Remember the lead up to the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, where we were warned that basketball was going to be pretty awful on some nights, and that the NBA would take an entire season to recover from the time off and the resulting crammed schedule? Tuesday was a good example of such.
This is why, despite too many hours of effort, there will be no Behind the Box Score that I feel comfortable putting my name on. And that's coming from the guy who just wrote about a birthday cake, and Shelden Williams dunking a ball right into his face. What we can provide are some highlights. Some telling highlights, actually.
Like Kobe Bryant pulling out one of his favorite tricks, passing the ball off of the backboard when he's caught with no dribble and no good shot, only to catch and finish after the self-lob:
It's a clever move, but as we referenced above, rather telling. Kobe used to throw down lobs like these, and now he's content with just hitting the runner in his old age. Bryant had a terrible start to Tuesday night's win over the Rockets, but once Courtney Lee went down with an apparent calf injury (we hope it's that benign, until the MRI results come back) the Kobester absolutely took over in the clutch, finishing with 37 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Houston's face.
The Chicago/Atlanta game was prominently featured on NBA TV, and it was an absolute mess throughout. The Bulls only had 42 points entering the fourth quarter, which was the team's advantage over Memphis for a healthy portion of the second half of Chicago's win over the Grizzlies on Sunday (they ended up beating the Grizz by 40), and eventually a record-setting number that we'll explain in a bit.
Mainly because of the top play in this highlight reel:
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 42-point mark was the lowest scoring total for a winning team entering the fourth quarter in the shot clock era. That's ... good? Either way, Chicago has won five of six to start the season.
And with 12 games on Wednesday night, we hope the NBA gets its act together. Because there isn't enough beer in the world to help us forget Tuesday's Bucks/Jazz game.