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Old 02-06-2009, 10:20 PM   #551
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
New Jersey Nets receive
SG Derrick Young
Golden State Warriors 2028 2nd round pick

Golden State Warriors receive
PF Mekeli Lane

What this means for the Nets
Young's a decent bench player, but as the 12th man, he's essentially worthless. He's also a min-sal, hence of no impact financially.

What this means for the Warriors
Lane may be 24, but he's a scrub he's signed on for another year after this one, as opposed to the expiring Young.

Winner: New Jersey
Expiring money, no matter how minimal and a 2nd round pick are the deciding factors in this dull, unimportant trade.

San Antonio Spurs receive
PG Paulinho Buboltz
New York Knicks 2028 2nd round pick

New York Knicks receive
PF Ian McClinton
SF Jon Wilson

What this means for the Spurs
San Antonio's frantic to make a push for the playoffs and Buboltz is an exceedingly dangerous scorer who can still pass the ball at 35. Slated as a 6th man, he instantly upgrades the Spurs' bench and an already firepower heavy West just got more so. Did we mention he's also an expiring $12.7 mil. contract?

What this means for the Knicks
The key to this trade for New York is McClinton, a 25 year old who's pretty average except for very good defense. A respectable insurance policy on the 34 year old Pete Totten and now the first big off the bench for the Knicks. Wilson's 37 and just an $8.9 mil. expiring contract to make the salaries work.

Winner: San Antonio
This is the kind of trade you make when you're serious about getting into the postseason. Excellent exchange for the Spurs and while the Knicks are in rebuild mode, neither of these pieces really does all that much for it at least, not compared to what they gave up.

Milwaukee Bucks receive
SF Andrew Soloman
New Jersey Nets 2028 2nd round pick

New Jersey Nets receive
C Tony Cooper

What this means for the Bucks
Soloman doesn't do anything great, doesn't do anything horribly. The very definition of mediocre and one who can only play SF. He's stuck in the middle of the Bucks bench and is a min-sal deal.

What this means for the Nets
Cooper's 7'4, 301 lbs, but the 21 year old rookie, taken 12th overall, looks a big bust at this point. On the other hand, Demarcus Baptist and Bill Towns are 34 and 36 respectively, so the Nets needed to do something to get some youth in. That Cooper's in the D-League as a starter gives some small hope that he may be better than first appears. In fact, of the 6 players under 30 on the Nets roster, 4 are guards and 1 is a SF, so the need for big youth was strong.

Winner: New Jersey
For the price the Nets paid and the magnitude of their need for youth, Cooper's worth the flier.

See? I'm not the only one who gives up quickly on rookies or under-achieving players.

Horrible way to start off March, losing 117-115 on a buzzer beater to the Heat, the NBA's worst team. Makes it hard to enjoy Terrence Howard's 24 points and 10 rebounds, Ronnie Fry's 20 points and 10 rebounds or David Anyan's 23 points.

We quickly get it sorted out for next game, edging the Pistons 108-103. David Anyan scores 24, Ronnie Fry adds 20 points, Terrence Howard gets 15 points and rebounds both, Filip Svorada garners 15 points and 12 assists and Nigel Abel scores 10 off the bench in 9 minutes.

An important battle for playoff seeding goes our way as we wallop the Grizzlies 111-87. David Anyan and William Tackett each score 23 and we get double-doubles of 20 points and 11 rebounds and 14 points and 16 assists from Terrence Howard and Filip Svorada respectively.

Getting a couple days off finally allows Jim Johnson's ankle to heal enough to start in our 116-96 win over the Clippers, but he looks extremely rusty. Instead, it's David Anyan (25 points), Ronnie Fry (16 points, 10 rebounds), Filip Svorada (12 points, 12 assists) and Terrence Howard (19 bench points) who carry us on the evening.

Filip Svorada is just -gorgeous- in blistering the Rockets for 40 points and 11 assists in our 104-86 victory. Ronnie Fry contributes 18 points and 16 rebounds and Jim Johnson takes the 6th man spot and turns it into 16 points, while Nigel Abel scores 13.

The home fans get a real treat in a hell of a barnburner against the Magic, a torrid duel that sees us emerge on the winning end of a 133-128 OT score. Filip Svorada puts up 31 points, 16 assists and 6 rebounds, William Tackett bursts through for 30 points, David Anyan scores 20 and Jim Johnson chips in 12 bench points.

No such theatrics in Oakland, where all five starters score 15 points or more and we come out with a comfortable 114-100 win. Filip Svorada continues his amazing run of form with 25 points and 15 assists, David Anyan scores 20 and Jim Johnson again leads the reserves with 14 points.

