Five Shots for Friday: Week of 11/28

Back in my college days, I remember gravitating toward Bill Simmons because of his punchy, quirky writing style. Not to toot my own horn, but he reminded me of a more successful, Caucasian me (some of you just nodded).

However, our parallels are starting to run a little too deep. Despite both of us being far better at writing than talking on live TV or podcasts, we’ve been too involved in other things to get back to our passions.

Thus, consider this weekly gimmick a way to get back to my roots. Let’s get to it!

1. Double Standard Much?

To paraphrase the Heath Ledger version of the Joker, the Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten absolutely destroyed in the past two games against the Milwaukee Bucks (on the road) and the Los Angeles Clippers (at home).

Nobody’s panicking.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors, who had won 12 straight, dropped a double OT game against the Houston Rockets last night despite Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shooting a combined 13–42.

Everybody’s losing their minds!

The only logical explanation: the thirst for Warrior blood is extremely real, which is a shame because all of the Warriors are fine, upstanding gentleman… except for Draymond Green and his flailing arms/feet. Maybe it’s also because fans have become accustomed to LeBron James cruising through regular seasons and ramping it up in the postseason. I don’t know… just seems a bit uneven to me.

Speaking of which, everybody’s talking about Russell Westbrook. Meanwhile, James is “quietly” averaging 23-9-8.

2. Simultaneously Hating on the Warriors… and Women

Charles Barkley is the president of the Anti-Warrior Movement. Check out this gem:

It should be noted that Barkley’s “manly” playing style never propelled any of his teams to a title. Ironically, John Paxson‘s “girly” shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals had a lot to do with it.

3. I Didn’t Know It Was Possible to Light $250 Million on Fire

However, that’s essentially what the Memphis Grizzlies did this past summer. Okay… it wasn’t on purpose or anything. Maybe they had it too close to a fireplace.

In any case, Mike ConleyJr. was having a solid season before needing back surgery. He’ll be back, but by the time he’s 100%, the Grizzlies could be lottery bound. Things would be okay if Chandler Parsons was right, but he’s looked relatively useless in limited minutes.

Again, sometimes these things happen. That said, there have to be better ways to spend $250 million, right?

4. That Over, Though…

The most highly anticipated game of the weekend for Dallas Mavericks scouts’ college basketball fans is probably UCLA at Kentucky. Not that gambling is legal locally, but buying points to get UCLA in the +12-ish range is probably a better bet than taking the Bruins +9.5. However, you know it’s bad when Vegas can’t even figure out the over/under. It’s almost 5:00 PM on a Friday. Go ahead… try to find the over/under. You can’t.

The Bruins average 97 a game, while the Wildcats are a shade behind, averaging 96. Honestly, it screams “stay away”… unless they release it at, say, 160. I’d take the over and go to sleep.

5. J. Cole Misses the Old Kanye, and Wishes the New One Would Get Help

Don’t know about you guys, but I’m excited for the new J. Cole album. Similar to 2014 Forest Hills Drive4 Your Eyez Only is dropping with minimal press… and it’ll probably be the best hip hop album of  the year.

Of course, the big news is his take on Kanye West’s mental health. Considering Cole’s a Jay-Z disciple, publicizing his opinion is somewhat surprising.

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