Restoring the Glory: A Modern-Day New York Knicks Dynasty (DDS:PB)
Note: This is using the default rosters in DDS:PB. Any trades, signings, etc. after that have not occurred.
It's strange. My favorite team is the Boston Celtics, yet I've never done a dynasty with them. Perhaps someday I will.
In any case, that's not with this story is about. This story is about me, Jestor, trying to sort out the quagmire that is the current-day New York Knicks and restore them to a brilliant luster.
It's often been cited as the single most difficult challenge in the NBA, one that'll take at least 2-3 years, if not more, to fix.
In other words, something even more challenging than what a certain Mr. Arcadia went through as GM of the expansion Timberwolves.
I'm not sure what format the dynasty is going to take and whether or not I'll introduce any story elements into it. My guess is, the story and the eventual role-played aspects will create themselves.
But let's get rolling, shall we?
Late June 2007
My birthday was on the 16th and I received the most wonderful present possible: I was named GM of the New York Knicks. How did I get it? Well, the firm the Knicks hired to rehabilitate their image decided it'd be a fun idea to hold a raffle where everyone and anyone could put their name in and whoever had their ticket drawn would be named the new Knicks GM for a single season.
A single season because the team knew damned well they'd wind up with some joker winning it and they were right. A real Jestor like me was the lucky man. (Yes I'm an English major and yes I know it's jester, but allow the pun, okay?)
See, the idea is that they're going to generate a lot of publicity and comedy factor by having me as the GM for one year before they ship me off back to whatever I was doing before.
But I don't intend to have it play out like that.
I plan on staying around.
So the first order of business is a wholesale firing of the coaching staff. Bye-bye Isiah. Bye-bye Herb Williams, Dan Hanners and Mark Aguirre. This is gonna be Jestor's hand-picked coaching team!
$6.27 million goes in the red category, $5 million of it to that team-destroyer Isiah. Oh well. The renewed interest in this potentially blue-chip franchise will be well worth it.
In fact, the papers and the blogosphere the next day lauds my ballsy move, with long-suffering Knicks fans saying it was long overdue.
The coaching pool has Old Man Wanderer Larry Brown, former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, who by the way was the last successful coach for this franchise, Rick Carlisle and Rudy Tomjanovich as the biggest names.
I'm really tempted to bring back Van Gundy, but on the other hand, why ruin the magic of the previous Van Gundy Knicks era? Brown's too old, Carlisle can't develop and I don't want Rudy T because he's won rings. I want a guy who's hungry.
So after some more looking around, I settle on Doug Collins. Although I'd like somebody new, he's a proven NBA head coach, with respectable strategy and developmental talents. I'm not a fan of his strong veteran preference or his lack of defensive intensity, but it's not like the Knicks played defense before this anyhow.
In any case, he'll be a good stopgap measure, so I offer him $1.5 million a year for 2 years to come babysit this squad as the head coach.
He toys with us, not accepting right away, as is the case with the rest of our targets. Shortly thereafter, however, we grab our 1st, 2nd and 3rd assistant coaches, so Mr. Collins knows what kind of staff he has to work with.
But he refuses our generous offer and says there's no way in hell he'll coach so terrible a team as the Knicks. So we're forced to go with our secondary option, 60 year-old Mike Montgomery.
Yes, that Montgomery, the one with the twin 34-48 records in Golden State and who was brilliant as the head coach at Stanford. Let's hope moving from coast to coast will spark a fire under him.
The 2007-08 New York Knicks Coaching Staff
Yeah, Montgomery and O'Neill are the only guys I have any familiarity with who the hell they are, but Sanders and Sterner have reputations for player development, which is a focus of this entire staff.
The draft is up next and we've got the #2 overall pick, which everyone and their mother says we're going to use on Kevin Durant.
If you'd just given Isaiah five or six more years, he would have righted the ship...I know it!!! ;)
Well it's not like he could've got it any more dead in the water. Wow, there's some truly garish contracts here. :D
Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. The two big, big names at the top of the draft. After them, there's, well, everybody else.
I'm seriously jonesing for the man among boys, Oden, but unless the Toronto Raptors brass goes on a cocaine binge the night before the draft, that's not going to happen.
Besides, our head coach is absolutely convinced that Eddy Curry of the god awful contract and hyper-inflated statistics can be the answer in the middle. Yeah, okay. Whatever you say, Mike.
Actually, I would seriously love to trade this entire roster. Everyone is ridiculously overpaid and that includes Steve "Never Was The Franchise" Francis and Stephon "Starbury" Marbury, who have a weird liking for just because I love the Starbury nickname.
In fact, Curry might just be the best value, at least in the eyes of the current coaching staff. ...I begin to see why the scribes and fans were all aghast at Mike Montgomery's hiring.
But on the other hand, even if Mike duplicates 34 wins like he did in Golden State, that's still 11 more wins than the team managed last year. Pathetic, no?
So anyway, on to the rookie workuts. 15 invites, eh? I'm definitely inviting the player I have a secret man-crush on in this draft and some second-round type guys. Hell, we'll work out Durant and Oden too, why not?
I'm laughing in the war room on draft night, because one analyst says Oden's a once in a lifetime player and another analyst says the Raptors are going with Durant because they need a small forward. Nice way to cover your asses there, guys.
The coke dealer I sent to Canada must've gotten held up in customs or got busted or something, because Toronto takes Oden. Boo! You whores!
Things are getting hot in the war room. Mike and his boys are begging me to please, please, -please- take Durant. And honestly, it'd be a safe pick. The kid's only 18 and he can flat out score. The scouts think he's a great character kid and one who will bust his butt, too.
But he's only a mediocre defender and honestly we have enough guys that can put points on the board and are fair or worse defenders.
I ignore the anguished screams of the scouts and coaches as I reach for the phone and prepare to play Let's Make A Deal. Hell, I'm only here for a year if this doesn't pan out and if it does work out, I look like a genius, so screw the rest of these guys.
I ring up the Bobcats and offer them a very advantageous deal for them to take Jamal Crawford's ugly contract off of our hands if they want to move up and take Durant. They won't bite.
The Hawks are momentarily interested, but the player I propose to make the salary cap work would hurt them too much at a position, so we do some more talking only for them to pull the same crap about not taking Crawford's salary! Bastards! I hate you all!
Okay, so I'm stuck with Crawford. I get that. But I still want to get out of this Durant deathtrap.
I work the phones some more and eventually strike a deal with the Portland Trailblazers!
Portland Trailblazers receive:
PG Steve Francis
#2 pick in this draft
New York Knicks receive:
C Raef LaFrentz
SF Darius Miles
#4 pick in this draft
Portland Trailblazers 2009 1st round pick
What this means for Portland:
A huge upgrade to their backcourt, as The Franchise can step in at the point. He also gives them a 3rd scoring option alongside Zach Randolph and Brandon Roy. Their offense gets even better with the selection of Kevin Durant. In one fell swoop, the Trailblazers have made themselves a lot better in an always tough Western Conference, both immediately and for the future.
What this means for New York:
Strange deal salarycap wise. They go from $16 and $17 million the next two years to $20 and 22 million, with an extra $9 million for a third year of Miles. LaFrentz figures to back up Eddy Curry and Channing Frye at C and PF respectively and is a huge improvement over cap monster Jerome James. Miles is the probable starting SF, as Francis's departure means Jamal Crawford will take over the SG spot. The real key to this surprising trade is the 2009 1st round pick, but judging how good the Traiblazers are likely to be as a result of this swap, it may be little more than a late 1st rounder.
All right, so it looks like I got fleeced there. Big deal. It's worth it just to have Francis off the books, even we do end up taking more total money.
While Portland fans are celebrating the selection of Durant, Charlotte fans are weeping as Bickerstaff takes a no-name in SG Ronald Stuckey out of Eastern Washington, who had a glitzy 24.6 PPG average and that's about it. Evidently the Bobcats were feeling depressed about screwing themselves out of Durant and went with a poor man's version of him so poor, it's like saying Oasis is a poor man's version of the Beatles. (Oasis fans, please direct your flaming hatred elsewhere.)
So now it's our turn again and the analysts are absolutely clueless as to what Mr. Raffle Winner GM (that's me) is going to do. One of the guys suggests PF Brandan Wright.
Interesting idea, but no. And it's not going to be the player I have a man crush on, either.
It's going to be........
PG Acie Law from Texas A&M
Before the boo birds rush in and shock echoes throughout the arena, let me get in a quick word here. We need a pass first PG, one who's got the intangibles and work ethic to really be a playmaker in this league. I love Starbury's nickname, but the man's a SG masquerading as a PG.
Surprisingly, one of the talking heads actually likes the pick okay. He argues that Law has the skillset needed to be a legitimately talented starting PG in this league and that while it was early, he definitely fills a need in New York. Thank you, Mr. Analyst!
2007 NBA Draft 1st Round
1. C Greg Oden - Toronto Raptors
2. SF Kevin Durant - Portland Trailblazers
3. SG Rodney Stuckey - Charlotte Bobcats
4. PG Acie Law - New York Knicks
5. PF Julian Wright - Atlanta Hawks
6. SF Jeff Green - Minnesota Timberwolves
7. C Spencer Hawes - Boston Celtics
8. PF Brandan Wright - Houston Rockets
9. PF Al Horford - Golden State Warriors
It's with the #10 pick that the player I most want out of this class gets talked up as a possible selection. I go into panic mode and offer the Supersonics the 2009 1st rounder I just acquired from Portland for the #10 selection and Seattle's 2nd rounders in 2008 and 2009.
They cheerfully accept and it's with a great sigh of relief that I take....
PF Joakim Noah - Florida
Yes, yes, hate on him all you want and say he's not going to be that good a pro, but I loved watching him in the NCAA tournament. He plays with passion, and with fire and I think he's going to be a damned good NBA player. Plus, our coaching staff thinks he has lockdown defender type potential and that's one thing this bunch of Knicks shooters sorely needs.
10. PF Joakim Noah - New York Knicks
There's still one more player to get, incidentally. My man, my fellow hometown Racinian, SF Caron Butler and I don't care what it takes to pry him from the Wizards.
Washington Wizards receive:
SF Quentin Richardson
SG Mardy Collins
SF Renaldo Balkman
New York Knicks receive:
SF Caron Butler
What this means for the Wizards:
Washington just lost one of its top three offensive threats and one giant, giant contract. Richardson's deal is much more cap-friendly than Butler's and Collins could turn into a defensive specialist. The real key to this trade for Washington, however, is Balkman. If he develops to his potential, he could become a significant source of offense a few years down the road.
What this means for the Knicks:
The Raffle GM Jestor, like Butler, calls Racine, WI his hometown and both attended Racine Park High School and even had an overlapping year or two where both were present (Jestor is a 1997 graduate). Butler's contract may be for four years and balloon pretty quickly, but he's a scorer and replaces the recently dealt Steve Francis in the scoring triangle along with Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry. He's also a high-quality defender, with the potential to get even better. Ballhandling is the weak point in his game, but Butler's another hard worker who fits in with the new-look Knicks Jestor is quickly building and the unquestioned new starter at SF.
