...or, "Why I love this particular team, even though they drive me insane sometimes"
Yes, some of it is "the laundry," as I've been a fan since 1975. But there's something about this group of players that makes me really happy, when they're not making me rip my chest hair out in frustration. In their own unique way, they're sort of lovable, which for me (I realize that this is not true for 99.998% of NBA fans) is better than if they were a team full of Jordanesque superstars, everyone scoring over 20 ppg, from the starting SG to the ball boy.
1) They're young: One of the youngest teams in the league, with eight players 23 years old or less. Sure, there are some veterans salted in there, but mostly, other than Brand, they're guys like the personal-injury law firm of Krapono, Dongaila, and Battie (a Limited Liability Corporation registered in the state of Delaware...NOTE: Attorney advertising does not constitute an offer of representation...oops. Sorry. I digress). The guys they go to war with every night are young. Like, say, Young. He's young. Anyway, I digress again. The point is (and I do have one) is that they occasionally do strange, stupid, and incomprehensible things. But so does my kid. And most of these guys are kids. We tend to forget that.
2) They play really, really hard: Pretty self-explanatory. But I love a team with heart that seems to care about what they're doing.
3) They play defense: Last year's DRtg under Eddie the J: 110.3. This year's DRtg under the Dougie: 104.9. Ball don't lie, son. That's a lot of points right there, that is.
4) They seem to genuinely like playing basketball together: That whole Henry V "We few, we band of brothers" thing. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for that stuff. But I think it might be the second-biggest difference between last year's Eddie and the Jordanaires debacle. The first being...
5) The Dougie: Look. I didn't want him. I wanted Thibodeau (who, it turns out, can coach a little, too, although it does help to have Rose, Boozer, and Noah...NOTE: Attorney advertising does not...well, you get the idea). But these kids seem to love the Dougie, and they play their hearts out for him, and take practices seriously, except for maybe Speights.
Do they get on my nerves sometimes? Of course they do. Anything you love gets on your nerves. Do I hate Tha BOSS with the white-hot fury of a thousand suns whenb he starts in with his Stone Cold BOSSin'? Well, duh :)
But I still love 'em. Here's to the playoffs, gents! Salut!!