The NBA regular season came to a merciful end on Sunday afternoon with a full slate of games that mostly do not matter. Anyone looking for proof that the NBA season is too long need only take a look at the "highlights" below.
We will start in Brooklyn where Mikal Bridges appeared in his 83rd game of the season. Bridges has never missed a game in his NBA career. Of course, he only played four seconds in this game before he committed an intentional foul and left the game, ensuring he could continue to build on this now bogus and asterisk-worthy stat. Even the Dallas Mavericks must be in awe.
Meanwhile in Boston, the stars sat in a meaningless game. Grant Williams came off the bench and decided to let himself cook. The results were unappetizing as he demonstrated the triple-threat position for six-seconds before trying to get to the basket. He ended up dribbling the ball off his foot and put up a left-handed airball with seven seconds remaining on the shot clock.
In the retirement tour victory lap category we have 42-year old Udonis Haslem getting some run in the final regular season game of his career. In just his second appearance of 2023, UD scored 13 points in the first quarter against the Orlando Magic, including an alley-oop dunk on a fast break.
If that's not enough for you, how about the fact that UD took the opportunity to make his seventh and eighth career three pointers in this game.
And then there are the Chicago Bulls who will be playing in the 9-10 game in the Play-In Tournament this week. Patrick Beverley again broke out the "too small" celebration after scoring over Jalen Duren. He then proceeded to throw a bad alley-oop to Zach LaVine who missed the dunk. LaVine and Nikola Vucevic proceeded to lose the ball out of bounds. These are their usual starters!
Of course, the dirty little secret about there being too many games is now matter how many games there are, the last few are probably still going to be mostly meaningless. Teams will always look to empty their benches and go through the motions one last night with the season winding down. Any parting thoughts from one of the best coaches of all-time?
Just keep looking on the bright side.
UPDATE: And here's a few of the things that happened in the late games...
The Spurs outscored the Luka and Kyrie-less Mavericks, 42-14 in the first quarter on the way to their 22nd win of the season.
The Golden State Warriors scored 55 points in the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers. They won the game by 56 points.
Bones Hyland and Mason Plumlee had a physical confrontation on the Clippers bench.
This stuff would never happen in Game 72.