Winner: New York
Okay, -now- I'm content. Got my shiny new PG of the future, the player I wanted most in this draft and Caron. *does a celebratory jig in the War Room*
11. SF Corey Brewer - Orlando Magic
12. SG Brad Newley - New Orleans Hornets
13. PF Yi Jianlian - Philadephia 76ers
14. PG Mike Conley - Utah Jazz
15. PG Javaris Crittenton - Milwaukee Bucks
16. PF Josh McRoberts - Chicago Bulls
17. SG Morris Almond - Indiana Pacers
18. PF Jason Smith - Washington Wizards
19. SF Al Thornton - Sacramento Kings
20. PG Gabe Pruitt - Denver Nuggets
21. PF Tiago Splitter - Los Angeles Lakers
22. SG Nick Young - Los Angeles Clippers
23. C Sean Williams - Memphis Grizzlies
24. PG Ramon Sessions - New Jersey Nets
25. SF Thaddeus Young - Cleveland Cavaliers
26. SG Sammy Mejia - Miami Heat
27. SF Glen Davis - Phoenix Suns
28. SG D.J. Strawberry - Dallas Mavericks
29. C Marc Gasol - San Antonio Spurs
30. PG Jared Jordan - Detroit Pistons
Damn. I was hoping Gasol would fall to us in the second round, but the Spurs snatched him, much to the furious disbelief of the talking heads.
Haha! I snicker when our second round pick comes along, because the analysts think I'm going to trade it away! As one of them commented, "The Raffle GM has already struck two deals in New York, why not a third as well?"
It's not worth moving around the second round, so I take SG Alando Tucker out of Wisconsin to continue the personal home state motif started with the Butler trade. This time no one agrees with the pick, but I don't care. Tucker works his ass off and I think he's better than people give him credit for.
If he doesn't pan out, so what? He's a bleeping 2nd round pick.
First look at the players immediately following the draft reveals the following tenative depth chart:
PG Stephon Marbury
SG Jamal Crawford
SF Caron Butler
PF David Lee
C Eddy Curry
6th Darius Miles (SG/SF/PF)
7th Channing Frye (SF/PF/C)
8th Joakim Noah (SF/PF/C)
9th Acie Law (PG/SG)
10th Nate Robinson (PG)
11th Jared Jeffries (SF/PF)
12th Raef LaFrentz (PF/C)
We're almost $40 million over the cap and we have just one contract we can renounce, that of 33 year old C Kelvin Cato for $1.2 mill and change. Needless to say, we'll be doing that.
Frye is looking like great trade bait right about now. There's no way I can deal Lee, as he's our best defender by far. I'm ashamed to admit that Law is looking like a real bust right now and Tucker appears to have absolutely no ceiling. On the other hand, first impressions of Noah are that he'll grow into an extremely solid PF in time.
So yeah, thus far my first offseason is looking... iffy to say the least. We've got a glut of players (16), most of whom aren't moveable and I've made the Portland Trailblazers a hell of a lot better. Unless we start showing some major improvement on the court, I may have just blown my chances of getting hired on for a second season. They're already ready to crucify me over not drafting Durant.
Oh well, at least the Wizards aren't in too great a shape either.
Gorgeous weather out today.
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood as I renounce our rights to Kelvin Cato and do some more bush-beating to hunt up another deal.
I'm principally looking for another PG, because I want to hedge our bets in case Acie Law does turn out a bust and because I want to get Nate Robinson off this team.
The Charlotte Bobcats oblige.
Charlotte Bobcats receive:
PG Nate Robinson
C Channing Frye
C Randolph Morris
New York Knicks receive:
PG Raymond Felton
Charlotte Bobcats 2010 2nd round pick
What this means for the Bobcats:
Frye is the key to this deal, as he gives Charlotte a promising young starting C to pair with Emeka Okafor in the frontcourt. Robinson will get significant minutes at the backup PG spot and plenty of opportunity to develop his raw potential that he wasn't going to get in New York. Morris is a throwaway.
What this means for the Knicks:
Felton becomes the new 6th man and represents a major upgrade in that area for the Knicks. He's much more polished than Acie Law, New York's boneheaded #4 selection and provides insurance in the high likelihood Law turns out a bust. The heir apparent to Stephon Marbury at the point, who could turn into a real gamer. There's still a rookie option available on him and the Knicks front office would be wise to take advantage. The deal also gives New York 14 players, so they've got space to add a body in free agency and some major playing time just got opened up for rookie Knicks front office favorite Joakim Noah.
Summer League Play
PG Acie Law
PG Raymond Felton
SG Alando Tucker
PF David Lee
PF Joakim Noah
SG Bracey Wright
C Jared Reiner
SG Will Blalock
C Brian Cusworth
SF Ersan Illyasova
PG Marques Clayton
SF Andre Owens
Memphis 94 New York 88
Tough loss, but Joakim Noah won Player of the Game with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and 2 steals. Unfortunately he also had 4 turnovers. Raymond Felton look okay at the point, with 13 points, 3 assists and 3 turnovers. Quietly good game by Alando Tucker with 8 points, 4 assists and 2 steals.
New York 117 Detroit 75
Joakim Noah wins his second straight Player of the Game award with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a block and steal. Just 2 turnovers this game. Jared Reiner had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Raymond Felton continutes to outplay Acie Law, this time with 14 points and 4 assists against 2 turnovers. Law did have 3 steals, though. Alando Tucker exploded for 19 points and 6 assists and I'm thinking we need to sign him, but I want to see how he plays out the rest of the league first. Bracey Wright followed up a 10 point performance from the bench the first game with 14 tonight and I'm starting to think maybe he deserves a closer look.
L.A. Lakers 83 New York 93
Holy cow! Raymond Felton erupted this game for 28 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals! Joakim Noah added 16 points, David Lee just shy of double-double with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Acie Law had 5 assists with no turnovers and he's looking like a guy who can make passes, but not score.
Portland 96 New York 100
Kevin Durant drops 26 points on us to go with his 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, but we gut out the win on 25 points from David Lee, 12 and 8 assists from Raymond Felton and 18 bench points from Andre Owen.
Miami 92 New York 79
Our win streak comes to an end despite Raymond Felton winning PotG with 22 points, 3 assists and a rebound. It looks like grabbing Felton may have been the best deal I've made all offseason.
And that's all she wrote as far as the summer league goes.
We finish 3-2, which is a winning record at least. I go ahead and sign Alando Tucker to a 2 year deal. It's chump change, especially if he can turn into something.
It's a dull market, with the top players being guys like Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis and an over himself Grant Hill and an equally ancient Chris Webber. Still, I find a rebounder I really like in C Jamaal Magloiree and I offer him our low exemption. There's nobody here worth a mid-level exemption in my book.
I lose out on Magloire after the Pistons get high on something and offer him a 4 year, $24.7 million deal. Yeah, no way I'm paying a guy over $6 mill a year to grab rebounds. Sheesh!
There's really not much left, but I put an offer out to C Chris Mihm anyway, the low exception of course.
Jerry Stackhouse goes to the 76ers for 2 years and $13 mill on the same day that Chris Webber signs with the Magic for a year and $7.7 mill. Nice move by Orlando for the one year rental.
Grant Hill treks up to Milwaukee for $6.7 mill and a year. Hell, I'd love to have seen him play in a Bucks uniform in real life. I'd have even gone to the Bradley Center to watch him play. The Spurs continue to collect project big men by signing Dorko, I mean Darko, to a cost-efficient 2 year, $1.6 mill. deal. No, that's not a typo. San Antonio gets him for $800k a year. A steal if he pans out.
Chris Mihm tells us to get hosed and signs the low exemption with Phoenix. Whatever. I didn't really want him anyway.
I pick up the rookie option on Raymond Felton and need to think about whether or not to pick up the option on David Lee. My initial inclination is no, because sure he can rebound and play D, but he can only play PF and he's roadblocking Joakim Noah from taking over the starting spot.
So I take another look and decide, nope I'm not going to pick up David Lee's rookie option.
Training camp ensues, during which Raymond Felton wrests away the starting SG spot from Jamal Crawford, Acie Law looks like he might have more potential than we first though, Joakim Noah less.
I send Alando Tucker down to the D-League, because he's honestly not going to get much in the way of PT as the 12th man in New York. So he'll go play for the Tulsa Tejanos until further notice instead.
Renaldo Balkman and Mardy Collins are D-Leaguers as well, I notice, as is Randolph Morris. Wow, we had some real scrubs on this team, eh? The Spurs sent down Marc Gasol to the D-League, too.
...Interesting. Alando Tucker is listed as the starting PG for the Tejanos. Mardy Collins and Renaldo Blackman starting at PG and SF respectively for the Dakota Great Apes. I see another mancrush of mine, Gerry McNamara, is the starting PG for Fort Worth. I really should sign him and put him on the Tejanos for life.
Since there doesn't appear to be a 2008 draft file yet, I'm just going to go ahead and kick off the fictional fest. It grates on me to do that, because I'm a historical guy with this series, but so be it.
It appears that the lottery scheme worked, because we've come very close to selling out our season tickets. Hooray for gimmicky marketing!
I'm even more shocked when I take a look at the season preview mags and just about everybody has us picked to win the #5 seed in the playoffs and finish 2nd in the Atlantic behind the Boston Celtics.
Damn it, my owner already has Very Low patience and a Very High desire to win! Don't make it worse, you asshats!
My reign as Knicks GM opens with a 98-84 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, who, don't forget, still have Kevin Garnett in this universe. Eddy Curry destroys the T-Wolves for 24 points and 20 rebounds. :eek: Caron Butler puts 24 on the scoreboard as well. Joakim Noah had a quietly efficient Knicks debut with 8 points and 7 rebounds in 16 minutes.
All five starters score in double digits and David Lee doubles his fun with 16 points and 11 rebounds, but Paul Pierce's 38 points lay the hammer on us and we fall 109-99 to the Celtics in the second game.
The next three games are all losses, where our opponents break triple digits and we don't. Our bench is playing for absolute crap and we're not getting much firepower out of anyone but Caron and Curry.
Eddy Curry makes sure the losing streak doesn't hit five, as he scores 30 point and grabs 14 rebounds with 5 assists in a 103-96 win over the Spurs. Caron Butler and David Lee also had double-doubles with 21 points and 11 rebounds and 14 points and 10 rebounds respectively.
Is this the start of a firestorm? No, because the Rockets beat us by 29 and the Mavericks destroy us by 38 in the next two games. We're looking like a definite lottery team out there.
We beat King James and the Cavs behind Caron's 21 points and double-doubles from David Lee and Eddy Curry of 12 and 10 and 16 and 11. Our bench is really struggling though and Mike Montgomery's lost all confidenc e in our #4 overall pick, Acie Law.
The next two games are a split, as we drop one to the Hawks and topple Toronto, the 88-76 Raptors win thanks to Eddy Curry's 10 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, steal and 2 blocks and some really hard-nosed defense, not to mention balanced scoring.
Is this a win streak? Yes it is! We beat Toronto again in our next contest, 99-91 on the strength of a balanced scoring attack, led by Caron's double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Greg Oden is having a tough first month, as Chris Bosh is cramping his style in a big way.
Atlanta beats us again, ruining our win streak, Eddy Curry's 30 points and two double-doubles: 12 points and 11 rebounds from David Lee and 19 points and 11 assists from Starbury.
