The answer is yes.
While finishing up watching the Lakers-Clippers game (more on that to come from my boy SpreeGoogs), I quickly checked the bottom line at scores of some of the other NBA games that night.
First I saw the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls line. It wasn’t pretty – 77-64, Bulls. That sounds more like a good college basketball score.
But nothing could prepare me for what I saw next.
Mavericks 99, Kings 60.
Sometimes ESPN graphics people make mistakes (like this one). Maybe the score was a typo.
Unfortunately it wasn’t. I kept checking the ticker over and over and the score remained the same. Then I checked out a bunch of other news outlets this morning, I checked my fantasy teams and I called a few eyewitnesses to make sure these abysmal displays of offense actually occurred.
How can an NBA score less than 65 points in a game? Well, before the shot clock was invented, the Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18 by simply holding on to the ball to keep it away from George Mikan. But in today’s era where teams have to jack up a shot every 24 seconds and players are more athletic than ever, it would seem scoring more than 90 points every night would be a piece of cake.
In the case of the Raptors, I can understand their ineptitude since they were playing a Bulls team that has an outstanding defense without their best player, Andrea Bargnani. But the Kings? I am at a loss for words. The Mavs are the defending champs and all, but their defense was weakened by the losses of Tyson Chandler and DeShawn Stevenson to free agency. Yet the Kings still managed to shoot 25 percent from the field, missing 19 out of their 21 3-point attempts.
But look outside of the box score and you find a stat that undoubtedly had a telling impact on both games. The Raptors were playing their seventh game in nine days. The Kings were playing their fourth in five. Tired legs would be an understatement.
Because of the NBA lockout, the brutal schedule is going to lead to some ugly scores like these two. You can be the most well-conditioned man on earth and still get tired playing 35 minutes of NBA basketball on consecutive nights. Heck, my legs get tired riding my bike 20 minutes to the train station five days a week. That’s why I write for a sports blog and play in adult rec leagues.
For those of us who were pining for NBA teams to return to action, whatever the cost, we will have to settle for the fact that at least we have basketball. Even if it looks like this.