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Old 05-29-2008, 12:42 AM   #51
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Whatever happened to Kareem Rush, my 1st round D-League draft choice?

That's the question I'm asking myself as I suddenly realize he's not on the roster and never appeared in a game for us as far as I can tell.

He got signed by the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 3rd, 3 weeks before our first game. Nice work he's done off the bench, too, averaging 7.5 points so far with roughly 19 minutes a game.

The perils of being a D-League GM.

Oh well, we've obviously been playing fine without him.

Our first game of 2009 is a close one, but we eke out an 84-78 victory over Idaho due to Corey Brewer's 24 points and stay hot with wins on back-to-back nights over the Golden Birds and the Dakota Great Apes. It's all Corey Brewer in both games--24 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals versus Albuquerque and 30 points against Dakota. The Magic are stupid to keep him down here with us.

Of course, right after I say that, Brewer apparently gets called up by Orlando, because Kueth Flippen, a 2nd round rookie from the L.A. Clippers, is starting at PF our next game. Not that it matters, as we coast to a 96-76 victory over the Mammoths, Flippen scoring 21 and Brandon Hunter double-doubling off the bench of all places, with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Corey Brewer's not only up with Orlando, but he's starting at SF for the Magic. Hedo Turkoglu tore his knee tendon and I presume is out for a really long time, but I can't see the NBA injury list to find out how long he's gone for.

Brutal stretch coming up now that we're without Brewer, too. From the 13th to the 20th, we get two off days, the 15th and the 18th. Every other day that week, we're playing.

We handle the Rattlers 78-72 when Steven Wilkerson gets 16 points and 14 rebounds, but drop our first game in a long, long time, 90-85 to Dakota, despite another magnificient game of 20 points and 13 rebounds from Wilkerson. If the teams behind us are going to make their move, now's the time to do it.

But then we sweep the next doubleheader, beating Idaho 95-88 and punching Tulsa out 86-70. Nick Fazekas leads the charge in the Buckaroo victory with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, while four players with 15+ points gives us the win over the Tejanos, who are noticeably absent Alando Tucker.

A check of the NBA rosters reveals a devastated Knicks team. Darius Miles has a torn knee tendon, Andres Nocioni has a torn ACL, Ronny Smith is still out with a broken hand and Raef LaFrentz is bothered by a strained hamstring.

Acie Law is finally getting some minutes as the 7th man, while Alando Tucker has polevaulted to the 10th man spot and averaged 3 minutes in 2 games. Not much PT, but at least he's on the pro level.

I also realize Rodney White and Seth Chambliss, our starting backcourt, is no longer with us. Chambliss got signed by the Bucks and is the 7th man, while White got picked up the Clippers and is their 10th man.

Unfortunately, because of the slew of scrubs the NBA teams have sent down, we only have one spot left on our roster. I take advantage of the slot to sign 29 year old PG Carlos Arroyo, who's good enough to take over the starting PG spot and kick DaShaun Wood, the Clippers scrub, to 8th man.

Our new starting lineup looks like this:
PG Carlos Arroyo
SG Daequan Cook (Orlando Magic)
SF Kueth Flippen (L.A. Clippers)
PF Nick Fazekas (Portland Trailblazers)
C Steven Wilkerson

With this dramatic a lineup shakeup, I'm a little worried for how the rest of the season is going to turn out, but we win both games of the Colorado doubleheader, 88-84 in Colorado thanks to Steven Wilkerson's 14 points and 16 rebounds, 95-82 at home as all five starters scored at least 12 points, the biggest total coming from Joe Harris with 20 points. Who's Joe Harris, you ask? A 2nd round pick of the Portland Trailblazers from this year's draft who started at SF this game because of a leg injury to Kueth Flippen.

We end the month with 3 games in 4 days and win all three in blowouts. The first two are an Albuquerque doubleheader, a 99-71 home victory highlighted by Nick Fazekas's 24 points and another home win against the Golden Birds two days later, 91-69, Steven Wilkerson picking up a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Fazekas and Wilkerson tag-teamed Colorado the very next night, Nick with 22 points and 8 rebounds, Steven with 14 points and 10 assists to take out the Timberjacks 96-79. Daequan Cook also double-doubled in the month's final game with 11 points and 12 assists.

Want to know how dominant we are? So dominant that our 24-4 record is 7.5 games ahead in the West, the Bakersfield Otters our closest competition at 14-9, the same mark held by the East-leading Dakota Apes.

Carlos Arroyo has turned out to be a free-agent steal, as his 13.2 ppg average since coming to Anaheim ranks him 6th in the D-League. Matt Carroll of Idaho is the new scoring leader at 16.7. Arroyo also ranks tops in assists at 7.8, Bakersfield's Taurean Green #2 with 5.4 and is the only player in the D-League to average more than 2 steals a game at 2.2. Steven Wilkerson currently leads in rebounds (11.3) and is tops in double-doubles with 10. And to think he was a Tejanos reserve last season.

Up in the rarefied air of the NBA, the Knicks are staggering along with a 17-26 record and I'm starting to feel somewhat vindicated. All five of the East Conference teams with winning records play in the Central. Toronto leads the Atlantic at 22-22, while the Southeast is held by Atlanta at 18-24. Yeah, that's right, every team in the Central has a winning record and nobody else from either of the East's two divisions is above .500.

Ten teams in the West with winning records, the NBA's strongest division the Pacific, where the Sacramento Kings are division bottom-feeder with a 25-17 record. Phoenix and Houston are the lone two single-digit loss teams remaining. The defending champion Suns are 38-7, while the Houston Rockets are 35-9.

Gilbert Arenas is still the top scorer with 32.7 points per game, but Michael Redd and Allen Iverson are also over 30 at 30.5 and 30.2 respectively. Kobe Bryant is the last remaining 29er at 29.6.

Only Baron Davis and Chris Paul have double-digit assist averages and Baron trumps Paul by a considerable 12.1 to 10.8 margin. Andrew Bogut and Ben Wallace are deadlocked with 13 rebounds a piece on average on the boards board, while defending Defensive Player of the Year Andrei Kirilenko still reigns supreme as the Blockmaster at 4.2 blocks per game, the only player in the league averaging 4 or better rejections a contest.

Three players are averaging better than 2 steals a game, Allen Iverson and Ron Artest tied with 2.2 a piece, Gerald Wallace right behind at 2.1.

I can no longer track season double-doubles or triple-doubles, because it does it by career, not season. An annoying little bug has popped up, as well, because it lists Chris Bosh as the leader in double-doubles with 93, when it's actually Yao Ming with 101. Not a gamebreaker by any means, but a little disappointing.

No rookies in double-digit scoring, but Brandon Brooks, the player I most likely would've taken for the Knicks, leads in both average points and assists, with 9.8 and 6.1. His dishes margin is so huge that the next nearest contender, Matt Dickel, has 3.9. Kelvin Moody is tops in rookie rebounds at 7.8 and with 1.6 blocks per game is just behind the Lakers' Derrick Robinson, who leads with 1.7. Moody also has the most double-doubles of his class at present with 6. Robinson and Brooks are tied for second place with 4.

As for the other Utah Six, Julius Austin is Miami's starting SF and second in rookie scoring with 9.3 points per game. Rudy Braun is still the starting C for the Knicks because of Ronny Smith's injury and he's averaging an unremarkable 5.8 and 5.7 rebounds a game. He's also had just one more double-double, despite having 11 more starts than the last time we looked at him.

B.J. Whitehead appeared in 12 games with the Rockets and was ghastly, so he's back down in Austin as the starting PF for the Mammoths, averaging 13.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, good enough for 3rd in the D-League in scoring. Brian Robertson is averaging 7.4 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, still the starting SF for the Colonials of Fort Worth.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:48 AM   #52
boberot
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Western NY
Definitely an interesting perspective.

As brutal is it must be to plug-and-play different players seemingly every week, you are able to maintain a ridiculous level of dominance.

Perhaps a D-League title will open many doors for you back in the Association?

And I assume that you would jump at any opening just to get back in the Big Show?
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:57 AM   #53
RedHawk00
H.S. Freshman Team
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
i admire your persistance, i hope it pays off with a good job, not one that you will immediately have to dump salary...
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:56 PM   #54
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
boberot: You'd think it would, but don't forget, the D-League playoffs are one and done, not series, which makes it chancy. And yes, I'd take just about anything to get back up.

RedHawk00: Thanks, I hope it does too. I don't mind dumping salary if I have to. Gives me an excuse to do some trading.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:58 PM   #55
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
February commences with a doubleheader against Sioux Falls. We shockingly lose the first game 95-83 as everyone takes the night off on both ends of the floor, but we rout them 105-87 in the second game after Steven Wilkerson double-doubles with 18 points and 11 rebounds, Daequan Cook scores 21 and three bench players score double-digits, led by DaShaun Wood with 17.

A long break ensues before our next doubleheader and I'm worried about rust, but we nip Bakersfield 90-84 as Nick Fazekas has his best all-around game in my tenure with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals and down Dakota 83-62 the next night behind Kueth Flippen's 20 points and 9 rebounds and 19 points and 7 rebounds from benchman Brandon Hunter.

We keep our perfect record against Tulsa the next game, destroying the Tejanos 98-82 despite the fact that Ronny Smith is rehabbing in the D-League. Carlos Arroyo secures the victory with a sizzling shooting showing good for 22 points.

During the All-Star break, we hammer the Timberjacks 99-64 as 6 Cats break double-digit scoring, all five starters, including Nick Fazekas with 10 points and 10 rebounds and 13 bench points from Brandon Hunter.

Much to my annoyance, I can't find the Rookies-Sophomores game box score, which means the same will likely hold true for the All-Star game.

Even more aggravating, we lose 89-86 to the Timberjacks to give us loss number 6 on the year and then proceed to have our first losing streak as we drop a game 83-80 to Bakersfield as our bench has been playing for absolute crap.

I cut Jack Sankes and sign 30 year old PG Milt Palacio, who takes over as the starting PG. It doesn't do any good though, as we lose our third game in a row, 80-72, to the Arkansas Rattlers. This despite five players in double-digit scoring and a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds from Nick Fazekas.

Despite the tailspin, we're still 5 games in front of the West Conference. Kueth Flippen is 7th in the D-League with a 13.2 ppg average. Carlos Arroyo still leads in apg, but just barely, as he's only averaging 6.1 apg now that he's lost his starting job to Palacio while he deals with back problems. Steven Wilkerson is down to 3rd in boards per game with 10.1 and is tied with Kris Lang of Tulsa for double-doubles with 11.

In the NBA, the Knicks are 21-36 and need just two more victories to beat last year's total. Heh. Still only 5 winning teams in the East and once again, it's all the Central Division teams. Toronto's still atop the Atlantic with a .500 record, while the defending East Conference champion Bobcats head up the South at 23-30.

Still 9 winning teams in the West, too and once again, the Pacific division has all winning teams, with the Clippers in the cellar at 32-25. Phoenix continues to burn the rest of the NBA with a sizzling 50-7 record.

Gilbert Arenas has yet to relinquish his scoring lead at 32.6 points per game, although Michael Redd is averaging 30.1 points, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson not far behind at 29.9 and 29.3 respectively.

Brandon Brooks has broken through double-digit scoring at 10.2 ppg, but he's the only one there and he still has a sizeable lead in the rookie assists category with 6.6. Tough call right now whether Brandon Brooks or Kelvin Moody is the best rookie. Ronny Smith is charging hard too, now that he's recovered from his broken hand. Derrick Robinson and Julius Austin are definite darkhorses.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:41 PM   #56
boberot
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Western NY
So, I guess this has turned into an unfortunately-titled dynasty, eh?



My own enjoyment of the game is stalled by the fact that a drafted player does not appear on my roster, even though he's under contract and can be found using the "search" function on the far right. This is the second time I've had this exact same problem . . . .




In the meantime, I'll enjoy the game vicariously here . . . .
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:54 PM   #57
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by boberot View Post
So, I guess this has turned into an unfortunately-titled dynasty, eh?



My own enjoyment of the game is stalled by the fact that a drafted player does not appear on my roster, even though he's under contract and can be found using the "search" function on the far right. This is the second time I've had this exact same problem . . . .




In the meantime, I'll enjoy the game vicariously here . . . .

That sucks. Did you post in the Tech Support forum about it over at WS?
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:55 PM   #58
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
The three-game skid really has me nervous, because remember, the D-League playoffs is a one and done scenario.

But there's still more regular season basketball to be played and maybe we can work our funk out before then.

We finally cool off our losing streak with a 95-70 win over Los Angeles on a total team scoring effort and the best bench play we've had all year. 3 subs scored in double-digit figures - Joe Harris (10), Brandon Hunter (12), and Carlos Arroyo (11).

Unfortunately, we go right back to losing the next night, falling 78-66 to the Buckaroos, who have an absurdly short ench. Can't blame Kueth Flippen or Steven Wilkerson for the loss though, as Flippen double-doubled with 12 points and 12 rebounds and Wilkerson had a double-double himself, 12 points and 15 rebounds.

An important game against second-place Bakersfield was our next contest a week later and we destroy the Otters 92-68 as Joe Harris, Carlos Arroyo and Brandon Hunter each score 11 points off the bench, Steven Wilkerson grabs 18 boards and Milt Palacio dishes out 12 assists.

A new winning streak is born as we knock off Sioux Falls 96-80, Loren Woods and Jarrius Jackson the key bench men with 13 and 10 points respectively. We're suddenly getting a lot of value out of our reserves that we didn't before, but conversely, our starters aren't doing what they were earlier in the year either. Then again, we've also had a major shakeup in the starting five since then.

There's a chance for revenge against Idaho, as we draw a doubleheader against the Buckaroos for our next pair of games, but they beat us 83-82 and 76-64 despite 10 points and 12 rebounds from Steven Wilkerson in Game 1 and well, we frankly deserved to lose Game 2.

Another doubleheader, this time against Fort Worth. We split the Colonials, winning the first game 81-76 with five players in double-digit scoring, led by double-doubling Milt Palacio with 12 points and 10 assists, and losing the second one 82-73, as nobody really got in sync.

March ends on a happy, but frightening note, as we barely beat Bakersfield 78-77. Kueth Flippen was probably our best player on the floor, with 15 points and 8 rebounds. One trend I've noticed is that we haven't had the Player of the Game for a very, very long time and it's an area of concern.

The good news is, we're 34-12 and have clinched the regular-season D-League West Conference title, because with just four games left to play, there's no way Bakersfield can catch us at 7 games back.

Normally I'd review everything, but with only four games left, I may as well just roll out the rest of our regular season.

As it turns out, all of our remaining four against the Sea Dogs of Los Angeles, who have won just 10 games on the year.

Game 1: 93-80 Anaheim victory
Steven Wilkerson double-doubles with 12 points and 15 rebounds, all our starters save one scores 12+ points, Loren Woods comes out of nowhere to score 16 off the bench and Carlos Arroyo joins him in double-point sub land with 11.

Game 2: 92-77 Anaheim victory
17 points a piece from Nick Fazekas and Milt Palacio ensured the win, as all but one of our starters again scored 10+ points.

Game 3: 124-86 Anaheim victory
8 Cats in double figures, including all five starters. The breakdown:
PG Carlos Arroyo: 23 points, 8 assists and our first PotG in a while
SG Daequan Cook: 10 points
SF Kueth Flippen: 13 points
PF Nick Fazekas: 12 points
C Steven Wilkerson: 10 points, 9 rebounds
6th Brandon Hunter: 13 points, 7 rebounds
7th Jarrius Jackson: 16 points
8th Loren Woods: 10 points

Arroyo's performance has me tempted to cut Milt Palacio and after a moment's thought, I do and sign C DeSagana Diop, 7', 300 lbs, 26 years old and a 7 year veteran last seen playing for the Dallas Mavericks. He'll give us some more rebounding and defensive punch from the bench.

Game 4: 97-92 Anaheim victory
It was close, but we pulled out the Super Sweep behind 28 points from Carlos Arroyo, 21 rebounds from Steven Wilkerson and 12 and 14 respective bench points from Brandon Hunter and Jarrius Jackson.

And so we fast-forward to the eve of the playoffs.

On the NBA level, the East Conference finished with just 5 .+500 teams and the defending East Conference champion Charlotte Bobcats once again won the Southeast with a 40-42 record. The Raptors saved face in the Atlantic, capturing the division with a 42-40 mark.

In the West, 8 teams were over .500, including every one of the Pacific teams. Low man on the totem pole? The 43-39 Golden State Warriors. Phoenix once again lost its quest for a single-digit loss season, but the Suns still impressed at 70-12 and look primed to repeat as NBA champions.

The Dakota Great Apes won the D-League Eastern Conference at 30-20 and the Austin Mammoths were right behind at 29-21, making it the second straight year those two teams have been the East's best. We, of course, won the West, by an easy 9 games.

Because of our repeated shuffling at PG, the only Cat among the league leaders was Steven Wilkerson, second in rebounds per game at 10.2 and third in double-doubles with 14.

Gilbert Arenas won the scoring title with 31 points a game even, but his Wizards were the worst team in the East, winning just 22 games. Michael Redd and Allen Iverson came close, but fell just short of 30 per game at 29.6 and 29.2 points respectively.

Baron Davis of Golden State and Chris Paul of New Orleans were the only players to reach double-digit assist averages at 11.3 and 10.8 respectively. Chris Bosh won the rebounding title with 13.7 boards a game, but Andrew Bogut was close behind at 13.2.

Andrei Kirilenko fell just short in his quest to repeat for 4 blocks a game average at 3.9, but he did win the blocks title again, Josh Smith joining him in the 3 blocks per game category at 3 even. Allen Iverson averaged 2.1 steals a game, tied with Ron Artest for the lead in ballthievery. Gerald Wallace was just behind at 2 robberies a game.

Two rookies broke double-digit scoring averages, Brandon Brooks with 11.4 points a game and Ronny Smith with 10.3. Brooks also destroyed all competition for rookie assist leaders with a 7.2 average. Matt Dickel was a very distant second place at 3.5 assists per game. First-year boards per game went to Kelvin Moody with 7.3, Ronny Smith the silver medalist at 6.5 per game. Smith really recovered from his injury and went on to have a nice season it looks like.

Moody also took the blocks title at 1.8, though Derrick Robinson nipped his heels with 1.7 rejections a game and Julius Austin was the only rookie to average a steal a game, with 1.1.

Brooks, as you might expect, won the double-doubles rookie race with 13, Kelvin Moody in second place with 9.

Oh yes, that reminds me. The Knicks finished 26-66, a scant four-game improvement over my year, despite being much more talented. Unfortunately, the bastard who replaced me has a legitimate excuse with the rash of serious injuries.