We keep the streak going with a back-to-back sweep. Defense and balanced offense power us to a 96-84 win over the Clippers with top performances by Ronnie Fry (13 points, 13 rebounds), Terrence Howard (10 points, 13 rebounds[/b] and Jim Johnson (13 points, 9 rebounds off the bench). Our 108-74 laugher against Golden State comes via David Anyan's 29 points, Jim Johnson's 12 points and 13 rebounds in his reappearance as the starting C, William Tackett's 21 points and Nigel Abel's 11 bench points.

Portland's punchless in losing 106-85 to us. David Anyan scores 27, Ronnie Fry puts together 12 points and 11 rebounds, William Tackett gets a surprising 12 points and 14 assists operating out of the SG slot and Justin Cherry and Terrence Howard come off the bench for 16 and 11 points respectively. That 16 is a season high for the 27 year old, who never did come even close to being the next Mateen Yeaton as we thought he'd be during the draft hype and his superlative rookie season.

Matchups against the Mavericks are always sold out months in advance and those who got a ticket got a treat as we beat Dallas 121-113 in OT. Andre Miller pulls a stunning switch by having Jim Johnson at PF and Terrence Howard at C. It works beautifully, as Howard explodes for 31 points and 13 rebounds and Twizzler picks up 16 points and 13 rebounds. David Anyan scores 21, William Tackett tacks on 20 points, Filip Svorada dishes out an insane 20 assists, Brandon Edmond scores 13 off the bench and Ronnie Fry does well for 8 points and 11 rebounds as the 6th man. A crazy game, one that saw Marcelino Augusto amass 30 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals as a deserving Player of the Game.

We march to Denver for another hotly anticipated game and promptly get our asses kicked 110-97 by the Nuggets. David Anyan scores 20, Filip Svorada picks up 11 points and 14 assists and Terrence Howard and Brandon Edmond lead the second team with 14 and 10 points respectively, but we just couldn't really get anything going after the first quarter.

Philadelphia takes the full brunt of our anger at snapping our win streak against the Nuggets, whipped by a 106-76 final score. Oddly enough Filip Svorada was our only highlight with 22 points, as Andre Miller emptied the bench in this one.

William Tackett may be inconsistent, but when he's on, he's on, as he torches the Pistons for 30 points in our 114-103 win. Ronnie Fry gets 16 points and 13 rebounds, Filip Svorada nets 12 points and 13 assists and Terrence Howard scores 11 bench points.

The Cavaliers have this very annoying habit of beating us at the end of the month and they do it here as we squander a sizeable lead and lose 115-110 in Cleveland. So much for Jim Johnson's 16 points and 13 rebounds, Filip Svorada's 24 points and Terrence Howard's 12 bench points.

But really, it's a minor irritant in the grand scheme of things. We're 53-21, 5 games ahead of the Suns in the Pacific. Dallas is trailing us in the race for the top seed at 48-24, though they lead the Grizzlies by 3.5 half games. The Nuggets have seized a commanding 5.5 game lead on the Jazz in the Northwest at 45-26 and may be able to sneak past the Suns for the #3 spot. Either way, I'm hoping we hang on for the #1 seed, because I want to delay facing Denver and Dallas for as long as possible. Biggest story to me: San Antonio benefitted so much from Paulinho Buboltz's acquisition, they're 41-31 and currently in line for the #6 seed. Now the .+500 team that'd be out of it today is the 39-33 Supersonics, who I'd be absolutely delighted not to meet again.

Indiana's still leading the East at 48-23, though Detroit's 4.5 back for both the top seed and the Central title. Toronto and Boston are separated by only a game in the Atlantic, 39-33 good to give the Raptors the advantage. The Southeast is even tighter, where 36-35 Washington is a half-game in front of Atlanta.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:07 PM   #552
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
8 games left and we've got a four game lead for the #1 seed. I'd say we're pretty safe as long as we don't implode.

No such implosion against the Timberwolves, whom we dominate 124-73. Filip Svorada scores 28, David Anyan pops in 20 points, Jim Johnson nabs 10 points and 11 rebounds and Terrence Howard scores 11 off the bench.

Two nights later, we have a chance to make sure the Supersonics stay buried. Unfortunately, they know they're fighting for their playoff lives and rally to beat us 107-103. Ugh! Ronnie Fry (20 points), Jim Johnson (17 points, 15 rebounds), Filip Svorada (15 points, 13 assists) and Terrence Howard (17 points) try to get us the win but fail to do so.

In that light, I'm not as upset about our 110-105 road loss to the Traiblazers as I would be, because I really don't want to face Seattle. William Tackett was fantastic with 28 points and 11 assists, Ronnie Fry scores 27, [b]Terrence Howard/b] continues to be steady with 14 points and 12 rebounds as he's made the starter for this game. Jim Johnson scores 13 off the bench and Justin Cherry has 10 assists as a reserve.

It's worrying any time you drop two games in a row against possible playoff opponents, but we snap out of it with a 120-106 win over the Lakers. Filip Svorada leads the charge with 22 points and 12 assists, William Tackett scores 20, David Anyan and Jim Johnson double for 18 points, 10 rebounds and 19 points, 12 rebounds respectively and Terrence Howard is a beast off the bench with 20 points.