We make up for it by closing out the month with a 112-104 victory over the Grizzlies, Eddy Curry scoring 34 and Starbury doubling for the second straight game with 11 points and 16 assists.
After this first month, we're within shouting distance of .500 at 6-8 and we're already looking a lot better than last year's 23-59 team, if the record is any indication. We're tied for third in the Atlantic, 4 games behind the prohibitive East Conference favorite Celtics.
Wow, I forgot how bad the East sucks. There's only 3 teams with records over .500 right now. Compare this to the West, which has 3 teams with winning records per DIVISION, for a total of 9.
I'm not even going to mention our stats right now, except to say that Eddy Curry is far away our best player with 17.7 PPG and 8.5 RPG.
Oh yeah, Kevin Durant leads all rookies in scoring by a huge margin with 17.2 PPG. Closest guy has barely 10, heh.
Not a single trade the first month of play. Interesting.
Ah well, saves me from having to review them.
On to month 2!
We open December with two losses, the latter of which is an absolutely hideous 98-59 loss to the Bobcats. If I wanted to get my ass kicked that bad, I would be off playing CH2K8. At least there I get graphics.
The losing streak stretches to four as Mike Montgomery tries a short bench, long bench, any bench to try and get up out of this quagmire we're suddenly in, but this swamp's looking like it has no bottom. Our first double-double in five or six games comes in loss #4, but it's a weak one as Curry gets 13 points and 10 rebounds.
There's a much stronger double-double from Curry next game against the Wizards at 23 points and 17 rebounds, but Gilbert Arenas sets us ablaze with 49 points and our ashes sink to the neverending swamp's bottom in a 114-92 loss, our fifth in a row.
10 points and 16 rebounds from Mr. Curry in our sixth straight defeat, this time at the hands of the Nuggets. 33 points and 16 rebounds shows Eddy's ready but the rest of the team isn't in our 7th straight loss, the Nets our slayers.
Finally, a bit of recovery in the wound, as we squeak out a 100-98 win over the Pistons. Caron scores 23 points and snags 11 boards. Darius Miles shows rare productivity from the bench with 20 points.
Given the narrowness of the win, the 76ers' 111-74 blowout of us in the next contest doesn't surprise me in the least. Even more embarassing, Jamal Crawford is our leading scorer with 24 points.
He leads again, this time with 17 points, in an even more ridiculous loss, 105-69, to the Jazz.
We actually beat a West Conference team in the next game, downing Dallas 96-86. Eddy Curry comes through with a 22 point, 13 rebound performance, Starbury having fun with 13 points and 12 assists.
The Celtics then naturally beat us 111-104, because to have a winning streak in Knicksland is unacceptable. Curry and Starbury double-double their delightment with a mouth-freshening 16 points and 17 rebounds and 20 points and 11 assists respectively. Too bad our collective orange and blue breath stinks.
Santa brings us a present on Christmas Eve, a 106-92 win over Charlotte, David Lee and Starbury his little helpers with 12 points and 13 rebounds and 16 points and 11 assists. Who would've thought Starbury could actually look like a real, live NBA point guard?
But then we shit a giant lump of coal on Christmas Day, losing to the Magic 93-78. David Lee's nice with 15 points and 10 rebounds, but everybody else is naughty. I'm starting to wonder what this team would look like if I'd have taken Durant after all.
Caron scores 29 and Starbury shoots and passes his way to 22 points and 10 assists, but we still fall to the West's worst team, Minnesota, 99-83.
New Year's Eve will be miserable, as we end 2007 with a hangover inducing 109-86 loss to the Nets despite 26 points from Caron and 25 points from Starbury.
So we sit, down in the Atlantic cellar at 9-21. Suddenly 23-59 looks very grimly possible, perhaps even optimistic. Daylight, where the Celtics are shining on top of the mountain at 17-12, is a lonely 8.5 games away.
Four teams above .500 in the East now (Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Charlotte) and still nine over even in the West.
Eddy's still our best player, averaging 16.6 points and 9.5 rebounds. Be nice if he could average a double-double for the year by season's end, especially with the cash he's making.
We really need a scorer, but I'm fresh out of chips to trade in.
Kobe Bryant is averaging a sickening 35.7 points per game and Gilbert Arenas is flirting with 30 at 29.3. Kevin Durant is down to 14.4 points per game, but still leads rookies. Greg Oden has picked up the pace and is now averaging 11.1 points, second to Durant, with 8.5 rebounds, second to Spencer Hawes of Boston.
Alando Tucker is averaging 10.1 points a game down in Tulsa and his 4.7 assists per game ranks 10th in the D-League. The Tejanos are mid-pack in the East at 7-8, 2.5 games behind the conference-leading Austin Mammoths.
Any trades to report in the past month?
San Antonio Spurs receive:
SF Josh Childress
Atlanta Hawks receive:
PG Brent Barry
San Antonio's 2008 1st round pick
What this means for the Spurs:
Bruce Bowen is 36 and Michael Finley is 34. The Spurs desperately needed a young swingman to fill in the gap when they decline or retire and the 24 year-old Childress fits the bill very nicely. He's more polished than any late 1st round selection next year would be and will be able to step in right away.
What this means for the Hawks:
Childress was in a bad, bad situation in Atlanta. The Hawks have 6 SG/SF types in their early-mid 20s and there was just no room for him in the crowded rotation. Barry gives the Hawks an extra $5.5 million expiring contract to go on top of the $1.7 million space they have now. With a number of other expiring contracts on the roster, Atlanta could position themselves as free agent players this next offseason. The pick is going to be a late 1st, but it's another piece Atlanta can add to their strong youth moment.
Winner: Draw, as both teams win
Hmm, maybe I should see about prying someone loose from the Hawks.
Only on second look, there's nobody I really have any interest in.
Just for the fun of it, I call up Golden State and offer them Eddy Curry and Jamal Crawford for Baron Davis. They actually make like they're interested and I'm thinking this has to be some sort of sick, sick joke. So we continue negotiating until they get cold feet and don't consider Curry a good enough centerpiece when trading away Davis.
All right, no problem. I'll just do some more calling and talking, looking for a deal.
I chat up the Sacramento Kings and we get into some discussions concerning my favorite mercurial player, but it doesn't get anywhere.
Then it's on to the Bulls, who I had some earlier discussions with, but the conversation realy starts heating up this go-round, like on the blockbuster level. And then we pull it off.
New York Knicks receive:
SG Ben Gordon
SF Andres Nocioni
Chicago Bulls 2008 1st round pick
Chicago Bulls 2010 1st round pick
Chicago Bulls receive:
PF David Lee
PG Raymond Felton
C Eddy Curry
What this means for the Knicks:
GM Jestor wanted a scoring star and he got one in Gordon, who's averaging 24.6 points a game. At 24, Gordon's the type of player to build a franchise around and it's highly expected that he'll get a contract extension very soon. Nocioni is on a four year deal, the same as Curry, but it's a much more cap-friendly contract. He'll tenatively figure in as the starting PF in the revamped Knicks lineup. The two 1st round picks will go a long way to deciding how this deal eventually goes. Jestor's favorite, rookie Joakim Noah, now takes over as the starting C.
What this means for the Bulls:
Curry returns to Chicago and his improved play in New York should pay divends. The Bulls' faithful is going to be very antsy about this move, given his checkered history with the team in the past. Fortunately, he won't have to be the starting C, where Big Ben Wallace sits. He'll be able to play against smaller players at PF. Lee becomes the Bulls' 6th man and will provide another huge rebounder alongside Wallace. Felton replaces Gordon as the starting SG. For the Bulls, this trade boils down to how well Curry adjusts to being back in Chicago. The team leads the East with an 18-9 record and with a deal this big, anything less than an NBA Finals appearance is a major disappointment.
Winner: New York, as the Knicks build for the future
I can't believe I hornswaggled the Bulls into taking Curry back. Wow! I'm a little sorry to see Felton go, but you have to give up something to get something and I think Gordon can electrify this team. I'm also thrilled Montgomery's named Noah as the starting C. More PT can only be a good thing.
New year, new-look Knicks, same old losing ways as we drop two straight games, 105-80 to Sacramento and 113-97 to Miami. That's okay, as I figured we were in for a rough patch while the team adjusts to a whole new style of play.
Another loss, this time 95-80 to the Cavaliers. Gordon's scored 20+ points in 2 of his first 3 games in the Orange and Blue and Caron's broken the same total in as many games, but the rest of the offense is really struggling.
The drought breaks in a 104-93 victory over the Trailblazers, as Gordon scores 37 points with 3 assists and 7 rebounds and Joakim gets his first double-double as a starter with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
We lose by 10 in the next game to the Hornets, but Caron scores 26, Ben 27 and I get the feeling we'll be just fine once everybody gets used to playing with each other.
A long break and a long game as we drop one 105-82 to the Bulls. Felton and Curry are thriving in the Chicago offense and all we can muster is 26 points from Gordon and an anemic Nocioni double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. Maybe I was too hasty.
93-79 loss to the Bulls on the home and away. Curry wins Player of the Game with 19 points, 3 assists, 16 rebounds and a steal. Felton scores 20 points. The fans are going to have my head.
I've lost track of how many games in a row it's been, but we lose in excess of 30 to the Raptors. Out of our 76 points, 24 are scored by Gordon, 23 by Jamal Crawford. Nobody else comes close to double-digit points. Ben Gordon is a lonely, lonely young man.
110-98 loss to Houston, despite Gordon's 34 points and a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists from Starbury. This team is starved for offense. Ironic, considering I traded for Ben Gordon precisely to have a scoring star. Caron's been a disappointment in that regard. Or maybe it's that we need a third scoring option. Or maybe better defense.
Hell, at this point, I don't know.
Milwaukee beats us 119-108 next game. At least we broke 100 points. Ben Gordon scored 39 and Starbury doubled with 24 points and 12 assists. Andres Nocioni got hurt and so we actually had to shift Noah over to PF and start Raef LaFrentz at C. Note to self: Draft a new big man with the lottery pick.
114-105, Phoenix beats us. Our offense shows actual signs of life. Gordon plays brilliantly with 41 points, 2 assists, 9 rebounds and 4 steals, but Caron Butler plays just 3 minutes and I'm fearing the worst, because he has no fouls.
Ugh. Caron Butler - Broken leg. Estimated out 36 days. Our season just hit rock bottom.
Our new lineup:
PG Stephon Marbury
SG Ben Gordon
SF Andres Nocioni
PF Darius Miles
C Joakim Noah
More losses, to the Cavs and the Pistons. Joakim Noah with 12 points and 10 rebounds versus Detroit, Ben Gordon with 36 points, 2 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 steals in the same game.
A miracle 106-104 win over the Clippers sends the fans into riots of ecstacy. Gordon ravages the Red and White for 42 points. If we can just get some supporting players around him, I think we could be a very good team.
Or is he my version of Mitch Richmond? Yes, that's a Gabriel Arcadia reference. The full dynasty isn't on these boards, because I didn't transfer all of it over. But you can see the full text here: http://www.operationsports.com/fofc/showthread.php?t=39761
The victory's so cheering that I don't mind the blowout loss against the Nuggets that follows.
