Sunday, June 19, 2016

NBA 2015-16 Season in Review

The NBA season ended tonight, and I'm really not happy. I have had a lousy day to begin with and then saw the team with 3 of my 5 favorite players in the NBA get beaten at home after the best season in NBA history. While I generally like the city of Cleveland and the state of Ohio, and were they not facing the Warriors I would have been rooting for them, (I've been a Cavs fan since they wore the black and blue jerseys in the 1990s) but this leaves me with a bad feeling towards the NBA- game 7 the Cavs won fairly, (Game 3 as well) but game 5 and 6 were rigged- no question. Considering how much revenue a Finals game 7 brings in, I'm truly surprised we don't see that more often. Fouls were called on the Warriors when they breathed on the Cavs in those two games, yet the Cavs were allowed to travel at will. At least in the first half that is true- by the second half, the Cavs had such a huge lead that they generally stopped getting everything handed to them on a silver platter, but it was too late to make a difference. Let's put it this way- I remember seeing the Tim Donahy games. Remember the Ref who threw games for gambling? That's the guy, I may have spelled his name wrong. But the games HE refereed were more honest than the first halves of game 5 and 6. Granted, the Warriors couldn't hit a shot for most of the finals. One of the best shooting teams EVER suddenly stopped being able to nail a basket, even open ones. I don't get it. The worst part is they didn't even need the help, they simply played better down the stretch. Instead of winning by 15 points they probably would have won by 8 to 10 in those two games.

It really stinks that the season ended on such a farcial bad note, because overall 2015-16 was one of the most fun seasons I can recall in a good long while. I'm one of the few people who prefer the regular season over the playoffs- and I am very much looking forward to 2016-17. (I've known for years that the playoffs are manipulated to boost revenues, but this year was the worst.). Usually it doesn't bother me- my Nets are almost never in contention this late in the season so I usually don't care who wins, as long as I get to watch more basketball.

Not only that, but card wise it is the best of the Panini era, or at the very least tied with 2012-13. While Panini still doesn't truly get it- ignoring at least 150 players each season- the designs were better than they had been since 2012-13, and perhaps even better. The only set this year I didn't care too much for was Threads. I loved this year's Hoops set, the joke that they called Complete- 330 out of 450 people is NOT complete in any way, shape or form- the cards themselves, though, I loved. The Donruss design is one of my favorites from the Panini era, and I have not even posted about my best pull from the set yet. I managed to pull a patch from a blaster, only the second patch I've pulled from the Panini era. I pulled an autograph out of the very first set of the year, and it was one I would not have been able to afford as a single, (Andrew Wiggins) so that was a pleasant surprise.

One other thing worth noting, one of my favorite commercial series for the NBA took place this season, State Farm's "The Hoopers". I hope they bring it back next year. 

I did something I have never done before, and that was keep track of the games I watched. I had to watch at least a full quarter for it to count (usually), and here are my grand totals, provided I didn't make any mistakes, which is very much possible as I sometimes got a little behind and had to scroll through the box scores on basketball-reference to see which ones I remembered.
  • 356 total games watched
  • 252 regular season
  • 71 playoffs
  • 23 Pre-Season
  • 7 D-League
  • 3 All-Star (Plus the non-game stuff like the Slam Dunk competition, which is not counted)
I watched more than I thought I would to be honest, and if my TV didn't act up sometimes I would have watched some more. Probably would have increased 10 or so games.

I plan to keep the chart for the 2016-17 season as well, and this year I will attempt to include Summer League games, which I didn't have the idea of making the Excel chart until the 2015-16 Summer Leagues were already over, so that information was lost.

I've already gotten a few cards that mention games I watched. In the past I usually was left wondering if it was a game I saw or not, when a specific one was mentioned. Now, I will know. I just got one this week, in fact my very first card out of my very first pack of Excalibur, #147 Anthony Davis, references a game I saw. I would probably not have remembered that otherwise. That sort of thing tends to all blur together in my head- I tend to remember if I ever saw a player play, not specific games.

As I will watch any team, at any time, (something I can do because my mom gets me League Pass as a birthday present every year) all 30 NBA teams appear multiple times on my chart. I don't know of a way to figure out exactly which teams I watched how many times, but I know the Warriors are the team I watched the most. Second would be probably the New York Knicks or Philadelphia 76ers, once they signed Elton in January. After that would probably be the Nets, and beyond that, I have no clue. I watch them all.

I think my favorite game that I watched this year was Kobe's final game where he scored 60. The Lakers have never been my favorite team, nor Kobe my favorite player, but that was just incredible to watch. It's the end of an era that is a little hard to fathom- the 1996-97 rookie class is the first one I truly got to experience so it has a special place in my memories. Kobe was the best player in the League for most of the past 20 years, until the injuries set in, and to see him get 60 in his final game was something truly special. It's not diminished in my eyes that the Jazz, who knew they would not make the playoffs, didn't really play defense and that most of the other Lakers made sure to funnel the ball to Kobe. That to me is a sign of respect, actually, one final moment in a career filled with incredible moments.

I know this is a really negative post, not the kind I usually make, but I am really an unhappy person (I hide it well) but I can't hide it tonight. I can't be the NBA-does-no-wrong guy that I usually am tonight. I even set aside the NBA cards and worked on hockey cards tonight.

With that said, the 2016-17 season truly gets under way this coming Thursday, when the NBA Draft takes place. I always enjoy the Draft, seeing all the new names entering the league and, hopefully, my card collection. The Summer League kicks off July 2nd so that's really not all that far away- it'll be here before too long, and then there's the Olympics. I LOVE the Olympics and will watch as much of them as I possibly can. (There will be several Olympic-themed posts in the not too distant future)

I can't wait.

Now, here's a look at all of the 2015-16 sets in my collection. I don't have Clear Vision yet and don't know when it will make it's way to my collection- I'm mostly done buying cards for a while, but that's a whole other topic.

Absolute Basketball

Complete- first set to show photos taken during 2015-16

Donruss- first set to show action photos of the rookies

Gold Standard

Hoops - a set I actually completed!

Limited- this is the third time I've posted this card. Only one I've got.

Panini Excalibur- the newest set, just came out this month.

Panini Prizm

Panini Threads

Prestige

Revolution

Select. This is a Prizm, I don't have a base card in my collection.

Totally Certified

2 comments:

  1. Most people, seeing how big a Browns fan I am, seem to think that I am a Cavs fan. I'm not. I really started hating LeBron James after "The Decision", not for leaving as a free agent but for how he did it, a completely classless spectacle.

    Anyway, I am in full agreement of you in regards to the reffing in games 5 and 6. I think that Tyronn Lue's $25,000 fine for criticizing the referees was the best investment that a coach has ever made in their team because it sure turned things around.

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    1. Yeah, I think he regrets that decision now...but maybe not as the rumors I'm hearing have him maybe leaving in free agency again, now that he brought the title to Cleveland. I think if he does leave again he should probably skip any future games in Cleveland for his own safety, LOL.

      It was no a coincidence that I didn't mention him at all in my original post- that was calculated. I do like most of the Cavs and had they won fairly I would be quite happy now.

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