So after days of blazing heat in Southern California, it has cooled off with a vengeance. Weather.com's hourly forecast puts temperature at tip-off at 68 degrees with a 15mph breeze, but I suspect it will feel a heck of a lot chillier and windier out in the desert.
What does this mean for the game?
A 15mph wind is certainly going to add a degree of difficulty to the long ball that most players aren't used to. And players will be spending a lot of time in warm-ups. I'm curious to see how cooler temperatures affect ball-handling and on-court demeanor. In other sports, players have the option of additional undergarments to keep themselves warm. Basketballers? Not so much. It's tank tops and shorts. Maybe they'll serve some kind of Gatorade cider on the sidelines.
And Phoenix Stan has a point: why are we excited about this? I bought my tickets to the game when they were on pre-sale, so count me among the geeked, but it IS just a pre-season game. Outdoors. At night. I had hoped for an afternoon tip-off to give it a more authentic outdoor feel. And maybe next time, the NBA considers making it an even more outdoorsy streetball-y affair by splitting the squads into 5 or 6-man rosters that play to 11 and own the court until they are defeated. Then we'd be talking about something special. Despite the relative banality of watching "only" a pre-season game, I am stoked to get my first look at the new-look Suns.
And the game has been officially dubbed the Autotrader.com Open. I understand that EVERYTHING that can be named after a sponsor will be named after a sponsor, but really? Autotrader.com? How uncool is that? Especially in Indian Wells where the autotrader ads consist of the following three items: Old people's used Lincolns and meth addicts' half-built off-road pick-ups and street-racing rice-burners. Thank you for lowering the bar, NBA Sponsorship Division.
Check back later for updates and a re-cap assuming Phoenix Stan and I don't end up hocking our laptops for gambling money at one of the Coachella Valley's finer wagering establishments.