🎄The Hater's Guide to Christmas Hoops
The Grinch gets ahold of STL's megaphone. Plus, what does your team want for Christmas?
The usual way of comparing basketball teams is to look at the players on Team A, and the players on Team B, and decide which players are better.
But maybe that’s wrong. League-wide COVID outbreaks have led teams to fill their rosters with 10-day emergency signings in order to avoid cancelations, including the likes of 40-year-old “Iso Joe” Johnson, Brandon Knight, Wes Iwundu, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Jordan Schakel. Not ideal!
Rather than dwell on what are likely to be five nigh-unwatchable games on Christmas today, we thought it would be more fun (and perhaps more useful) to focus on who we wouldn’t see. Thus, we give you:
THE BEST LINEUPS YOU WON’T SEE ON CHRISTMAS
12:00 p.m.: Knicks vs. Hawks (ESPN)
This would be an entertaining game to watch! The Hawks are missing most of their starting lineup from last season’s playoffs against the Knicks, while the Knicks are missing a starter and three key reserves. We think the Not-Hawks have a slight edge.
2:30 p.m.: Bucks vs. Celtics (ABC)
A couple of big lineups with power forwards playing out of position all over the place. The Celtics are “hurt” by having most of their best guys healthy. We think it’s a cakewalk for the Not-Bucks.
5:00 p.m.: Suns vs. Warriors (ABC)
Not a fair fight. Somehow the Suns only have three unhealthy players, one of whom tore his ACL before the season. The quality of the Not-Warriors highlights how impressive their season has been despite not having Thompson or Wiseman all year. (Okay, maybe missing Wiseman hasn’t hurt them that much…)
8:00 p.m.: Lakers vs. Nets (ABC and ESPN)
While the Lakers would use the above list to complain about their misfortune and justify their middling record, only one of those guys makes more than $5M per season and he’s barely missed any games yet. The Nets, on the other hand, haven’t had their erstwhile third best player all season yet are still at the top of the East. The Not-Nets take this easily.
10:30 p.m.: Jazz vs. Mavericks (ESPN)
Another unfair fight! The Mavs lineup could brawl with anyone; while KP is healthy, the Mavs are otherwise putting up a playoff closing lineup out there, while the Jazz are just missing a couple of G-Leaguers.
Overall, we have the top three Not-Lineups as
Hawks (just edging the Mavs due to the Hawks win in their matchup earlier this year)
Warriors (Klay and Poole’s shooting, Wiggins and Iggy’s defense, and Wiseman’s… youth… )
Nets (Kyrie + KD. Nuff said.)
It would be tempting to feel despondent watching Delon Wright try to break down Dameyan Dotson this afternoon, but remember: COVID is a temporary phenomenon. We’ll be on the other side of it any day now… right?
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Ms. Fitz gets buckets. Look at this shit.
Not to get all Zapruder or anything, but we have to point out a few things.
Rudolph dropping dimes. Maybe he got in the lab and focused on passing drills after being left out of all of those reindeer games.
The kids chanting “Again! Again!” at the start of the video. She’s done this before. Which also explains the hushed awe and she steps into the jumper.
She knew it was cash. Look at how she leaves her shooting hand up. She’s used to making it rain out there.
The only downside is that we’ll see Ms. Fitz coming a mile away when she asks to play for money at the park. Enjoy that hot chocolate, kids.
STL INVESTIGATES: CHRISTMAS PRESENTS
As we have noticed, basketball is not… amazing… right now. With lineups like this actual team that the Bucks recently ran out:
NBA teams, and those of us who like watching them, could use some Christmas cheer. And so we thought we’d put together a quick list of what we would get each NBA franchise this Christmas season.
Atlanta Hawks - Games that only last three quarters
Boston Celtics - Team building exercises
Chicago Bulls - More headbands
Toronto Raptors - More global warming
Orlando Magic - An offense
Portland Trail Blazers - A defense
Detroit Pistons - Both
Washington Wizards - Bullets
Charlotte Hornets - Relevance
Milwaukee Bucks - Extra large shoes for KD
Los Angeles Clippers - Good health for Russell Westbrook
Cleveland Cavaliers - Some Minutes for Tacko Fall
New York Knicks - A rest
Phoenix Suns - A new HR department
Memphis Grizzlies - A moving van?
Houston Rockets - Daryl Morey
Minnesota Timberwolves - A checkbook
Utah Jazz - A publicist
Brooklyn Nets - A scientist
Philadelphia 76ers - A therapist
Sacramento Kings - An exorcist
Los Angeles Lakers - A time machine
Dallas Mavericks - A Jenny Craig Membership
New Orleans Pelicans - A Jenny Craig Membership
Oklahoma City Thunder - A stiff drink
Golden State Warriors - Nothing
Merry Christmas everyone!
AT THE BUZZER
Steph Curry record-breaking NFT collection (FTX)
This routine caught this dancer off-guard. Awww. (Reddit)