A split road back-to-back. We hammer the Lakers 124-98 as Filip Svorada narrowly misses a triple-double with 27 points, 16 assists and 8 rebounds. Ronnie Fry and David Anyan combine for 22 and 21 points and Jim Johnson hauls in 17 points and 16 rebounds. 37-23 is the score after the first and we can't completely close the game, losing 104-94 in Phoenix. Not even with Filip Svorada's 21 points and 10 assists, David Anyan's 25 points or Jim Johnson's 11 points and 13 rebounds.

That loss against the Suns really hurts. Had we won, we would've clinched the #1 seed. But as it stands, with two games left, Phoenix is two games behind us, so we need to make sure we take care of business and beat the Jazz next to render our regular season finale against Phoenix moot. Naturally we go and play like crap, losing 104-86 with Terrence Howard's 12 bench points only statistically significant showing. And of course, the Suns win, meaning we have to beat them to guarantee a #1 seed.

...Ridiculous. We go 3-5 over the last 8 games and lose to every damned decent team. 102-82 to the Suns here as we shoot 35.9% and screw whatever highlights there were. We don't deserve them.

West Conference Seedings
1. Phoenix Suns (56-26)
2. Sacramento Kings (56-26)
3. Dallas Mavericks (51-31)
4. Denver Nuggets (50-32)
5. Memphis Grizzlies (50-32)
6. Utah Jazz (48-38)
7. Seattle Supersonics (47-35)
8. San Antonio Spurs (47-35)

Out: Portland Trailblazers (43-38)

East Conference Seedings
1. Indiana Pacers (55-27)
2. Detroit Pistons (48-34)
3. Atlanta Hawks (46-36)
4. Boston Celtics (45-37)
5. Chicago Bulls (48-34)
6. Toronto Raptors (44-38)
7. Washington Wizards (39-43)
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (38-44)

The Bucks, also 38-44, lost the tiebreaker.

Leaders

Points
1. Sonny Boxler (POR) - 30.1
2. Filip Mikulic (HOU) - 28.8
3. Damian Thomas (SA) - 27.3 (at 21 years old!)

Assists
1. Ameirin Qipani (SA) - 13.5
2. Dondrell Wilder (DEN) - 11.6
3. Waldemar Althusser (ATL) - 11.3

Rebounds
1. Dontay Williamson (DEN) - 14.5
2. Oswaldo Apolonario (ATL) - 12.8
3. Scott Palmer (UTA) - 12.3

Blocks
1. Sonny Boxler (POR) - 4.0
2. Dontay Williamson (DEN) - 3.5
3. Martin Beerbohm (NO) - 3.4

Steals
T1. Jack McKnight (LAC) - 2.1
T1. Russell Sims (SEA) - 2.1
T3. Curtis Wilkerson (ATL) - 2.0
T3. David Johnson (IND) - 2.0
T3. Brian Brown (GS) - 2.0

Rookies

Points
1. Dennis Edwards (PHI) - 14.5
2. Tony Bryson (DEN) - 10.6
3. Stephen Wilson (ORL) - 10.0

Assists
1. Kaluj Kazlauskas (POR) - 4.8
2. Rodney Chappel (MIA) - 3.3
3. Kenyatta Bennett (DAL) - 2.1

Rebounds
1. Tony Bryson (DEN) - 6.8
2. Dennis Edwards (PHI) - 6.3
3. Benjamin Williams (HOU) - 6.1

Blocks
1. Tony Bryson (DEN) - 2.0
T2. Benjamin Williams (HOU) - 0.9
T2. Dennis Edwards (PHI) - 0.9
T2. Tommy Kent (DEN) - 0.9

Steals
1. Stephen Wilson (ORL) - 1.1
T2. Tommy Kent (DEN) - 0.8
T2. Dennis Edwards (PHI) - 0.8

Heh. Play like crap, draw the matchup that's most dangerous for us. We may be a one and done team.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:24 AM   #553
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Can Stumbling Kings Stave Sonics Surge?

This first round matchup is a story of two teams - the Sacramento Kings, who lost three straight to tumble from a near sure-fire top seed to a #2 seed and the Seattle Supersonics, who ten games ago looked poised to be out of the playoffs, now in the postseason as the 7th seed.

Adding to the drama is the fact that the Sonics beat the Kings in 7 games to win the West last year and go on to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics in five games.

Can Sacramento reverse its endseason drought and dispel the Seattle curse? That's the million dollar question as they prepare for this discomforting series.

Point Guard
Filip Svorada vs. Andre Quarles

The 31 year old Czech ressurected his career after GM Jestor signed him in free agency, capturing the starting PG job and compiling 16.9 points, 11.2 assists and 1.6 steals in the regular season. Very good scorer and floor general, pretty decent on defense. If there's a knock on him, it's that he can't really be called great at anything.