One more update to make.

The Utah Six
PG Brandon Brooks (Portland Trailblazers)

-If he doesn't win Rookie of the Year, there's no justice in the world. His class's top scorer, assistant, and doubles-doubles man, he's quickly establishing himself as a bona fide NBA PG. And to think he's the guy I would've taken. Started 78 games. Rookie All-Star starter.

PF Kelvin Moody (Minnesota Timberwolves)
-Started all 82 games, but out of position at SF, which may have accounted for his somewhat disappointing rookie campaign relative to the hype surrounding him. I'm really looking for him to have a breakout season next year. Rookie All-Star starter.

SF Julius Austin (Miami Heat)
8.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, to report the stats not yet seen. It doesn't look like he's going to be a legitimate offensive weapon. What he is, however, is a dominant defensive presence who should only get better as time goes on. Played in 70 games and started 56. Rookie All-Star starter.

C Rudy Braun (New York Knicks)
5.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 0.4 bpg. Unexpectedly won the Knicks' starting C spot for much of the season and played in 78 games, starting 59. His presence allowed New York to shift Joakim Noah out to SF and create an impressively large lineup. (Noah - 6'11" 230, Smith - 6'9" 216 Braun - 7'5" 301) Unfortunately, I just don't think he has the potential to go with his size and fully expect to see him back to the bench once the Knicks find a better option in the middle. Rookie All-Star starter.

SF Brian Robertson (Dallas Mavericks)
-Made 8 game appearances with the big club, yet still managed to start all 50 games with Fort Worth, averaging 7.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game with the Colonials. Smart, disciplined player, but ultimately short on talent for the NBA level.

PF B.J. Whitehead (Houston Rockets)
-Averaged 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 10.3 minutes in 24 games for the Rockets and 11.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.5 blocks and 0.8 steals a game in 37 starts for the Austin Mammoths. As far as I'm concerned, he's got some legitimate potential, but he'll probably never get a real shot in Houston. If I get back up to the NBA this next season, I'll see if I can grab him.

Next up, the postseasons.
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:43 AM   #59
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
I can't sleep and I'm eager to see if I can get a job at the NBA level again.

So here's the playoffs coming at you.

Unless hell freezes over, the Phoenix Suns are going to repeat as NBA champions (which, incidentally, -would- mean a dearth of sunfire).

I'm not happy about the playoff matchup. We draw the Idaho Buckaroos in the first round. That's right, the same Idaho squad that beat us like 3 or 4 times in the regular season. Worst.draw.ever.

Interesting things out in the East on the NBA level, namely the Chicago Bulls as the #1 seed vs the #8 seed Boston Celtics. Milwaukee's the #2 seed, which is a little shocking, considering how bad Bucks' basketball is IRL. Then again, it's the East, Michael Redd is a superstar in this universe and Andrew Bogut is developing into a quality center.

As for the Bulls, the backcourt of Raymond Felton and Kirk Hinrich is a terrific one and, Eddy Curry shockingly lost his starting job to David Lee. Yes, that David Lee, the former Knick, who signed a fat contract in free agency to stay with the Bulls. And I mean a 6 year, $44.4 mill. deal. You're welcome, David! I made you, don't forget!

Our first-round matchup against the Buckaroos comes up while the first round of the NBA playoffs is ongoing.

Things break out to a bad start as we're down 25-19 at the end of the first quarter and I'm swearing like crazy in the skybox. We rally back in a big way in the second quarter, outscoring them 21-10 with some furious defense to be up 40-35 at the half. The Buckaroos come out shooting in the third and take it 22-17. Tied at 57-all going into the fourth quarter.

The final period of play is a ferocious back-and-forth, with multiple ties and lead changes. We go up by 1 with 10 seconds left on the clock after a layup by Kueth Flippen.

Idaho's got the ball for one last play. Two crisp passes later, Buckaroo PF/C Matt Stidham shoots a jumper as time expires..... and it goes in.

77-76 loss.

I want to effing break something now. I -knew- Idaho was a horrible matchup for us! What a wretched way to end the season.

Nick Fazekas double-doubled with 14 points and 10 rebounds, but Steven Wilkerson had a horrible shooting night and our starters just got pulverized by the Buckaroo starting five.

Anyway, on the NBA side, Chicago sweeps Boston, Toronto sweeps Detroit and Denver stuns the world by sweeping San Antonio. Milwaukee, Phoenix, the Lakers and Rockets all win in 5 while Charlotte confounds Cleveland again, winning in 7 games to give King James more nightmares of playoff failure.

Hard to blame Lebron though. He averaged 27.4 points a game in the series. Mike Miller just hasn't been the second option the Cavs hoped for when they traded for him.

Chicago -should- be able to beat Charlotte in the quarterfinals, but we all know what the Bobcats are capable of in the postseason. Toronto/Milwaukee is an intriguing matchup, though I have to give the Raptors the nod, with Chris Bosh (24.3 ppg, 11.5 rpg in the 1st round), Andrea Bargnani (21 points, 7.8 rpg) and Greg Oden (15.3 ppg, 12 rpg) all deadly in the first round. Oh yeah, Gerry McNamara, my old Syracuse flame, is averaging a clutch 9.8 points in the playoffs after averaging less than 4 points in the two regular seasons.

Yes, I have a really bad habit of getting attached to certain college players because of March Madness magic, McNamara and Noah being the most recent examples. Stephen Curry from this IRL year.

Phoenix will crush Denver and the Rockets should be able to take out the Lakers with ease over in the West.

The Raptors prove me correct by spanking the Bucks in five games. Charlotte works their usual postseason potency in surprising the Bulls in six. Chicago fans have to be absolutely livid by now. The Lakers beat the Rockets in seven after Andrew Bynum of all people goes bananas in Game 7 with 25 points, 24 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks.

But the biggest shock comes in Suns vs. Nuggets, with Denver upsetting the defending NBA champion Suns in six games. Credit Mssrs. Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony for the stunning conquest, who combined to average in excess of 50 points a game for the series between just the two of them.

I have to think there's no way Cinderella Charlotte can become Princess of the Playoffs Ball two years in a row. Toronto is just too damned good. On the other side, the Lakers and Nuggets is a really tough matchup. AI and Carmelo are a deadly scoring combo, but Kobe Bryant is a firebreather in his own right and if a couple of the other Lakers have good nights, they're capable of matching Denver pretty easily.

The Charlotte Bobcats win the Eastern Conference title again with a repeat 40-42 regular season record, upsetting the Raptors in five games. Really, this is getting ridiculous. But great team defense, a balanced offense and a deeper bench beat out the brilliant Raptors starters, who were undone by a horrible set of subs.

Denver takes the Lakers to the full seven games before the Nuggets come out on top. The combo of Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony was just too much for the Lakers in the end, especially since the Nuggets keyed in on stopping Kobe Bryant as much as possible and the rest of the team couldn't pick up the slack.

The Nuggets had damned well better win the title or I'll be seriously annoyed.

They do, beating the Bobcats handily in 5. Allen Iverson was simply sensational, averaging 34.2 points a game in the NBA Finals. Well-deserved title, AI and he's definitely the Playoff MVP.

NBA Lottery
1. Washington (-)
2. Memphis (-)
3. Seattle (+4)
4. New Jersey (-1)
5. New Orleans (-1)
6. New York (-1)
7. Minnesota (-1)
8. Dallas (-)
9. Orlando (-)
10. Atlanta (-)
11. Miami (-)
12. Philadelphia (-)
13. Utah (-)
14. Seattle (-)

Nice win for the Supersonics, who have a consolation of missing the playoffs in two lottery picks, including a top 3 pick, which is the pick that would've been the Knicks if I hadn't traded it away for the right to draft Joakim Noah.

...Maybe it's a good thing I was fired after all.
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:43 PM   #60
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So the question is...

Any job offers for the bigs yet?
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:18 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by MacroGuru View Post
So the question is...

Any job offers for the bigs yet?

We'll find out next post, which I'm writing up now.
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:33 PM   #62
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2008 NBA Awards
MVP
Chris Bosh - Toronto Raptors - 27.1 ppg, 13.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.4 bpg, 0.9 spg
Defensive Player of the Year
Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz - 12.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 3.9 bpg, 1.6 spg
Rookie of the Year
Kelvin Moody - Minnesota Timberwolves - 9.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.8 bpg, 0.5 spg
6th Man of the Year
Sean May - Charlotte Bobcats - 10.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.4 bpg, 0.7 spg
Coach of the Year
Mike D'Antoni - Phoenix Suns

All-NBA 1st Team
PG Gilbert Arenas - Washington Wizards
SG Michael Redd - Milwaukee Bucks
SF Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks
PF Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs
C Chris Bosh - Toronto Raptors

All-NBA 2nd Team
PG Mike Bibby - Sacramento Kings
SG Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
SF Paul Pierce - Boston Celtics
PF Kevin Garnett - Minnesota Timberwolves
C Yao Ming - Houston Rockets

All-NBA 3rd Team
PG Steve Nash - Phoenix Suns
SG Tracy McGrady - Houston Rockets
SF Carmelo Anthony - Denver Nuggets
PF Elton Brand - Los Angeles Clippers
C Andrew Bynum - Los Angeles Lakers

All-Defense 1st Team
PG Dwayne Wade - Miami Heat
SG Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
SF Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz
PF Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs
C Ben Wallace - Chicago Bulls

All-Defense 2nd Team
PG Baron Davis - Golden State Warriors
SG Tracy McGrady - Houston Rockets
SF Gerald Wallace - Charlotte Bobcats
PF Kevin Garnett - Minnesota Timberwolves
C Greg Oden - Toronto Raptors

All-Rookie 1st Team
PG Brandon Brooks - Portland Trailblazers*
SG Donnell Rosen - New Orleans Hornets
SF Julius Austin - Miami Heat*
PF Kelvin Moody - Minnesota Timberwolves*
C Rudy Braun - New York Knicks*

All-Rookie 2nd Team
PG Matt Dickel - Denver Nuggets
SG Kevin Logan - Milwaukee Bucks
SF Travann Parris - Charlotte Bobcats
PF Derrick Robinson - Los Angeles Lakers
C Fernando Patterson - Atlanta Hawks

Brooks got robbed of Rookie of the Year, but it's nice to see all of the Utah 6 who were on NBA rosters all year make the Rookie 1st Team.

Ray Ginger gives me a call after the awards are announced to chat about the season. I have no problems telling him I think I did an excellent job. He agrees and offers me the chance to stay on for another year or quit.

Naturally, I choose to resign, in hopes of finding an NBA job.

Luckily, there's an opening up in the big-time.

...With the New Jersey Nets.

That'd be interesting if I could get it, in terms of them versus the Knicks. It's not a job I necessarily relish, nor a team I have any fondness for, but it's an NBA gig and one with a less draconian owner than in New York.

Now if I can just get the job...

I should have a shot at it, because the Nets won 29 games in 2007 and slid to 23 wins this past season.

So I call up New Jersey's owner and inquire about it. He answers, "Sorry, you're not on our shortlist right now. Good luck finding a job elsewhere."

@$%!$%$%!$%!%$!%$!%$!^#%^%#^!%!!!!!

Asshat.

I really don't want to do another season down in the D-League.

Ugh!

Oh well, time to sit back and think it over some more.
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:10 AM   #63
boberot
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Time to invoke your omnipotent powers in commish mode, no?

Maybe you could penalize yourself by taking the worst available NBA job -- but then again, that could very well be the Knicks.




or whoever has Raef LaFrentz's contract

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Old 06-06-2008, 11:27 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by boberot View Post
Time to invoke your omnipotent powers in commish mode, no?

Maybe you could penalize yourself by taking the worst available NBA job -- but then again, that could very well be the Knicks.




or whoever has Raef LaFrentz's contract


Unfortunately, I can't commish myself into a job in single-player mode or I would make myself the Nets GM.

So it'll be another year in the D-Leagues and hoping someone hires me after that.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:47 PM   #65
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So Anaheim won't take me back because I voluntarily left the job.

After reviewing the other D-League openings (Dakota beat Idaho for the title last year, by the way, meaning we lost to the Runners-Up), I call up the Austin Mammoths owner and Michael Masters readily agrees to take me on.

I'm shooting for the playoffs again, though I weirdly get a call from Cliff Gross, who's the Celtics owner, asking how we'll do and what kind of salary cap we'll be under. Evidently he thought he was calling his GM.

Mike Montgomery is kicked out as the Knicks head coach and Larry Brown is heading them up again after signing a 2 year, $5.5 mill. deal. Heh. They bring in a whole new coaching staff, in fact.

Much as in Anaheim, I leave the coaching staff alone.

The NBA Mock Draft has a number of schools with 2 or 3 prospects, but nothing like the absurd numbers of last year's Utah Six, which I'm quite happy about. It's actually looking like a really weak class overall and I strongly disagree with the mock draft's rankings. My own personal opinion is that the best player and the one I'll be following, is 21 year old PF Federico Gomez out of Argentina. He's projected to go 11 to the Heat and if that happens, they'll have a real steal on their hands. PG Kevin Carter from Indiana, a 23 year old senior, looks really good too.

2009 NBA Draft 1st Round
1. SG Rob Robinson - Washington Wizards (The projected #1 in MD)

Ironically enough, the analysts ripped the pick and suggested they should've taken Carter.

2. C Narcyz Malinomowski - Memphis Grizzlies
3. PF Nate Bonner - Seattle Seahawks
4. PG Kevin Carter - New Jersey Nets

Heh, that's exactly the player I'd have taken if I were given the Nets GM job. New Jersey just got themselves arguably the best player in the draft.

5. C Marcel Mance - New Orleans Hornets
6. PG Johnny Willias - New York Knicks
7. PG Major Drayton - Minnesota Timberwolves
8. C Daniel Wilder - Dallas Mavericks
9. SG Mike Tice - Orlando Magic
10. C Jayson Alexander - Atlanta Hawks
11. PF T.J. Roberts - Miami Heat
12. PG Mikhel Zukauskas - Philadelphia 76ers
13. PG John Aylsworth - Utah Jazz
14. PG Zelipe Gama - Seattle Supersonics
15. SG Josh Amaker - Charlotte Bobcats
16. PF Federico Gomez - Boston Celtics

Irony abounds. My favorite team takes the player I think will be one of the biggest impacts of this draft.

17. PF Patrick Pastner - Indiana Pacers
18. PF Mike Patterson - Toronto Raptors

They'd been talking about Patterson for like 10 or 11 picks, so he really bombed from where he was expected to go.

19. C Hayward Voskuhl - New York Knicks
20. PG Gabe Rosen - Los Angeles Clippers
21. PF Karim Webber - Detroit Pistons
22. PG Cherokee Waterman - Cleveland Cavaliers (Ironically from Duke).
23. SF Donte Whiting - Denver Nuggets
24. C Tremaine Mouton - Milwaukee Bucks
25. C Ashley Davis - Sacramento Kings
26. SF J.J. Tucker - Chicago Bulls
27. C Kenneth Holland - San Antonio Spurs
28. SF Julian Wadley - Los Angeles Lakers
29. PG Mackel Greenleaf - Houston Rockets
30. SF David Anderson - Phoenix Suns

A lot of old guy changes in free agency, though I'm amused to see Steve Francis sign with Detroit for 2 years, $3.1 mill. Talk about coming down from the rarefied heights of $20 mill. a year to a lousy $1.55 mill. a year.

But that's not the biggest brow-raiser.

Starbury signs with Atlanta for 2 years and $6.68 mill.

Wally Sczierbiak goes to Phoenix for 5 years and $32.2 mill as the Suns try to get their title back. Mike Bibby inks with the Bulls for $5.5 mill. this season, setting off a rash of suicide watches in Sacramento. Rasheed Wallace joins the Lakers for 4 years and $24.7 mill, while Darko hooks up with Orlando for 4 years and $26 mill after having been a half-time starter at C for the Spurs for two years.

Chicago has to be considered the overwhelming favorites in the East after signing Bibby, by the way. They just added another 25-27 points a game and the guy who's been the All-NBA 2nd Team PG the last two seasons.

The D-League draft is up next, but I'll do that later.

What a drastically different NBA landscape this is turning into.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:13 AM   #66
Izulde
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We both know that I shouldn't be here
This is wrong
And baby it's killing you, it's killing me
Both of us tryin' to be strong
I've got somewhere else to be


But there isn't someone else who loves me, not in New Jersey anyway, so here I am in Austin while some jerk heads up the Nets job that should've been mine. I shouldn't be here and this is wrong indeed.

On the other hand, it's 98 degrees in Austin a lot more often than in Jersey and I love hot weather, so it's not all bad.

In any event, D-League draft time! I'm going to try and assemble a lot of last year's Anaheim roster if I can, as it was pretty successful. Or should I say, the initial roster, because we changed a lot over the year.

Oh look, the C's feed the Mammoths. That makes me feel a little more warm and fuzzy inside, particularly since we've got SG Nick Sanders, a 2nd round Celtics rookie, as our lone send-down. Not a bad player for this level, though I wouldn't consider him dynamite or anything.

Unlike Anaheim last year, where I was last/first, I'm 6th/7th this season in the draft. Ugh, I hate that spot. I'd rather be at the tail-ends, because I have a better idea of how things are going to shake out. Oh well, have to play the middling hand I've been dealt.

I grab 23 year old SF Jared Dudley with our 1st round pick. He's the best scorer left and he wasn't re-signed by the Lakers, so hopefully he'll stick aroud long enough to be a star for us.

Seth Chambliss, our superstar PG from a year ago, is in Round 2 and what's interesting is his stats are listed for the Tejanos, not the Cats, presumably because the Bucks signed him. Still, I'm going to pass on him and hope he's around for the 3rd, as there's a lot better rated PGs still there. Instead, I take 30 year old C Ken Johnson. Yes, Steven Wilkerson is still available, but Johnson looks like a stronger defensive presence.

PG Seth Chambliss is still there in the 3rd, so I quickly snap him up. He was too good for me last year in Anaheim to risk losing him out to anyone else.

I take PF Jabari Coulibaly in the 4th, a 24 year old rookie who looked great in limited minutes for the Rattlers last year and who I think can break out as a starter this season in Austin.

29 year old SG Matt Caroll is the 5th round selection to make sure we have another scoring option to pair with Dudley and Chambliss.

You can never have too many passers, so PG Larry Gilbert gets the call in the 6th. The 27 year old has great ball-handling skills and showed signs of scoring touch the last two seasons with the Goldenbirds and Timberjacks respectively.

C Aaron Gray has upside and I loved watching him play for Pitt in college, so he's my 7th round selection. This means the end of Steven Wilkerson playing for me, but that's okay. Gray's much more meaningful personally and besides, I have an addiction to centers 7 feet+ tall.

