Team USA’s Blue vs. White scrimmage was less of an organized basketball game and more of a glorified game of pick-up. It was fairly similar to the NBA All-Star game, except that game might actually featured more defense.
In theory, the scrimmage should be entertaining – it’s a gathering of some of the world’s best players dunking and scoring to their heart’s desires. In practice, however, the scrimmage loses its luster after about the fifth dunk. We marvel at in-game dunks and dimes because they’re uncommon, a break from the mundane. But, in these settings, dunks are the norm. When everything is a highlight, nothing is a highlight. Death is the mother of beauty, etc.
However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some exciting moments in the game. Being that the players have free reign to basically do whatever, they get to attempt things they normally wouldn’t in a real game. Blake Griffin’s one of the more advanced ball handlers at his position, yet it’s fair to say he probably wouldn’t attempt this move so casually during the season.
Victor Oladipo’s dunk, meanwhile, isn’t so rare. He had a few tasty slams this past NBA season, and this was just as good as any of them.
And then there was Klay Thompson’s nutmeg of DeMar DeRozan before tossing an alley-oop.
Klay’s got good handles, but trying this in a game would probably get turn Steve Kerr’s face red because it’d likely result in a turnover. Here, though, it’s the perfect setting for Klay to try it without fear of repercussion, and the result is just lovely.
This was a bittersweet reprieve from the doldrums of the NBA offseason. It wasn’t quite basketball, but it was just enough to make us jones for the start of the season.