Quarles did well last year against the Kings, but he's still a 2 guard playing the 1 and is 34 years old. Still, he showed no signs of slowing down, averaging 18 points and 8.1 assists. Primarily a scorer, though he's done better than expected running the offense and in some ways he's a better defender than Svorada.

Advantage: Kings

Shooting Guard
William Tackett vs. Vladimir Tupolev

Tackett's really best suited to play PG, but he's not a bad SG as his 14.9 points, 5.4 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.6 steals demonstrate. Extremely accurate, to the tune of over 50%, but he's erratic in terms of his production. He'll follow up a 30 point game with a 7 point one and doesn't always bring focus and intensity to the court. This is particularly true on defense, where opposing guards usually score at will on him.

Bad news when the opponent is the Russian Tupolev, the 22 year old who now has three straight seasons of 21 and change points per game. Also had 1.3 steals. Subpar defender in turn and only adequate with ballhandling and passing, the same in rebounding. He's been overshadowed by Damian Thomas as the league's brightest young star, but Tupolev is definitely among them.

Advantage: Sonics

Small Forward
David Anyan vs. Russell Sims

Age is catching up to the 35 year old Anyan, who's no longer the playmaker on defense he once was and who's really developing butterfingers with the ball. While he did amass 20.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, a block and a steal per game in the regular season, that scoring total was his lowest since 2019. Jestor's already said Anyan won't be back next year, but he's still a tough defender and a dangerous player to take lightly.

The 21 year old Sims continues to have a ridiculously good career and is now arguably the best all-around player on the Sonics, with no true weaknesses. Averaged 19.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.1 blocks in the regular season. In fact, he might be the best all-around player in the entire league. Certainly his skill set is like nothing we've seen in a very, very long time. The swingman every team would love to have; he's that good. He's shot over 55% every year he's been in the league.

Advantage: Draw

Power Forward
Ronnie Fry vs. Freddie Tackett

Fry, 25, and a key early-season acquistion from the Grizzlies that involved Shane Holliway going back to Memphis, hit a major shooting slump at the end of the year that played a large part in the Kings' three straight losses. Still an accurate shooter though, a decent rebounder and a shutdown defender in the mold of Anyan. Averaged 17.5 points and 9 rebounds. His major weakness is in ballhandling. Asking him to pass or hold on to the ball is handing a free turnover to the other team.

The continued maturation of Tupolev and Sims, especially the latter, meant that Tackett could take a step back and average 17.1 points and 6.3 rebounds. As absurdly accurate as Sims, but has the poor ballhandling of Fry and doesn't play all that well on defense, nor is he a good rebounder.

Advantage: Draw

Center
Jim Johnson vs. Martin Beerbohm

Johnson was slow coming back from a badly sprained ankle, but the 22 year old still was able to show steady improvement in his third season, averaging 12 points and 8.3 rebounds. A deadly force inside, he's average in all other facets of the game, but is continuing to work hard at improving himself into the best player he can be.

Beerbohm's a shotblocking specialist, a smart player who really knows how to draw fouls. Averaged 9.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in the regular season. Not a noteworthy part of the offense and he doesn't need to be. He just needs to grab rebounds, block shots and force the opposing centers to pick up quick fouls.

Advantage: Draw

Bench

Terrence Howard divided his time between starting and serving as the 6th man, putting up 12.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Like Johnson, a hammer jammer inside. Has some shotblocking and rebounding ability, but at 35, he's too slow to defend quicker, younger big men. Big (7'1, 304 lbs) Brandon Edmond is the best min-sal deal in the NBA, posting 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds off the bench as a good all-around reserve. Nigel Abel still has game as a role scorer, averaging 6.1 points even at 37.

Cory O'Brien is a solid all-around reserve, better than his 6.1 points suggests, though he appears to have been a reach at 9th overall last season. Scott Costello is the banger inside, a terrific defender and blocker who averaged 6 points and 4.5 rebounds off the bench. Rookie Andrey McSwain showed hints of being a capable reserve, averaging 4.2 points.

Advantage: Draw

Final Thoughts

The Kings are certainly beefed up on defense at the forward spots and Svorada is more balanced than Ray Fields was last year at PG. Twizzler Johnson looks improved as well. But somehow, we can't shake the feeling that even with all those additions, there's simply still too much firepower for Sacramento to contend with. And in a year where a 43-39 team stays at home, the same team that has a superstar in Sonny Boxler, winner of both the league scoring and blocks title, we wouldn't be surprised to see all upsets in the first round in the West half of the bracket. The conference is that strong in its top 8 or 9 teams that any one of them can beat the other on any given night or in any given series.
Prediction: Seattle in 6

Well, can't say I fault them that assessment, especially with how we've played lately.

