FanPost

To catch a grenade: How the NBA's worst teams can get...worse

Hey guys, I cover the Celtics, but figured I'd share this piece with the fans of teams that are equally bad. No hard feelings, and whatever you do -- don't take seriously!

If Bruno Mars can jump on a blade for ya’ and do anythang for ya’, then the Celtics can definitely lock Rajon Rondo in the basement with a single loaf of bread for the next thirty games.

Welcome to February. Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching and there are still plenty of bad teams out there. Some do not wish to suck, some do, and some are still trying to exit the drunken oblivion they put themselves in after Anthony Bennett’s first month. Tankfully (get it?), this year’s draft holds a bunch of Get Out of Jail Free cards and the race for the top spot is on. Whether or not they want to be here, these six NBA teams are headed for the ping-pong ball city. Might as well do it right.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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Ahh, Comic Sans Suburbia – the city where you can have the first overall pick every other year and still somehow need to rely on more lottery picks to dig yourselves out of the Post-LeBron Era. The Andrew Bynum Experiment was nice, marginally better than the Bennett one, right? Adding Luol Deng was supposed to supply some credibility, but nope. I guess that’s just how things go when you live in Cleveland. Thankfully for Clevelanders, a population that definitely is not going to see the return of their departed king, a simple distraction is all that’s necessary to reach catastrophic altitude. First things first: They’ve got Mike Brown back, and that’s always good for being bad (smart move, Cleveland people). Second, their exists only one player who can truly hurt the tank: Kyrie Irving. Throughyears minutes of careful research and data analysis, the solution seems quite simple:

Drug Kyrie Irving. Kidnap the makeup crew from Pepsi’s Uncle Drew promo. Digitally map the progression of Kyrie Irving’s face over the next fifty years. Transform Kyrie’s current face into an exact replica of that image. Inform a confused Kyrie that Anderson Varejao accidentally concussed him with a basketball while trying to score from seat 7, row 20, section 314 of Quicken Loans Arena — a staggering 227 feet above court level. Explain to Kyrie that he’s been in a coma for some 50 years now, and that he should take a nap with the windows closed, it’s been a long day. Lock door. Be terrible for the remainder of the season. Hope Kyrie kind of understands when you tell him it’s all a lie. Promptly have a wide-smiled Joel Embiid shove contract extension papers in front of his face.

Should work.

Philadelphia 76ers

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Philadelphia may be perhaps the most blatant tank-job in this whole mess. A once decent core (Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner…Andrew Bynum), gutted-out suddenly during last year’s draft night. Honestly can’t say I blame Philly GM Sam Hinkie for taking a free pass to stash Nerlens Noel for a year while the team sucks bad enough to get another top pick this year. Further, I don’t think anybody in the front office really expected Michael Carter-Williams to be this good this fast, and for a second, I’d have been worried. Of course as I’m writing this now, the 76ers are losing 62-106 to the Clippers, so they seem to be in good hands after all. But if they really, really, want to be bad, the key lies in the unearthing of a deep-buried fossil known best to paleontologists asJason Richardson.

In case you’re like the rest of the basketball stratosphere, and forgot Richardson still belonged to an NBA team — allow me to remind you: He’s on the 76ers. Injured in the Paleozoic Era about one year ago, J-Rich slipped into the shadows of Wells Fargo Center and adequately fossilized himself beneath the arena’s rafters. A quick brush-off to remove any dirt and/or dislodged bone fragments, and he’ll be ready for action — because inserting a 33-year-old coming off of knee surgery is a godsend for the Philadelphia 76ers at the moment.

Milwaukee Bucks

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The Bucks are pretty much all set, right?

Moving on…

Boston Celtics

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Boston is my home. The Celtics are my favorite team in the NBA, and also a team that drives me crazy whether they win or lose. Now that you know these personal details to my life, I feel obliged to share with you my most well-kept secret thus far: I want to be the Thunder. Of course I loved everything about the Pierce-Garnett-Allen trio, but I long for a wider window. I want to see Danny Ainge build another dynasty like the ones that came before my fandom. I want to sit back and look at my team, and say to myself: "Holy ish, I’m several years older than everybody on this roster". I can live with that.