And so at month's end, we hold the NBA's worst record at 11-34, but on the bright side, the Chicago Bulls are now a game behind the Detroit Pistons, even if they still own the 2nd best record in the East.
The East's winning records are at five: Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Miami, but the Heat are just barely there at 24-23. The West have 8 winning teams, with the Phoenix Suns scorching everyone at a breathtaking 41-6. They're as good as we are bad.
Caron's injury may have a silver lining. It gives me an excuse to point to when I go up for review before the owner after this year.
Makes me want to consider getting this game. Good writing. I'm following your progress.
Fun game, but very buggy still
You. Can. Say. That. Again.
Dark Cloud: Thank you. :) I'm enjoying this dynasty quite a lot, which says something because normally I'm a historical guy when it comes to text-sims, with the exceptional of baseball, where I go fictional.
MrBug708: MrBug gettin' buggy wit it? :D Yeah, definitely a fun game.
Neon Chaos: That. Again.
You should have taken Jeff Green at 4.
Me too, I'm enjoying following this and it has made me consider getting it several times since I started reading.
Then I remember this point which I've heard from plenty of people...
Fun but flawed, indeed.
I'm enjoying tracking your progress as I try to restore some glory to the Toronto Raptors [now known as the reborn Buffalo Braves].
Good luck -- looks like you'll have some high draft picks to work with.
General Mike: Or anybody but Law, it seems. I'm really disappointed he's not earned more minutes from Montgomery, but maybe it's just my unfortunately chosen head coach.
Eaglesfan27: Glad to hear you're enjoying it! :) And of course, it always makes me glad when people get tempted to or do end up buying games because of my dynasties. To me, that's one of the highest compliments a dynasty writer can receive.
boberot: Glad to have you along! How are you doing with TO? Well, okay, Buffalo. And yeah, I should have some decent draft picks to work with, though the Chicago picks probably won't amount to much.
When your owner asked for your prediction for the season, what did you tell him and how much did you say you would spend?
I told him it'd be a rebuilding year and that he wouldn't have to pay the luxury tax.
He was pissed at me with both answers. :D
One trade from last month.
Orlando Magic receive:
PG Mike Conley
Utah Jazz receive:
Orlando Magic 2008 1st round pick
What this means for the Magic:
Orlando was hurting for quality PG depth after Jameer Nelson, so Conley makes sense in this context. It makes even more sense when you consider that with a 19-26 record, the Magic could still contend for a playoff spot in the East and be out of the lottery.
What this means for the Jazz:
This leaves Utah without a quality backup PG and more importantly, it has the Jazz floundering for youth at the spot. Conley was the heir apparent at PG, but now that doesn't happen. If the pick winds up being a mid-to-late selection, Utah could get senior Matt Dickel out of Illinois or senior Josh Gilbert from Wake Forest in the draft.
Oh by the way, just as a strictly out of character note, is there a way to force game-generated rookies to stay four years in college other than a DDS:CB import? At least I was able to kick out the high-schoolers in the game options.
Anyway, looking at the draft listings, right now the top players are a pair of freshman PFs, Ronny Smith out of LSU (24.6 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 1.3 spg) and Kelvin Moody of Utah (24.9 ppg, 17.1 rpg, 3.0 bpg, 0.8 rpg). Brandon Brooks (SR) is the top PG (#3 overall) and the Utah man is averaging 22.6 ppg, 10.4 apg, 7.7 rpg, 1.2 bpg and 1.5 spg. He's someone we'll definitely be taking a hard look at for our lottery pick in the offseason.
The month opens with a 106-91 loss to the Kings, despite Ben Gordon's magnificient 34 points. Raef LaFrentz in the middle sickens me. The West's best, the Suns, beat us 99-78 the next night and I'm lonely for Caron.
Another West team, another loss, this one a 120-93 blowout to the Jazz. Most noteworthy stat of that game: Deron Williams comes close to embarassing us triple-double style, but we stop him short at 39 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds, 2 steals thrown in for good measure.
A sunbeam peeks through the gloomy cloud of our season as we topple the Heat 105-97. Ben Gordon takes over on offense and defense, with 38 points and 7 assists to go with 3 steals and other miscelleanous stats. Darius Miles put in 15 points from the bench in a too-rare demonstration of offense from our subs.
We go right back to losing, 109-104 to the Celtics. At least we're in a position where we can compete with our fellow teams in the East and all we need is the right pick or two to break through. It's all Ben again, with 42 points, 2 assists and 7 rebounds, but in the end, it's just not enough, not even with Starbury's sidekick 24 points and 8 assists.
Two straight losses to East teams in Charlotte and Philly, neither of which are really close. So much for my competitive theory. Against the Bobcats, Ben's Player of the Game again with 34 points and Joakim Noah double-doubles with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Gordon's golden again against the 76ers, winning his umpteenth Player of the Game with 45 points, but no other Knick scores double-digits in the 105-86 drubbing.
The Gordon magic continues with another PotG performance of 36 points, 4 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals against the Bucks and Joakim Noah and Andres Nocioni actually score 17 and 14 respectively, but 6 Milwaukee players in double-figures, including Michael Redd's 37 points, dooms us to a 112-103 loss.
And so we're 12-41 heading into the All-Star break, still the NBA's worst team record-wise. The second-worst is the New Orleans Hornets at a dismal 15-38. Misery loves company or at least I do.
The All-Star contests go by too fast for me to see anything, but Quincy Douby won something or the other. (Suggestion to Gary: Provide box scores for the All-Star contests as well, not just the games.)
Joakim Noah gets snubbed and so we have no representation at the Rookies-Sophomores game, which is won 90-85 by the first-years. Kevin Durant trumps everyone with 20 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, a block and 3 steals in winning MVP. More reminders in the local press about how he could have been a Knick. Greg Oden, by the way, doubled his delightment with 11 points and 15 rebounds. 2 blocks, too.
Still, we aren't totally left without All-Star glitter. Ben Gordon gets selected to the East team, as I expected. What I didn't expect is that he wouldn't get to play a single damned minute. What a crock! The East pulls off the 122-98 upset on Dwayne Wade's 26 point, 12 assist masterpiece, but I'm too pissed to care.
The #9 scorer in the whole NBA at 27.4 points a game and you don't even throw him a few minutes in the All-Star Game?!
It turns out to be a blessing in disguise. The New York media and the fans are so outraged at the incident that they start writing editorials and letters in support of my having the wisdom and intelligence to get Gordon, a legitimate All-Star who deserved to play. More evidence for the Keep Jestor Hired file.
Detroit leads the East by a wide margin and it gets wider after they drop us 113-85. Starbury scores 11 and dishes out 13 assists, which was nice, but Gordon's 30+ streak ended with 22 points and, more embarassingly, we had two starters score 0 points. The goose-eggers were Andres Nocioni and Joakim Noah. I knew my boy Noah was going to struggle on offense, but Nocioni has been a bust in the orange and blue.
Sweet revenge against the 76ers, a 102-94 home win engineered by Gordon's 29 points and Starbury's 20. Darius Miles put up 15 points from the bench and he's gradually, quietly earned more and more of the coaching staff's trust.
A winning streak, an actual winning streak! Ben Gordon is the unstoppable force with 37 points and 10 rebounds in a 100-80 slaying of Indiana. Starbury is the second man with 12 points and 11 assists, while Jamal Crawford scores 19 to lead the reserves.
Unbelievably, we pull off a third straight win, 110-95 victory over the Lakers to end the month. And we do it with just 16 points from Ben. Starbury doubled up with 25 points and 10 assists and the team's two biggest goats, Raef LaFrentz and Andres Nocioni, are positively princely with 22 points and 25 points and 8 rebounds respectively.
It's dizzying, these three consecutive victories. All of a sudden, we're 15-42 and within striking distance of the 16-40 Hornets.
Five +.500 teams in the East at month's end (Boston, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland). The Miami Heat lead the Southeast with a 28-30 record. Talk about embarassing for the conference. Chicago's still solidly the #2 seed, much to my disgruntlement.
Just seven .+500 teams in the West, although the Supersonics and Jazz at both .500 and just miss counting. On the other hand, the Lakers are a surprising 28-27 and in danger of falling into sub-.500 territory.
The Suns are still blistering everyone with a 51-6 record. Kobe Bryant is still king of the scorers at 32.9 points per game, but King James of Lebron is also in the rarefied court of 30+ points at 30.7. Gilbert Arenas stands on the threshold with 29.8 points. Squire Gordon is still flashy and dashy at #9 with 27.3 ppg.
Four players at double-digit assist averages (Steve Nash, Baron Davis, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul), with Jason Kidd almost there at 9.9. 14 players in double-digit average for rebounds and a slew more just below. Yao Ming is the Emperor of the Boards with a 14.4 average and also leads in double-doubles with 49, a comfortable 9 games ahead of second-place Chris Bosh.
But it's Lebron James who leads in the Grandmaster category of triple-doubles, with 2. Others who have pulled off the ultimate feat thus far this season: Kevin Garnett, T.J. Ford of all people, the ancient Derek Fisher, and Gilbert Arenas.
Down on the farm, Alando Tucker leads the Tejanos in scoring and assists with 11.9 and 4.8 (tied for 8th in the D-League) averages respectively. He might get a callup at some point, though he -is- averaging 3 turnovers a game as well, which is slightly worrying.
I'm also tempted to keep him down there because Tulsa's surged to a 20-15 record, good for second in the D-League East and just a half-game behind the Great Apes of Dakota. It'd be exciting to see at least one Knick have actual team-based success.
Just out of curiousity, why isn't Deron Williams on the Jazz?
Looking at the game recaps, he's still there.
Thanks for asking.
The Raptors / Braves are slugging along, just below .500.
I play out almost every game, so I'm just in December.
I wont hedge in on your dynasty, but I drafted Oden who hasn't been special and Chris Bosh is an absolute stud.
Good luck -- I have played against the Knicks and couldn't believe how dangerous this game has made guys like Francis, Starbury and Curry.
Correct, Deron Williams is still on the Jazz. :)
And yeah, boberot, Curry played well for us and last I looked (the last time we played the Bulls), he was fitting in fine back in Chitown.. Starbury's been a better PG than expected. Francis I haven't checked up on.
Trolling and enjoying... good work.
Ah... I was confused by the Jazz needing an heir apparent and youth at PG (after they dealt Conley).
I meant more for the backup PG position. :D Though ironically enough, I just checked and Deron's starting at PG while Derek Fisher is out with an injury.
Quick stat-line for Mr. Williams:
17.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 6.3 apg, 0.1 bpg, 1.3 spg.
He's got a 78/89 passing rating and 52/62 ballhandling rating, so he could be the PG sure, though I'm not sure how that 2.3 A/TO ratio slots in with premiere PGs.
41 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds, a block and 10 steals. :eek: That wizardly ballthievery was in his last game, against Golden State.
At least I don't need to worry about the Ides of March, because this season's already been killed off.
Only trade of last month was a big one in terms of numbers.
Cleveland Cavaliers receive:
SG Mike Miller
Memphis Grizzlies 2008 2nd round pick
PG Daniel Gibson
SG Shannon Brown
SG David Wesley
SF Ira Newble
What this means for the Cavaliers:
Miller's masquerading at PG for the Cavs, even though he's not suited to the role. But that doesn't matter, because what he gives Cleveland is the all-important second scoring option to King James, which is the Cavs' biggest weak link. The 2nd round selection is just sweet, sweet icing.