Game One
Murphy's Law kicks in and we run out of steam in the second half. There's a bitter taste in my mouth right now after watching Andre Quarles light us up for 39 points, Vladimir Tupolev score 20 and Scott Costello grab 11 bench boards. We played fairly well, with William Tackett getting 25 points and Jim Johnson (18 points, 10 rebounds), Ronnie Fry (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Filip Svorada (14 points, 11 assists) getting double-doubles, in addition to Terrence Howard's 13 bench points, but it wasn't well enough and we're behind the 8 ball even before we really begin.
[b]Final - Seattle 109 Sacramento 102

Game Two
Lose this one as well and I wouldn't be surprised to see us swept. Sure enough, we once again collapse, but this time the game stays tight until the fourth quarter, when the Sonics rally for the comeback win and the commanding 2-0 series lead. Vladimir Tupolev scores 31, Freddie Tackett unloads for 28 points, Andre Quarles distributes 16 points and 11 assists and Martin Beerbohm chips in 11 points and 13 rebounds. We can't match that, not with Filip Svorada and Ronnie Fry's 22 points a piece or Jim Johnson's 14 points and 10 rebounds. Dvid Anyan shoulders a lot of blame for this one, shooting a hideous 3 for 12.
[b]Final - Seattle 112 Sacramento 104

Game Three
Down 0-2 as we go to Seattle and really, the script couldn't be any worse right now. Then again, I should have expected this, given our disappointment last year and our absolute stinking down the stretch. Vladimir Tupolev drops 35 points and Russell Sims hangs 25 points on us. I'm quietly pondering where to trade William Tackett or Filip Svorada even as Ronnie Fry and David Anyan are scoring 20 and 24 points, Svorada's good for 12 points and 15 assists and Terrence Howard scores 12 off the bench. Our biggest margin of defeat yet and we're looking at an embarassing sweep in a year in which I committed a ton of money to try and bring home the title.
Final - Sacramento 105 Seattle 118

Game Four
We're not playing for a series win now. We're just hoping to avoid getting swept. And finally, we're able to turn the tables. Freddie Tackett finds ways to score 21 points and Ron Morant comes up with 10 bench points, but we more than match it with David Anyan's 25 points, Jim Johnson's 13 points and 15 rebounds, Filip Svorada's 12 points and 10 assists and Nigel Abel and Terrence Howard coming through with 12 and 11 points to lead the reserves. Still, it feels like we've only delayed the inevitable, no matter how convincing the final score looks.
Final - Sacramento 116 Seattle 90

Only one sweep and it's Indiana kicking Cleveland out in four. That's one I wouldn't have predicted and it's an impressive and important step forward for the Pacers.

Game Five
Back home in Sacramento, we get a barnburner that spills into overtime. Andre Quarles scores 32, Freddie Tackett puts up 24 points and 11 rebounds, Russell Sims hauls in 15 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists and Vladimir Tupolev scores 20. We counter with Ronnie Fry's 24 points, 20 points and 14 assists from Filip Svorada, 20 points from Jim Johnson and one of the most amazing playoff performances I've seen: William Tackett busting out for 27 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, a block and 4 steals. Our own Mr. Inconsistent, our #18 overall steal, our Rookie of the Year, carries us to the OT win and keeps our very faint hopes alive.
Final - Seattle 113 Sacramento 119 (OT)

Dallas takes down the Jazz in 5 games, the same amount of time it takes Toronto to serve notice to the NBA that their time's not up yet via a major upset of the Hawks and yet more postseason frustration for Oswaldo Apolonario.

Game Six
And just like that, our offense went out. Nevermind William Tackett's 24 points or Ronnie Fry's 14 points and 14 rebounds. We shot 37.5% and you can't win a game like that. Vladimir Tupolev matches Tackett's 24 points, Freddie Tackett (no relation, by the way) scores 21 and Martin Beerbohm picks up 14 points and 13 rebounds. Game effort on our part, but we finally just ran out of energy.
Final - Sacramento 79 Seattle 96

At least we're not alone in Upsetville. The Grizzlies, those annual Cinderellas, stun the Nuggets in 6 and the Wizards provide the biggest shock of the entire first round so far in punching out the 2 seed Pistons.

So it's Boston/Chicago and Phoenix/San Antonio going the distance. Suns/Spurs has been very bit as entertaining and hard-fought as anyone could hope for. The Bulls knock off the defending champion Celtics in the 7th game, a fair upset, while Damian Thomas has 31 points and 11 rebounds as the Spurs shock the Suns 112-108 in OT to advance!. Of course, there were other great performers for San Antonio, such as Ameirin Qipani with 29 points and 16 assists and I'm now kicking myself for not getting Jamarcus Wilson, who goes 11 of 12 for 24 points.

Bakersfield, the #2 seed in the D-Leagues, loses to Albuquerque in the first round of the playoffs. Ferdinand Kallenberger showed good gains, though, averaging 11.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.2 steals for the Otters. My guess is he makes the pro team next year.

