But this is part of the covenant: The ultimate goal of the season – a championship – only has meaning because of the grind, because every team works every day to use every bit of leverage to try and stop every other team. This is meal planning for the month: making casseroles to freeze, keeping the fridge stocked with flexible staples, relying on the odd frozen pizza to keep it going.
And then here comes a giant plate of blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup, applewood smoked bacon and fluffy scrambled eggs with finely chopped chives at 8:30 p.m. on a Sunday night.
This year's All-Star Game descended on New York City in all its decadent, empty glory this past weekend – a fact the festivities wouldn't let us forget, as Christina Aguilera opened the game with a six-minute medley of every song to ever mention New York, followed by the Rockettes dancing to "Welcome to New York" by Taylor Swift.
After the reliably awkward Celebrity Game, the consistently entertaining Rising Stars Challenge, the much-discussed Three-Point Contest and the usually moribund Slam Dunk showcase (momentarily energized this year thanks to Zach LaVine's aerial displays), the actual event got going, and West head coach Steve Kerr knew just what he wanted to run.
"I've got a great play planned for the first play, " he said in the huddle before tipoff. "So one of you guys get it and, like, throw it to one of the other guys and then you throw it to someone else and then you shoot."
"OK, " they all said, and then that’s what they did. Sure, the East – coached by Spurs disciple Mike Budenholzer – actually ran baseline hammer once, and when four of his five Hawks were out on the court you saw 3-pointers abandoned in favor of open layups under the hoop, but not too many of them: This game set the All-Star record for most combined 3-pointers attempted with 133. In other words, these two teams would eclipse the Minnesota Timberwolves' 791 attempts this season in just over six games. This is what we call chucking.
But there was also dunking, including a couple nifty stuffs from All-Star MVP Russell Westbrook, who was Double Live Gonzo! from the jump. He came up one point shy of Wilt Chamberlain's ASG record of 42 points, but did set the record for most points in a half with 27 through the first two quarters.
He also hit his head on the backboard on an alley-oop dunk, which is apparently something that's humanly possible, we all learned. He even checked his head for blood – presumably – afterward:
There was also Steph Curry dancing nimbly between defenders (and possibly clipping through them; gotta get that glitch fixed, NBA 2K15) for a circus layup that defied physics:
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