I'm pleased to see PF Brandon Hunter, who was a supersub for me last year in Anaheim, still available in the 8th, so I take him.

The Mammoths get a little international flavor in the 9th round, when we take 24 year old Lithuanian SG Renaldas Seibutus, who was a good sub last year for the Commodores and who should fulfill the same role for us this season in Austin.

Steven Wilkerson finally goes with the last pick in the 9th round, to the Bakersfield Otters, kicking off a run of 6 Cs in 7 picks. We end that streak by taking SF Rodney White as our final draftee, another former Cat who showed flashes of something last season.

No need to sign a 12th man as we get SG Keith Davis, drafted in the 1st round last year by the Celtics. He's been a major bust, so major that he's currently the 12th man in the Mammoths' rotation, though to be honest, he looks better than that.

2009 Austin Mammoths Opening Lineup
PG Nick Sanders
SG Matt Carroll
SF Jared Dudley
PF Brandon Hunter
C Ken Johnson
6th Seth Chambliss (PG/SG)
7th Larry Gilbert (PG/SG)
8th Rodney White (SG/SF/PF)
9th Renaldas Seibutus (PG/SG/SF)
10th Aaron Gray (PF/C)
11th Jabari Couibaly (SF/PF/C)
12th Keith Davis (SG/SF)

The overall impression I get is that this team is a lot stronger than even my dominant squad in Anaheim last year, but of course, a team that looks strong on paper isn't necessarily the best team in the D-League, especially not with the predatory NBA teams always circling overhead, ready to swoop up the top talent.

Steven Wilkerson is the starting C in Bakersfield, by the way. Anaheim looks absolutely horrible this year. I anticipate a slide back to mediocrity or worse for the Cats this season.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:38 PM   #67
boberot
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Is it even possible for an NBA job to open up midseason that you might snag?

I cant say I've seen it happen personally in the few seasons I've played.

Just curious . . . .
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:03 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by boberot View Post
Is it even possible for an NBA job to open up midseason that you might snag?

I cant say I've seen it happen personally in the few seasons I've played.

Just curious . . . .

Sadly, no.
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Old 06-21-2008, 03:03 PM   #69
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By the time of the season opener, we've had a shuffle in the starting five to:

PG Mackel Greenleaf (Houston's 1st round pick this year)
SG Matt Carroll
SF Keith Davis
PF Rodney White
C Ken Johnson

Johnson erupts for 18 points, 24 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks in our opening 93-65 victory over Albuquerque to take Player of the Game, but Brandon Hunter, angered at the demotion, double-doubled with 20 points and 11 rebounds from the bench.

B.J. Whitehead, yes, -that- B.J. Whitehead, the Utah Sixer, comes on board in Game 2 and takes over as the starting PF, but it's Mackel Greenleaf who provides the highlights with 19 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds in the 78-66 triumph over the Colonials.

We get a back-to-back doubleheader with my old team, the Anaheim Cats, to begin December and my predictions of a weakened Anaheim team prove correct as we sweep them 96-70 and 93-83. Game 1 featured 20 bench points and 8 rebounds from Brandon Hunter, while a balanced scoring attack, led by 17 points from keith Davis, de-clawed the Cats in Game 2.

Our four game-win streak came to a painfully screeching end in a discordant duo of back-to-back losses. Arkansas topped us 77-69, while Tulsa beat us in a 102-96 shootout.

Dakota's a delightful doubleheader when we beat them 76-72 and 76-67. Keith Davis, now at SG, leads all scorers in the first game with 14 points, while B.J. Whitehead is first among Mammoths with 16 points in the second.

The joy of victory turns to the bitterness of defeat as we lose 83-76 to Sioux Falls, making it our third straight game of exactly 76 points.

We get the Commodores again the next game and drop a 92-90 heartbreaker, despite a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds from Brandon Hunter on the bench. Next night, even more demoralizing result: 90-76 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Waves despite 20 points from Rodney White.

I'm not sure what's wrong with this team or how to snap it out of the three-game losing streak we're in, but if this goes on much longer, I'll have to make some adjustments.

Revenge against the Waves, an 88-85 heartstopper keyed by Keith Davis's 19 points.

Two days later, another aggravating loss by a single point to, of course, Sioux Falls. 76 to bleeping 75. I'm so disgusted I don't even want to look at the box score the next morning.

Another close game to end December, this time we the victors 88-86 over the Buckaroos as Aaron Gray comes out of nowhere to score 22 points from the bench.

And so, at year's end, we're 8-6, in 3rd place in the D-League East, four games back of those Sioux Falls bastards. We're only half a game out of second place, which is, of course, occupied by the Tejanos.

I appear to have been right about Anaheim, as the Cats are wallowing near the cellar in the West at 5-10.

Ken Johnson is tied for 4th in rebounds at 9.7 with Steven Wilkerson, whose Otters are in 1st place in the West. I'm kicking myself now for not going and getting Wilkerson back, who was a steady, consistent player in Anaheim and who has done much the same in Bakersfield, with 4 double-doubles already.

On the other hand, Johnson's also second in blocks per game with 2.5.

Forget about the NBA. We're so damned middling right now, I won't ever get a chance to sniff it anyway. I'll provide an update of NBA standings and leaders next time, after I race through another two months.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:54 AM   #70
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So really, I'm at a loss as to what to do to try and fix this team. We don't appear to be really weak in any specific area, other than a lack of consistency. On the other hand, we don't really have any good inside scorers either, so I sign C Jarron Collins out of free agency to try and give us a boost in that area. The 31 year old played in 2007 and 2008 with the Utah Jazz as a respectable benchman and I think it's time he made his D-league debut.

He slots in as our new 8th man and our first big man off the bench. I hope it portends good things.

Results are initially promising as we beat Bakersfield 95-85 and Albuquerque 87-70 on consecutive nights for our first games in the new year. The Otters go down to six Mammoths in double-digit scoring, B.J. Whitehead the man of the match with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Whitehead also trips up the Golden Birds for 19 points, conspiring with Kenneth Holland, our new starting C, who double-doubled with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Holland was the Spurs first round pick in the draft and San Antonio apparently decided he needed more seasoning. Fine by us.

Colorado goes down 90-73 the next game as Nick Sanders scores 18 points from the bench and B.J. Whitehead double-doubles with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Utah Sixer is really starting to show signs of a quality player in a Mammoths uniform.

Our win streak and my enhanced happiness continues with back-to-back wins over Anaheim (93-86) and Los Angeles (92-75). Seth Chambliss, who finally wrestled away the starting PG spot, lit the Cats up for 15 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds, Ken Johnson his second man with 14 points and 8 boards from the bench. The Waves were primarily crashed by Renaladas Seibutis, who scored 14 for the second unit and who's really been hot lately.

Oh, how sweet is! Austin 82 Sioux Falls 76. Seth Chambliss double-doubles with 15 points and 13 assists, Ken Johnson doing likewise with 12 points and 13 rebounds as he continues to knife through opposing subs. Remind me to send a thank-you note to the Spurs for sending me Kenneth Holland.

Again the Otters go down, 96-89, as once again six Mammoths hit double-digit points, the key player Kenneth Holland with 13 points and 10 rebounds. I'd like to say it was my Jarron Collins signing that jump-started this amazing win streak, but it'd be a lie, as Collins as been chained to the end of the bench after his first couple games. It's really been the gift from San Antonio and the coach's finally wising up and starting my boy Seth Chambliss at the point that's done it.

A critical doubleheader against Tulsa is up next and of course we drop both ends to the Tejanos, 81-75 and 96-92. Seth Chambliss scored 20 in Game 1 and Kenneth Holland had 14 points and 12 rebounds in Game 2, but we fell just short both nights. Irritating.

After a nice, long rest, we get back on track with a 104-71 blowout of Colorado as six Mammoths score double-digits, the real Timberjack-slayer in the form of Nick Sanders, who scored a dizzying 17 bench points.

The reserves carry us again in an 87-76 victory over Arkansas, Mackel Greenleaf and Renaldas Seibutis with 10 points a piece, Ken Johnson topping them by a bucket for 12. At least we're a deep squad.

January ends with an infuriating 91-84 loss to Idaho. The Buckaroos continue to be my bane in the D-League as our bench, which played so wonderfully last game, takes the night off in this contest.

So where has our great play put us? Why, still in third place at 16-10! Just one stinking game away from the co-leaders Sioux Falls and Tulsa, but only a single game in front of Arkansas. Yeah, the D-League East is that tight this year.

Not so close in the West, where Idaho's 16-10 record is good enough for first place, the Sea Dogs of Los Angeles (I accidentally called them the Waves earlier) half a game back. Anaheim, much to my smug satisfaction, is last at 9-19.

I said I'd do two months in this update so onward we go, despite the fact that the mosquitos biting me are annoying me even more than our still being in third place. Thanks, alkie brother, for leaving the bloody door open all day even though I told you to just turn on the air conditioning and shut the door!

GOD DAMN IT!

A doubleheader to open the short month to Bakersfield and the Otters beat us twice! 88-68 and 108-100. We all sucked in the first game, but in the second, Seth Chambliss had 21 points and 10 assists and Nick Sanders, Renaladas Seibutis and Brandon Hunter all scored 10+ points from the bench and we -still- freaking lost!

Here's a little more salt in the wounds. Oh wait, make that a giant freaking heap right in the bloody raw... 93-69 loss to the Rattlers. We're now in fourth place.

I react by firing my entire coaching staff.

Goodbye Quin Snyder, Roy Rogers, Scott Faust and Francis Gorman.

Say hello to Jeff Van Gundy, welcome back as the 1st assistant Quin Snyder, Dave Hanners and John Kuester. Sorry you have to slum it here in the D-Leagues, Mr. Van Gundy, but if you have to do it, then so do I!

The ship's righted 99-82 over Colorado, but the Timberjacks aren't a good team. Nonetheless, Rodney White scores 22 points and dishes out 8 assists to get us the victory.

Oh yeah, the first starting 5 of the new regime.

PG Mackel Greenleaf
SG Keith Davis
SF Rodney White
PF B.J. Whitehead
C Brandon Hunter

Why Hunter? Because Kenneth Holland is nursing a sprained toe.

100-75 win over Sioux Falls and all of a sudden, I'm looking like a genius for changing up the staff. Keith Davis sets a team high with 29 points and B.J. Whitehead is right behind with 26 points as people are absolutely flourishing in Jeff Van Gundy's system. Oh yeah, Aaron Gray scored 12 points off the bench.

The easy victories keep coming as we smash the Colonials of Fort Worthless 97-59 on Keith Davis's 23 points. Aaron Gray contributes 12 from the bench again but Renaldas Seibutis betters him with 15 points.

Another big doubleheader is up next....and we win both! 92-80 over Fort Worth and most importantly, 100-83 over Tulsa!!!! Keith Davis continues his otherworldly takeover with 29 points in Game 1 and B.J. Whitehead joins the 20 point club with exactly that, 20. Seven Mammoths hit double-digit scoring to topple the Tejanos, our team leader in scoring once again Keith Davis, albeit with a more modest 17. Nick Sanders, Larry Gilbert and Brandon Hunter were our double-digit benchmen with 11, 10 and 10 points respectively. B.J. Whitehead double-doubled with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

That's our final game of the month and with it, we've pole-vaulted back into third with a 21-13 record, 1.5 games behind Sioux Falls and a full game behind the Arkansas Rattlers. On the plus side, we're a game and a half up on Tulsa, thanks to just beating them.

It's Bakersfield and Idaho fighting for top seed in the West, the Otters a half-game over the Buckaroos right now.

Despite Keith Davis's torrential shooting since Jeff Van Gundy's hiring, he's only up to 11.1 ppg average. But on the other hand, Mackel Greenleaf is second in assists per game with 5.6.

Moving on to the NBA (finally, no doubt some of you are saying), it's a shocking year in the East, as seven teams have .+500 records, including an actual winning team atop the Southeast with a 29-25 mark. What isn't surprising is that it's the Charlotte Bobcats on top, who have had a stranglehold on that division for the entireity of this universe.

As expected, the Chicago Bulls currently lead the East with a 40-14 record, though the Raptors are close behind at 39-17. Well, close behind in wins, anyway.

Schadenfreude moment: The New York Knicks are 17-40. New Jersey, much to my disgruntlement, is a respectable 28-29.

Over in the West, it's the same old song of Houston and Phoenix, the Rockets 48-9, the Suns 44-13. The conference overall is down this year, with seven teams holding winning records, an astonishing parity with the East. Even more curious, Phoenix is the only team in the Pacific with a record above .500. Second-place belongs to the Lakers, who are 24-31.

Bizzare NBA indeed.

Michael Redd leads the NBA with 33 points a game, but King James is averaging 32.1 and Dwayne Wade is in the 30+ club with 30.6.

Steve Nash and Baron Davis are the only two players with double-digit assist averages right now, with 10.3 and 10 even respectively. Greg Oden tops the league in boards per game with an even 14. Your friend and mine Andrei Kirilenko continues to be the only man in the NBA who averages 4 blocks a game with 4.1. Allen Iverson and Gerald Wallace are the top ballthieves with 2.2 steals per game, followed by Ron Artest with a 2, that like a lot of stats right now, is even.

All in all, I'd say we're playing extremely well right now.

But an ominious thing happened as February drew to a close.

Seth Chambliss was once again signed by an NBA team.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:52 AM   #71
Izulde
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Apparently NBA trades are showing up now again, but I'm feeling dreadfully lazy and not in the mood to go back and find them all, so I'll just mention the latest one, which also appears to be the most interesting.

Milwaukee Bucks receive:
SG Randy Foye
Minnesota Timberwolves 2010 2nd round pick

Minnesota Timberwolves receive:
PG Javaris Crittenton
SG Kevin Logan
SF Ruben Patterson

What this means for the Bucks:
Randy Foye is a solid, steady scorer to team up with Michael Redd, so from Milwaukee's offensive standpoint, it's a good thing, as the Bucks seemed primed for a playoff spot this year. Only who's going to run the point now? Milwaukee's going with Redd, though Foye is probably better suited.

What this means for the Timberwolves:
Javaris Crittenton, the biggest piece of the puzzle, has potential to be a perfect pure NBA PG someday, but he's not going to reach that potential in Minneapolis, where he's a backup to the more polished rookie PG Major Drayton. Kevin Logan provides some scoring punch off the bench and Ruben Patterson is a great defensive presence, if old.

Winner: Minnesota
Randy Foye's a decent second option, but not -that- good and the Bucks have no true PG now. The Timberwolves may only get 3 half-season rentals here, but Javaris Crittenton is worth retaining -if- he can get quality minutes and their offense is good enough with Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis that Foye won't be missed. A Crittenton/Drayton backcourt is an intriguing future possibility, particularly since Davis is 30 years old and the 19-38 Timberwolves are likely to be rebuilding for a while.

Seth Chambliss was signed by the Clippers and gets paid $745,248 to be a garbage-time man. Although [b]Mackel Greenleaf[/b[ is a good starter, I really don't like not having two legitimate PGs, so I sign PG Jarrius Jackson, who played well for me with the Anaheim Cats last year.

105-76 thrashing of Colorado to start March, Brandon Hunter a perfect 7/7 from the bench to score 15 points. I knew there was a reason why I tried to maintain continuity with my guys.

We take out Arkansas 108-89 and the victory over the Rattlers is huge in terms of getting up to second place. Seven Mammoths in double-digit scoring, the benchmen to top 10 points being Renaldas Seibutis (14) and Brandon Hunter and Nick Sanders with 10 a piece.

You know, it's kind of ironic... Way back at the beginning, when I first took over the Knicks, I seriously thought about re-hiring Jeff Van Gundy to come back and coach the team, but I didn't want to spoil his previous New York magic.

And here it is, three years later, and I hired him anyway as head coach of my D-League team and he's been an absolute master at turning around the Austin Mammoths' season. Funny how life works sometimes.

Naturally, right after I finish that philosophical thought process, Van Gundy has his first loss in the D-League, an 84-74 defeat to Tulsa despite all five Mammoths starters in double digits, Kenneth Holland with 15 points and 16 rebounds.

And then we lose 100-93 to Idaho. Ugh, this is not how I wanted to finish off our season, with a losing streak building. But B.J. Whitehead missed the last two games with an injury and that hurts, even if Brandon Hunter double-doubled with 14 points and 13 rebounds in his absence this game.

Oh shoot! That reminds me... I forgot to update on the Utah Six! I'll have to do that at season's end.

Sioux Falls falls 95-80 as we turn things around with B.J. Whitehead's return, even though Rodney White was the hero of the game with 21 points. Aaron Gray double-doubled from the bench with 14 points and 12 rebounds, because we no longer have the recalled Kenneth Holland. Brandon Hunter stepped into the middle with no problems, though, double-doubling himself with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The much-needed win over the Commodores kicks off a brutal stretch of 5 games in 7 days. The first doubleheader we split, dropping 91-85 to Arkansas of all teams and rebounding to top Dakota 92-74 the next night. The Rattlers' loss came despite double-doubles from B.J. Whitehead (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Brandon Hunter (12 points, 13 rebounds. B.J. Whitehead crushed the Great Apes for 23 points and 10 rebounds, Aaron Gray chipping in 10 bench points.

Of course, what happens before our next doubleheader against Fort Worth?

That's right.

B.J. Whitehead gets shot back up to the NBA by the Rockets. ARGH!

Out of desparation, we sign 35 year old Antonio McDyess, who's old and not very good anymore, despite having played in 75 games a piece for the Pistons and Nets in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

We eke out an 85-82 win over Fort Worth in Game One. Don't ask me how we did it. Renaladas Seibutis and Nick Sanders scoring 12 points a piece with the reserves had a lot to do with it, though.

Mackel Greenleaf is recalled by the Celtics immediately following the game, so we have to add yet another new player. This is really not cool, but 26 year old PG Michael Nolan is the best of an awful free agent lot.

So it's really no surprise when we lose 85-76 to the stinking Colonials in Game Two. Jarron Collins was great from the bench with 16 points, but everyone else sucked. Our team chemistry has now been thoroughly raped.

92-77 loss to Albuquerque. 79-75 loss to Arkansas. I'm starting to really freaking hate the Rattlers.

That ends March and we're tied for 3rd with Tulsa, 4 games back of Arkansas and Sioux Falls who are tied for the East lead. I'm going through the rest of the season, but not before signing someone who can score, because honestly Aaron Gray may be over 7' tall and I may have loved watching him play college ball, but a legitimate starting C for any type of pro team he's not.

So do I sign a new big man? No, I sign 36 year old SG Michael Finley, who's still got game and is another Badger State bloke, or at least he went to college there. Yeah, yeah I know, that bit me in New York too, but what have we got to lose?

