For months, we've been Jones-ing for the return of televised sports and as soon as we get it back, it breaks our collective heart. The Phoenix Suns, suddenly relevant again, stormed through the Bubble games, going a perfect 8-0 to put themselves in position to make the playoffs. In a space of two weeks, they jumped over San Antonio, Sacramento, and New Orleans. They went into the last day basically locked in a do-or-die struggle with Portland and Memphis. Three teams, of which two would go to a play-in series and one would go on to the actual playoffs. Portland, Phoenix and Memphis would all play on the last day. If two of the three won, those two would be in the play-in series. Alas, all three won. The Suns hammered Dallas. Memphis caught a monster break when Giannis Antetokounmpo was suspended for a game and couldn't play against the Grizzlies. And then, the Trail Blazers won a one-point game that went down to the final shot, a missed jumper by the Nets.
It would have been nice if the Suns could have made it to the playoffs, but in a way, they didn't deserve it. And it all comes down to D.A.--which stands for DeAndre Ayton and Dumb Ass (which, in this case, are one and the same). Early in the season (remember that far back?), the Suns were 7-4 and were one of the big surprises of the early season. Then, Dumb Ass got busted for illegal substances and had to sit out 25 games. During that period, the Suns went 7-18 and basically ruined their season. (Then the genius Ayton missed a COVID test while in the Bubble.) And please don't tell me "Oh, he's young..." He's a grown-ass man with a $10 million a year contract. He should take some of that money and hire somebody to slap the stupid out of him.
As for the playoffs, I'm bummed that the first rounds are best-of-seven series. It would have been so much more exciting if they had been best-of-five or, even better, best-of-three. One good thing is that they won't be long, drawn-out affairs. Teams will play every other day throughout the playoffs. And we'll have games that start at 10:00 or 10:30 in the morning. That's really good news for someone, such as I, who has...shall we say, a flexible work schedule.
As for our league, I'm becoming cautiously optimistic again. As those of you with long memories might recall, we have a couple weeks left on the regular-season schedule (some teams have one game left, others have two), and then the playoffs. That will require a five-week window. Believe it or not, I already have the schedule written out; I just need the dates.
I ran into a long-time League member the other day at Home Depot. He said we should have a bubble at the venue. He and his wife have always enjoyed going to concerts. I asked him which activity will come back later than the other--basketball or concerts? He shrugged and said, "Probably concerts." So there's that.