Damian Thomas's magic runs out as the Grizzlies squelch the Spurs in 5 games, earning them a West Conference Finals date with Dallas, as the Mavericks eliminate the Sonics in 5 as well. The Pacers continue to show they're legit, punting the Bulls in 5. Indiana will face off against the Raptors in the East Conference Finals, as Toronto outlasted the Wizards in Game 7, ruining dreams and breaking hearts everywhere in the D.C. area.

The royalty of my era against the team that once had men like Reggie Miller, Detlef Schrempf and Mateen Yeaton wear the uniform. That's one hell of an East matchup and in the West, you've got Marcelino Augusto and Devone Allen versus the upstart Grizzlies, who everybody forgets made the NBA Finals in 2013 before losing to the Celtics.

Indiana shows absolutely no respect for Toronto's new blueblood status, sweeping the Raptors to head to the Finals for the first time since 1999 and just the second time in franchise history. Memphis and Dallas turns into a 7 game brawl, with the Grizzlies pulling off the stunner and winning in Game 7 on Shane Holliway's 28 points and 12 rebounds, Ray Fields' 24 points and Deon Sterley's 20 points. Oh yeah, Bernard Kelly had 20 assists, but that's not the point. The point is, I'm the one who dealt Holliway back to the Grizzlies and who was responsible for Fields and Sterley going to Memphis.

Even better for purposes of the Finals, Sterley was originally drafted by Indiana and went from the Pacers to the Nuggets to the Grizzlies all before he started his second pro season.

Amazing Finals matchup, with one of these two franchises guaranteed their first ever championship. Mateen Yeaton's rooting for the Pacers, of course. I'm conflicted on who to root for, but decide on the Pacers in the end, just because it'd piss me off to see a team of my former players win it all.

The Finals turned out to be quite anti-climatic after the dramatic playoffs we had. Indiana looked very much like a top seed, Memphis just like a 5 seed and the Pacers win in 5 games to claim their first ever NBA title, sending Mateen Yeaton into a victory dance in my living room. His favorite team as a kid growing up in Indiana was the Pacers and he was thrilled to be drafted by them after his college career as a Hoosier. That's not to say he'd trade his rings with me and the Nuggets, I don't think, but he'll always call Indiana home.

NBA Lottery
14. Portland Trailblazers
13. New Orleans Hornets
12. Los Angeles Clippers
11. Los Angeles Lakers
10. Golden State Warriors
9. Milwaukee Bucks
8. Orlando Magic
7. Charlotte Bobcats
6. New York Knicks (-1)
5. Golden State Warriors (-2)
4. Miami Heat (-3)
3. Philadelphia 76ers (+1)
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
1. New Jersey Nets (+5)

And so for the second straight year, there's an upset for the #1 overall pick. Hard luck for the Heat, who stumble as low as they could possibly go.

NBA Awards
MVP
Marcelino Augusto - Dallas Mavericks - 26.6 PPG 9.8 RPG 2.9 APG 2.6 BPG 1.1 SPG
Defensive Player of the Year
Dontay Williamson - Denver Nuggets - 16.9 PPG 14.5 RPG 2.3 APG 3.5 BPG 0.8 SPG
Rookie of the Year
Tony Bryson - Denver Nuggets - 10.6 PPG 6.8 RPG 1.8 APG 2.0 BPG 0.7 SPG
6th Man of the Year
Brett Johnson - Charlotte Bobcats - 8.0 PPG 7.8 RPG 1.5 APG 0.6 BPG 0.5 SPG
Coach of the Year
Avery Johnson - Dallas Mavericks

All-NBA 1st Team
PG Corey Neal - New Jersey Nets
SG Filip Mikulic - Houston Rockets
SF Russell Sims - Seattle Supersonics
PF Marcelino Augusto - Dallas Mavericks
C Oswaldo Apolonario - Atlanta Hawks

All-NBA 2nd Team
PG Caleb James - Toronto Raptors
SG Sonny Boxler - Portland Trailblazers
SF Devone Allen - Dallas Mavericks
PF John Walker - Boston Celtics
C Connor Augustus - New York Knicks

All-NBA 3rd Team
PG Filip Svorada - Sacramento Kings
SG Jon Wilson - Phoenix Suns
SF Marcus Reeves - Los Angeles Lakers
PF Henry Fisher - Utah Jazz
C Phillip Smith - Milwaukee Bucks

Reeves 3rd Team over Damian Thomas? Pfft. Right.

