 6 minutes in Jim made a reference to the top of the program and actually pointed at the camera as if he could direct the viewers gaze back in time 6 minutes. Jim's a nice guy from what I can tell, but there is no job anywhere in the NBA he is qualified to hold anymore. And I hardly think the Sixers are the only team saddled with someone who is just stealing money from the league denying younger guys an opportunity because he can't walk away and the old boy's network won't make him. Please will someone make all the Jim Lynum's of the world retire, PLEASE.
Travelling: Apparently no one sent the memo to Sixer's new color commentator, Malik Rose, that you can't point out every blatent walk in the NBA. He did it 4 times during the game and was right every time. Forget that Walking is a step and a half, Malik was pointing it out after two steps and a hop. Walking drives fans aways, because everyone who loves basketball knows that most basic of rules and its infuriating.
Flopping: Wow do the Trailblazers flop. Gerald Wallace is a really good player, so why does he need to go flying 15 feet across the court ten times a game? How many times can one player send himself flying across the hardwood before he gets a technical foul? It was so bad Marcus Camby got into the act when he was sent flying by Jrue Holiday. Really? Jrue couldn't knock Camby over with a bat, and I supposed to believe the Camby is going flying? And the refs eat it up everytime. It makes a basketball fan stop watching NBA and turn on the NCAA.
Business before Basketball: Portland's fans filled the stadium and were loud and excited about their team. Portland lost Oden again, and Roy retired (total shame), the team clearly needed to reinvigorate their fan base and get them excited. So it was no surprise to me that the refs did their part and totally dogged the Sixers in the third quarter and for the first half of the fourth quarter. Kudos to the young Sixers team for recognizing it and instead of laying down and takiing it, fighting back to actually make it a game. Make no mistake, did the Sixers do enough wrong to lose the game, YES; did they do enough to win, ABSOLUTELY. Did Portland do enough to lose, YES; did they do enough to win, ABSOLUTELY. Maybe in the future we can just let the players decide the outcome instead of the refs calling the game based on a business decision. The NBA sells Tim Donaghy as a lone wolf when anyone with eyes can watch a game and clearly see that the officials steer the outcome of all the games.
The NBA was on full display last night, and it was the same old NBA, which isn't a good thing. Not one thing improved because of the lock-out. Not one thing.