Forget the playoffs: Would any of these NBA teams even qualify for a bowl?
Sure, the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers are tearing it up in the Eastern Conference this year. But have you glanced at that conference’s Atlantic Division lately? It’s pretty pathetic, with not one team playing anywhere near .500.
The Boston Celtics lead the way with a less-than-stellar 8-12 record, and it only gets worse from there. The Philadelphia 76ers are nipping at their heels with a relatively "impressive" 7-12 start. The Toronto Raptors appear to be a "bubble" team at 6-11. The woeful Brooklyn Nets are a lowly 5-13. And then we hit the bottom of the barrel, where the hapless New York Knicks reside at a miserable 3-13.
So that’s 8-12, 7-12 and 6-11? Yikes. Only in the Atlantic Division will those kinds of records get you into the postseason — unless of course you’re a college football team! In that world, simply hovering somewhere close to .500 nearly guarantees you’ll go bowling.
If the bowl system applied to the NBA, here’s where we’d send the teams in the Atlantic Division … assuming that any one of them can ever get back to .500 again:
New York Knicks: Belk Bowl
Carmelo Anthony and Co. are in a complete tailspin, and things look very ugly. Fortunately, Belk sells some nice-looking clothes. The Knicks could take comfort in that, and in an invitation to that bowl. In the real world, some projections have the North Carolina Tar Heels heading to the Belk Bowl, but even that team is 6-6 this year. New York would take Belk all day long, and they’d say thank you for making them look a little better than this "defensive" exchange. (Psst, Amar’e Stoudemire: Turn around.)
Brooklyn Nets: San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Toronto Raptors: Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Philadelphia 76ers: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl
Boston Celtics: Pinstripe Bowl