Oh look, Mackel Greenleaf's back. Whether he was there for our last two defeats, I don't know, because I was so irate at losing three games in a row I didn't look at those box scores.

And we go to four in a row, losing 81-75 to Dakota. Bloody freaking hell.

We finally snap the streak, downing Tulsa 96-84 as Brandon Hunter gets 16 points and 16 rebounds and Antonio McDyess and Jarron Collins contribute 12 points a piece, but we lose the next night to Fort Worth and the blood vessels in my head are dying to explode, making me die too.

Forget about second place. That's long gone. But we can still finish third as long as we don't screw up in the doubleheader against Dakota for the season finale. Given how we've been playing lately, that's not a sure thing.

We lose 85-81 in the first game. Joy.

We bounce back to win our regular season finale 100-82 as Rodney White scores 20, Mackel Greenleaf double-doubles with 10 points and 12 assists and Nick Sanders, Renaladas Seibutis and Aaron Gray all hit double-digit scoring from the bench, but it's not a joyous feeling. Even finally having Kenneth Holland back doesn't excite me.

Because we finish the year 28-22, tied for 3rd place in the East with Tulsa. I think we hold tiebreaker advantage, but so what? I had high hopes for this Mammoths team and they go and sucked it on me, even after the Jeff Van Gundy hiring.

Oh well. The playoffs are a whole new ballgame and if things break right, maybe we can come out on top with a title.

That would be sweet justice.

I don't feel like stats updating. I'll do it after the playoffs are concluded.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:03 AM   #72
Izulde
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We get absolutely screwed in the seeding and are handed the #4 spot to face off against #1 Sioux Falls. Lovely.

In the NBA postseason, for the first time in what seems forever, all eight Eastern Conference playoff teams are .500 or better. 7 of 8 Western Conference teams are .+500, with the Los Angeles Lakers the lone sub-.500 entrant.

The Bulls are heavy favorites to win the East, while the Rockets and the Suns both won 60+ games in the West, making the favorites a coinflip there.

I have to admit, I love the Chicago team. Even though Luol Deng is gone for the year with a torn MCL, they still have a solid lineup.

PG Mike Bibby
SG Kirk Hinrich
SF Josh McRoberts
PF Tyrus Thomas (really had a breakout season this year, his first as a full-time starter)
C Eddy Curry
6th Ben Wallace
7th Raymond Felton

and so on. Curry's having arguably his best season in this universe, averaging 17 points a game and 9.3 rebounds in the regular season. Hinrich's scoring numbers are way down (15.8 ppg), but it's much a more potent Bulls offense with Bibby (24.1 ppg) and the emerging Thomas (14.4 ppg).

Switching back to the D-League, if you'd have told me that five Austin Mammoths would score 11 or more points, including Aaron Gray with 13 from the bench and that we'd still lose, I'd have called you a liar, but that's exactly what happened as Sioux Falls beats us 97-90 to end our season.

Whatever. Let's move on before I get really mad about it.

We'll be having a new Eastern Conference champion this year after Detroit sweeps Charlotte in the first round. Also getting the fastest exit possible are Milwaukee, who lost to Boston because they have no PG after that earlier deal, and the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets, who were swept by the Rockets in Round 1. So much for any hopes of any dynasties in this universe as we've lost our two-time defending East champion and our defending NBA champion already in the first round.

In fact, it was a pretty boring opening round, as every other series is decided in five games: Chicago over Philadelphia, Toronto over Cleveland, Seattle over Portland, San Antonio over Utah and Phoenix over the Lakers.

Second round matchups don't look that exciting in the East either, with Chicago vs. Detroit and Boston vs. Toronto. A Bulls/Raptors East final would be a ton of fun to watch, though.

The West offers Phoenix vs. San Antonio and Seattle vs. Houston. The Rockets should squash the Supersonics, but I'm intrigued by the Suns/Spurs matchup. Phoenix has a balanced offense, whereas San Antonio's been riding Tim Duncan and the suddenly ungodly Tony Parker, he of the 21.3 ppg in the regular season, 23.8 ppg in the opening round.

Houston sweeps Seattle to no one's surprise and the Bulls punch their ticket to the East Conference Finals in five games. Phoenix and San Antonio, as expected, goes full tilt to seven, as does, much to my shock, the Celtics/Raptors series.

Toronto wins Game 7 92-76 thanks to their monstrous front line. Andrea Bargnani scores 25, Chris Bosh double-doubles with 26 points and 12 rebounds and Greg Oden has a double-double as well, 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Suns ace the Spurs 124-101 with seven Phoenix players in double figures, highlighted by Amare Stoudamire's 20 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks and Steve Nash's 22 points and 12 assists. But the real reason San Antonio lost was because Tony Parker broke his ankle in Game 6 and Tim Duncan was shut down in Game 7, held to just 3 points.

So in the East we've got the Chicago Bulls and their high-octane postseason offense of Mike Bibby (20.8 ppg), Tyrus Thomas (17.9 ppg), Eddy Curry (16.8 ppg) and Kirk Hinrich (16.8 ppg) against the Toronto Raptors and that scary frontline of Chris Bosh (21.3 ppg, 10.6 rpg), Andrea Bargnani (19.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and Greg Oden (14.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg). Thomas and Curry are both averaging just shy of 10 rebounds a game in the playoff themselves, but they're going to have their hands full against this dominant frontcourt.

In the West, it's the Phoenix Suns and the suddenly hot Leandro Barbosa (19.6 ppg) and Amare Stoudamire (16.4 ppg, 12.1 rpg) and a host of secondary scorers versus the Houston Rockets and their two-man show of Tracy McGrady (24.9 ppg) and Yao Ming (19 ppg, 14.3 rpg).

The Bulls/Raptors series is too close to call, but the Suns have a much more balanced and diversified offense and guys who have won rings before in 2007, so Phoenix is the odds-on favorite to beat Houston.

Surprisingly, neither series is close in the end, as Chicago jumps out to a 3-0 lead on Toronto and wins in five games and Phoenix runs off 3 straight after it was 1-1 in Game 2 to also win in five.

2009 NBA Finals - Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns
It's the 2007 NBA champions versus a team that should've been dominating the East for the last few seasons, but has suffered disappointing postseason flameouts the previous two years.

No more, and the Bulls are where they properly should be, as the East Conference champions.

PG Mike Bibby vs. Steve Nash
Bibby was the biggest offseason acquistion in the entire league and he may be the most important one-year signing ever. He's led the Bulls in scoring all year and is the focus of their offense.

Nash has been here before, but this year, he's acted as more of a pure PG in this playoffs, trading in his 20+ points a game for 15.3 points and 11.2 assists. It's made his team a lot better and has the Suns primed for another title.

Advantage: Even

SG Kirk Hinrich vs. Leandro Barbosa
Hinrich, like Nash, has seen his scoring numbers drop, but that's only because Bibby's here and Kirk is still averaging over 18 points for the postseason. He's capable of running the offense and being the main scorer if Bibby goes down and the Bulls frankly have the best starting backcourt in the NBA.

The 27-year old Brazilian Barbosa has turned this playoffs into his coming out party, averaging 20 points a game after a nice, but pedestrian regular season as a part-time starter. He leads the Suns in points per game this playoffs and is currently the toast of Phoenix. But will he succeed against the bigger, better Bulls or will this Cinderella scorer's playoff magic run out?

Advantage: Bulls

SF Josh McRoberts vs. Wally Sczerbiak
McRoberts is only starting because Luol Deng is out. He's non-descript. Wally's been a great veteran pickup and a key part of the Suns' new balance on offense.

Advantage: Suns

PF Tyrus Thomas vs. Shawn Marion
Thomas broke out this year and has looked better and better as the season's gone on, really peaking in this playoffs as he's averaged almost 19 points a game and played tough, briliant lockdown defense.

Marion is one of the biggest disappointments and underachievers in the league. Blessed with phenomenal talent, he's become nothing more than a pretty good player and shows absolutely no fire and no passion on the court.

Advantage: Bulls

C Eddy Curry vs. Amare Stoudemire
Chicago should be thanking the Lottery GM for shipping Curry back to the Bulls from the Knicks, because he's experienced a rejuvenation in his second stint in Chicago. Now that Bibby and Hinrich are around and Thomas has blossomed, Curry can take on a secondary role in the offense, which better suits his temperment.

Stoudemire is one of those guys who doesn't look fantastic on the scoresheet, but he brings a consistent double-double effort night in and night out and he fits in well with the Suns game.

Advantage: Even

The Bulls' bench is slightly better than the Suns', which should give Chicago the edge in an NBA Finals matchup that looks to be extremely entertaining.

Phoenix's playoff experience looks to turn the Finals into a rout when they jump to a 2-0 series lead, but the Bulls bounce back to take the next two and force an evening at 2-2. Chicago wins Game 5, but Phoenix wins Game 6 to set up the climatic Game 7.

And then Mike Bibby roars to life.

Already considered one of the greatest one-year signings in NBA history, Bibby adds to his hired gun legacy by scoring 35 points and garnering 6 assists, 7 rebounds and a timely steal to lead Chicago past Phoenix 96-91.

The Chicago Bulls are your 2009 NBA Champions!!!

Bibby the Brilliant! Mike the Magnificient!

They'll be talking about this season in Chitown for a long, long time to come. Not since the Jordan dynasty years have the Bulls looked this splendid, nor have they worn championship gold.

But the wait is finally over.

Da Bulls are basketball kings again.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:05 PM   #73
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
The Utah Six 2009 Recap

PG Brandon Brooks - Portland Trailblazers
Started 79 games this year and continues to show steady improvement as Portland's PG, averaging 12.6 points and 7.8 assists. A Sophomore All-Star starter, he's on the verge of becoming a great player, I think. Still, he's definitely good at this stage in his career.

PF Kelvin Moody - Minnesota Timberwolves
Made major strides after a disappointing rookie season (even though he won Rookie of the Year), shooting up to 13.7 points, 9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. It's hard to believe the T-Wolves were only 30-52 with him and Kevin Garnett, though the team's play did drastically improve after trading away Randy Foye, which suggests a chemistry issue. Moody was a Sophomore starter as well and shows signs of becoming one of the elite players in the league sooner rather than later.

SF Julius Austin - Miami Heat
Despite starting 78 games, appeared to take a step backward, regressing in most major statistics with 7.3 points and 3.9 rebounds, though his steals up were to a 1.4 average. It's looking more and more as if he'll turn into a defensive specialist, the kind of player that's a good role player on a championship team, but without the offense to be a star. On the other hand, he's still got some development left, so maybe he can snap it around. Sophomore Reserve.

C Rudy Braun - New York Knicks
Big gains by the big man, who started 61 games. 8 points a game and 5.5 rebounds both represent significant improvements. Well okay, not the boards, but definitely the points. Hasn't quite adjusted his 7'5" 301 lbs. body to the NBA it seems and who knows he ever will. There's promise there, however. Sophomore Starter.

SF Brian Robertson - Dallas Mavericks
Significantly improved, both in the 5 games he appeared in the NBA and in the D-league. Posted 9.3 points and 5.6 boards a game for the Fort Worth Colonials, but there's nothing to suggest that he'll be anything more than a D-League lifer.

PF B.J. Whitehead - Houston Rockets
Played fewer NBA games, but averaged over 20 minutes in the 17 games he played, averaging 7.9 points and 6.5 rebounds. He's really worked hard and definitely stands a good shot at being a legitimate NBA bench player. His numbers with the Mammoths were almost exactly identical to last season however, suggesting that he doesn't have the same intensity and desire in the D-Leagues that he does in the NBA. Too bad, because we could have really used a dominating B.J. here in Austin.

NBA Lottery
1. Orlando Magic (+10)
2. Dallas Mavericks (+7)
3. Minnesota Timberwolves (+2)
4. Indiana Pacers (-3)
5. New Orleans Hornets (-3)
6. New York Knicks (-3)
7. Washington Wizards (-3)
8. Memphis Grizzlies (-2)
9. Atlanta Hawks (-2)
10. L.A. Clippers (-2)
11. Golden State Warriors (-1)
12. Sacramento Kings
13. Miami Heat
14. New Jersey Nets

What a major upset in the lottery! The Magic and the Mavericks have to be absolutely thrilled with their luck. I'm gleeful to see the Knicks continue to have hard luck and hope it stays that way for them.

2009 NBA Awards

MVP
Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks - 28.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.5 bpg, 1.1 spg
Defensive Player of the Year
Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz - 12.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.3 apg, 4.1 bpg, 1.5 spg
Rookie of the Year
Narcyz Malinomowski - Memphis Grizzlies - 10.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.3 bpg, 0.7 spg
6th Man of the Year
Johan Petro - San Antonio Spurs - 8.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.0 bpg, 0.7 spg
Coach of the Year
Mike D'Antoni - Phoenix Suns

Andrei Kirilenko continues to be the only player in the history of this universe to win Defensive Player of the Year. That's three straight trophies for those counting at home.

All-NBA 1st Team
PG Dwayne Wade - Miami Heat
SG Michael Redd - Milwaukee Bucks
SF Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks
PF Elton Brand - L.A. Clippers
C Andrew Bynum - L.A. Lakers

All-NBA 2nd Team
PG Steve Nash - Phoenix Suns
SG Tracy McGrady - Houston Rockets
SF Paul Pierce - Boston Celtics
PF Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs
C Yao Ming - Houston Rockets

All-NBA 3rd Team
PG Mike Bibby - Chicago Bulls
SG Allen Iverson - Denver Nuggets
SF Carmelo Anthony - Denver Nuggets
PF Carlos Boozer - Utah Jazz
C Greg Oden - Toronto Raptors (3rd season)

All-Defense 1st Team
PG Dwayne Wade - Miami Heat
SG Tracy McGrady - Houston Rockets
SF Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz
PF Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs
C Greg Oden - Toronto Raptors

All-Defense 2nd Team
PG Kirk Hinrich - Chicago Bulls
SG Allen Iverson - Denver Nuggets
SF Gerald Wallace - Charlotte Bobcats
PF Tyrus Thomas - Chicago Bulls
C Marcus Camby - Denver Nuggets

All-Rookie 1st Team
PG Major Drayton - Minnesota Timberwolves
SG Mike Tice - Orlando Magic
SF Patrick Pastner - Indiana Pacers
PF Mike Patterson - Toronto Raptors
C Narcyz Malinomowski - Memphis Grizzlies

All-Rookie 2nd Team
PG Gabe Rosen - L.A. Clippers
SG Rob Robinson - Washington Wizards
SF Donte Whiting - Denver Nuggets
PF T.J. Roberts - Miami Heat
C Jayson Alexander - Atlanta Hawks

Next day, the owner calls and this time it's the right owner. I tell him I was pretty pleased with how we did overall, pointing out the turnaround we made after I hired Jeff Van Gundy, when we were playing so badly we were likely to be spotty to even make the playoffs. I also noted that although we lost to Sioux Falls in the first round, it was a close game and the Commodores went on to win the D-League title.

He thinks we should've won the championship.

I tell him to fuck off and quit.

One job opening in the NBA

...And it's the Denver Nuggets, the 2008 NBA Champions who lost in the first round this year.

I don't see much chance of getting it, but I apply anyway, calling up Steve Crenshaw, the Nuggets' owner.

"You've been doing some great work down in the D-League, turning around the Anaheim Cats and pulling that shrewd move with Van Gundy in Austin this year. I like a GM that's not afraid to make gutsy moves to turn things about and honestly, we could use that to get back in shape here in Denver. You got ripped in New York, but I promise you, if you want to get the Nuggets back to form, you're welcome to it, Jestor!"

"Um, you mean you're offering me the GM job?"

"That's right!"

"...I'LL TAKE IT!!!"

"Welcome back to the NBA, Mr. Jestor!"

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:14 PM   #74
cubboyroy1826
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Congrats man!!!
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:43 PM   #75
Swaggs
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Location: Almost Heaven
Nice!

But will you take Van Gundy with you?
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:38 AM   #76
Neon_Chaos
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Location: Parañaque, Philippines
Whoooo!!!!

You finally made it back to the big leagues!
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:49 AM   #77
Northwood_DK
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Location: Back in Norway
Very nice.

I will keep reading
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:16 PM   #78
RedHawk00
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grats on making it back up to the big boy league
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:02 PM   #79
Izulde
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cubbyroy1826: Thanks!

Swaggs: I'd love to... but who knows if circumstances will allow me to.

Neon_Chaos: And it's about damned time, too!

Northwood_DK: Thanks and glad to hear it.

RedHawk00: Thanks I'm really glad to be back.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:47 PM   #80
Autumn
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I'm psyched for you, I was worried they'd leave you marinating down there. Sounds like a pretty good opportunity too with a recent champ.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:46 AM   #81
Izulde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn View Post
I'm psyched for you, I was worried they'd leave you marinating down there. Sounds like a pretty good opportunity too with a recent champ.


Thanks And it's better than with the Knicks, that for sure. Whether or not it's good remains to be seen.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:46 AM   #82
Izulde
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The next night, I'm in Denver eating at an Olive Garden with the Nuggets owner. A franchise middle-class family restaurant. This can't be good.

We discuss light topics through dinner, such as our respective favorite football teams (Broncos, Dolphins) and the merits of Italian wines versus Spanish. I hold forth for Miami and sing the praises of the Spanish reds, while he counters with Denver love and a deeply-held conviction that Italy holds the best reds.

After dessert, we settle back and sit quietly for a few moments to let things digest and collect our thoughts.

"So, welcome to the Nuggets", he says with a smile after that short while.

"Thanks. I'm glad to be here." And I am. Denver's not my favorite city in the world or even in the US, but it's passable and I have fond memories of the University of Wyoming.

"Good, good. All right, Mr. Jestor. Here's the deal. We already won a title two years ago, so I don't care about a championship. I just want this run as a profitable business and to me, a profitable business means only spending money if it'll generate more money. We're over the salary cap now, but we've got a few expiring deals, so you should be able to bring it under control. Nobody's signed through any later than 2012, so you'll be able to get our finances in good shape pretty soon, yes? I want our budget to be more or less balanced by this year. Not next year. This year."

...Great. A penny-pincher. I -knew- it as soon as he told me Olive Garden.

"Right. I can handle that, sure."

"Good. Now then, here's some papers for you to look at illustrating our financial situation as well as Iverson's medical report."

...What did he just say?

"Iverson's medical report?"

"Yes. He blew up his knee three games before the playoffs. The team doctor says he might be able to come back sometime late next season."

...Are you fucking kidding me?! One of our top stars and we're losing him for almost the entire next season?! Ugh, I should've known there was a catch to all this.

"Tough blow, but I think we'll manage to cover it and still make the playoffs."

