Let’s be honest here: the casual basketball just does not care about the NBA right now.
I’m not making some big pronouncement about how the NBA no longer has wide appeal (which may or may not be true), but during the month of March, who really watches the NBA?
This is college basketball’s time. The NCAA Tournament was front and center all of last week heading into the best four days in all of sports. When you’ve got 12 straight hours of win or go home basketball, are you really spending your time worrying about the T’wolves or the Warriors?
Besides, the NBA season already seems like it has been going on for about a year already and teams still aren’t down to their final 10 games of the season. Interest will pick up again once battles in the East for home court and the final playoff spot come down the stretch, then it will really pick up once we enter what should be an awesome playoffs.
Although no one really is paying that much attention (except for the rest of the league), the Los Angeles Lakers are rounding into form. After a three game losing streak on the back end of a long road trip right before the All-Star break, the annual “are the Lakers finally done?” questions started to pop up. The answer: no.
Since then, the Lakers have won 12 of 13, with eight of those wins coming over surefire playoff squads. LA also dismantled the Spurs, the team running away with the best record in the league. The only loss came on the road against the Miami Heat, after which Kobe Bryant famously took to the floor to launch lord knows how many shots, then begrudgingly answered reporters’ questions while dripping with sweat.
What does it mean?
It means that the Lakers sense that playoffs are nearly here and it’s time to take things into overdrive. It also means that, as I have been saying all year, the Lakers are the favorites to win the NBA title.
I don’t care about the Miami Heat’s Big Three or San Antonio’s best record. I don’t care about how Oklahoma City might be ready to the next level or how the Celtics are out for revenge. As long as the LA Lakers have Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and a few other capable sidekicks, the Lakers are the team to beat.
Even though I hate them.