Deciphering the coded messages in Taylor Swift lyrics is a past time like no other in our culture. IS THAT LINE ABOUT JOE JONAS? No, it’s probably about Jonas Valanciunas. Why? Because we’ve cracked the code, dammit. You thought Taylor was really writing about all her loves gone wrong? No, Taylor is writing about her one true love: THE N.B.A.
New York Knicks – “Welcome to New York.”
“It’s a new soundtrack
I could dance to this beat
The lights are so bright
But they never blind me
Welcome to New York.”
New York gotta new prez, a new coach, so what if they got the same old “superstar.” The lights are bright. The beats are hot. Derek Fisher is already asking Adam Silver if he’s able to serve as a late game defensive sub. Everything is falling in place for a 35-win season.
Brooklyn Nets – “All You Had To Do Was Stay”
“I’ve been picking up the pieces of the mess you made.”
Jason Kidd is now in Milwaukee after a strange timeline of events. Paul Pierce is in Washington. All of Brooklyn’s draft picks are in places not named Brooklyn. There’s a lot of pieces to pick up.
Toronto Raptors – “Out of the Woods”
“The rest of the world was black and white
But we were in screaming color.”
The Raptors surprising ascension has them as everyone’s least favorite division favorites. Sure, the East is dadgum bad, their division in particular, but fun basketball in Canada should be taken in full color.
Boston Celtics – “All You Had to Do Was Stay”
“Let me remind you this is what you wanted
You ended it.”
The Celtics are now in year three of a rebuild that began with the jettisoning of KG and Pierce and culminated with the trade of Doc Rivers to the West Coast. Somehow, Rajon Rondo is still around, and even he’s not happy. Actions have consequences, Danny Ainge.
Philadelphia 76ers – “Bad Blood.”
“Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes.”
Reportedly, Sam Hinkie used this line to argue his anti-draft reform agenda.
Washington Wizards – “All You Had to Do Was Stay”
“And people like me wanna believe you when you say you’ve changed.”
Are we really to believe the Wizards will keep being a fun, good basketball team?
Atlanta Hawks – “I Wish You Would”
“You give me everything and nothing.”
The Hawks were a formidable foe about three seasons ago, giving hope to a championship-deprived Atlanta fanbase. Now, they are back to being the Hawks.
Orlando Magic – “Bad Blood”
Now we got problems
And I don’t think we can solve them.”
You could say they are in Ola-deep-o trouble.
Charlotte Hornets – “This Love”
“Tossing, turning, struggle through the night for someone new
And I could go, on and on, on and on.”
New old name, same old team. Sure, the Bobcats made the playoffs last season, but it’s not as if we’re all convinced Michael Jordan is some genius executive at this point.
Miami Heat – “All You Had to Do Was Stay”
“Hey, all you had to do was stay”
Cleveland Cavaliers – “How You Get the Girl”
“I want you for worse or for better
I would wait for ever and ever
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together
I want you for ever and ever.”
Welcome home, King.
Detroit Pistons – “Wildest Dreams”
“I say no one has to know what we do.”
Seriously, what the hell is going on in Detroit?
Milwaukee Bucks – “Shake it Off”
“And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate hate, hate.”
Jason Kidd gonna roll up in Milwaukee like.
Indiana Pacers – “Clean”
“You’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore.”
The Pacers imploded last year. Paul George’s leg bent in directions it should not. But the Pacers are still around, lingering, waiting, watching. They’ll be there.
Chicago Bulls – “Wildest Dreams”
“Say you’ll remember me”
Derrick Rose is “back.” He’s not his former self. Please remember his former self.
Los Angeles Lakers – “Blank Space”
“Saw you there and I thought oh my god
Look at my face, you look like my next mistake.”
Los Angeles Clippers – “Out of the Woods”
“Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods.”
Nothin’ to see here, folks.
Phoenix Suns – “Blank Spaces”
“Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn you.”
The Suns are perpetually on the cusp. Sure, they’d have been a top 4 seed in the East last season, but how long would that wave had rode out?
Sacramento Kings – “Shake it off”
“Got nothing in my brain
That’s what people say.”
The Kings have a plan. I PROMISE.
Golden State Warriors – “Wildest Dreams”
“He’s so tall and handsome as hell,
He’s so bad but he does it so well.”
The Warriors are so fun to watch. They will never beat anyone of note in the playoffs, but they will sure look good losing.
San Antonio Spurs – “Style”
“Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style.”
New Orleans Pelicans – “Style”
“’I should just tell you to leave cause I
Know exactly where it leads but I
Watch us go round and round each time.”
Hey, the Pels are healthy! It’s finally their year to make an impact!
/fast forwards to end of season
Hey, no lotto picks again and going nowhere fast, sweet!
Memphis Grizzlies – “Style”
“And I got that good girl fig and a tight little skirt.”
The paper champions return for yet another season of media adoration, Z-Boing, and early playoff exiting.
Houston Rockets – “Style”
“Long drive, could end in burning flames or paradise.”
Daryl Morey’s grand plan seemed to be coming to fruition with the luring of Dwight Howard. Now it seems to have hit a small detour with the loss of Parsons and the inability to lure another superstar to Houston. I’m banking on the burning flames.
Dallas Mavericks – “Style”
“’Cause you got that James Dean daydream look in your eye.”
The ever-changing cast of characters in Dallas continues to revolve around Dirk. There are big dreams in Dallas this season.
Utah Jazz – “Blank Spaces”
“’Cause we’re young and we’re reckless.”
The Jazz are the youngest team in the NBA that is actually trying. They will probably be bad. They will also probably be fun.
Minnesota Timberwolves – “Wildest Dreams”
“Burn it down.”
The T’Wolve are starting over, again. With a new superstar, again. This will all end well, right?
Denver Nuggets – “I Know Places.”
“I can hear them whisper as we pass by.”
People are starting to chatter about the Nuggets. Is this a playoff team? Probably not in the loaded West. But they’ve got people talking and people watching.
Portland Trailblazers – “Blank Spaces”
“’Cause darlin’, I’m a nightmare dressed like a dream.”
The Blazers finally won a playoff series last season. That makes them suddenly trendy, but as history dictates in Portland, bad dreams are coming.
Oklahoma City Thunder – “Out of the Woods”
“When you started crying,
Baby, I did too.”
The league’s MVP is hurt. I think we all shed a collective tear.