What this means for the Grizzlies:
The deal boils down to Miller for Gibson, because Memphis released Brown, Wesley and Newble immediately after the trade. Gibson's got some potential, but he's excruitiatingly raw. That said, Memphis is so bad they can make him their 7th man and give him a little more PT. So why dump Miller, an accomplished, in-his-prime scorer for this project? $8.25 mill, $9 mill, $9.75 mill. That's how much Mike's owed over the next three years. By kicking his contract off the books, the Grizzlies are now almost $15 mill. under the cap. Can you say free agent players?
Winner: Both teams benefit, but the Cavaliers improve themselves by a greater degree
We get Caron back before our first game and we welcome him with a painful 92-90 loss to the Magic that snaps our three-game win streak. Can't fault Gordon, though, who scored 39 or Starbury, who had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Starbury loses his starting job for the next game, allegedly due to injury, as we go with a lineup of PG Ben Gordon, SG Andres Nocioni, SF Caron Butler, PF Joakim Noah and C Raef LaFrentz. End result? We beat Golden State 105-87. Gordon double-doubles with 35 points and 11 assists and Caron scores 22.
Could this be the winning combination?
A tough 88-83 loss to the Wizards, still with that new lineup, is showing competitive results, even though Gilbert Arenas puts up a breathtaking 50 points on his quest for 30 ppg average. Caron double-doubled in this one with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Long layoff, larger loss, 105-96 to the Supersonics. Andres Nocioni really is terrible and shouldn't be a starter on ay team, but unfortunately we're stuck with him because nobody wants his contract.
Starbury kicks up a fuss after those two straight losses and wins his starting job back. It works as we top the Heat 108-99 behind Gordon's 29 points and Starbury's 23. Maybe we can even break 20 wins this year, eh?
We split the next pair of games, getting trounced by the Hawks and nipping the Heat again. Joakim Noah goes on a rebounding tear, 21 rebounds against Atlanta, 20 rebounds versus Miami. Wow! Ben Gordon provides the offense in the Miami win with 27 points.
Our jubiliation is somewhat diminished when the Spurs obliterate us 100-70. We got our tails kicked so bad, just two players on the whole team hit double-digit scoring, Caron with 13 and Nocioni with 10.
The 107-106 loss to the Celtics makes my teeth hurt. One stinking point. Gordon scored 34 and Caron doubled with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The potential is definitely there. We need a true C though, one that can shift my boy Noah to his native spot of PF and kick Nocioni to the reserves.
Another two losses, not even close to the Sonics, just 3 points away from the Trailblazers. Gordon scores 31 against Portland and Darius Miles scores 18 from the bench in the same game. I like Miles, I really do. He's a lot better than Jamal Crawford, who's still asininely listed as the 6th man.
The losing streak hits four against Golden State, but we rebound with a thrilling 92-90 win over the Lakers, Kobe's 45 points just not enough to bail out the Purple and Gold. Funny how the Lakers generally do poorly against my first-year teams.
Our chance for Win #20 goes up in flames against the Nets. Ben Gordon was masterful with 37 points, 4 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals, but nobody us really came to play in the 107-91 loss.
So we're 19-52 at month's end. 11 games to get one win to 20. We need 4 more wins out of those 11 to reach 24 wins and beat last year's total.
Five winning teams in the East (Boston, Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago). The Cavs are a game ahead of the Bulls for the 2nd best record in the East at 45-26. Go Cleveland! Washington's a half-game ahead in the Southeast with a 33-38 mark.
Nine victorious teams in the West as they reassert their league dominance. Phoenix is 64-8. 10 games left in which they need to go 9-1 if they want to be single-digit losses for the regular season.
Kobe Bryant still leads in scoring with 32 points even. Gilbert Arenas, no doubt helped in large part by his 50 points against us, is part of the 30+ club at 30.1. King James is down to 29.7 and Michael Redd is at 29 even. I think Lebron will take a sub-30 point per game average in exchange for the much-improved team play since acquiring Miller. Gordon's still #9 at 27.4 points per game.
Alando Tucker is still getting it done in Tulsa, 11.9 ppg and 5 apg, the latter of which is good for 6th in the D-League. The good news for the Tejanos? They're tied with Dakota. The bad news? The Austin Mammoths went on a tear and stand 3 games up on the Great Apes and the Tejanos in the D-League East. I'm not sure how the D-League playoffs work, but if it's just the top two teams in each conference that get to go, Alando's boys better step to it.
I'll leave him in Tulsa for the rest of the season so they have the best shot of making the postseason.
We secure our 20th win of the year by toppling the Bucks 111-104 on April Fool's Day. Ben Gordon has a brilliant all-around game of 39 points, 5 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals, with Joakim Noah doubling up for 12 points and 14 rebounds. Jamal Crawford and Darius Miles provide 14 and 15 points off the bench respectively.
Tough 94-89 loss to the Pacers, as Indiana clamps down on defense. We lose the next two as well, 115-106 to the Nets, 101-96 to the Bulls. Shame we lost the New Jersey game, as Starbury and Noah each got double-doubles, 13 points and 16 assists, 17 points and 14 rebounds respectively.
Against Chicago, Noah had 12 points and 10 rebounds. We also shut down Eddy Curry, whose numbers have taken a significant drop since he's returned to Chicago. Raymond Felton scored 24 on us, but he, too, has seen a dip in his numbers since the trade, though nothing like what Curry's going through.
Our losing ways hit again, 114-106 against the Pacers, even though Ben Gordon scored 66 points, with 2 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. :eek: I don't think I've -ever- seen anyone score 66 points in this game! Unfortunately, nobody else scores in double-digits.
Here's the box score:
Win #21 comes against the Raptors, a 95-82 victory keyed by Gordon's 33 points. What an absolutely phenemonal player he is.
The Cavaliers destroy us in the next game, Starbury's weakling double-double of 10 points and 10 assists the Knicks highlight. King James bombed us for 43 points, which put him over the 30 point per game hump. We lose two more, against the Bobcats and the Hawks, despite Gordon's 30 points and Noah's 10 points and 10 rebounds versus Charlotte.
Chicago ravages us 105-88 in the second-to-last game of the season, but we end the year on a high note, a 103-67 thrashing of the Wizards, highlighted by Gordon and Caron with 25 and 24 points respectively.
And so we finish the season 22-60, just one win less than last year. The Hornets and the Trailblazers were both 24-58. I'm shocked at Portland's collapse, though Steve Francis did miss 20 games with a broken ankle and Kevin Durant averaged a modest 14.4 ppg, not the explosive sort of production some expected out of him.
Speaking of scoring, Kobe Bryant won the title with 31.1 ppg, King James also at the court of 30+ with 30.2. Just behind were Gilbert Arenas (29.4), Ray Allen (29.2) and Michael Redd (29.1). Our own Ben Gordon polevaulted to 6th, with a 27.8 ppg average.
Four players averaged double-digit assists: Steve Nash and Baron Davis with 10.9, Jason Kidd with 10.2 and Chris Paul with 10 even.
16 players had 10+ boards per game, led by Yao Ming with 14.4, Ben Wallace second with 13.8. Andrei Kirilenko led in blocks average with an even 4, Elton Brand and Josh Smith the others with 3+ at 3.2. Ron Artest and Gerald Wallace led the league in steal averages, both at 2.1 spg.
Yao Ming absolutely dominated in double-doubles, with 72 double-doubles out of 82 games. :eek: Chris Bosh was second with 59, followed by 55 from Dwight Howard, Baron Davis and Kevin Garnett rounding out the 50s with precisely 50.
10 players had triple doubles, but only Lebron James and Gilbert Arenas did it more than once, at twice.
Alando Tucker's up to 12.2 ppg (tied for 6th in the D-League) and 5.1 apg (6th in the D-League) down in Tulsa and there's a 3-way tie in the D-League East for 1st place, as the Tejanos, Great Apes and Mammoths are all 28-22.
Next time, postseason results.
SO how many years until the drafted players actually make the all league teams? :) I give it 7
Yeah I read that thread on the WS boards, too. Just have to see what happens. :D
Most fun matchup of the 1st round: (4) Charlotte vs (5) Chicago. Just why the Bobcats were the #4 seed I don't understand, since they won their division, albeit with a 40-42 record. Maybe there's a .500 or better rule that applies.
Of course, it was fun only because of the former Knicks players involved on both teams.
Charlotte broke out to a 2-0 series lead behind hot shooting from Gerald Wallace and Adam Morrison. Channing Frye had a double-double in the opening victory as well. Meanwhile, Raymond Felton was struggling a bit and Eddy Curry wasn't acting like the dominant force they'd hoped for. Wallace had 7 blocks in Game 2.
Tulsa did make the playoffs, drawing the 3 seed and the right to play the Dakota Great Apes, who were the 2 seed. Ironically enough, Mardy Collins and Renaldo Balkman both started for Dakota, but despite fine play from them, the Tejanos won Game 1 85-68. Alando Tucker was a key contributor, with 8 points, 11 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
The Bulls bounced back to win Game 3 83-70 behind Kirk Hinrich's 27 points. Felton's shooting woes continued and Curry stayed a postseason non-entity.
Charlotte won Game 4 handily 101-90 behind a balanced scoring attack and a big-time 17 bench points from Sean May.
Hinrich came through in the clutch again with an incredible 28 points and 16 assists and Eddy Curry finally broke through with 22 points and 8 rebounds as the Bulls won Game 5 to stave off elimination. Felton and Channing Frye were still quiet, though.
Felton finally found something of a shooting stroke in Game 6 and Hinrich was sensational with 36 points, 7 assists, 2 rebounds and 3 steals, but Raymond's 16 points wasn't enough to overcome the balanced scoring attack of the Bobcats as Charlotte stunned Chicago 109-108 to pull off the upset in six.
For a team that'd had NBA Finals aspirations, the first-round bowout was on the level of a minor disaster. Felton's weak play contrasted with Gordon's stardom in New York had the Chicago papers bemoaning the lost 1st round pick and wondering aloud just how far the Bulls might've gotten if Ben was still paired with Hinrich in the backcourt.
That wasn't the only first round shock, though. The 8th seed 76ers knocked off 1 seed Detroit in five games and 6 seed Boston upended the Raptors in seven (the Celtics lost the tiebreaker). King James and the Cavs barely beat the 7th seed Hawks.
In the West, which was Lakers-less, all four of the top seeds won, though the Jazz and Mavericks gave the Rockets and Spurs respectively all they could handle, taking Houston and San Antonio to seven games.
And evidently the D-league playoffs are one and down, because the Tejanos advanced to the East Conference finals against the Austin Mammoths. It was there that Tulsa finally fell, 96-75 to a vastly superior Austin squad. Alando Tucker did score 11 points, though.
Boston, Phoenix and Houston rolled over the Cavaliers, Nuggets, and Spurs respectively in five games. Mike Miller wasn't a strong enough second to overcome the fiery Celtics combo of Paul Pierce and Wally Sczerbiak, even if King Games averaged 28.7 points a game in the postseason. Charlotte topped Philadelphia in Game 6 as the Bobcats continued their miracle run with balanced scoring (5 Charlotte players averaged double-digit scoring through the first two series and Nate Robinson, another once-Knick, was right behind at 9.7) and strong rebounding, highlighted by Emeka Okafor (9.8) and our own Channing Frye (8.1).