"That's fine. Playoffs will give us more money. And as for the salary cap?"

Here the owner fixes me with a look and I know I'd better answer right. The problem is, we've got some monster contracts on the team and I don't know how moveable any of them are going to be. So the best policy is to be honest.

"Well, I know you want us to have a balanced budget, Mr. Crenshaw, but that's just not going to be possible this season. What I can guarantee you, however, is that we'll be no more than $10-15 million over the cap."

From his frown, I can tell I've answered wrong.

"That's too much. Make it lower."

"I'll see what I can do."

"See to it that you do, if you would please."

So things didn't end the best way, but at least I've got a better feel for how things are going to go.

I spend the next few days going over the team roster and plotting how to remake this team. What immediately jumps out at me is that we need to get a legitimate-quality PG and a studly scorer to ease the pain until Allen Iverson's ready to come back so Carmelo Anthony doesn't have to do it all himself.

Luckily, there's a perfect match out there and I'm able to execute a painless deal to solve our problems.

Denver Nuggets receive:
PG Chauncey Billups

Detroit Pistons receive:
PF Nene Hilario
Denver Nuggets' 2nd round pick 2010 Draft (#44)

What this means for the Nuggets:
Nene has never developed into the franchise player Denver hoped for and with Allen Iverson to miss most of next season, the Nuggets needed a scorer to go with Carmelo Anthony. Enter Billups, an excellent shooter and textbook passer who brings veteran savvy and postseason experience to the roster. He also fills a huge position void with the Nuggets, who needed a true PG. Yes, he's 34, but Denver just won the title two years ago and they have the talent to be contenders in the short-term still.

What this means for the Pistons:
The rebuilding project had to begin sometime and the 28-year old Nene is now one of the youngest players on Detroit's roster. The 2nd round pick will give another young body as well. Is Nene the type of player many thought he would turn into? No. But he's the best big man under contract on the team right now and will give the Pistons a safety net at C if they have no other luck in the offseason.

Advantage: Slight edge to Denver
Both teams benefit, but the Nuggets look to have a better level of improvement than the Pistons.

I'm thrilled with the trade, as the salary shaves off another million off our cap number. It's nickel and diming and yes, Billups will more than make that up when he earns $14 million next year as opposed to $12 million now, but with Kenyon Martin's $16.5 million coming off the books next season, I can afford a slight increase.

Signed Players and State of the Roster

Point Guard
Chauncey Billups (34 years old/13th season)
-Just acquired and I see him as a Mike Bibby type of difference-maker for us. He'll be a lot better than Marcus Williams was last year, that's for sure.

Shooting Guard
Allen Iverson (35 years old/14th season)
-Out for most of next year with the torn knee tendon. In the last year of his contract and could potentially be gone after this season, even though he's one of my favorite players.

Small Forward
Carmelo Anthony (26 years old/7th season)
-As much as I hate to admit it, he's the face of the team. I despise 'Melo, but the fans love him, the team loves him, he scores 20+ points a game and he's been an All-Star Reserve and All-NBA 3rd Team the last two seasons. I'd love to trade him and I still might.

Donte Whiting (23 years old/2nd season)
-Roster filler, to be quite honest. Another candidate to get shipped out. Late 1st rounder last year and All-Rookie 2nd Team, but I think he sucks and is overrated.

Power Forward
Kenyon Martin (33 years old/10th season)
-Makes way too much money and K-Mart is nowhere near as good as he once was (and it's questionable just how good he really was in the first place). Still, he's a sweet, sweet expiring deal and plays defense. We could do worse for a starting PF. Sad thing is, he's our best big man right now because Marcus Camby is out of contract.

Blake Evans (23 years old/2nd season)
-Last year's 2nd round pick and a real scrub. Averaged less than a single everything last season in the 17 minutes a game for the two games he played. Zero work ethic, but he's loyal and a great team guy, who's paradoxically motivated. Motivated but no work ethic. Yeah, interesting isn't it? Still, I might keep him around to see what he can do.

Just six players under contract and one of them is out for most of the year. Ouch. As you can see, I'm going to have to go into quasi-D-League team building mode. Maybe that's another reason why Crenshaw hired me. That said, I think we have a chance to be really a pretty good team.

Ah, yes. That reminds me. Coaching staff.

Oh look. All the assistants are working for free! (The $0,000 assistant salary bug has reared its head here. In fact, only a handful or so of assistant coaches are actually officially drawing a salary, meaning everyone else is being paid under the table.)

That's the good news. The bad news is that George Karl, who I hate even more than 'Melo, is the head coach and he's earning $6.6 million a year for the next 3 years. Crenshaw's tightfisted, so we're stuck with Karl for the duration of his contract unless a new owner comes in.

I console myself by firing every one of Karl's assistants. Take that, baldy fatass.

Over the next couple weeks, heavy-duty discussions start cropping up surrounding 'Melo and the press is alive with rumors that he's possible going to be dealt, because, as one scribe put it, "This is the Lottery GM, notorious for ripping out the foundations of teams and putting in wholesale changes."

The fanbase is nervous and my office gets flooded with calls and e-mails begging me not to deal Carmelo.

They're right to be afraid, to be honest, as I've been involved in talks with a lot of teams about a blockbuster deal. One rumoured trade won't be happening, though. Cleveland absolutely refuses to part with LeBron James and laughed in my face when I suggested that something could be worked out.

And then it happens.

An ironic deal that shakes the league to its very foundations and changes two franchises forever.

Denver Nuggets receive
SG Ben Gordon
SF Jared Jeffries
PF Joakim Noah
New York Knicks 2010 1st round pick (#6)
New York Knicks 2010 1st round pick (#29)

New York Knicks receive
SF Carmelo Anthony
SF Donte Whiting
PF Blake Evans
Denver Nuggets 2010 1st round pick (#17)
Denver Nuggets 2012 2nd round pick

What this means for the Nuggets:
Goodbye, Melo. The Lottery GM has struck again, acquiring his favorites in Gordon and Noah, which actually make work out in Denver's favor. Gordon's contract is much more cap friendly ($10.9 million is the highest it gets for the same number of years), he's only a year older at 27 and is a much more balanced player than Carmelo. With him and Chauncey Billups, the Nuggets have arguably the best backcourt this side of the Chicago Bulls. Noah keeps improving with each passing year and he represents a young, major boost for Denver's frontcourt, allowing them to slide Kenyon Martin to SF or possibly have him come off the bench. Jeffries is an expiring contract. The real key to this deal will be what GM Jestor does with the #6 and #29 picks. Make the right choices and he'll be hailed as a legend, a real genius. Fail and he'll probably wash out of the NBA.

What this means for the Knicks:
The glittering lights of New York have been starved for a legitimate star for years and now, at long last, the Knicks once again have one of the league's best players. Not since Patrick Ewing was here has there been this eletric a talent. They won't miss Noah, not when they have Ronny Smith and Rudy Braun as emerging youngsters. With 'Melo as the star and a promising young cast, including All-Rookie 2nd Team member Whiting, the return of the Knicks to the NBA elite should be soon forthcoming. At the very least, they've turned themselves into playoff contenders.

Advantage: New York by a mile
So much is dependent on Jestor's draft selections and he has a very spotty record there. The Knicks got exactly what they needed, the Nuggets not so much.

Well, screw 'em. You don't get much when you ship off a superstar in the NBA anyway and I'm happy with the choice I've made.

Coach Hiring

Oops. I may have erred in firing the assistants. Very weak crop here. Jeff Van Gundy is still signed to coach Austin through to next season. Joy.

Rejection, rejection, rejection.

Nobody wants to come coach for us.

So what do I do? Go for the sexy hires, the name coaches. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar signs a four-year deal to be our 1st assistant and one of my favorite players of all time (and Gabriel Arcadia long-time starter[) Detlef Schrempf signs on as the 2nd assistant, Lionel Hollins the 3rd man.

All to four-year deals, longer than I'd like, but nobody would take anything shorter.

The news of the hires generates a lot of buzz around the country as everyone is curious now as to just how these new-look Nuggets are going to be on the court.

Mock Draft

Speaking of new Nuggets news, the mock drafts have us taking 19 year old C Adrian McKay out of Stanford. Interesting kid, but I'm not sure how much I like the looks of him. One's thing for certain, none of the projected top players in the mock draft are guys I have any intention of trading up for.

Although a big man is our biggest need, I initially really like the looks of 18 year old PG Paulinho Buboltz, a Brazilian kid who's short (5'11") but who appears to have an awesome game and we could use some youth at the point spot. 21 year old PG Brian Metcalfe out of Oklahoma State looks interesting as well. Overall, the PG position looks really deep in this draft.

At our #29 pick, the mocks have us taking Metcalfe's teammate, 23 year old SF Kyle Acani, who looks like a nice player for that late in the draft.

Poor class of big men, despite four Cs mocked to go in the top 10, though of the ones that could fall to us at #29, 23 year old PF Leroy Wright out of Michigan State is going to get a longer look.

Big decisions to make at any rate, but I'm really enjoying being back in this NBA game and loving this draft research.
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:10 AM   #83
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Do you enjoy ripping the heart out of every team you're managing, or is it one of those "my momma never loved me enough" things?
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:51 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Neon_Chaos View Post
Do you enjoy ripping the heart out of every team you're managing, or is it one of those "my momma never loved me enough" things?

Hey, if the two were reversed and it was AI the young stud and 'Melo the ancient, injured player, I'd keep AI and still have dealt Carmelo.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:20 PM   #85
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"I certainly hope you know what you're doing, or you'll be gone at the end of the year the same as you were in New York."

Crenshaw's voice is cold, like if voices could kill I'd be dead cold. He's pissed because I traded away the team's most marketable player of course and he's furious thinking about the impact that could have on merchandising and season ticket sales.

"I'm doing the right thing, Mr. Crenshaw. We'll still make the playoffs, we've made ourselves stronger for the future and, most importantly, we'll save a ton of money next year in salary."

"You had better be right. That's all I can say." *click*

I expected this kind of backlash from our owner and from the fans and media, who've spent the past several weeks ripping me. It'll be fine by season's end I'm sure.

After the workouts, I'm having to readjust my thinking a bit, but we'll see what happens.

2010 NBA Draft
1. SF Jeremy Lemons - Orlando Magic
2. C Jonte Jones - Dallas Mavericks
3. C Kyle Jordan - Minnesota Timberwolves

A 6'9" C as the #3 pick... Yeah, uh huh. Nice one T-Wolves.

4. SG Mateen Yeaton - Indiana Pacers

This kid can flat out score, averaging 28.1 points a game last year for the Hoosiers. Great local pickup and huge marketing boost for the rebuilding Pacers.

5. SG Nigel Abel - New Orleans Hornets

Surprisingly, J.P. the Draft Guru says we're going to take PG Brian Metcalfe, the Oklahoma State kid that intrigued me earlier. He argued that the Nuggets need youth to replace Chauncey Billups at some point, that Metcalfe's the best player available and that there's no frontcourt players worth a look here.

It's a very difficult choice to make. Metcalfe is the much more polished player and although Paulinho Buboltz didn't look fantastic in workouts, he's three years younger than Metcalfe and could benefit from a two-year apprenticeship to Billups. There's also the fact that Buboltz could be the Brazilian that replaces Nene in terms of marketing.

I meant to work out PG Derrick Sterett out of Cincinnati, but forgot to, or he'd be in the running. PF Mike Vines looks great too, good skills and great work ethic, except he's a notorious attitude problem.

Finally, I call up Memphis and offer to trade down to the #8 spot, taking the Grizzlies' 2012 2nd round pick as compensation. They accept and pull a boneheaded move.

6. SG Steve Neal - Memphis Grizzlies
7. C Dan Jacobson - Washington Wizards

J.P. makes me laugh by suggesting I told him we were looking at Ben Richeon in addition to Brian Metcalfe. What a liar! So, neither Buboltz or Metcalfe were taken obviously and while I'm leaning towards Buboltz, I still can't decide.

Finally, I make my choice, after weighing more trading down options and deciding none of them are palatable.

8. PG Paulinho Buboltz - Denver Nuggets

Surprisingly, the analysts all applaud the pick, even J.P., who remarks, "Buboltz could have even gone a little earlier. He's got that kind of glitzy potential to be a superstar. The selection also does a lot to ease the suffering of Nuggets fans in Brazil who were disappointed with the Nene trade. Excellent move by the Lottery GM here."

That's nice to hear and it appears it might confirm my gut instinct that Buboltz was the player to go with.

9. C Adrian McKay - Atlanta Hawks

Wow. I was not impressed with this guy at all and sure the mocks had us taking him, but he looked like a real dud. The talking heads rip the pick as well. Stupid sportswriters.

10. PG Brian Metcalfe - Los Angeles Clippers

And Metcalfe finally goes. The Clippers have to be absolutely ecstatic that he fell to them.

11. C Ben Richeson - Golden State Warriors
12. PF Mike Vines - Sacramento Kings

Honestly, if it wasn't for questions about his attitude, I'd have taken him back at #6, so the Kings got a potential steal here if his character issues don't become a problem.

13. SG Rupert Jones - Miami Heat
14. PG Derrick Sterett - New Jersey Nets

Looks like it's a good thing I passed on Sterett. The talking heads mentioned an incident he had with the police last year in Cincinnati, something involving an ex-girlfriend. Sure, it could've been all her, but it's a red flag nonetheless.

15. PG Kelvin Brown - Los Angeles Lakers
16. SG Walter Killion - Philadelphia 76ers
17. PG Terrance Cobb - New York Knicks

I laugh. The Knicks drafted a shoot-first ballhog.

18. SG Jamar Jefferson - Charlotte Bobcats
19. SF Jarrod Owens - Portland Trailblazers
20. SF Kyle Acani - Cleveland Cavaliers

So much for our taking him. He's a lights-out shooter though, which should help provide some offense for the Cavs besides King James.

21. C Marc Ward - Utah Jazz
22. PG Dan Wessel - Seattle Supersonics
23. SG Andrew Clay - San Antonio Spurs
24. SF Willie Larson - Milwaukee Bucks
25. SG Joe Malone - Detroit Pistons
26. PG Leigh Nash - Boston Celtics
27. PF Marlon Orvis - Toronto Raptors

What the hell?! Why are the Raptors drafting a forward when they need backcourt help?! The mind boggles at their sheer stupidity. Unbelievable. And this was a franchise that was actually going places.

28. PG Patrick Cooper - Houston Rockets

J.P. has us taking C Jimmy Morris with this next pick, noting that George Karl wants a big man. Snort. Yeah, like I'm going to listen to what fat and baldy says, though in this case, he happens to be right about our needing a big man in a big way.

Luckily at this point in the draft, there's players worth taking a gamble on, including the one that I was first attracted to for this spot.

29. PF Leroy Wright - Denver Nuggets

Great physical tools and a damned fine consistent player. Opinion among the experts is split, with some saying he's a steal, others saying he's overrated. My opinion is that he's going to be a solid player for us and if he doesn't pan out, so what? He's two steps away from being a 2nd rounder.

30. PF Kevin Thomas - Phoenix Suns

A lot of people had him rated as the 2nd best PF behind Vines, but I didn't see it and apparently neither did a lot of other teams. Injury history, character concerns, and in my private belief, simply overrated.

In the second round, nobody knows who we'll take and the consensus is it should pretty much be best player available. I agree and I take a flyer on SF Andre Egans, a 23 year old senior out of North Carolina, because my coaching staff is convinced the Tarheel's a sleeper.

The selection draws another split among the experts, but I don't care. It's always been my philosophy that second round picks are just trade fodder and roster filler.

Initial scouting reports after the draft suggest that Paulinho Buboltz, while extremely raw, has the potential to develop into a short version of Ben Gordon with not quite as good a defense and a possibility of turning into one of our most popular players. If he can turn into that, that would be awesome.

Leroy Wright looks like a disappointment, honestly not that much better than Andre Egans, whose sterling work ethic earns him an immediate two-year contract and the possibility of either making the team outright, or, more likely, getting some major minutes down in the D-League. Still, Wright could see quite a bit of time given his versatility and ability to play 3 positions.

Contract Renouncements

I renounce everyone that I can, saying goodbye to rights on Marcus Camby ($11 million) and Marcus Williams ($5.1 million) in particular. Even with those waivers, we're still over the cap by roughly $11 million and Crenshaw's going to bitch. Honestly, how he expected us to be even more under the cap than that and still field a full, competitive roster, I'll never know.

But we've got 9 players on the team now, so all we need is 3 more bodies to make a minimum roster, though I'll probably shoot for 14 players. We're not going to get any more guards, as we have plenty enough in Billups, Gordon, and Buboltz and I frankly don't want to risk Paulinho's missing out on development time.

Our big focus is going to be SF/PF/C, because right now, the decrepit K-Mart is our starting SF and Jared Jeffries is tenatively our starting C. That's a scary situation, one that has to be immediately rectified. Can you say exemption shopping? I knew you could.

But that will come when free agency does.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:51 PM   #86
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Summmer League

PG Paulinho Buboltz, SF Andre Egans, PF Joakim Noah and PF Leroy Wright are all assigned to our Summer League team.

We go 1-4 in summer league play, primarily because Buboltz commits 5 fouls a game and averages 20 minutes. On the other hand, Joakim Noah shows signs of making the next big step at the pro level and free agent to be SF Jeff Green impresses enough that we'll try and get him.

There's a ton of great, if aging free agents available, but I imagine most of them will stay with their teams.

Free Agency

The first signing is a huge blockbuster as Tracy McGrady signs a 5 year, $91.8 million dollar deal to jump ship to the Sacramento Kings.

We get our first free agent signing the next day, inking C Jason Collins to a one-year min sal deal.

Most of the big names re-up as expected, but the Rockets recover for losing McGrady in a major way, grabbing Mike Bibby for 4 years and $48.5 million on the same day that Ray Allen hops to the Heat and Marcus Camby inks with the Cavaliers. In a much quieter deal, we get C Peter John Ramos as we concentrate on building up our rebounding.

We're left holding the bag when Jeff Green goes back to the Timberwolves for 4 years and $20 million. But that's okay, because we grab headline news in signing the ancient C Shaquille O'Neal the next day to our mid-level exemption. He may be 37 years old and in the twilight of his career, but Shaq's still got game.

So we've now got a glut of big men and still need a backup SG/SF. Larry Hughes goes to the Raptors for 4 years and $30 mill, robbing me of a primary target and Bobby Simmons goes to the Mavericks for the mid-level exemption.

SF Justin Reed is our min-sal emergency signing on the same day that C Ben Wallace goes to Toronto for the mid-level. The Raptors are definitely going to have the biggest team in the league, that's for sure.

