Because the NBA regular season doesn’t really matter — seriously, the barometer of advancing to the postseason this year was, “are you better than the clock-struck-midnight on Julius Randle version of the Knicks or the bunch of corpses that LeBron James couldn’t animate to 35 wins in Los Angeles?” — the end of it kind of sneaks up on you.
It’s today. The NBA regular season ends today. And some of what you’re going to actually pay attention to for the next two months is going to be set up by what happens today.
Some of the schedule for the Play-In tournament is set, at least. Sorry, the Meta Quest NBA Play In Tournament. Fuckin’ seriously? That sounds like a Final Fantasy knockoff. Meta Quest. Fuck outta here. Whatever, here’s the TV schedule.
But that’s really what it’s about now, isn’t it? The NBA is about drama, and it’s at its best in the offseason, and then in the playoffs, and then at the trade deadline, and then way after that, the regular season. Opening Night and Closing Night are the two best nights the NBA has, and we should celebrate that — also because with some actual stakes, it’s kinda important.
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The NBA helpfully put together the full guide to what those actual stakes are, I’m still gonna watch the Knicks’ last game of the season, taking copious mental notes to prepare for strong draft and free agency opinions (I will be cautiously optimistic about whatever they do, unless it’s obviously craptastic from the jump), because I’m a sicko, but it’s going to be a cool highlight show to watch on Monday morning.
It really is something that LeBron James and I have something in common besides our receding hairlines: not participating in this year’s NBA playoffs. Just incredible stuff. With all those Hall of Famers on the roster. Who could’ve seen it coming? They could lose their FIFTIETH game today, and they’re playing a Nuggets team that does want to avoid being the No. 6 seed, because that probably means Golden State, even though Denver doesn’t really control its own fate on seeding.
The NBA release just says “The Lakers have already been eliminated.”