So the Conference Finals matchups were Boston-Charlotte and Phoenix-Houston. The East had the Celtics as overwhelming favorites, but the West looked like a close matchup, with the three-headed Suns hydra of Steve Nash, Amare Stoudamire and Shawn Marion against the otherwordly Yao Ming (29.7 ppg, 13.5 apg in the postseason to that point) and his 20.5 point per game-averaging second, Tracy McGrady.
Charlotte spanked Boston by 20 points in Game 1 behind outstanding defensive play from the Bobcats frontcourt of Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafor and Channing Frye. They also played well offensively, with 24 points from Wallace and double-doubles of 10 points and 11 boards from Okafor, 16 and 14 from Frye.
In the West, Steve Nash burned the Rockets for 34 points and 9 assists, while Amare grounded Houston with 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 10-point Series opening victory.
Game 2s were closer, but Charlotte and Phoenix won again, the Bobcats supported by supersub Sean May's 20 points and 13 rebounds, the Suns shining with double-doubles from the Big Three: Nash (22 points, 10 assists), Amare (12 points, 10 rebounds), Marion (10 points, 12 rebounds) and an absolutely unexpected 29 points from Boris Diaw. Tracy McGrady's 36 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, block, and 5 steals were all for naught.
Brevin Knight and Sean May shoved the Celtics to the brink of elimination with 25 points and 12 assists and 17 points and 10 rebounds respectively in a 109-90 Game 3 win. May's only a sub! I have to figure out a way to get him on the Knicks at some point.
Meanwhile, Yao finally broke out with 32 points and 15 rebounds, while Tracy McGrady scored 30. Easy win for the Rockets, right? Wrong. Steve Nash scored 39 and the Suns bench schooled the Rocket reserves to push Houston to the edge of the void.
And the sweep was on in the East, as 7 Bobcats scored in double-digits, the biggest player Emeka Okafor with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Channing Frye deserves mention as well, for his 14 point, 9 rebound, 4 block game. You're welcome, Charlotte! Wally Szczerbiak did his best, but his 30 points just wasn't enough and neither was Paul Pierce's 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Steve Nash permanently halted any hopes of a Rocket launch with 27 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds, Amare and Marion contributing 14 points, 12 rebounds and 11 points, 16 rebounds. Yao had 28 points and 11 rebounds, McGrady 18 points and 11 rebounds, but they were the majority of Houston's offense in a 90-81 defeat.
Charlotte Bobcats vs. Phoenix Suns
If you'd told me before the season that Charlotte would be the East's representative in the Finals, especially with a 40-42 regular season record, I'd have said you were crazy.
Has there even been a Finals team with a sub-.500 record? Talk about history in the making!
But there's a lot to like about this Bobcats team. They played gritty, hard-nosed defense, especially in the frontcourt and they utilize a balanced attack rather than relying on one or two superstars.
Then you've got the Suns, who went 72-10 in the regular season, and who have the Big Three, as well as a guy who can break out with the buckets if need be in Boris Diaw.
Unstoppable force, immovable object. I'm betting on the unstoppable force in this one.
Before the Finals, I sign Ben Gordon to a 5 year, $7.5 mill. base salary, 10% a year raises. Yeah, it's a big contract, but he had us over a barrel as our lone superstar and he'll only be 29 by the time the extension ends, so we're in a good position to re-evaluate him at that time. He only breaks $10 million in the last year, too, so it's a lot better value than some other contracts on this roster I could mention...
Steve Nash scores 11 points and dishes out 15 assists to lead a surprisingly balanced team effort in a 108-81 victory in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Marcus Banks contributes 15 from the bench for the Suns.
Game 2 is much more high-scoring and much tighter, but Phoenix prevails 115-102. Steve Nash is the man of the hour again, with 26 points and 11 assists and Chris Mihm of all people contributes 14 points to head up the reserves. Can't blame the Bobcats, though. Adam Morrison lit up the scoreboard with 33 points, Emeka Okafor double-doubled with 12 points and 11 rebounds and so did supersub Sean May with 11 points and 11 boards.
18 points from May, 20 from Morrison and 24 points and 14 rebounds from Emeka Okafor aren't enough to counteract 28 points and 13 assists from Nash, 25 points from Boris Diaw and 29 points and 17 rebounds from Amare Stoudamire in a 124-111 Game 3 Suns victory. This is looking like the sweep everybody predicted when the Finals matchup was revealed.
And so it is, as Nash puts up 31 points and 12 assists, Amare Stoudamire 22 points and 13 rebounds in a 120-113 Suns win for the 4-0 Finals sweep. Good try by the Bobcats, who got 18 points from Rodney Stuckey on the bench and 24 and 23 points a piece from Adam Morrison and Gerald Wallace, but it just wasn't enough.
Congratulations to the NBA Champion Phoenix Suns!
Oh yeah, Bakersfield beat Austin in the D-League final if anyone cares.
Awards and offseason to be announced later.
interested in seeing what the young gm does this time around in the draft...
I haven't popped my head in the dynasty forum in quite some time. I'm glad I did... excellent read!
RedHawk00: Yep, if I don't get fired, that is. :D
MizzouRah: Thanks! :) Glad to have you back around these parts.
The draft lottery is the first big event of the offseason and we've got a 23.3% chance of landing the 1st pick, tops among all teams, which of course means we probably won't get it.
Picks 14-7 play out as expected, but then the spirit of Gabriel Arcadia must've interceded on behalf of the Timberwolves, because Minnesota doesn't show up at #6.
Things hold to form through pick #4, so we're guaranteed a top 3 selection. The T-Wolves come up at #3! Could that #1 pick be ours after all?
YES!! PORTLAND GETS THE #2 SELECTION!
KNICKS WIN!!! KNICKS WIN!!!!
NBA Draft Lottery Results
1. New York Knicks
2. Portland Trailblazers
3. Minnesota Timberwolves (+3)
4. New Orleans Hornets (-1)
5. Memphis Grizzlies (-1)
6. New Jersey Nets (-1)
7. Milwaukee Bucks
8. Golden State Warriors
9. Utah Jazz
10. Miami Heat
11. Los Angeles Lakers
12. Washington Wizards
13. Indiana Pacers
14. Los Angeles Clippers
Fresh off the celebration of winning the lottery, we head straight into the Awards. I'm hoping Ben Gordon will pick something up, as I'll need to state my case to our owner for me to stay on another year.
Yao Ming - Houston Rockets (27.6 ppg, 14.4 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.3 bpg, 0.9 spg)
Defensive Player of the Year
Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz (12.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 4.0 bpg, 1.6 spg)
Rookie of the Year
Spencer Hawes - Boston Celtics (7.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 0.6 bpg, 0.9 spg)
6th Man of the Year
P.J. Brown - Philadelphia 76ers (9.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.5 bpg, 0.8 spg)
Coach of the Year
Gregg Popovich - San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
Mike D'Antoni got ripped off, as did Sean May. They should've won Coach of the Year and 6th Man of the Year respectively. Hawes winning over Oden and Durant was a considerable surprise as well.
All-NBA 1st Team
PG Steve Nash - Phoenix Suns
SG Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
SF Paul Pierce - Boston Celtics
PF Elton Brand - Los Angeles Clippers
C Yao Ming - Houston Rockets
All-NBA 2nd Team
PG Mike Bibby - Sacramento Kings
SG Ray Allen - Seattle Supersonics
SF Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks
PF Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs
C Chris Bosh - Toronto Raptors
All-NBA 3rd Team
PG Gilbert Arenas - Washington Wizards
SG Lebron James - Cleveland Cavaliers
SF Wally Szczerbiak - Boston Celtics
PF Kevin Garnett - Minnesota Timberwolves
C Brad Miller - Sacramento Kings
Damn. Still, Ben had a lot of stiff competition at the SG spot and it's hard to argue with the three guys who were picked ahead of him. By the way, how weak is the C class in the NBA still when a guy like Brad Miller makes an All-NBA team?
All-Defense 1st Team
PG Jason Kidd - New Jersey Nets
SG Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
SF Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz
PF Elton Brand - Los Angeles Clippers
C Ben Wallace - Chicago Bulls
All-Defense 2nd Team
PG Dwayne Wade - Miami Heat
SG Tracy McGrady - Houston Rockets
SF Gerald Wallace - Charlotte Bobcats
PF Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs
C Marcus Camby - Denver Nuggets
Nice to see the Bobcats' tough team D get recognition in Wallace.
All-Rookie 1st Team
PG Mike Conley - Orlando Magic
SG Nick Young - Los Angeles Clippers
SF Kevin Durant - Portland Trailblazers (14.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.3 apg, 0.5 bpg, 1.0 spg)
PF Brandan Wright - Houston Rockets
C Spencer Hawes - Boston Celtics
All-Rookie 2nd Team
PG Javaris Crittenton - Milwaukee Bucks
SG Rodney Stuckey - Charlotte Bobcats
SF Corey Brewer - Orlando Magic
PF Jason Smith - Washington Wizards
C Greg Oden - Toronto Raptors (12.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.7 bpg, 0.8 spg)
I don't get it. Oden averages 5 points a game and three times as many bpg more than Hawes, just a rebound and 0.3 apg less and he loses Rookie of the Year? Ridiculous!
Greg Oden should've won Rookie of the Year and been named to the 1st team, Hawes the 2nd team. I suspect Hawes won because the Celtics made it to the Conference finals, whereas the Raptors were knocked out by Boston in the first round.
Very disappointing that Noah didn't make the 2nd rookie team over Smith, though I can see why.
The day after the awards come out, my cell phone rings that special tone that sing-songs Owner.
Mr. Charles Rolen asks how I thought I did. I didn't do an excellent job, I know that. Acie Law looks like a busted pick and Joakim Noah was inconsistent. We also fell short of improving upon or even matching last year's 23 wins. On the other hand, I brought in a young franchise face and legitimate All-Star in Ben Gordon and stockpiled picks for the future. I also cleared up some of the cap nightmare.
All in all, not too bad, is the perfect description of how I'd assess my performance.
...Uh oh. Owner man says he doesn't agree. Says the team wasn't what I said it was and that I spent more money than we agreed on. ...Bastard. I -told- him it'd be a rebuilding year and that he wouldn't have to pay the luxury tax. But I guess he read the preseason hype that said we'd be a 5 seed in the playoffs and evidently he's counting the fat buyout cash we gave to Isiah against me.
In fact, he so disagrees with me, he says he's going to have to really think about whether to keep me on past this gimmick year.
I'm not going to beg, nor am I going to tell him to fuck off, much as I'd like to. No, I'll just ask him for a little more time. This isn't going to be a team that gets rebuilt overnight, after all.
"Sounds to me like you're trying to throw your own hand-picked coach under the bus. Montgomery's a respected NBA man."
....What?! That's not what I-
"You're fired. Clear out your desk by tomorrow morning 10 am sharp."
Now what do I do?
All that effort.
Man, I'd be steamed.
Hey, maybe you just play it out and see who offers you a job? Although, I wouldnt blame you for just pulling the plug and starting over with a new team.
