I didn’t watch the NBA All-Star Game this evening; it was on TNT, and I’m both too cheap to get cable and too lazy to go out to watch an exhibition game. All-Star weekend has never really been my thing, anyway: I like a defense-free dunkfest as much as the next person, but at the end of the day, I’d rather watch a game where we actually care who wins.

One good thing about the All-Star break, however, is that it provides people a chance to take a breath and take measure of the season so far. By most accounts, it’s been one of the best seasons in years: teams are starting to run the fast break again, scoring is up, the Lakers have broken up, and Lebron James continues to exceed the ridiculously high expectations everyone has piled onto him. These are all reasons for celebration, and the Malice in Auburn Hills aside, most basketball fans are having a grand ol’ time.

So why am I so depressed? Mostly because the Blazers, in the midst of league-wide plenty, are suffering through their worst season in more than twenty years. It was clear coming into training camp that it was going to be a tough year: the roster was heavy on power forwards and light on shooters, some players were waiting to be traded or for their contracts to run out, others were just trying to stay out of trouble (and in the case of now ex-Blazer Qyntel Woods, failing). What we didn’t count on, though, was a rash of injuries that completely threw off what little continuity and chemistry the team had, leaving the Blazers to plod through what looks to be a .400 season and the fans to wait for the team to declare a full-on “blow up the team and rebuild” phase.

Last year, when things started going south for the Blazers (my original home team), I took some solace in the fact that at least the Timberwolves (my current home team) were rocking. This year, there is no such comfort for me. Much has been made of Latrell Sprewell’s attitude problem, but from what I can see, he’s still much better behaved than he ever was in New York; his real problem is the fact that he’s a year older and a step slower than the defender and slasher who was a key component in the Wolves’ playoff run. Sam Cassell is faring even worse, his body crumbling into dust before our very eyes. The re-insertion of matadors Wally Szczerbiak and Troy Hudson into the lineup hasn’t helped the team’s defense, either. That lack of defense has taken a team that was expected to contend for a title and left them hovering around .500, without a head coach (after Flip Saunders was dismissed), and trying to figure out how they’re going to sneak back into the playoffs.

So both of my teams are stuck in mediocrity, and I’ve been reduced to the most abject, pathetic state a basketball fan can find himself in: jumping on bandwagons. Hey, how ’bout them Suns?