The Ultimate Guide to Hate-Watching the NBA’s In-Season Tourney, Part 2

Human nature drives us to criticize new concepts, and the IST has sparked much discontent for the NBA Cup. Several aspects of the tournament, such as the scoring differentials determining who advances, the slippery sneakers on the NBA’s customized ice rinks, the reduction of the 30-team field to only eight teams (without the last two NBA champs), and the sudden-death round starting nearly a month into the tournament, have drawn significant dislike.

The latest commentary on the Knicks, Bucks, Suns, and Lakers reflects this negative sentiment. The article delves into the shortcomings of these teams and their players, highlighting various reasons for criticism.

For the Knicks, they are criticized for their slow, ball-hogging offense under Tom Thibodeau. Both Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson, the team’s cornerstone players, receive individual criticisms for their inconsistent performances. RJ Barrett’s limitations as a player are also discussed, with the overall assessment being that the team is held back by its lack of star talent.

The article then shifts to the Phoenix Suns, framing them as Kevin Durant’s latest attempt to form a superteam. The team’s title contention is questioned, and Bradley Beal’s injury concerns are a primary point of scrutiny. The Suns’ latest roster moves and their impact on team depth are seen as potential liabilities.

Moving on to the Lakers, the team is likened to a Blockbuster stock, with their outdated style of play and roster construction under scrutiny. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both criticized, and the team’s chances of winning a title are dismissed. The NBA Cup is perceived as adding to the illusion of the Lakers as title contenders, with potential ramifications for the future construction of their roster.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are then discussed in the context of their defensive improvements. Karl-Anthony Towns and other players are commended for their individual performances, while Rudy Gobert’s impact on the league’s perception of the team is also highlighted.

Finally, the article turns to the Milwaukee Bucks, questioning Damian Lillard’s effectiveness and Khris Middleton’s decline. The competence of the team’s new head coach is also called into question, with the decision to fire Mike Budenholzer and appoint a rookie coach being seen as a risky move.

Overall, the article reflects a critical stance toward the NBA Cup and the teams involved, expressing skepticism about their potential for success.