All-Defense 1st Team
PG Caleb James - Toronto Raptors
SG Sonny Boxler - Portland Trailblazers
SF Russell Sims - Seattle Supersonics
PF Marcelino Augusto - Dallas Mavericks
C Dontay Williamson - Denver Nuggets

All-Defense 2nd Team
PG Kelley Forbes - Milwaukee Bucks
SG Walter Hicks - New Jersey Nets
SF Brian Brown - Golden State Warriors
PF Deon Sterley - Memphis Grizzlies
C Patrick Riley - New Orleans Hornets

All-Rookie 1st Team
PG Kaluj Kazlauskas - Portland Trailblazers
SG Stephen Wilson - Orlando Magic
SF Andrey McSwain - Seattle Supersonics
PF Dennis Edwards - Philadelphia 76ers
C Tony Bryson - Denver Nuggets

All-Rookie 2nd Team
PG Daniel Warley - Charlotte Bobcats
SG Alan Lentz - New York Knicks
SF Kyle Ward - Denver Nuggets
PF Tommy Kent - Denver Nuggets
C Benjamin Williams - Houston Rockets

Before I find out my fate from Will Langhi, there's a very special event I have to attend.

For Mateen Yeaton has retired and been elected into the Hall of Fame, the same year that Greg Oden retired and entered the Hall.

I'll show the article later, but Mateen asked me to give a speech for him and I got choked up when I gave it. There's never been another player, even growing up as a kid, that's meant more to me than Mateen, except for maybe Dan Marino. His career and mine became intertwined in a way that we were synonomous with each other and we have 3 rings in Denver to show for it.

It's only fitting that he and Oden were inducted on the same day, for those two were emblematic of the great Nuggets/Raptors championship rivalries. Denver with its superior backcourt and Yeaton, Toronto with its otherworldly frontcourt signified by Oden (before Justin Richler anyway).

To no one's surprise, it's Denver powder blue and gold #6 that gets retired alongside Toronto purple and red #52 and, as a gesture from the city of Sacramento, Yeaton's #4 Kings jersey and Oden's #45 Kings jersey hang in the rafters for a day to honor the two greats who spent some of their last years under my regime here.

A regime that may be cut short.

Luckily, Will Langhi is willing to give me another year to straighten things out.

Only to find out a few days later that he's sold the team to Roy Rychart, who's an average owner in every sense of his priorities. Wants to win as much as the next guy, but doesn't obsess over it. Recognizes you have to spend money, but doesn't go crazy about it and is willing to give a guy his fair amount of time to do his thing, but not afraid to make a change if need be.

Rychart's absolutely thrilled to have me as the GM and spends the first hour of our meeting in Sacramento's best Chinese restaurant talking about -my- accomplishments. Rather surprising.

I tell him given how good the West is, we should shoot for a playoff team and that with escalating salaries and potential moves I'd like to make, we may be up near the $10 million mark. He counters that $10 million's a little steep for just a playoff appearance, but if I have to do it, fine. He'd prefer I didn't, though.

After I find out my job is safe, I try and talk Mateen Yeaton into accepting a position with us, anywhere in the organization he wants. But he just gives me a secretive smile and tells me he appreciates the offer, but he has other plans.

I'm curious to know what those plans are, especially since he won't tell me, but the only Hall of Famer I've ever had is keeping closed on that score.

Mock Draft
We're tabbed in the mocks as taking Wake Forest senior SF Adrian Ausler, but he frankly doesn't impress me. Honestly, it's a terrible class overall. No clear-cut #1 and it's not because there's a host of phenomenal players, either. It's really that diluted a group, kind of like David "50 Ninja" Jackson's class.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:31 AM   #554
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Wow, quite an eventful wrap-up. Glad to see Yeaton get the recognition. And I'm very glad to see you get a new owner! This could be good.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:48 PM   #555
Izulde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn View Post
Wow, quite an eventful wrap-up. Glad to see Yeaton get the recognition. And I'm very glad to see you get a new owner! This could be good.

Agreed on all counts. I was a little nervous about next season, but getting this new owner makes things much easier.

Of course, that ease is mitigated somewhat by the fact that the West is a powerhouse conference, Memphis's loss to the Pacers in the Finals notwithstanding.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:08 PM   #556
Izulde
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Yeaton's Induction A Triumph

History will forever remember the pairing of Jestor and Mateen Yeaton. The GM and his legendary player, brought together in Denver for a brilliant run of Nuggets dominance, including 3 straight championships, and thence to Sacramento, where Yeaton started a season and the Kings fell tantalizingly short of the NBA Finals two years in a row before losing in the first round this season.

It is fitting that Yeaton was inducted with Greg Oden yesterday morning, for they are representative of the fantastic Nuggets/Raptors rivalry that provided such compelling story and drama for most of the 2010s, an annual Finals clash that drew viewers to the NBA and skyrocketed interest in Canada.

Jestor, who gave Yeaton's induction speech, was emotional.

"I can think of no player in my lifetime, save for perhaps Michael Jordan, who meant more to his championship teams and did so much for them in the playoffs as Mateen did. Kobe Bryant had Shaquille O'Neal and Mike had Scottie Pippen, but what Mateen had wasn't a second, glowing sidekick. Instead, his were rings won by individual greatness and the support of an entire ensemble cast.

