First off, play this video. It is my Christmas present to y’all, and you are guaranteed to laugh at least once while going through this column. And never forget: Laughter kills the blues.
You may end up shaking your head, too, because it is an extremely subjective thing to be ranking so many top-tier players who are currently having top-tier seasons. I’ve been saying through the first third of the season that this is a four-man race this NBA season, and the Clippers’ recent surge has turned it into a five-man race.
Take the guys from spots 4 through 10, and they could collectively call themselves Wi Tu Lo.
And you know what? They’d have a valid argument. But that is the deal when things are packed at the top, as the NBA standings are as Santa Claus returns home to the North Pole.
Wi Tu Lo could be the calling cry of a dozen NBA teams, too – all of them in the Eastern Conference unless you make it a baker’s dozen by adding in the Memphis Grizzlies, the Western Conference’s biggest underachievers. Word from Hollinger is that Marc Gasol is officially changing his name to Bang Ding Ow.
So as we trudge through a season in which we flip from watching Kyle Korver extend his consecutive games 3-point record (he’s almost at 100), wonder whether the Sixers will push a game to overtime and give themselves a chance (they are 4-1 in OT games, 4-19 in all other games), and find other ways to kill time until the West Coast games come on the telly, it gives us time to remember the names of those pilots and summon the spirit of Sum Ting Wong as we make a suggestion to incoming Commissioner Adam Silver: Please, please spare us from any more years of looking forward to the spring with absolute dread, knowing that the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs (and the second round, too) will be unwatchable.
The solution: Let East teams play West teams in the postseason. Seed the teams 1 through 16, give a bonus to teams that win their division (no lower than No. 8 seed?), and bracket the playoffs to we can get a taste of the interconference games that have made this season borderline watchable any time there is not a Heat-Pacers or Warriors-Clippers game on the schedule.
Fortunately, David Stern has dropped one of those two on us for Christmas night. Thanks, Dave. And you’re welcome for the chuckle I’m sure you got when playing that video up above.
So on to the rankings we go, with yet a new No. 1.