Ugh. Reed's too tall to play SG. Back into free agency to sign SG Raja Bell to a min-sal deal, putting us at 14 players and just over $20 million on the cap. I hope we survive this season.

...Damn it! We didn't get him. The Timberwolves stole him. I'm really beginning to hate Minnesota right now, even more than I did before.

Instead we sign SG Rod Little, a second year pro and defensive specialist, to a min-sal contract. The good news is, he keeps us under the $20 million over the mark cap. Then I find out the next day that George Karl plans to make Paulinho Buboltz the backup at both guard spots.

Ugh, oh well. At least with 14 players, it's looking like we'll keep Jared Jefferies off the court.

Acie Law signed with the Washington Wizards, by the way. 2 years, $6.3 million. He should get the chance there he never did in New York.

The most surprising deal of all is this, though: Steve Nash to San Antonio on a one year, $6.3 million deal. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Worse yet for Nash, he's not even starting. Tony Parker and Joe Johnson presently occupy the top backcourt spots.

I won't be sending anyone to the D-League this season, as I like not having Jared Jeffries playing and our rookies should get considerable playing time.

I'm smug when I receive the e-mail that we've sold out all our season tickets. See? We don't need Carmelo after all. I'll be happy to point that out to Crenshaw at the end of the year.

Unfortunately, the news media has us picked to finish 4th in our division this year, 11th in the conference and hence out of a playoff spot. The Portland Trailblazers are definitely the class of the West:

PG Brandon Brooks
SG Brandon Roy
SF Kevin Durant (21 points, 7 rebounds last year)
PF Zach Randolph
C LaMarcus Aldridge

and a nice, deep bench.

Toronto, despite loading up on big men, are the clear-cut favorites in the East after Bibby left the Bulls.

PG T.J. Ford
SG Larry Hughes
SF Andrea Bargnani
PF Chris Bosh
C Greg Oden

and Ben Wallace on the bench.

I still think we're good enough to make the playoffs, even though Allen Iverson is confirmed as being out most of the season: 5 and 1/2 months yet.

The Lakers are off to a rough start medically this year:

Kobe Bryant - Out 55 days
Lamar Odom - Out 112 days
Rasheed Wallace - Out 59 days

If they can ride the storm of the first couple months, they'll be one of the better teams in the West in my opinion.

But season start is upon us. It should be fun.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:28 AM   #87
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It's on to the first month of the season, because I'm so pumped to be back in the NBA I can't wait.

Opening game is Halloween night on the road against the banged-up Lakers and Chauncey Billups and Ben Gordon serve immediate notice that they're going to lead the team this year. Billups scores 37 points, dishes out 10 assists, grabs 7 boards and notches 3 steals, while Gordon scores 36 in the 108-96 win. There honestly wasn't much for anyone else to do.

Anyone can beat a team as battered as the Lakers, so we get a real test against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 2, where we lose a heartbreaker 114-113. Chauncey Billups again led the team, with 29 points and 11 assists on the double-double and Leroy Wright had 14 points off the bench. Kenyon Martin has been terrible to start the year, so we could see Wright in the starting lineup before too long.

Things look a lot better after we destroy the Jazz 121-94 in our next game. 6 players in double-digit figures, including Leroy Wright with 12 from the bench. The hero of the game was Ben Gordon, however, with a dazzling 41 points. I'm starting to feel really good about going and getting my boys in that Carmelo trade.

Next up is a doubleheader, the first one against the Jazz on the road, the Supersonics at home the next night. We keep our winning streak alive, topping Utah 107-92 behind 32 points from Ben Gordon and two double-doubles: Chauncey Billups with 15 points and 11 assists and a surprising Shaquille O'Neal with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Told you Shaq still had game. Seattle was another victory, 109-80 as Ben Gordon and Chauncey Billups lead the team with 28 and 23 points respectively and Shaquille O'Neal just misses a double-double with 18 points and 9 rebounds.

What's even more amazing is that Shaq pulled that feat off despite breaking his elbow. He'll be out roughly two months and we'll have to ride the rookie Leroy Wright as the starting C until then, although Joakim Noah is better suited at 6'11 than Wright's 6'9 to play the five.

I'm a little nervous how we'll be without Shaq but we stomp Detroit 91-65 with fantastic team defense and 30 points from Ben Gordon, so maybe we'll be all right after all. Then again, the Pistons are 1-4, so it's not like we beat an amazing squad.

Still, we continue to play incredible defense and win again, downing Sacramento 96-73, Chauncey Billups player of the game with 19 points and 8 assists, Ben Gordon scoring 19 as well, Leroy Wright contributing 16 points as he proving a surprisingly efficient replacement for Shaq.

I'm not expecting to win the next game and we don't, as the mighty Raptors decimate us 110-95, despite 34 points and 8 assists from Chauncey Billups. That frontcourt is just too damned good against our weakness inside with Shaq's injury.

We surprise the Bulls 107-97 to get back on the winning track, though, Ben Gordon dropping 28 points on his old team, Chauncey Billups his second with 20 points. Eddy Curry's lost his starting spot to David Lee again and he's really unhappy about it, demanding to be traded. Can't say that I blame him.

Tough, closs loss against the Mavericks follows, despite double-doubles from Joakim Noah (14 points, 14 rebounds) and Chauncey Billups (20 points, 13 assists. Paulinho Buboltz had his first ever double-digit game as a pro with 12 points and Leroy Wright finally replaces Kenyon Martin at starting SF, meaning Peter John Ramos is our starting C. Yeah, it's ugly in there.

I'm thinking a losing streak is going to hit, but we drop the Nets 99-78 as Ben Gordon continues to show why I traded for him, scoring 31 points and snagging 8 boards, while Chauncey Billups double-doubles with 24 points and 15 assists. Kenyon Martin is fighting to get his starting job back with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds from the bench.

Another doubleheader and it's a nasty one, against the Spurs and the Rockets. We lose both games by considerable margins, though Ben Gordon and Chauncey Billups both score 27 against San Antonio, Billups doubling with 10 assists and Kenyon Martin, back in the starting lineup, gets 14 points and 10 boards against the Rockets.

Two more games left in November and we win the first one 107-88 over the Hornets as Chauncey Billups scores 33 points and dishes 12 assists while stealing 4 balls, Ben Gordon a great second with 26 points and 7 rebounds. Peter John Ramos scores a watery 10 off the bench.

Much to my surprise, we beat the Cavs easily in the last game of the season as Ben Gordon scores 33 and takes in 8 boards, while Chauncey Billups has his umpteenth double-double with 26 points and 10 assists.

So despite being Shaq-less, we're 10-5 at the start of November, leading the Northwest by half a game over the 9-5 Timberwolves and Trailblazers. My guess is we'll end up 3rd in the division by the end of the season and take one of the lower playoff seeds, but the way we're playing now, we might actually end up division champs.

31 more days till we get Shaq back, 123 until AI returns. In the meantime, Ben Gordon is 5th in scoring with a 26.9 points per game average and Chauncey Billups is 11th at 24.1 and 4th in assists at 9.5.

Our rebounding is terrible as you might expect and none of our rookies are lighting things up. Then again, Leroy Wright isn't really ready to be a starting NBA player and Paulinho Buboltz is still just 18.

They'll be fine and we'll be fine, especially if we can get through this second month without Shaq in respectable shape. It's a lot better start than I expected, to be honest.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:53 PM   #88
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Nice start to the season, Izulde.
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:58 PM   #89
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Nice start to the season, Izulde.

Thanks. I'm frankly shocked by it and of course we'll probably go in a tailspin now.
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:03 PM   #90
Izulde
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As we head into month two, I can't get Regina Spektor "Fidelity" out of my head and it's driving me crazy. But we're 10-5, so it's a happy kind of crazy.

But it breaks my ha-ha-ha-ha-heart when we lose to Miami 126-115 to start December, especially since Kenyon Martin double-doubled with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Paulinho Buboltz had a truly breakout performance with 21 points from the bench. Then again, the Heat have an impressive backcourt of their own in Ray Allen, who hit us for 40 points and Dwayne Wade, who torched us for 31.

No problem, as we rebound against Orlando in a 109-87 win spearheaded by 26 and 24 points respectively by Ben Gordon and Chauncey Billups. Leroy Wright just misses out on his first career double-double with 14 points and 9 rebounds.

102-89 loss to the Wizards and I'm thinking it's going to be a ping-pong month. Leroy Wright finally got his first double-double but it was a cheap one at 10 points and 11 rebounds.

We get a loss I expect, blown out 112-84 by the Raptors. No highlights to report as we just get flat-out schooled. We really need Shaq back as soon as we can get him.

Then the -really- galling thing happens. Our losing streak stretches to three against the New York Knicks. Jamal Crawford, a freaking bench player, drops 32 points on us and I'm absolutely livid. So what if Ben Gordon scored 29 and Chauncey Billups 25? We allowed the Knicks to beat us.

The dry run finally stops against Philadelphia as Ben Gordon and Chauncey Billups combine for 22 and 20 points in a hard-nosed 97-79 victory. We lose again the next night to the Celtics though, as George Karl keeps tinkering with the damned lineup.

A brief respite before another doubleheader and it's another split, a 94-77 loss to Miami and a 99-94 win over Orlando, the latter powered by Chauncey Billups with 29 rebounds, 12 assists, 5 rebound and 3 steals and Leroy Wright with 11 points and 17 rebounds.

The boys surprise me with a shocking 120-107 upset of the Suns. 7 Phoenix players in double-digit scoring and they still couldn't counter Ben Gordon (45 points) and Chauncey Billups (20 points, 15 assists).

We follow it up with our first winning streak in a good while, topping Seattle 102-89 behind Ben Gordon's 29 points, Chauncey Billups's 19 points and 11 rebounds and Leroy Wright's 15 points and 12 rebounds. Wright's starting to establish himself as a legitimate NBA baller and is beginning to appear as a minor draft steal.

A few days off before a doubleheader, the first night a 118-106 defeat to Dallas despite 11 points and 12 assists from Chauncey Billups, the second an awesome 96-76 Christmas Day win over Golden State powered by 41 points from Ben Gordon and a double-double of 22 points and 12 assists from Chauncey Billups. Caron Butler is languishing on the bench for the Warriors after having been traded there the year after I got the boot from the Knicks, but with a $10 million salary, I can't in good faith bring him on board.

The joy of victory is followed by another defeat, continuing our uneven month. This time it's the 76ers that beat us, in spite of a fantastic 28 points, 5 assists and 9 rebounds from Chauncey Billups.

We have a back-to-back on New Year's Eve, New Year's Day against the Lakers and we win both of them, 116-108 and 120-99 respectively. The first victory comes courtesy of Chauncey Billups with 24 points and 12 assists and great bench play from Justin Reed (13 points, 8 assists) and Rod Little (12 points). Game Two brought the return of Shaquille O'Neal in a big way, a 28 point, 8 rebound, 2 assist, 2 block, steal way, while Ben Gordon scored 30 and Chauncey Billups gleefully double-doubled with 18 points and 11 assists. Leroy Wright handled his bench demotion well, scoring 11 as the 6th man.

So how are we looking after that month? Still in the lead in the Northwest at 18-13, a half-game over the 16-12 Minnesota Timberwolves, 4.5 games ahead of the 3rd place Utah Jazz.

I can't figure out what's wrong with the Trailblazers, but I'm not complaining that they've free-fallen to 12-17. San Antonio, my darkhorse pick for the conference, is proving me right by leading the West with a 25-7 record. The Suns are the only team with a winning record in the Pacific at 18-12.

In the East, the Celtics are an astonishing 25-6, just ahead of the 25-7 Raptors. The Bulls are really struggling without Mike Bibby, presently 13-15.

Boston's rise can be largely attributed to the following factors: Paul Pierce staying great, Spencer Hawes developing into a pretty good C and Al Jefferson having an incredible breakout season of 19.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2 blocks to date. He's finally starting to earn that fat paycheck he got from the Celtics a couple years ago. Okay, fat's a relative term. It was a 6 year deal that averaged out to $12 million a year, but he's only making $10 million this season.

The funniest thing, however, is this: The New York Knicks are 3-27 with Carmelo Anthony. Then again, the team is awful outside of 'Melo, who's averaging 21.8 points a game. Ronny Smith has yet to break out like people expected and sure he's only 22 and in just his 3rd season, but he's shown almost no progress since his rookie campaign and has even regressed in some ways.

Lebron James leads the league in scoring at 34 points a game, Michael Redd the other 30+ man at 30.7. Ben Gordon is still 6th at 26.2 points a game and suddenly that Carmelo deal is looking like a huge advantage to us.

Chris Paul and Baron Davis are the ones to average double-digit assists at 11.4 and 10.4 respectively, our own Chauncey Billups 3rd at 9.4 dishes per game. Greg Oden is the undisputed rebounding leader with 14.8 boards a game, a full two and a half rebounds ahead of Yao Ming.

Andrei Kirilenko is starting to look old, as he's averaging only 3.9 blocks a game and Gerald Wallace, Ron Artest and Lebron James all average two steals a game, Wallace the only one to be above it with 2.5.

I'm still laughing about the Knicks' futility. It's just too funny.

Argh! I just realized I forgot to cover November's trades. I'll do that now.

Philadelphia 76ers receive:
Stephon Marbury

Atlanta Hawks receive:
SG Willie Green

What this means for the 76ers:
Philadelphia desperately needs some scoring punch for their bench and Starbury provides that. He's also quite cheap for that, making just $3.4 milion this year and then he comes off the books. Starbury also gets a chance to fly away from Atlanta, who appear to be going nowhere.

What this means for the Hawks:
Green means $500,000 more off the cap when his contract expires this year than Starbury and he's much more comfortable with a non-winning team. The Hawks should be an interesting team to watch next offseason, as they're currently almost $15 UNDER the cap and have more expiring at the end of the year.

Advantage: Draw
Benefits both teams for what they're trying to do. Not a major trade, but a good one.

San Antonio Spurs receive:
SF Julian Wright
Atlanta Hawks 2011 2nd round pick

Atlanta Hawks receive:
SG Andrew Clay
C Kenneth Holland
SF Desmond Mason

What this means for the Spurs:
The Spurs get a promising young SF in the 23 year old Wright, who will immediately fill in the weak spot and become the starting SF. His minutes were declining every year with the Hawks and he needed a change of scenery. San Antonio is the perfect fit for him. The 2nd rounder is gravy.

What this means for the Hawks:
Mason was released immediately following the swap, so it boils down to Clay and Holland. Clay was taken in the first round this year by the Spurs, but the rookie looks quite ordinary. Holland has some glimmers of potential, but he and Clay are both stuck in a crowded, young Hawks roster that has a lot of mediocre kids, save for 24 year old Shelden Williams. Apparently Atlanta's accumulating youngsters, throwing them at the wall and seeing who sticks.

Advantage: San Antonio
The Spurs address a hole and get some key youth, while Atlanta continues the destruction of their franchise.

Minnesota Timberwolves receive:
PG Monta Ellis

Atlanta Hawks receive:
PG Marko Jaric
Minnesota Timberwolves 2011 1st round pick

What this means for the Timberwolves:
Last year they picked up Javaris Crittenton. This year they pick up Ellis. But wait, it's actually a good thing, as Ellis is better suited to SG and hence, the youngster is the heir apparent to Ricky Davis. He's well worth a late 1st rounder and Jaric for that.

What this means for the Hawks:
Ellis was actually a good building block to pair with Williams and the likely late 1st round pick plus $7.6 million expiring contract in Jaric doesn't exactly jive well. On the other hand, Jaric provides veteran leadership and is the new starting SG.

Advantage: Timberwolves
Does Atlanta's front office have any idea how to properly rebuild a franchise? It doesn't appear so.

Three trades in November and they all involved the Hawks. Amazing.

Next time, we open with a review of December's deals.
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:50 PM   #91
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Glad to see this dynasty getting more active (although I understand it probably wasn't too exciting working your way back to the NBA in the developmental league).

What are your plans for AI when he returns? It seems like he'd have a tough time cracking the starting lineup at either guard spot and your rookie seems to be holding his own as a #3 combo type.
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:50 PM   #92
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swaggs View Post
Glad to see this dynasty getting more active (although I understand it probably wasn't too exciting working your way back to the NBA in the developmental league).

What are your plans for AI when he returns? It seems like he'd have a tough time cracking the starting lineup at either guard spot and your rookie seems to be holding his own as a #3 combo type.

Yeah, it was a bit of a grind going through the D-League, but an enlightening experience, nonetheless.

As far as AI goes, I only control GM functions, so it's up to Karl what he decides to do. My hunch is he'll play a 3-guard set with Billups, Gordon, AI at the PG/SG/SF spots and Noah and Shaq at PF and C. That's just a guess, though.

Either that or he'll start Billups and AI and make Gordon the best damned 6th man in the league.

Wright's a pretty good 3/4/5 combo guy for a late 1st round rookie and he was a lot better starting C than I expected at 6'9". Before this stretch of playing time, I was thinking about not picking up his rookie option, but now I'm considering picking it up. Buboltz will most certainly get his option picked up, I'm thinking. He's very, very raw (hell he's 18 and still adjusting to the American style of play), but he's shown flashes of talent.

The tough decision will be what to do with AI's contract. K-Mart's going to get renounced for sure, but AI might well be a different matter. Depends on what happens after he comes back from injury, I suppose.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:24 PM   #93
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Quite a few trades in December. Be interesting seeing if Atlanta continues their extreme makeover.

Charlotte Bobcats receive:
SF Josh Smith

Atlanta Hawks receive:
SG Jamar Jefferson
PG Brevin Knight

What this means for the Bobcats:
Another young, solid player to go with the rest of their pretty youthful squad, Smith steps in as the immediate starter at SG. Smith's contract is long and overpriced relative to what he brings, but he's good for 10-15 points a game and 5 rebounds on average. There are worse things out there.

What this means for the Hawks:
This boils down to Smith for Jefferson, because Knight was cut immediately (and signed by the Memphis Grizzlies). Jefferson shows flashes of potential to be a good scorer off the bench, but not much else. The real reason Atlanta makes this deal is to put themselves in an even better cap situation in the offseason and get Smith off the books.

Advantage: Draw
Not a great trade for either team, but one that does create incremental improvements for oth sides.

Dallas Mavericks receive
SF Jeff Green

Minnesota Timberwolves receive
SG Greg Buckner
Dallas Mavericks 2011 1st round pick

What this means for the Mavericks
A 23 year old SF who's both pretty good and locked up for the next four years at a reasonable price tag. Is he a starter right now? No. But he represents extremely critical youth at a position where all their top players are 30 or older (Dirk Nowitzki is 32). Dallas isn't going to get a player of Green's ability with the late 1st rounder they'll have next year, so it's a great pickup for the future.

