The Spurs, the Grizzlies, and the Pleasures of the Old Man Game

The first round of the N.B.A. playoffs is always a smorgasbord of basketball pleasures. The talent level is so high. Everyone is playing hard, and egos are on the line. The sheer abundance of it—multiple games each day, most of them shown on regular cable—is a shock to the casual fans who have not been wired into N.B.A. League Pass. This year’s playoffs promise several dramatic story lines: the prospect of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors meeting again in the Finals for the third time in as many years; the James Harden-Russell Westbrook M.V.P. race embodied in the first-round Oklahoma City-Houston series like some kind of prank; Kevin Durant as the nexus of so many fractured subplots that he should win the award for Most Shakespearean Player (M.S.P.). For me, though, there is special pleasure in a more esoteric strain of this year’s playoffs: the players who have mastered the art of the Old Man Game.查看全文

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