Weekend basketball primer
The Indiana Pacers blew a 26-point halftime lead last night to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are the defending champions and have the best player in basketball so it isn't necessarily a choke job. The Pacers awful shooting and passing along with a consistent inability to make adjustments on defense combined for one of the worst second halves of basketball ever (anecdotally). I felt ashamed and embarrassed last night and I didn't even play in the game.
Hanging with Indiana Pacer color commentator Bobby "Slick" Leonard at Meadowlands Arena (or whatever they were calling it around 2009).
But, we are no longer in middle school and we have things to do this weekend. Here is my guide on how to prioritize your NBA viewing for the weekend.
General guidance for Fridays: This is where you maximize your opportunity...kids are in bed and you are fresh on a "weekend-just-started" high. Pour a beverage, relax and enjoy it all...even the halftime/post-game shows.
7pm: Boston @ Chicago (ESPN)
9:30pm: Houston @ Oklahoma City (ESPN)
10pm: LA Clippers @ Utah (ESPN2)
You might be able to gain some sleep tonight.
Boston seems to be falling apart and now the Bulls lead 2-0. Houston vs. OKC has a chance for some sparks with the James Harden/Russell Westbrook matchup. The Clippers often disappoint, but the Jazz are interesting from a hoops aficionado perspective.
I will tune in late, say 10pm, to check out the Western Conference action. All but the most rabid Boston hoop heads and casual fans should stay away until that game is over and then watch enough to get your fill of the Harden/Westbrook matchup. You can be in bed before midnight tonight. I need to get a good look at this Jazz team and will be up past midnight.
General Guidance for Saturdays: Do your yard work early, even if you have to squeeze it in between kids' athletic endeavors. Warn significant others if your team is playing in the dinner time slot since you might not be attentive or even at the dinner table. Alert: Check on your evening plans! If you are going out, work a "return early" angle. If you are going to a friends home, make sure you understand and influence their media set-up, or cancel altogether if your team is playing.
3pm: Toronto @ Milwaukee (TNT)
5:30pm: Washington @ Atlanta (TNT, CSN)
8pm: San Antonio @ Memphis (ESPN)
10:30pm: Golden State @ Portland (ESPN)
OK, Toronto @ Milwaukee placement is a problem. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a basketball unicorn that not many know about now, but we will all remember someday. Most of us will be engaged with something, but this is only Game 4 and the Bucks have a good chance of advancing. We can see the Greek Freak later.
Washington is now a fun team to watch. DMV fans need to ensure they are not doing a sit-down dinner. Order pizza, buy napkins in bulk, and get in the living room for dinner.
The San Antonio @ Memphis game is the perfect placement for young couples. Go out, have fun -- you are not missing anything wildly entertaining here.
Great opportunity for the 40+ crowd to go out, come home between 10-11pm and still see the bulk of an interesting Golden State @ Portland matchup and stay up for post-game analysis.
Some tricky spots to navigate during the day -- don't try to do it all -- but you can finish strong, even after going out on the town. This will be a fun night.
General Guidance for Sundays: If you didn't do your chores Saturday then you are an idiot and not ingraining the habits that will see you through an enjoyable NFL season. You are going to be low on sleep, so if your team is playing late, try clearing a few things from that Monday morning calendar. Once again, you are not all alone in your life and you will have to (1) look a child in the eye while they speak for at least 30 seconds and (2) do one to 17 things for the person you committed your life to at some point.
Prioritize your efforts because you can only realistically watch 1.5 games on Sunday. Remember, we are saving capital for the football season here.
1pm: Cleveland @ Indiana (ABC)
3:30pm: Houston @ Oklahoma City (ABC)
6:30pm: Boston @ Chicago (TNT)
9pm: LA Clippers @ Utah (TNT)
Casual fans, you most likely can take this day to watch baseball or hockey and impress everyone that you are a great family person.
I will work through most of the Pacers game and sit down to watch someone throw their lifeless corpse onto a stretcher midway through the fourth period and then get back to some sort of productivity or outside time.
It is probably smart to check in on the Houston @ OKC game in the second half. If it is good, start influencing a late dinner option.
Boston @ Chicago is during dinner. This Sunday is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a family dinner together.
The 9pm finale is nice. Things should be done for you. Enjoy a little of this. If it is good, you can watch the whole game and still be in bed by midnight. Hey, it would make for a rough Monday, but that is good training for the fall.