Before NBA fans get to see the matchup we’ve all been waiting for (Usain Bolt vs. Kevin Hart in the NBA Celebrity Game), and before fans get to see the least amount of defense ever played in a basketball game (excluding Harlem Globetrotters contests), the midway point of the NBA season, otherwise known as NBA All-Star Weekend, seems to be the perfect opportunity highlight a bit of what has gone on thus far in the 2013 season. So, to honor All-Star Weekend and the lightheartedness basketball fans will enjoy because of it, here is the good, the bad, and the ugly from the midway point of the NBA season.
The Good: San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, teams in any of the four major sports. For a few years now the Spurs have seemed to be teetering on the fence between contender and has been. Even though they’ve had some close calls, almost falling in to has-been territory, Gregg Poppovich has once again rallied his group of gritty veterans, and the San Antonio Spurs currently stand at the top of the Western Conference, with the best record in the NBA. Tim Duncan is having one of his most efficient seasons in years, and the continual emergence of 3rd year-player Kawhi Leonard has given the Spurs enough athleticism to stay relevant with the rest of the league. For the past few seasons NBA “experts” have asked each other if the Spurs are too old, or if they’re athletic enough. And for the past few seasons the Spurs have continued their excellence and proved the experts wrong. Father Time is an unbeatable opponent for everyone, but at the midpoint of the NBA season it appears as if the Spurs have temporarily defeated him. Again.
The Bad: Los Angeles Lakers
Where does one even begin with the Lakers? Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol have all missed significant time with injuries. A spark off the bench, Jordan Hill, is out for the season (though his injury allowed for the emergence of Earl Clark), and the Lakers have even gone through a coaching change. Basically anything that could go wrong in LA has. Now rumors are circulating that Pau Gasol may ask for a trade at the end of the season, Dwight Howard may walk as a free agent, and stories of Nash and Howard feuding have emerged. The Lakers are on outside looking in on the playoff picture, and it actually isn’t completely far-fetched to say they won’t make the playoffs. After the most exciting offseason the Lakers have had since acquiring Shaq, not even the most avid of Laker haters would have predicted the free fall the Lakers have taken this year. Maybe they’ll make a rally in the second half of the season; it does seem inevitable with a team with so much talent, but as of now the Lakers are the clear-cut “ugly” of the midway point. Not even Dwight Howard’s blue headband, which doesn’t match any uniform he wears it with, can argue.
The Ugly: Golden State's alternate digs
Aside from Stephen Curry being snubbed from this year’s All-Star game, the Golden State Warriors have had a fairly positive season. That was until they released these jerseys a few days ago on Feb. 11.
The NBA hasn’t been particularly shy about alternative uniforms. From Christmas Day gear, to the Bulls wearing green jerseys on St. Patrick’s Day, odd NBA jerseys have not been in short supply. But this new Warriors get up isn’t exactly top of the line fashion. The Warriors will be the first NBA team to adopt sleeves on their uniforms (while a few college teams are as well). The first problem lies with the color scheme being a bit off, (it doesn’t really make sense why the shorts would look like an entirely different uniform than the top), and that’s just the beginning. The uniforms don’t exactly look like basketball jerseys. They probably resemble Olympic men’s volleyball jerseys, and they won’t exactly be the most flattering jersey for most players in the league. It might look cool on athletic swingmen like the ones the Warriors had for the picture, but many players in the league just shouldn’t be wearing what is essentially a form fitting t-shirt. And besides the terrible color scheme, sleeves just aren’t a part of basketball culture. There’s a certain jersey look that embodies basketball, and what the Warriors have isn’t it. On a positive note: we’re provided with a new jersey to use in NBA2K13.