What this means for the Timberwolves:
Buckner's a $4 million expiring contract thrown in to make salaries work. Trading Green may have been a mistake, because who replaces Kevin Garnett at SF now? On the other hand, with two late 1st round picks, maybe they can put together a package to move up, because they've already got very good youth at PG/SG/PF/C, three of four positions which are occupied by quality players under 24 in the lineup.

Advantage: Dallas
Late 1st rounders are usually average players and Green looks to be more than that. Nice pickup for the Mavericks.

Philadelphia 76ers receive:
SF Jarrod Owens

Portland Trailblazers receive:
SG Walter Killion
Philadelphia 76ers 2011 2nd round pick

What this means for the 76ers
Owens is an absolutely sensational defender already as a rookie, but he's buried on the bench. Too bad, because he looks like he'll be a pretty decent player if he gets the chance to develop.

What this means for the Trailblazers
Owens was the #19 pick, Killion the #16 in this year's draft. Killion looks awful in every way compared to Owens and the extra 2nd rounder isn't enough to justify it. Dumb, dumb move by Portland.

Advantage: Philadelphia
They get the far better of the rookies and the 76ers keep right on improving themselves.

And so we're into January the New Year looking quite promising indeed here in Denver with Shaq's return. Still 91 days until AI comes back to us.

Brutal back-to-back against San Antonio and Houston, but we salvage a split, losing 112-100 to the Spurs (Shaquille O'Neal had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Leroy Wright added 14 bench points) and beating the Rockets 119-93 behind Ben Gordon's 29 points and Chauncey Billups's 20 points and 12 assists.

Another doubleheader follows a few nights later and we barely beat out Sacramento 113-112 in Game 1 as Shaquille O'Neal devastates the Kings for 30 points and 10 rebounds, Joakim Noah gets 10 points and 11 rebounds and Ben Gordon scores 30. Leroy Wright contributed 10 points from the bench. A great road win against a pretty decent team. Game Two is a tough 99-95 loss against the Lakers, who are hitting their stride now that Kobe Bryant is back. Ben Gordon led us with 26 points, but it wasn't enough.

It's followed by a frustrating and embarassing 99-77 loss to the Timberwolves as Kelvin Moody destroys us for 27 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. He's been on an absolute tear in his third season and should draw heavy All-Star and All-NBA consideration if he keeps this up.

Our winning ways return as we win both nights of a back-to-back. Golden State falls 98-86 to Ben Gordon's 38 points and Chauncey Billups's 15 points and 14 assists. Leroy Wright added an impressive 11 rebounds from the bench. Seattle was the second-game victim, 108-101. Chauncey Billups led us in scoring with 24 points and Paulinho Buboltz scored 18 off the bench in just 16 minutes. As I've noted before, flashes of greatness lurk within him.

The win streak continues with a 104-102 nailbiter over the Grizzlies. Ben Gordon, Chauncey Billups and Shaquille O'Neal all score 21 points or better to bail us out and keep the victories alive. (Gordon led with 29).

Our mini-streak ends with a 113-101 loss to Dallas. Chauncey Billups was sensational with 14 points and 18 assists and Justin Reed scored 11 from the bench, but it was a rough night all in all.

A day off and a doubleheader, a very pleasant one as it turns out, as we trample the Bulls 105-75 in the first game behind 26 points from Ben Gordon, 12 points and 12 rebounds from Shaquille O'Neal, Jared Jefferies's surprising 11 bench points and 10 bench rebounds from Leroy Wright. The Pistons are shut down 94-69 in the second game, Chauncey Billups and Shaquille O'Neal double-doubling with 17 points and 12 assists and and 18 points and 14 rebounds respectively. Leroy Wright just misses out on a bench double-double with 8 points and 13 rebounds.

Another day off and another doubleheader. It's an exhausting stretch of games this week, but we dig deep and run off two more victories, 114-104 over the Bucks and 109-104 over the Pacers. Milwaukee had no answer for Ben Gordon's dominating 48 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 4 steals, Kenyon Martin's 10 points and 11 rebounds or Leroy Wright's 15 points and 9 rebounds with the second unit. Great game to watch individual players, by the way, as Michael Redd countered Gordon's 48 with 40 points of his own. The Indiana game was all Chauncey Billups with 29 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds and a steal, though Justin Reed scored 10 off the bench, Leroy Wright bettering him with 12.

This time we get two days off before our next doubleheader, the one that closes out January. Revenge is sweet against the Knicks as we stomp all over New York 119-90, Shaquille O'Neal leading the way with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Chauncey Billups tops in Nuggets scoring with 28. Rod Little added 10 quiet bench points. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 34 points and is up to 23.8 points a game but he's proven that he can't carry a team by himself and he's had no scoring help. Sure, Lebron James went through the same thing in Cleveland, but -he- can carry a team on his back. In any event, we beat the Trailblazers 98-90 in a key divisional game to end the month. Kenyon Martin gets a rare double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Leroy Wright continues to be a sparkplug off the bench with 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Having Shaquille O'Neal back has helped tremendously. We've shot up to 29-17 since his return and hold a very nice four game lead over the Timberwolves in the division, six ahead of the Trailblazers, who have fought back to .500 at 22-22.

The Spurs are still the best in the West at 36-11, but the Mavericks aren't far off the pace at 32-12. Phoenix still powers the Pacific with a 31-12 mark, but the Lakers, buoyed by the return of their injured starters, are back on the winning side of things at 24-19. All told, seven teams with a better than .500 record right now and Portland's right on the cusp as noted before.

Toronto has reasserted their dominance over the East with a 37-9 record. The Bulls are back over .500 at 22-21, but still back of the Bucks and the Cavaliers. Charlotte is owning the Southeast at 27-15, the Heat in second place at 21-26. I hope Miami doesn't make the playoffs. That backcourt of Ray Allen and Dwayne Wade is the one pairing in the league that can match the firepower of our own. All told, seven .+500 teams in the East as well.

Lebron James is still averaging 34 points a game and Michael Redd is still the only 30+ club member at 30.6. Ben Gordon is averaging an even 26 and he's slipped to 7th. Chauncey Billups has dropped to 9.3 averaged assists, putting him 5th. Chris Paul and Baron Davis are still the only players averaging double-digit assists with 10.7 and 10 even.

Nick Fazekas has played one lousy stinking game and his 17 rebounds is tops in the league. What a joke for the former Anaheim Cat. The real leader is Greg Oden with 13.8, though Yao Ming is up to 13 boards a game and is quickly closing the gap.

Andrei Kirilenko is down to 3.7 blocks a game and maybe there's a chance he'll lose his strangehold on the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Gerald Wallace is averaging 2.1 steals a game, the returned Kobe Bryant just behind at 2 thieveries a contest.

On the rookie side of things, Leroy Wright is 6th in scoring at 8.3 points a game, ironically just behind Brian Metcalfe who has 8.4. Then again Metcalfe is starting for the horrendous Clippers team. Mateen Yeaton is having an absolute jaw-dropping rookie year for the Pacers. The #4 pick is averaging 17.1 points a game and has come from out of nowhere. If he doesn't win Rookie of the Year, I'll eat my hat.

Brian Metcalfe leads the class in assists with 6.7, Mateen Yeaton 2nd with 4.7. Paulinho Buboltz is 4th with 2.7. Not bad considering he hasn't started any games unlike the three ahead of him (Dan Wessel has 7 starts to pad his numbers with).

Kyle Jordan is the top rebounder with a very nice 8.8 rebounds a game, Jonte Jones and Dan Jacobson also in the 8+ club at 8.4 and 8.3. Fourth is our own Leroy Wright, with a 6.5 board per game average. Fifth? Mateen Yeaton. They really need to hand him the Rookie of the Year trophy, I swear. If Wright wasn't having such a successful rookie season, I'd be somewhat regretting passing on Jacobson. I did really consider him with the #6 pick even though I didn't write it in.

Blocks is all Kyle Jordan with 2.2, though Mateen Yeaton again pops up in second place with 1.5. And Yeaton's a freaking guard. Granted he's a 6'8" guard, but still. The Pacers really made a homerun hit in drafting the local kid. I'm going to absolutely -love- following his career.

Mateen Yeaton also leads in class steals with 1.2, tied with Dan Wessel for that distinction. Sheesh, Yeaton's jersey must be selling out like crazy by now. Hell, even -I- want a Yeaton jersey and I'm not a Pacers fan!

But for all Yeaton's success, the Pacers are 19-25, which is still better than a lot of teams in the league and even in the East, like say the 5-40 New York Knicks. Man, I just love that.

Speaking of the Knicks and records, in my first and only season with New York, we won 22 games. It's February 1st and we've already smashed that here in Denver with 29 wins.

Ah, what a great feeling this is!
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:55 AM   #94
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Philadelphia 76ers receive:
PF Tyrus Thomas

Chicago Bulls receive:
SF Kyle Korver
Philadelphia 76ers 2011 1st round pick

What this means for the 76ers
Thomas is a fantastic young PF. 25 years old, he's showing that last year's breakout season was no fluke, averaging just over 18 points and just shy of 8 rebounds along with 2 and a half blocks a game. With Thomas and SF Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia now has a dynamite forward pairing.

What this means for the Bulls:
Korver's an expiring deal at $5.5 million a year and the 76ers selection is likely to be a mid-late 1st rounder. Apparently Chicago has decided to throw in the towel on a title defense and is going for a rebuild.

Advantage: Philadelphia
While very good to great players such as Thomas often don't bring back their full value in trading, Chicago is the defending champion and to trade away a building block of their future for very middling value is just stupid.

Defense paves the way for an initial 93-80 victory over Golden State. Defense and Chauncey Billups, who scores 36 points in making it look easy.

Unfortunately, we fall apart in a critical double-header, dropping to Utah 107-96 despite 39 points and 4 steals from Ben Gordon and 18 points and 12 assists by Chauncey Billups and falling to Minnesota 98-84 even though we had solid performances from Ben Gordon (30 points), Chauncey Billups (11 points, 12 assists[/b] and Shaquille O'Neal (13 points, 10 rebounds).

We rebound to beat Cleveland 106-102 and even our record for the month. Lebron James scores 48 on us, but Chauncey Billups scores 24 and dishes 11 assists, Shaquille O'Neal puts up 18 points and 18 boards and Peter John Ramos and Paulinho Buboltz score 11 and 10 points respectively with the second team.

Another high-scoring affair, another close win, 120-115 over the Nets. Shaquille O'Neal has his best game in a Nuggets uniform with 31 points, 12 rebounds, an assist, 2 blocks and 2 steals, while Chauncey Billups gets 22 points and 12 assists and Paulinho Buboltz continues his hot sub-scoring with 16 points.

One last doubleheader kicks in before the All-Star break and we split it, blowing away Atlanta 115-88 behind Ben Gordon's 36 points and 12 points from the bench off Jared Jeffries and falling to Charlotte 102-90 despite 17 points and 10 assists from Chauncey Billups, a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds from Shaquille O'Neal and 10 bench points from Leroy Wright.

So we're 33-20 at the All-Star break, two games ahead of the Timberwolves, a well-cushioned eight in front of the Trailblazers. We've got the narrowest lead of any of the current division leaders, but that makes sense given how good our division is.

The Sophomores beat the Rookies easily, 95-80. Paulinho Buboltz started at SG and was awful, going 1/5 for 2 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and 3 turnovers before fouling out. He played 26 minutes, though. Leroy Wright got named to the reserves and was much better: 3/5 for 8 points, 2 rebounds, an assist, steal, and a turnovers in 19 minutes.

In the real All-Star Game, the West crushed the East 105-88. Carmelo Anthony ironically won Game MVP for the losing side. My players continue to get screwed, as Ben Gordon and Chauncey Billups both made the team, but neither one of them got to play.

Kelvin Moody started at PF for the West as he continues to have the greatest success of all the Utah Six. Recently traded Tyrus Thomas made the East team as a reserve.

A nice article came out in Sports Illustrated the week of the All-Star festivities detailing yours truly. Here's an excerpt.

Striking Gold With the Raffle GM

Three years ago, Jestor received the chance of a lifetime in winning the New York Knicks One Year, One Dream GM raffle. He instituted wholesale changes in the team, firing Isiah Thomas and his staff and jettisoning Eddy Curry in a blockbuster trade that brought in Ben Gordon. He also passed on Kevin Durant in the draft, trading down in a stunning move and eventually winding up with Joakim Noah.

Although many Knicks fans thought he'd done a lot to rejuvenate the stale franchise, Jestor's contract was not renewed at the end of the year. A two-year journey through the NBDL followed, first with the Anaheim Cats, then with the Austin Mammoths, where he turned each team into a playoff franchise and a legitimate contender for the NBDL championship.

His success in the NBA's minor league drew the attention of Stephen Crenshaw, the Denver Nuggets owner, who'd recently fired the front-office staff following a disappointing first-round exit the year after their first NBA championship.

But the task before Jestor was far from an easy one.

Superstar Allen Iverson was already ruled out for most of this year with a torn knee tendon. The entire roster with the exception of Carmelo Anthony was either out of contract or going to be out of contract within the next two seasons, including Marcus Camby, who'd been a fine-playing mainstay in Denver's frontcourt.

The Raffle GM struck quickly, dealing Anthony to, of all teams, the Knicks for Gordon, Noah and a trade-up in the draft, receiving the 6th and 29th picks for the 17th. Jestor swore that he would turn the Nuggets into winners with his hand-picked men of Gordon and Noah.

He also traded Nene Hilario and a 2nd round pick to the Detroit Pistons for veteran point guard Chauncey Billups.

Although the Billups deal was largely celebrated, the Anthony swap generated outrage and anguish among Nuggets fans, furious blog writers moaning that Jestor had already destroyed one franchise and was now well on his way to ruining another.

But then a funny thing happened.

The team didn't miss a beat, despite wholesale changes to its roster and four brand-new starters in Billups, Gordon, Noah and free-agent signee Shaquille O'Neal (Kenyon Martin was the lone holdover starter) and stand at the top of the Northwest Division at the All-Star break with a 33-20 record.

Gordon is tied for 7th in the league points per game at 25.9 and Billups averages 5th in assists with 9.4. Together, they form the most dangerous backcourt in the league, with the possible exception of Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen in Miami. Shaq has been a steady, critical presence inside and Martin and Noah, though very much under the radar offensively, have been terrific defenders, frequently shutting down the opposition's top scorers.

But what is just as important as Jestor's moves to bolster the team for the here and now is what he's done to prepare Denver for the future. Gordon is under contract for the next three seasons at a bargain basement price for a player of his talent. Billups is signed through next season, which will give top pick Paulinho Buboltz, the extremely promising, but raw Brazilian teenager time to learn and develop. Leroy Wright, the Nuggets' other 1st round pick, has been a real find, coming out of nowhere to become a dynamic three-position frontcourt player and a key part of the reserves as the team's 6th man.

Denver could also be potential players in the free agent market, depending on what Jestor does about the expiring contracts of Martin, Iverson, Noah, and O'Neal. Jared Jeffries, obtained in the Anthony trade, certainly won't be back. If he decides to release all the expiring contracts, and indeed there's some evidence from sources within the Nuggets organization that he will, Jestor could be well under the cap and a key player this summer.

There's a lot of season still to be played, but with just 43 days to go until Iverson returns and Denver's fantastic play in the first half of the season, there's every reason to believe that the Nuggets could be contenders for gold again at the end of the year.

At the very least, the Raffle GM has stayed the course of recent success with a team that has no Iverson and Anthony, but does have Gordon, Jestor's chosen one, as its top scorer.

In fact, the greatest sign of Jestor's shrewdness and judge of talent might be the following statistic: The New York Knicks, who received Anthony in that trade and gave up Gordon and Noah, hold the NBA's worst record at 5-48.

***End Excerpt***

Nice writeup if I do say so myself.

It's not a pleasant return from the All-Star break as we fall 100-90 to the Boston Celtics. I blame the SI article jinx. Can't blame Ben Gordon who scored 41 points or Chauncey Billups, who had 19 points and 11 assists, though.

We snap out of the funk with a 102-79 pulverizing of the Grizzlies led by Ben Gordon (21 points), Chauncey Billups (23 points) and Leroy Wright (12 bench points).

There were four deadline week deals. I considered getting involved to try and see if I could improve the team, but I didn't want to cut into Leroy Wright's playing time, nor did I want to risk ruining the great chemistry we've developed.

Nonetheless, that didn't keep others from being active, including the team that's chasing us for the division.

Milwaukee Bucks receive:
SF Luol Deng

Chicago Bulls receive:
C Dan Gadzuric
Milwaukee Bucks 2011 1st round pick

What this means for the Bucks:
Deng has a history of injury problems, including a torn MCL last season. He also has a great amount of talent, but one that he's never been able to fully realize, in part because his injury woes have kept him from getting into a rhythm. Still, he's only 25, signed for four years at a reasonable rate and becomes the Bucks' new starting SF.

What this means for the Bulls:
Gadzuric is $7 million of expiring contract and the first round pick appears to be a late 1st round selection. Nothing terribly exciting here for Chicago.

Advantage: Milwaukee
It's a relatively low-risk, potentially high-reward gamble for the Bucks. If Deng pans out and flourishes in his new surroundings, he could be a core player for Milwaukee the next several seasons. If he doesn't, he'll still be a respectable player as he is now.

Minnesota Timberwolves receive:
PF James Augustine
Orlando Magic 2011 2nd round pick

Orlando Magic receive:
PG Javaris Crittenton
SG Raja Bell

What this means for the Timberwolves:
The T-Wolves clear out the log jam of backcourt youth they had and get another young, if wholly unremarkable 26 year old signed for the next few seasons for their frontcourt, a youth injection they badly need. The 2nd round pick will be a relatively high one, as Orlando is pretty bad this year.

What this means for the Magic:
Bad news for Crittenton, who gets absolutely buried on Orlando's roster to where he's inactive. The move translates into $4 million in expiring contracts for the Magic, which, along with a lot of the other deals going out the window, will give Orlando room to play with in the summer.

Advantage: Draw
Both teams get a very small benefit from the swap. You have to feel sorry for Crittenton, though, who honestly isn't a bad-looking player and just needs an opportunity to showcase his skills.

Milwaukee Bucks receive
SF Andres Nocioni
New York Knicks 2011 2nd round pick

New York Knicks receive
PG Smush Parker

What this means for the Bucks
Nocioni is an extremely versatile player, able to slot in at every position save center. He'll serve as Milwaukee's 6th man as they continue to fight to maintain their division lead. Most importantly, he's an $8 million expiring contract, something that could prove critical as the Bucks try to find money to sign free-agent-to-be Michael Redd. The 2nd round pick also translates into 2.1, barring any sudden surge by New York.

