Nothin’ But a Number

A few old geezers are making their point in the NBA.

The Cavs have risen to the elite tier in a league that is even more stratified than American standards of living during a Republican administration. Talk about haves and have-nots. Six teams are on pace to lose 57 or more games this season, while four teams are on target to win 65 or more. It’s a far cry from last season when seven wins separated the top and bottom of the Western Conference playoff bracket. This year, the NBA looks more like America than ever in terms of the shrinking middle class.

And in case you’re wondering, it’s not that games looks slower on your new high-definition TV; the NBA is playing at a more methodical pace this season. In particular, some of the best offensive teams—the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic and the New Orleans Hornets—when healthy—play at a snail’s pace. You’d think their lineup is full of geezers, but as Carter, Ilgauskas, O’Neal and Allen are showing fans, this is not such a bad thing anymore.

Martin Johnson is a regular contributor to The Root.