I hate it when an eyelash gets stuck in my eye. The pain isn't unbearable, but it's very insistent. And it's just so close to me, unlike a sprained ankle or a stubbed toe -- which are all the way on the other side of my body. An eyelash in my eye is right in my face. Impossible to ignore. But when I finally get the eyelash out, there's only one word to describe the feeling: relief. And it's simply astounding what a powerful word relief can be. It's not as strong as desire, or as stirring as anger. It's not as paralyzing as fear, nor as soothing as peace. But relief at the end of pain can be just as all-encompassing as any of those.
And that's how I feel about the NBA season. I'm filled with relief. There hasn't even been a game to enjoy yet, and I'm relieved. Just going through some national stories that focus on previewing the season contributed to the relief I'm experiencing as I contemplate another 82 plus games of Spurs basketball. So let me share some of that writing with you.
First, there's Hardwood Paroxysm's preview, the whole thing is great since they have four guys looking at each team from a variety of angles. Really the entire league's preview is worth taking the time to peruse, but my favorite line in the whole thing was:
If there's a certainty in the Spurs' circles, it's that they will continue to reload around their aging superstars as long as they can, and likely finish the regular season with a home-court series or three in the Western Conference playoffs. They raid Europe like a Viking, better than any other ball club in the NBA.
Second, it's SBNation's Festivus, written by Tom Ziller. He organizes his profiles into sections with these fun Seinfeld-related titles, "Feats of Strength" and "Airing of Grievances", etc.
Were we as NBA observers smart, we would stop predicting what in God's name the San Antonio Spurs would do any given year. But we are weak in modesty and healthy in confidence that we can sort of the kernels of truth from the institutional bluster, that we can surmise whether Manu Ginobili will be all-powerful or mortal any given season, whether Gregg Popovich will coach to win everything or to win in the end.
There's the Spurs offseason preview written my SBNation's Mike Prada. There wasn't a ton of movement in San Antonio as far as trades and acquisitions were concerned (as I understand it, the Spurs were the only team to NOT make a trade over the summer) but this is a great place to bookmark to have the rest of the league's details at your fingertips.
Zach Lowe (late of SI's The Point Forward, but now writing for Grantland) has a rating of the NBA's "tiers of success" which sounds iffy until you get to this bit about the Spurs:
This team outscored opponents by an unthinkable 15 points per 100 possessions over 30-plus games last season, per NBA.com's stats database. That kind of dominance earns some preseason respect...
Lowe also contributed to Grantland's NBA Shootaround, which I include to remind you that even if the league's scribes are giving San Antonio props, they still know how to ignore the Spurs when it comes to silly predictions.
Isn't that a relief?