Ok, so the thing about being the darlings of the NBA, the “League Pass team of the year,” is that everybody is watching when you serve up an uninspired, low-energy stinker to Cleveland, at home, on Friday night. Everybody sees the gaping suck of confidence that is the Michael Beasley and Wes Johnson wing tandem and the slightly embarrassing fact that if Luke Ridnour has an off shooting night (2-11) your perimeter offense becomes an inefficient, unlovely slog.
Everyone gets to see Darko perform one of his signature moves: the inspired, kinetic first quarter followed by a gentle, balmy three-quarter drift back to mediocrity. Everybody watches as your power forwards get twisted into gummy little knots by Antawn Jamison’s old man craft. The nation looks on in horror as Wayne Ellington airballs a wide-open corner three, squandering a brilliant Ricky Rubio skip pass. The basketball world gets treated to a vintage Samardo Samuels/Nikola Pekovic garbage-time wrestling match.