Stempak: For NBA, regular season matters
R.J. Stempak | Monday, February 15, 2016
With Super Bowl 50 in the past, baseball long gone in hibernation and hockey impossible to imitate, now is the perfect time to watch the NBA.
The NBA is wrongly ignored until the playoffs, under the assumption that simply nothing matters until May and June. That could not be more untrue as this season finds itself with not one, but two transcendent, and possibly, record-breaking teams: Golden State and San Antonio.
Spurs and Warriors have net ratings of 14.1 and 13.9, respectively, meaning that on average they outscored their opponents by 14 points per 100 possessions, underscoring both their offensive and defensive prowess. The next best team in the league has a net rating of a mere 8.6, and after that, no one has better than six.
This Golden State team is not just the best team in the league this season, they may very well be the best team in the history of the league and in a time when the league is the more competitive than it ever has been. Everyone has heard of Michael Jordan’s Bulls, Larry Bird’s Celtics and Magic Johnson’s Lakers. Well Stephen Curry’s Warriors are right up there with these historically great squads, and Curry’s team has the highest win percentage entering the All-Star break of any team, ever.
The Warriors should not be the only reason to watch the NBA, as two strong teams are right behind them in the Western Conference, the Spurs and Oklahoma City.
The Spurs, as well as the Warriors, are undefeated at home this season and are tearing teams apart, left and right. This year the Spurs have 35 wins by double digits, while most teams don’t even have 35 wins period. They have the best defense of the past decade and an offense that hums along and passes through defenses on a nightly basis, led by ageless veterans Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.
The Thunder have Kevin Durant coming off last year’s foot injuries with a vengeance. Durant is averaging 28 points per game with an unstoppable jump shot, playing alongside the freak athlete Russell Westbrook who records a triple-double seemingly every other night.
The Eastern Conference may have less excitement, but it is definitely more competitive than last year, with Toronto and Chicago serving as potential challengers to LeBron James’ Cleveland team.
Teams care about the regular season, and so should the fans. Players are so good that anyone can go off for 20 points in a quarter at any time, and overtimes happen on a nightly basis. Seeding is important because no one wants to play the super teams that tear everyone else to pieces. Every win matters and every game is exciting and fun to watch.
Curry is on pace to make 100 more 3s than anyone else ever has, so watch him make history.
Then go out with your friends and have fun trying to be like Curry, because not everyone can be like Mike.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.