So with my secret now divulged to you, I find myself at night praying not for health and well-being — but for competitive losses, cap-clearing trades, and the draft declarations of Parker, Embiid, or anybody else for that matter. And if the Basketball Gods, of which there are many (Recedius, God of LeBron’s hairline; Tearius, God of Derrick Rose’s lower limbs), wish anything from me personally, I’d be happy to sacrifice my Marquis Danielsjersey from 2011 (or something of equal or lesser value). Until that epiphany manifests, the C’s should probably just keep it casual. Maybe let Kelly Olynyk brick some one-legged Dirk shots. Or let Gerald Wallace touch the basketball. Yeah, that should be enough.

Los Angeles Lakers

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"Sit down, Kobe. Noooope. Bad Kobe."

-essentially everybody besides Mike D’Antoni

The Lakers actually have a good team on paper until you realize that it’s year 2014 and Steve Nash is person who is 40 years old and still plays professional basketball. It doesn’t take much to injure people who are 40 years old and still play professional basketball. At the beginning of this season, I made some sort of reckless prediction to my inner essence that the Lakers would be much better without Dwight Howard, and that a Nash-Kobe-Gasol machine would run like a ’65 Shelby GT (even if it’s being driven by a Canadian and somehow transporting a seven-foot Spaniard in the back seat). I was most certainly wrong there, and as a Celtics fan, I instead enjoyed waiving to the Lakers’ struggle shuttle as it passed – until I realized they’re going to take our spot in the draft. Upon this revelation, I now find myself wandering some horrifying realm compared only to the feeling you get when you break your nose tripping over a pile of straight cash. Getting mad when the Lakers lose is the apotheosis of nausea, but it makes sense. And if they want to continue their spiral straight into a top pick, they must satisfy both their fans’ hunger for relevance and continue to get worse. The solution?

10-day contracts for celebrities! I did a little research on celebrity Laker fans not named Jack Nicholson, and I think I’ve got a decent starting five:

PG - George Lopez, seems like a fairly obvious choice after seeing this photo.
SG - Danny DeVito, it’s for the best.
SF - Larry David, obviously has the old white guy shooting touch. Easy money here.
PF - Snoop Dogg, lacking size to bang with the guys like Blake Griffin? Snoop gets high in his own ways.
C - Jack Nicholson, not really a choice here.

I’m aware the backcourt is a tad bit undersized (under 11 feet combined), but the general pudgy-ness should create any necessary space lost in the lack of verticality. Larry David can stretch the floor with his unguardable mix of awkwardness and satire — and the Snoop/Nicholson frontcourt should be legendary just ’cause. Of course Snoop is the youngest guy here at 42, and we’ve already learned what happens to guys like Steve Nash after they hit 40, so the tank should still be safe in the city of Angeles. Mission accomplished.

Orlando Magic

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Does Orlando really even want the first overall pick? It just seems like a decision I’d rather not make, if my job description included planning the future of the Orlando Magic. For example, my assumed thought process:

Left Brain: Well, Joel Embiid is very tall and also very good at basketball, so we should draft him, of course.

Right Brain: Dwight Howard. Shaquille O’Neal. These are things that have happened.

Left Brain: Yes, fantastic point. Sooo, Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins?

Right Brain: Ugh. Umm… we really cannot screw this one up, man.

Left Brain: Hey, an idea! Let’s wait ’til next year. *Trades pick for several Hedo Turkoglus*

Thankfully for Orlando (Miami’s pubescent little brother) far brighter individuals are tasked with making such decisions. So, if they do want to own the first pick, and the decision to either continue acting as LA’s personal D-League for centers (DL4C) or draft an elite wing player, they need to focus on the baby — the Big Baby. The real goal is getting the ball out of Arron Afflalo’s hands and into those of Glen Davis, and it can certainly be done. According to the Orlando Magic website, Davis is at day care from 8:30am sharp until roughly 2:15pm. Typically, "Rookie Duties" means Victor Oladipo gets stuck picking him up and driving him to the stadium. Next time shall be no different, except Afflalo will tag along (you know, just some cool shooting-guard bonding time in the whip). The tricky part — the part where the future of the entire organization hangs in the balance – comes when Victor has to buckle Big Baby into the car seat and drive off sneaky, while Arron is still packing up the lunchbox and macaroni necklace Baby made for Jameer Nelson. If Oladipo can get a clean breakaway, then Afflalo will be stuck in day care indefinitely, and Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn will have no choice but to play Davis enough minutes for the team to lose every single game ever.

And that’s it.

Sing it, Bruno.

@CJcoolgrey

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