TNT had their pregame for an hour. At just after 8:00 Ernie Johnson concluded the outside coverage. I figured we would get some introductions and the game would soon be underway. The nonsense that followed left me stunned. Kevin Hart wanted to be an all-star. A western appeared to break out. Rob Riggle was speaking. I know my description is confusing, but so was this garbage. Somebody must have seen this clown Kevin drunk at the Super Bowl and decided that he would fit in perfectly for the NBA’s midseason celebration. I was already mad about the new format. If we keep it to one conference against another, I know which players are on each team.
Last night’s introductions were long and confusing. Kristaps Porzingis was not announced along with the other players who had been replaced due to injury. Apparently there was some type of acknowledgement in the arena at one point. Kevin Hart thinks Houston’s coach is named Mike “DeeAntoni.”
Another thing that caught my attention before the game started was Kevin Durant’s chat with Kristen Ledlow. She asked Durant if he wanted to add an All-Star MVP award to his regular season and NBA Finals MVPs. Durant politely explained that he already had one of those, which made her look bad. She was clearly unprepared. Look up the history of MVP awards before asking the question. It really is not difficult with the technology these days.
Then, Fergie performed the national anthem. It made me think of Roseanne, who took to social media and stated that she feels her 1990 performance was better than this weekend’s fiasco. If there was a bet on how long she would go, I’m sure the over won. I don’t drink alcohol or use drugs, so I’m not quite sure what Fergie used. Perhaps both. I found the performance to be borderline disrespectful, but just plain bad.
Since we had a close game, we’re all but guaranteed that the old format will not return anytime soon. Some defense was played. Big deal. That has nothing to do with guys from one conference playing on opposite teams. Joel Embiid played defense. He does not like Russell Westbrook, who plays in the other conference. They would have been on opposite teams anyway. You are messing with the identity and fabric of this game. The history it has. Pro Bowls are AFC vs. NFC again. The format changed years ago. It was stupid. They went back. People like to say that these games never end with a defensive stop.
There were plenty of times when possessions late ended with stops. Free throws can make the final score deceptive, but one good example was 2012. The final margin of that game was three points. A shot to tie was missed as time ran out. Blake Griffin stole a pass and was fouled just before that when his team led by two. He made one free throw with just over one second remaining. Two stops in the final seconds. You could actually make a case that it wasn’t all about defense. There is a fine line between good defense and poor offense. The game was a disaster on almost every level. Even though you will hear about how much better the game was this year. I can’t wait for next season.