Wow.. that sucks! Kind of realistic though I guess... maybe? :)
I would see if you can get with another team and show the NY owner what a mistake he made.
The bad thing is.. you had the 1st and 2nd picks of the draft. :(
boberot: Yeah, I'm pretty ticked myself. Granted, I knew it was a possibility because the NY owner had the worst combo of traits (Very High Desire to Win, Very Low Patience, Very Low Willingness to Spend Money), but still... I got us a freaking franchise scorer, who's only 24, and signed him to a great deal considering his talent level, picked up a few future 1st rounders and it's just... ugh! The sad part is I'm going to have to watch the next few seasons while the guy who takes over reaps the benefits.
MizzouRah: Yeah, I'm going to try and get hired by someone else. I wouldn't have had the #1 and #2 picks in this draft though, for two reasons:
1) The initial Portland 1st rounder I acquired was for the 2009 draft. This is 2008.
2) I traded away that 2009 1st rounder to the Supersonics as part of the deal to draft #10 last year and take Joakim Noah.
The Ben Gordon thing is really what hacks me off the most. I had visions of him as the star in Orange and Blue for the next five years and I would always be able to say I'm the one who brought him to the Big Apple.
But oh well.
Just have to see if anybody picks me up is all.
The only openings are in the D-League. So, do you guys think I should take a job there or sit out a year?
Screw that! Put yourself back as Coach. F this game logic. :)
You're right.. I thought the picks were this year.
I don't know.. if there is a way to override the firing, I might do it... if it was me.
Now that I think about it, I don't think an owner would hire a GM who he knows is going to "rebuild" his team and then fire him at the end of 1 year. If that was the case, wouldn't he have hired someone who wants to win "NOW"?
I say give yourself 2 more years. :)
JeffNights: No way I'm coaching. I'm strictly GM in Gary's pro hoops games. :D
MizzouRah: Well, don't forget, the owner had to hire me as GM for one year because I won the gimmicky raffle to be the Knicks GM for a year. My guess is he had no intention of keeping me on anyway. :) Besides, as I noted in the WS thread, I don't think it'd be possible to do that in a SP game anyway. I would've had to set it as a MP game at start.
After spending a few days recovering from my outraged shock and dismay that I had in fact been only given one season as the raffle's terms dictated, even though I'd built the Knicks for the future, I started making inquiries around the league.
Not a single blessed NBA team other than the Knicks had a GM vacancy.
So I swallowed my pride, took a deep breath and started calling the D-League teams, resolving not to GM Tulsa so I didn't have to face the Knicks players.
The first team I called was the Anaheim Cats, because I love warm weather, California girls and places not named Los Angeles.
Ray Ginger, the owner, was ecstatic that I wanted to GM for them.
"You got a raw deal in New York. A lot of people saw the good you did for the Knicks' future, including me. So if you want a job here until something opens up back in the NBA, we'd absolutely love to have you."
What could I say? It was a great city (think Disneyland!), great weather and a place where I could heal from the scars of my unjust firing.
So I took it.
The Cats had gone 23-27 the year before, but that meant nothing because, as I very quickly found out, the D-League's teams rebuilt themselves year after year via a draft. Although I only planned to be around one season, I made up my mind that I would try to have some continuity in players if this turned out to be a multi-year gig. Would be good for the fanbase.
Ray called the next day and said, "Just to put together a competitive team and we'll be fine."
Talk about an easy goal! Or maybe not, considering the draft bust picks I made last year.
I left the coaching staff as it was, simply because as a D-League team, we didn't have much money. Besides, John Britton seemed like a pretty good coach for our level.
Remember last season, when I said the freshman phenom PFs Kelvin Moody and Ronny Smith were the top of the draft class? That still held true, with senior PG Brandon Brooks from Utah, the player I coveted the most projected to go #3 to Minnesota.
The mock drafts all had Moody going to the Knicks at #1 and it was hard to argue with it. The Utes won the national championship last year only because of Brooks, but because of Moody, who averaged 24.8 ppg, 17.2 rpg, 4.9 apg, 3.0 bpg and 0.8 spg. Brooks, by the way, also averaged 24.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 11.3 apg, 1.3 bpg and 1.6 spg. That's almost 50 points a game averaged between just *2* players on the same college team.
Now that's simply dynamite and it's no wonder Utah won the title.
Oh, Moody and Brooks weren't the only Utes. There was also physical freak of nature sophomore C Rudy Braun, he of the 7'5", 301 lbs. body. His numbers weren't that great, though. 16.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.7 bpg, 0.7 spg. Then again, with Moody and Brooks there, it's hard to argue with that. By the way, we're up to 66 points a game on average between those 3 Utes players. Braun's projected to go 9th to the Jazz.
I thought we were done looking at Utes, but apparently not. Senior PF B.J. Whitehead averaged 12.9 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.6 bpg and 0.7 spg. roughly 78 points a game for 4 players. Projection: 19 to the Mavericks.
20 to the Raptors: Senior SF Julius Augustin, 22.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.2 bpg, 2.3 spg. Let's see, that's now almost 100 points a game on average for the Utes' starting 5. Wow! I'm going to have to follow those five Utah players, because that's just insane.
By the way junior C Travon Oris out of Oklahoma is the expected pick for the Knicks at #22, the selection I scored from the Bulls as part of the Gordon trade.
2008 NBA Draft 1st Round
1. PF Ronny Smith - New York Knicks
Hard to argue with Smith too, as he averaged 29.6 ppg and 12.7 rpg for LSU in the SEC, as opposed to all the Utah players from a mid-major conference.
2. PG Brandon Brooks - Portland Trailblazers*
3. PF Kelvin Moody - Minnesota Timberwolves*
Our first two Fab Five Utes players go back to back at #2 and #3. Great pickup for Garnett in arguably the top player of the draft. Portland's youth movement keeps looking better and better.
4. SG Donnell Rosen - New Orleans Hornets
5. SG Wesley Tonella - Memphis Grizzlies
6. PF Pete Worden - New Jersey Nets
7. PG Kyle Morris - Milwaukee Bucks
8. C Murry Alexander - Golden State Warriors
9. C Matt Stidham - Utah Jazz
Loud boos erupted in the draft room when the selection was announced. Here the Jazz had a brilliant marketing opportunity to take a guy like say, Julius Austin or, if they needed a center, Rudy Braun from the hometown Utes and they piss it away for a guy from Duke. Granted, Stidham was probably the best C available in the draft, even more than Alexander, but still..
10. SF Julius Austin - Miami Heat*
Celebrations broke out, both among the analysts and the Heat fans in attendance. Shaq and Wade just got themselves a legitimate scorer and defender with this pick and the Jazz are going to regret this bypass for a long, long time. Austin may have been projected to go #19 in the mocks, but as the draft drew closer, more and more reports came out that he was having brilliant workouts with NBA teams and quickly moving up to Top 10 pick territory. I'll definitely be following this Ute closely.
11. SF Derrick Robinson - Los Angeles Lakers
12. C Rob Anderson - Washington Wizards
13. SG Kyle Kendrick - Indiana Pacers
14. PG Anthony Masic - Los Angeles Clippers
15. PG Nick Lindquist - Philadelphia 76ers
16. C Fernando Patterson - Atlanta Hawks
17. SF Travann Parris - Charlotte Bobcats
18. SF Brooks Smith - Seattle Supersonics
19. PF Narve Schermerhorn - Dallas Mavericks
Schermerhorn is Dutch and he may be one of the few Hollanders to actually play in the NBA. No surprise that the Mavericks drafted him, obviously, given their foreign trend.
20. SF Corey Shivers - Toronto Raptors
21. SG Keith Davis - Boston Celtics
22. PG Josh Gilbert - Utah Jazz
The boos rain down even louder this time, as the Jazz again bypass the remaining Utes and opt with another ACC player, this time the PG from Wake Forest. Jazz fans no doubt consider their front office Demon Deacons after this draft.
23. PG Matt Dickel - Denver Nuggets
24. C Rudy Braun - New York Knicks*
Irony, you stab me with your knife. You stab me with your knife six times and I bleed. Yeah, I honestly would've taken Braun here, too. Too big a need area and too great a story to follow. Quite a fall for him, though, to go from a projected Top 10 pick all the way to late 1st round. Braun really bombed in the workouts and it became apparent to a lot of people that his success was because of the rest of the Utes, not because of him.
So now, B.J. Whitehead is the only undrafted starting Ute. I have a hunch he'll fall to the 2nd round.
25. PF Ryan Glosier - Cleveland Cavaliers
26. SG Raul Giles - Sacramento Kings
27. PF Chezley McCleary - Houston Rockets
28. SF Kenneth Worthing - Detroit Pistons
29. C Travon Orvis - Atlanta Hawks
30. SG Mike Anderson - Phoenix Suns
2 (19) SF Brian Robertson - Dallas Mavericks*
13.1 ppg ([b]over 100 points per game average now), 9.6 rpg, and some other stuff I missed. Good blocking skills if I remember right.
2 (27) PF B.J. Whitehead - Houston Rockets*
That's over a full round he dropped. Given that Houston drafted a PF in the 1st round as well, Whitehead's days look numbered.
D-League Draft is up soon. It's going to be a real test of my GM skills there. I was secretly hoping Whitehead would drop out completely so that I could draft him in the D-league draft, but evidently it's not meant to be.
Fun draft to watch, though.
I love how you manage to breathe life into the game, Izulde.
I've tried to do so a couple of times, but seems like my imagination and enthusiasm always fails me with DDS:PB.
Maybe I'm just too spoiled by FM. :D
Oddly enough, I have the same problem with FM that you do with DDS:PB. Not sure why that is, though.
The summer league whizzes by and I don't pay much attention, though maybe I should have. I wish there was a way to be able to see the summer league leaders, as it'd help out D-League GMs a bit.
Free agency is a lot more active as well. I'll skip past the re-signings and highlight some of the major team changes.
Josh Childress - Memphis Grizzlies - 3 years, $11.8 mill.
Hilton Armstrong - Memphis Grizzlies - 3 years, $16.4 mill.
Monta Ellis - Atlanta Hawks - 5 years, $33.4 mill.
Grant Hill - San Antonio Spurs - 1 year, $4.5 mill.
Chris Mihm - Orlando Magic - 3 years, $11.1 mill.
Bonzi Wells - Chicago Bulls - 4 years, $24.7 mill.
Armstrong's an average starting C, but it looks like the Grizz way overpaid for Childress to occupy a mid-bench spot.
Ellis was a veritable steal. Only 22 years old, steps in as the starting PG for the Hawks and looks primed for a breakout season. Stupid move by the Golden State Warriors to let him go, who were idiots in the Gabriel Arcadia dynasty too.
Hill is what he is, a one-year greybeard rental to push the Spurs to another title. Mihm jumps from his successful backup spot with the NBA Champion Phoenix Suns to get a nice paycheck and a starting spot with the Magic. Good deal for both ends. Wells is a defensive stopper, but didn't deserve that kind of cash or years, not when he's 32 years old and consigned to the bench behind Kirk Hinrich and Raymond Felton.