What this means for the Knicks
The Knicks trade an $8 million expiring contract and the probable top pick in the 2nd round for a $7 million expiring contract that's buried deep on their bench. Makes a fan wish for the days of Jestor.

Advantage: Milwaukee
The Bucks improve themselves, both for now and the future with this deal. New York actually worsened, if such a thing is possible.

Minnesota Timberwolves receive:
PF Drew Gooden
Detroit Pistons 2011 2nd round pick

Detroit Pistons receive:
SG Kevin Logan

What this means for the Timberwolves:
Gooden's a three-position player who will give Minnesota veteran frontcourt help and a big-time rebound gobbler on the Timberwolves' second unit, something the team was sorely lacking in their reserves before acquiring him. They also get a high 2nd round draft pick.

What this means for the Pistons:
He's buried on the bench right now, but Logan's a pretty promising prospect if he can get some more playing time and is a potentially nice piece for the Pistons' rebuilding project. However, it's arguable that they could've gotten just as good a player with the 2nd round pick they gave up.

Advantage: Minnesota
Very nice move by the T-Wolves as they attempt to catch the Nuggets in the Northwest.

I'm not happy about Minnesota's smartness and I'm even less happy with our heartbreaking 115-112 loss to the Hornets next game. Ben Gordon busted his ass with 45 points and Chauncey Billups played well with 15 points and 13 assists, but I'm left wondering if maybe I shouldn't have made a move to strengthen the bench after all.

We end February by beating up on the hapless Hawks 98-71. Chauncey Billups and Ben Gordon are the bird-bashers with 29 and 25 points respectively as our defense totally shuts Atlanta down.

34 days until Allen Iverson comes back and we're still two games in front in the Northwest at 35-22. San Antonio is tops in the West still at 43-13, but the Lakers have been on fire lately and have shot up to 34-21, within 3 games of Phoenix. The Purple and Gold are going to be deadly in the playoffs, I have a funny feeling. Eight teams with winning records in the conference, the confounding Trailblazers just missing the 9th at 27-28. I really wish I could figure out why Portland isn't getting it done. They're a really talented team.

Toronto at 43-13, Boston at 42-15 are the clear class of the East. Milwaukee's holding a five game advantage in the Central over the 28-27 Cavaliers. The Bucks may be looking great in the regular season, but they're missing a legitimate PG and that's going to kill them in the playoffs just like it did last year. Charlotte still dominates the Southeast by eight and a half, but the Wizards have clawed their way to 28-27 and the Heat, who really make me nervous, are 29-29, which is enough to give them the 8th and final playoff spot at the moment.

Lebron James leads still with 34.2 points a game, Michael Redd at 30.6. Ben Gordon's 6th at 26.4. Chauncey Billups is 5th in assists with a 9.4 average, Chris Paul alone in double-digit dishes (10.8).

Greg Oden heads up boards per game with 13.8, Yao Ming his closest competitor at 13.2. Andrei Kirilenko leads in blocks with a slipping 3.7, Elton Brand #2 with 3.1. I see Kelvin Moody's 4th with 2.7. Gerald Wallace is the lone 2+ steals a game at 2.1 average.

I don't see Mateen Yeaton anywhere in the rookie list, which disturbs me. He broke his toe, so the Pacers have him stashed down in the D-League. He'll be back in about a month, thankfully, as his 15.8 points per game is still tops among the rookie class.

I have to say, Kyle Jordan is impressing me. I'd dimissed most of the rookie centers as rot before the draft, but Jordan is averaging 7.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks a game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Those are great numbers for a rookie and I'd even venture to say that the frontcourt of Kevin Garnett, Kelvin Moody and Jordan is just as worthy of attention as the more-heralded Raptors frontline.

That's not to say that I'll be wearing a K. Jordan jersey anytime soon. Mike he's not and besides, I'm still enamored with Yeaton, who's still a great story with the Pacers.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:09 PM   #95
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
A quick review of our contract situation reveals that we have just 5 players under contract for next season, essentially indicating an extreme makeover like we did this year.

To help alleviate that, I contact Joakim Noah's agent about an extension. He wants $5.4 million base, 5 years, 8% raises. After some back and forth, we settle on $5.1 million base, 5 years, 8% raises. Sure, $300,000 might seem like nothing, but by lowering the base rate even that small amount, one of my boys is signed from 25-30 and even in the last year, he'll still be making $6.9 million at most. Is Noah a light-the-world kind of player? No, even I'll admit that. But he's a high-quality defender with some scoring and rebounding ability, busts his ass off to get better, is loyal, loved by his teammates and pretty popular with the fans.

All told, 5 years for approximately $30 million. I'll take that kind of deal for a significant young player like my boy Noah.

We celebrate the extension with a thrilling 124-117 win over the Pacers. Chauncey Billups scores 39 points, Shaquille O'Neal his second man with 29 points. Newly rich Joakim Noah put up 15 points, 4 rebounds, a steal, a block and 3 turnovers in his first game since signing the extension.

The Clippers are clipped 108-92 next game, Ben Gordon leading in scoring with 33 points, Shaquille O'Neal double-doubling with 21 points and 15 rebounds and two absolutely freakish bench performances: Rod Little scored 18 points in just 11 minutes and Leroy Wright had a bench doublemint delightment of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Portland trips us 95-85 a couple nights later. Shaquille O'Neal gets the weak man's double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, but we just got plain schooled by Kevin Durant and Zach Randolph with 37 points, 6 assists and 7 rebounds and 18 points and 19 rebounds respectively. I still say the Trailblazers should be one of the top teams in the league, but they just haven't been able to do it yet.

A nice, long break follows before the most nightmarish doubleheader ever: San Antonio and Phoenix back-to-back. We get destroyed by both the Spurs and the Suns, although Leroy Wright scored 10 in both games and double-doubled with 10 rebounds additional against Phoenix. Ben Gordon scored 31 and Chauncey Billups double-doubled with 21 points and 10 assists against the Suns as well.

Charlotte's much easier competition as we win 97-89 by balanced offense and gritty defense. Leroy Wright scores 10 bench points in his third straight game. He's more than earned his third-year option, which I'll be picking up at the end of the season.

The Clippers are always a fine feast for our players and in the next Red and White whipping, Ben Gordon paves the way with 34 points, Shaquille O'Neal and Chauncey Billups his doubled men with 22 points and 13 rebounds and 19 points and 15 assists respectively. Leroy Wright had a horrendous 2/7 shooting night to end his double-digit point streak with 7.

Poor Milwaukee. No true point guard equals a 21 point asskicking against our super backcourt as Ben Gordon scores 36 and Chauncey Billups tallies 20 points and 11 assists. Let's not forget Shaquille O'Neal's 12 points and 11 rebounds or Leroy Wright's return to 10 reserve points on the nose.

The Wizards go down next, 99-86, courtesy of 31 points from Ben Gordon and 14 points and 11 assists from Chauncey Billups.

But the real fun comes two nights later when we stun the Los Angeles Lakers 120-95 and hold Andrew Bynum to 0 points. Chauncey Billups had 23 points and 10 assists, Shaquille O'Neal 21 points, 12 rebounds and 3 beautiful blocks. What -really- made this game enjoyable for me and a lot of the Nuggets fans though was watching Paulinho Buboltz and Leroy Wright. Wright had one of his better games with 15 points, but what really amazed was Buboltz's line.

Paulinho Buboltz - 14 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 block in 22 minutes

That's right. In roughly a half of play, he broke double-digit scoring, dished out 6 assists, grabbed 3 boards, stole 4 balls and got a freaking BLOCK even though he's just 5'11" 182 lbs!

Now that's just damned cool.

The win train keeps right on rolling with a 99-83 whomping of the Kings. Chauncey Billups dethrones Sacramento with 29 points and Leroy Wright contributes 10 points from the reserves.

Not even our hot play could've prepared me for what happened next, however. We top the Suns 111-103 on the road behind 31 points from Ben Gordon, 25 points and 14 assists from Chauncey Billups and, in an extremely incredible turn of events, Leroy Wright rising to the occasion after Shaq was limited to 15 ineffective minutes because of foul trouble. Taking over at center for much of the game, Wright had 12 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. I'm becoming more and more amazed at just how much of a steal he was.

Another game, another win, this time 105-92 versus the Jazz. Ben Gordon was his usual pointmaestro self with 36 scored and we had three double-doubles: Chauncey Billups (14 points, 16 assists), Shaquille O'Neal (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Kenyon Martin (10 points, 11 rebounds).

But we've got a tough back-to-back to end the month; San Antonio, although at home, and Portland on the road. We shock the Spurs 119-100 even with Joakim Noah out with an injury thanks to Ben Gordon's 29 points, 26 points and 12 assists from Chauncey Billups, 10 bench points from Paulinho Buboltz and a surprise sub double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds from Peter John Ramos. No such luck against the Trailblazers though, as Portland continues to have our number, this time 104-91. 18 points from reserve Justin Reed are the only real bright spot to this game, as Joakim Noah misses his second straight game with a sprained ankle.

Still, I'm not going to complain at all about being 46-26, not when it gives us a 5.5 game lead in the division with 10 games to play and not when we're in the hunt for the #2 seed in the playoffs. San Antonio's already clinched the #1 seed at 56-17.

We're a game up on the Suns for the #2 seed, but they in turn are only a game up on the Lakers in the Pacific division and the Kings are still very much alive at five games back of the Suns.

The best news is, if the playoffs were held today, the 38-34 Portland Trailblazers would be left out in the cold. If we're going to have any chance at making some noise in the postseason, Portland must stay home. They match up too damned well against us.

Out East, it's still Toronto and Boston tops in the conference with the 56-18 Raptors two games ahead of the Celtics for the division and the #1 seed. Both will belong to one of those two teams as the 42-30 Bucks and 46-26 Bobcats have no chance of catching either one. Cleveland's 4.5 back of Milwaukee while 39-35 Miami needs to win them all to even a slight chance of catching Charlotte. If the playoffs were held today, the defending champion Chicago Bulls would be going home and honestly, at 31-41, they've got way too much ground to make up to the 37-37 New Jersey Nets, who hold the 8th and final seed at present.

And now it's time for a good laugh!

The New York Knicks are still chasing double-digit wins at 7-64.

Lebron James is the lone player over 30 points a game on average, with 33.7. Ben Gordon is 6th at 26.5. Interesting note for the Miami vs. Denver best backcourt debate: The Heat guards, Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen, rank 4th and 7th with 27.6 and 26.3 points respectively.

Chris Paul still holds way in assists with 10.5 average. Baron Davis and Dwayne Wade are tied for 2nd with 9.9 assists per game, and Chauncey Billups is just behind them at 9.8. Makes for an even more intense argument I'd say.

No argument as to the best rebounders: Greg Oden with 14.2 boards per game, Yao Ming with 13.4.

Andrei Kirilenko has been an absolute blocking-machine over the last month and has shot up to 3.9 blocks per game average. Can he repeat the 4 block a game average by the end of the year? It'll be close, damned close.

Gerald Wallace reigns as King Ballthief with 2.1 steals a game, the only one at two or above.

Two rookies in double digit scoring: Jonte Jones of Dallas with 10.6 and Mike Vines of Sacramento with 10.3. Remember, I almost took Vines in the draft, but his attitude issues made me wary. Leroy Wright is 8th in scoring at an even 8 points a game. Paulinho Buboltz is second in assists with 2.7, but Brian Metcalfe is blowing everyone away with 6.3 dishes per game. That's what being a starting PG will get you.

Jonte Jones also leads in boards per game with 9.3, Kyle Jordan also at 9 boards average. Leroy Wright ranks 5th with 6.5. Kyle Jordan leads far and away in blocks with 2.1.

Ugh. I am unbelievably pissed at the Pacers right now. They've still got Mateen Yeaton sitting in the D-League even though he's fully healed and averaging 25.7 points a game for Albuquerque.

I'm tempted to call up Indiana this offseason and find out what it takes to get Yeaton. This is just stupid and the fanbase shouldn't stand for it.

In happier news....

Allen Iverson comes back in two days!!!!!!

He'll probably miss the game against Golden State, but then we'll have nine games in which to get him back up to playing speed and in sync with this wholly new team for the playoffs.

It's going to be an interesting final set of games, that's for sure.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:31 PM   #96
Swaggs
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Almost Heaven
I'm really looking forward to seeing how Iverson's return works. It seems like things are going pretty smoothly right now, so hopefully he doesn't rock the boat.

Any indication from ownership on whether or not they are pleased with your performance? Can you get multiyear deals in this game?
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:31 PM   #97
cubboyroy1826
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
I think i get more into reading your dynasty than playing my own. I might consider starting up a new dynasty with an expansion team. Keep up the great work.
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:30 PM   #98
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Swaggs: Nope, there's no indication either way and you aren't signed to an actual contract in the game. It's a year-to-year sort of thing. As far as AI goes, how he works in terms of our chemistry is going to be a big question mark.


cubbyroy1826: Wow, I'm glad to hear it! Seeing an expansion dynasty would be interesting. I have to restart my 1900 Zeroed Out dynasty because of a problem I ran into with it.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:21 PM   #99
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Joakim Noah is still hobbled by his sprained ankle by our first game, but Allen Iverson is ready to go. George Karl's lineup is a stunner:

PG Ben Gordon
SG Allen Iverson
SF Leroy Wright
PF Kenyon Martin
C Shaquille O'Neal
6th Chauncey Billups

He's putting the ignitor of our offense on the bench?! If our owner wasn't such an ass about money, I'd have fired him on the spot.

We have a doubleheader to open April and win 132-110 in the first game over the Grizzlies. Allen Iverson makes a triumphant debut of 46 points to go with Shaquille O'Neal's 13 points and 13 rebounds and 13 and 10 reserve points respectively from Chauncey Billups and Peter John Ramos. Game two is an infuriating 126-122 loss to the Hornets despite 25 points and 10 assists from Ben Gordon and 20 bench points from Chauncey Billups.

Another back-to-back kicks off a couple nights later and we drop the front end 116-100 to the Timberwolves in a game with major playoff implications. 10 rebounds from sub Peter John Ramos, who is quietly playing his way to consideration for another contract. We bounce back to win the back end 132-123 over the Sonics, however, Allen Iverson scoring 43, Ben Gordon with 30 points and Chauncey Billups lighting things up with 25 points from the bench.

If nothing else, we're a high-powered offensive team right now, even though our defense is really suffering, some of which I suspect is due to Joakim Noah's injury.

Allen Iverson is otherworldly with 46 points, 6 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 steals in a 113-97 victory over Golden State next game and Chauncey Billups has 11 bench points, but I'm noticing that Ben Gordon's committing a lot of turnovers and really looks uncomfortable running the point. In my opinion, it's disrupting the quality of our team play and is another point in the column of not retaining AI after this year.

Joakim Noah finally comes back, but the Hornets still sting us 107-97. Leroy Wright scored 10 with the reserves, but by and large, we just didn't have it tonight and Ben Gordon really looks like he's struggling out there.

We need one victory in our remaining four games, which are two back-to-backs, to clinch the division and we'll probably need more than that to get the #2 seed in the playoffs, because the Suns are just a game behind us in that category.

The division clincher comes with an easy 111-78 victory over the Grizzlies. A balanced offense, including 15 second unit points from Chauncey Billups does it. More importantly, we sweep the first doubleheader by knocking out the Rockets 107-97. Allen Iverson does it almost singlehandedly, scoring 45.

Unfortunately, we lose both games in the final doubleheader, 108-96 to Phoenix and 93-82 to our archrivals, the Trailblazers. Allen Iverson scored 31 in the Suns game, Leroy Wright with 10 reserve rebounds. Chauncey Billups was the lone Portland highlight with 14 points off the bench.

We finish 51-31 on the other year, capturing the Northwest Division title and locking up at least the #3 seed.

Playoff Teams - West (In Order of Wins)
San Antonio Spurs - 64-18
Dallas Mavericks - 52-30
Denver Nuggets - 51-31
Houston Rockets -51-31
Phoenix Suns - 50-32
Los Angeles Lakers - 49-33
Minnesota Timberwolves - 48-34
Sacramento Kings - 45-37

No Portland (43-39)! Hooray!!!!

Playoff Teams - East (In Order of Wins)
Toronto Raptors - 65-17
Boston Celtics - 60-22
Charlotte Bobcats - 53-29
Philadelphia 76ers - 49-33
Milwaukee Bucks - 48-34
Cleveland Cavaliers - 43-39
Miami Heat - 43-39
Washing Wizards -39-43

Lebron James wins the scoring title with 33.5 points a game, though Allen Iversonwas just behind at 33.1. Ben Gordon finished 8th at 25.9.

Chris Paul took the assists with 10.6, although Baron Davis (10.1) and Dwayne Wade (10) also averaged double-digits. Chauncey Billups dropped to 9.2 after the asinine demotion and finished 6th.

Greg Oden was the top rebounder, a 14.1 per game average, Yao Ming second with 13.3, but most importantly Andrei Kirilenko fought back and finished with 4 blocks a game even.

Allen Iverson stole the steals average title with 2.5, Gerald Wallace the only other above two with 2.1.

YES! The Pacers bring back Mateen Yeaton and he blows away everyone else in the rookie scoring title with 17 points on average. Jonte Jones and Mike Vines averaged 10.8 points, #1 pick Jeremy Lemons the final in double-digits with 10.2. I still have a hard time believing the Magic took Lemons, who isn't that good. Leroy Wright was 10th, averaging 7.8 points and probably won't make an All-Rookie team.

Brian Metcalfe averaged 6.3 assists, Mateen Yeaton second with 4.6. Paulinho Buboltz was third at 2.5 assists a game. Jonte Jones led in rookie rebounding with 9.4 boards, the only first-year above 9, while Leroy Wright finished 5th in the class with 6.3 rebounds a game.

Kyle Jordan was tops in blocks with 2.1, Mateen Yeaton 2nd with 1.6. (Yeaton was also 7th in rebounds, incidentally). Mateen Yeaton also took the rookie steals crown with 1.3 average, Jeremy Lemons the only other first-year to get more than a steal with 1.2 on average.

Playoff seeding is announced a few days later.

Playoffs 1st Round
East
(1) Toronto vs (8) Washington
(4) Milwaukee vs (5) Philadelphia
(3) Charlotte vs (6) Miami
(2) Boston vs (7) Cleveland
West
(1) San Antonio vs (8) Sacramento
(4) Phoenix vs (5) Houston
(3) Denver vs (6) L.A. Lakers
(2) Dallas vs (7) Minnesota
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:52 PM   #100
cubboyroy1826
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Join Date: Jun 2002
What schedule are you using? When i add the expansion franchise the schedule goes to 92 games instead of 82 games.
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