The NBA has been pretty blah lately and I can’t be the only one out there moaning and groaning about it.

Even the most hardcore NBA fan has to acknowledge the product on the court, especially recently, has been about as appetizing as a Los Angeles bagel to a New Yorker. Sure, it’s edible. But it really sucks subjecting yourself to something so inferior when you’re used to the best.

Too many injuries, too many blowouts, and too crazy of a schedule had the NBA sputtering through March and wobbling into early April. If we’re being real here, the March 25th trade deadline—that turned out to be almost as poppin’ as Paul Pierce getting a Friday night cut—is the only thing that’s felt fresh and fun around the Association in weeks, if not months. 

Arguably the biggest reason why that’s been the case is the lack of available alphas. Considering the NBA is the most star-driven league out of the major North American sports, the absences of so many All-Stars, future Hall of Famers, and living legends continues to water down the product. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, and Joel Embiid have missed a ton of games with significant injuries (AD and KD having sat out a combined 59 games so far this season) while the Nets’ Big Three have only appeared in seven (?!?!) games together. Overall, seven out of our 10 players we identified as the NBA’s best before the season tipped in December—LeBron, KD, AD, Steph Curry, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and Embiid—have missed 107 combined games entering Tuesday’s action. And let’s not forget we just lost everybody’s favorite new player, LaMelo Ball, to a fractured wrist in the middle of his revelatory rookie campaign. The league desperately needs these guys back to give the regular-season a major jolt.