NBA State of the Union: Royal Tenenbaums Style

It’s hard to believe we’re already at the midway point of this truncated and tumultuous NBA season. We’ve had some swings and misses based on our preseason prognostications, but it’s been a fun journey, and more than anything, we should be thankful the season has been as smooth as it has been (minus the NBA screwing over our Mavericks and making them the guinea pigs of the entire process.)

But as we suffer through a few days of fake basketball, we wanted to gauge some of the most intriguing storylines so far and ones to look forward to for the rest of the season. It’s been a dysfunctional and whimsical ride so far, so who better to help us break things down than a family who fits that bill as well.

“Everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is, maybe he didn’t?”-Eli Cash

Everyone knows the Lakers were the favorites at the beginning of the season. What this post presupposes is, maybe they shouldn’t have been? This is a stretch here. When the Lakers are healthy, they’re the favorites. However, Philly is a lot better than we all thought and matches up well with the Lakers if they can make it out of the East. For now, it seems like the Clippers are holding things together and if they can just get out of their own heads, should be a real threat to the Lakers in the playoffs as well. And AD injury stuff always looms. He just needs to be healthy at the right time like last year.-DD

“He’s taken off his shoes and one of his socks. And actually I think he’s crying.”

One would think that The Baumer’s epic meltdown would help a cellar dweller like Orlando or Minnesota cope with their fate, but we’re headed to the top of the heap and the great Salt Lake for this one. Utah has had an incredible first half. They’re 27-9, own the 1 seed out West, and the best record in the NBA. But it feels like there’s a collective narrative growing that their regular season form is fool’s gold, in terms of championship aspirations. Add in the “disrespect” from referees and this blatant, awesome trolling by Kevin Durant and LeBron James during the All-Star draft, and one can see the Jazz’s breakdown coming after their eventual second round defeat.-BF

“Where’s that red one going to go?”-Eugene St. Clair

Just like Dudley has no idea where to put that red block, there doesn’t seem to be a player that everyone knows is going to get moved this season. There are plenty of teams that are going to want to make an upgrade but I bet you it’s not the big splash that we’ve been teased with this year. I don’t think Beal is going anywhere and I think we’ve all learned that Porzingis is as untradeable as they come which may lead us to see smaller deals for teams that just want to fill in some gaps, just like that red block did.-DD

“I’m having a ball. Scrapping and yelling and mixing it up. Loving every minute with this damn crew.”-Royal Tenenbaum

Good for the New York Knickerbockers. They came into the season with low expectations and have far outpaced their pre-season win total projection. They play a rough and tumble brand of Thibodeau defense; Julius Randle has emerged as a star; Immanuel Quickley is looking like the steal of the draft, and it’s downright almost enjoyable to watch the Knicks again. Hopefully Knicks faithful can be content with this spunky group and not get their hearts broken again by free agency expectations. Just enjoy the ride with this crew.-BF

Margot – “Do you send my mother your clippings? And your grades in —

Eli Cash – “Please stop belittling me.” 

I bet you all those young Spurs players are sending their parents their clippings about how well they’re doing this year in comparison to what everyone expected of them. For my money, the Spurs are headed towards an end-of-season wreck on par with Eli Cash’s kamikaze scene at the end of the movie. They’ve got the second-toughest schedule remaining and a roster that still just consists of bit parts. And if they’re smart, and the Spurs are, they’ll try and unload either Aldridge or DeRozan now.-DD

[after learning from a private investigator that Margot had been previously married and has had several affairs with both men and women] “So, she smokes”-Raleigh St. Clair

[after looking at a roster who has two MVPs, another dynamite scorer, solid complementary pieces, and more paths to improve their team in a wide open conference] “So their defense is shaky?”-Fools who are missing the point on the Brooklyn Nets. It’s really hard to imagine anyone in the East stopping Brooklyn. The early season acquisition of James Harden is already providing this team more than enough time to jell during the regular season, and I just don’t think anyone is going to be able to stop them from dropping 120+ a night come playoff time. Barring significant injury to one of their three stars, the Nets should be the title favorites.-BF

“I’m sorry for your loss. Your mother was a terribly attractive woman.”-Royal Tenenbaum

I think Royal was talking about Blake Griffin here. It looks like he’s basketball dead, and it’s a shame because he used to be a terribly attractive basketball player who, to my complete shock, had transformed his game from one of the greatest above the rim players the NBA has ever had to a grounded, three-point shooting, passing savant.  Reports from the off-season that he was looking at top form were obviously overblown and now that he’s been bought out, we’ll see which teams know what they’re doing by steering clear of him.-DD

“Chas, let me finish here. I’ve got six weeks to set things right with you and I aim to do it.”-Royal Tenenbaum

We can’t get out of here without some Mavericks talk, and the tide is finally turning for our hometown team. Much has been made of Kristaps Porzingis’s recent injuries, inconsistent play, and even potential trades involving him. However the Mavs fortunes seem to be changing of late, as we’re finally seeing all the pieces, that had us bullish pre-season, come together and flourish. Luka can drag this team to the playoffs himself, but the Mavericks’ ceiling goes as Porzingis does, and maybe the second half of this season he’ll be on a mission to prove the skeptics wrong and deliver on some of the promise we thought he’d bring to Dallas.-BF

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