A quick look after training camps:
New York Knicks Starters
PG Stephon Marbury
SG Ben Gordon
SF Caron Butler
PF Joakim Noah
C Raef LaFrentz
Ronny Smith is the 7th man, even though he looks like a franchise type player in the making. My guess is we see him in the starting lineup by season's end, with Noah shifted to C. Ute Rudy Braun is the 9th man and doesn't look to have much ceiling.
The Tejanos are going to have a good backcourt this year, as both Acie Law and Alando Tucker were sent down. Bad news for us in Anaheim.
The Utah Six
PG Brandon Brooks - 7th man (Portland)
-Hard-nosed, intelligent defensive player. Skills aren't quite up to starting PG material yet, though.
PF Kelvin Moody - Starting SF (Minnesota)
-Garnett gets an incredible running mate in Moody, who looks like an ungodly rebounder with a sweet shooting and scoring touch to go with above-average defense. Early odds-on favorite for Rookie of the Year. Why did the Knicks pass him up?
SF Julius Austin - 10th man (Miami)
-Isn't the scorer most people thought he was, but he's a lockdown defender, already on the elite level. Doesn't appear to have much upside, though.
C Rudy Braun - 9th man (New York)
-Career bench player from the looks of his first training camp and an absolute waste of a man of his size. Too bad.
SF Brian Robertson - 10th man (Dallas)
-Biggest strength is at the charity stripe and his versatility, as he can play everything but the two guard spots. Disciplined and smart, with some rebounding and defensive talent.
PF B.J. Whitehead - 10th man (Houston)
-Respectable rebounder, but the Rockets have 3 PFs who are either rookies or second-year players, including starting PF and last year's All-Rookie 1st Team PF Brandan Wright. Just what Houston was doing spending both draft picks on more PFs I have no idea.
So after these first impressions, it's looking like most of the Utah Six are going to have scrubby pro careers, though Moody appears to be an All-Star in the making and Brooks should be a quality starting PG.
D-League draft time!
Last year's starting PF for the Anaheim Cats, Nick Fazekas, a 2nd round selection of the Portland Trailblazers, who started 49 games and averaged 9.9 points and 6.9 rebounds, is back with us for the time being. He's also the only player we get from the pro leagues. Fair enough.
I'm not going to list all the D-League picks because these are one year rentals, not permanent players.
We pick 11th, second to last in the first round. I grab SG Kareem Rush, a 6th year vet, as our first selection. He played on the bench for the Heat last year and looks like a veritable star in the D-League.
Oh wait, it's a serpentine draft! Okay, that makes things easier. PG Seth Chambliss, who starred for the Timberjacks last year, is my second round pick, as he's far and away the best of the remaining PGs.
C Steve Wilkerson appears to be the best remaining rebounder, so he's our choice in the 3rd. SF Rodney White looks like the best remaining all-around SF, earning him a Cats uniform in the 4th.
I go defensive-stopper hunting in the 5th and PG Ben Evans barely beats out SG Dwayne Fein for the selection. Fein's still available in the 6th, but I grab super-rebounder who I somehow missed PF Brandon Hunter instead.
Fein lasts all the way to our pick in the 7th, so he's tabbed and 30 year PF Malik Allen gets the call in the 8th. SF Jack Sankes becomes a Cat in the 9th, followed by another 30 year old, C Loren Woods, in the 10th.
The Woods selection kicks off 10 straight picks of Cs. Wow, talk about a run on middle-men! PF Justin Williams is the last pick of the draft.
Anaheim Cats Lineup
PG Seth Chambliss (2 years)
SG Kareem Rush (6 years)
SF Rodney White (5 years)
PF Nick Fazekas (1 year)
C Steven Wilkerson (1 year)
6th Brandon Hunter (2 years)
7th Loren Woods (6 years)
8th Malik Allen (6 years)
9th Dwayne Fein (Rookie)
10th Jack Sankes (Rookie)
11th Ben Evans (Rookie)
I should've invested more in PG talent, it looks like, as we only have Chambliss and Evans who are slated to be PGs. Luckily there's PG Jarrius Jackson out there, a rookie from Texas Tech with textbook passing skills, to sign and make the 7th man.
I think we've got a pretty good shot at making some noise in the D-League, but only time will tell.
I give you a ton of credit for sucking it up and taking the job in the D-league to keep this thing going.
I'm not sure I could have done it -- way to check the ego and move on.
I'll be actually more curious to hear a GM recounting their experience from the D-league perspective . . . .
Sucks for you personally, but I think the "narrative" benefits from this unfortunate twist.
Thanks :) Though honestly, I suspect the D-league isn't going to be anywhere near as exciting as the NBA, but we'll see what spins out.
Random Salt n Pepa songs are going through my head, running simultaneously with "Cat's Cradle" and it's quite distracting.
It's almost as distracting as the fact that we don't play our first game down in the D-League until November 24th. So what I think I'm going to do is let November and December both zip on by so we actually have more games and statistics worth talking about.
My debut as the Cats GM kicks off with a commanding 95-57 rout of the Los Angeles Waves. Five of our players reach double-digit scoring, Daequan Cook, a 2nd round selection of the Orlando Magic and rookie the leader with 14 points off the bench. Seth Chambliss won Player of the Game with 13 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and a steal, though.
We also have Corey Brewer, Orlando's 1st round pick last season, on the team and he's our starting SF. It turns out to be a wonderful send-down for us as we reach 2-0 in a convincing 88-62 win keyed by Brewer's 27 points and 8 rebounds. Life in the D-League is fun for winning.
The Arkansas Rattlers give us all we can handle, but Seth Chambliss scores 22 points to give us a nailbiting 72-69 win and keep us undefeated on the very young season.
That finishes out for November and we open up December with our first loss on the year, 96-73 to the Mammoths in Austin, despite a double-double of 10 points and 16 rebounds from Steven Wilkerson.
No problem, as we rebound the next night with an 82-61 home victory over the Mammoths. Corey Brewer is a man among boys with 19 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 blocks. I hope Orlando never calls him back up for the rest of the season.
Fort Worth is the lone undefeated team in the D-League and they show us why in a 104-84 demolition that completely neutralizes Seth Chambliss's 21 points and 16 bench points from Brandon Hunter. The Colonials are one seriously good team and I expect they'll be major title contenders this year.
We split a double-header against Albuquerque, winning the front end 92-85 thanks to 21 points from Corey Brewer and a Steven Wilkerson double-double of 10 points and 19 rebounds, and dropping the second one by a close 89-83 line, despite Wilkerson's second straight double-double, this one for 16 points and 12 rebounds.
No need to worry though, as we bounce back again, this time 96-69 coaster over the Tulsa Tejanos. Sweet, sweet win. It's Corey Brewer again with 24 points and 9 rebounds, but free agent find Jarrius Jackson contributes 16 from subland. Even sweeter: We hold Alando Tucker to 6 points and he'd been averaging over 12 points a game coming in.
The Buckaroos are next to fall, bowing before us 81-71, Brewer the battering brewmaster with 22 points. Bakersfield loses to us as well, the 86-69 victory engineered by your friend and mine, Corey Brewer, with 25 points and 3 steals.
Fort Worth had run their record to 5-0 before losing a game and we hand the Colonials their second loss of the season, 76-64, on a balanced scoring attack highlighted by Steven Wilkerson's 16 points and 13 rebounds. We trounce the Tejanos in Tulsa the very next night, Brewer bombing Tucker's troops for 24 points and 7 rebounds. Nick Fazekas finally wakes up with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. He's really declined this year.
Our winning streak continues courtesy of Corey's cool 24 points in a 93-68 romp over Colorado, but major credit is due Nick Fazekas, Steven Wilkerson and Seth Chambliss, who doubled their pleasure in triple-time at 12 points and 11 rebounds, 15 points and 14 rebounds and 14 points and 11 assists respectively.
We celebrate the end of the 2008 calendar year with a 93-75 knockout of Bakersfield, Brewer the bruiser with 21 points, 6 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks in earning his trillionth Player of the Game award.
We're the class of the entire D-league with a sterling 12-3 record, the Golden Birds of Albuquerque our next closest competitors in the West at 8-6. Dakota and Sioux Falls are tied atop the East, the Great Apes at 9-5, the Commodores at 10-6.
Tulsa and Fort Worth have really faltered since their hot starts and are now 7-8 and 7-5 respectively.
Corey Brewer is the main reason we're tops in the league, of course, ranking 2nd in ppg with 19.7 behind Tiago Splitter of Los Angeles, who's averaging an even 21 points. But Seth Chambliss is #8 with 13.3 points and tops in assists with 6.7. (Alando Tucker is an ironic #2 with 5.5). We also boast the second-best rebounder in Steven Wilkerson, who with 12.1 is behind only Splitter, who loves integers apparently, because he's averaging 13 boards even. By the way, Brewer's also tied for second in blocks per game, with 1.5, Ken Johnson of Idaho the category leader with 1.8.
Wilkerson, incidentally, is also tied for the league lead in double-doubles with 5.
On the surface world, otherwise known as the NBA, the Knicks are 14-16, 1.5 games behind the Atlantic-leading Toronto Raptors, who are 16-15. Bad news again for the East? Something like that.
Because there's only not only just five teams in the East with winning records, four of them are in the Central. The Atlanta Hawks lead the Southeast with a 12-16 mark. Talk about ugly.
Nine teams above .500 in the West, four of whom have single-digit losses after two months of play. The Rockets and the Suns look to be in a real dogfight for top team in the league, as Houston's 25-5 and Phoenix is 25-4.
Gilbert Arenas took his sub-30 point season average last year very personally and as a result, he's off to a flying start this season with a wizardly 32.4 points per game. A host of others are behind at some form of 29 and change.
The Raptors have a scary rebounding team in the early going, Greg Oden tied with Ben Wallace for the league lead at 13 boards a game, Chris Bosh forming a Toronto sandwich with 12.8 rebounds, just behind them.
Ronny Smith -did- win the starting PF spot for the Knicks, but then he broke his hand. He was doing okay, but not light-outs before his injury. After it, Joakim Noah shifted to PF and Ronny's fellow rookie, Rudy Braun, took over at C. Braun's shown flashes of something with 2 double-doubles in 13 starts, but he's got a long way to go.
Ben Gordon is naturally leading the team in scoring again, though his average is down somewhat with 23.8 points per game. Actually, it's way down considering he averaged 29.5 points per game in a Knicks uniform last year, but there's also much more talent around him, too.
Remember when I said Julius Austin was going to be a big-time scorer? Well, he's leading the rookies right now with 10.2 ppg, the lone rookie to be in double figures at present. Fellow Ute Kelvin Moody is looking like this class's most complete player, however, with 9.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.6 bpg and 0.5 spg and will probably win Rookie of the Year going away.
In other Utah Six news, Brandon Brooks is far and away the top PG, averaging 9.1 ppg and 6.0 assists per game, a full two assists on average higher than the second place rookie.
Brian Robertson and B.J. Whitehead are both down in the D-League with me. Robertson's a pretty decent all-around starting SF for the Fort Worth Colonials, though nothing spectacular.
Correction: B.J. Whitehead -was- down in the D-League with me. He averaged an impressive 14.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in 12 starts with the Austin Mammoths, but he's been recalled to Houston and is currently the Rockets' 8th man. He's looked awful in the eight games he's played in so far, though and will probably get sent back down soon.
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