For SB Nation’s NBA preview package back in October, I wrote an essay predicated on the idea that LeBron James had risen above winning as a marker of greatness. I wrote about the ways in which James was creating a superlative presence off the court, making it so that he could be recognized as the greatest ever even if he never won another NBA championship. He had, in that way, risen above winning as a measure of his excellence.
Folks, I did not mean it like this.
The Lakers lost a critical, dare-I-say “must-win” game against the Clippers on Monday. LA is 30-34 and 5.5 games out of the No. 8 seed with just 18 to go. This team is really going to miss the playoffs again. James is even talking to the media about playing fewer minutes down the stretch to rest for next season!
When I wrote a month ago that the Lakers should tank the rest of the way to add another good asset to their Anthony Davis proposal, I was mostly kidding. But no, that would actually have been the smart thing to do. Huh!
What a disaster. You just hate to see it happen to such a sympathetic franchise.
Mavericks 88, Nets 127
Hawks 113, Heat 114
Nuggets 103, Spurs 104
Bucks 105, Suns 114
Pelicans 115, Jazz 112
Knicks 108, Kings 115
Clippers 113, Lakers 105
All times Eastern. Games are on League Pass unless otherwise noted.
Bulls at Pacers, 7
Magic at Sixers, 7
Rockets at Raptors, 8, TNT
Blazers at Grizzlies, 8
Thunder at Wolves, 8
Celtics at Warriors, 10:30, TNT
Big Kevin Arnovitz piece on how the Suns came to be so dysfunctional. It includes a story about franchisee Robert Sarver acquiring goats from a Diana Taurasi celebration and letting them loose in GM Ryan McDonough’s office, only for the goats to trash it.
Kevin O’Connor on what’s REALLY wrong with the Celtics.
An argument that missing the playoffs will help the Lakers see themselves for who they truly are and make the appropriate changes. Reality makes it more likely that missing the playoffs will force the Lakers to fire Luke Walton and continue down the same path of praying James can help lure a second superstar to Los Angeles.
Andrew Bogut is signing with the Warriors. This is a direct response to the Bucks signing Pau Gasol, isn’t it?
I wrote about the Bucks’ really smart Eric Bledsoe extension.
Brandon Ingram, it turns out, is pretty good. (He didn’t play on Monday.)
Be excellent to each other.