At the end of the day, Nigel Abel and Justin Richler may have more career points, but as far as the total and complete package goes, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who could match Mateen, both for statistical accomplishment and for postseason excellence. There may never again be his like in the NBA. He is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word."

Yeaton certainly retires with an impressive career resume.

Career Averages
20.9 PPG 2.6 APG 4.3 RPG 1.3 SPG 1.5 BPG
FG Shooting: 49.6%
FT Shooting: 88.0%
3P Shooting: 38.7%

Career Postseason Averages
20.0 PPG 2.4 APG 4.1 RPG 1.3 SPG 1.5 BPG
FG Shooting: 47.4%
FT Shooting: 88.4%
3P Shooting: 32.8%

All-Star Appearances
2011, 2012 (Pacers), 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020, 2021

All-NBA Team
2012 - 2nd Team (Pacers)
2013 - 3rd Team
2014 - 2nd Team
2015 - 2nd Team
2016 - 1st Team
2017 - 1st Team
2019 - 1st Team
2020 - 2nd Team
2022 - 2nd Team

All-Defense Team
2015 - 1st Team
2016 - 1st Team
2017 - 2nd Team
2019 - 1st Team

Championship Rings
2018
2019
2020

NBA Finals MVP
2018
2019

Career Leaderboards (Among Retired Players)
Points - 27,742 (2nd)
Steals - 1,767 (3rd)

He also has 2,045 career blocks, which ranks him 5th among the 15 Hall of Famers and accumulated his statistics in 1,330 games.

***End Article***

I'm going to miss him. I found out later that spring that he got hired as the head coach at Western Carolina. Can't believe he didn't go to Arizona State, but I have a feeling he'll do very well for himself in North Carolina.

The more I look at this rookie class, the more I'm just not impressed with it at all. So I try hunting around for a trade.

And then I make the blockbuster happen.

Sacramento Kings receive
SG Justin Richler
Toronto Raptors 2030 1st round pick
Toronto Raptors 2029 2nd round pick

Toronto Raptors receive
PF Ronnie Fry
Sacramento Kings 2028 1st round pick (#17 overall)

What this means for the Kings
What Sacramento has been lacking ever since GM Jestor came to the Kings is a superstar scorer, one who can consistently take over a game. He may be 33 years old, but Richler will be only two seasons removed from two straight years of 30+ points per game and he averaged 25.2 points this past year. He'll instantly give the Kings that megawatt superstar they need and who knows what the Raptors pick will look like in a couple years.

What this means for the Raptors
Toronto not only gets its own first round pick back, but Fry is an accurate shooter, able to hit from all spots, a good rebounder and a very good defender. He's also just 26 years old. The knock on his game? Can't pass and turns the ball over a lot, which is why he's being so astonishingly ejected from Sacramento. Still, Fry's an important piece of youth for a team that was getting dangerously long in the tooth.

Winner: Draw
A classic case of two teams giving up something to get something. The Raptors lose their native Canadian scoring superstar and risk a huge backlash from the fans over the move. Meanwhile, the Kings are gambling that Richler still has a few more years as a Mateen Yeaton-esque scorer in him, while trading away a key piece of their future to do it. The Raptors, on the other hand, can bridge to the future with Fry. A blockbuster trade and one that'll be interesting to see the effects of over the next few years.

If we don't make any other moves, Ferdinand Kallenberger would probably be our new starting SF, which I wouldn't be unhappy with, though I also wouldn't mind improving on him.

I do.

Sacramento Kings receive
SF Jermaine Trask

San Antonio Spurs receive
PG Filip Svorada
Toronto Raptors 2029 2nd round pick

What this means for the Kings
The 25 year old Trask is a ferocious defender and safe shooter, one able to present a lot of different looks by playing all five positions on the floor and with the talent to do so. Doesn't stand out, outside of defense, but he was one of the players Jestor liked in Denver, so back he comes to a Jestor-GM'ed team.

What this means for the Spurs
A bit puzzling for San Antonio, who already has Ameirin Qipani at the point until you consider that the 32 year old Svorada has enough game as a scorer and is big enough to be an effective two-guard. Suddenly, with Qipani, Svorada and Damian Thomas, the Spurs have the NBA's deadliest perimeter game.

Winner: Draw
Both teams pick up a really nice benefit out of this and they also have enough coverage to replace them (Jamarcus Wilson - San Antonio, William Tackett - Sacramento). One of those win/win situations that'll help out both teams; the Spurs to be better now, the Kings for now after the Fry trade and for the future.

With no draft picks, I don't bring anyone in for a workout and I don't even watch the draft, at least not live. I did watch a bit of it on DVR, though and the talking heads mentioned several times their disbelief that a team GM'ed by me had no one in attendance, a first in Jestor history.

After renouncing everyone's contract, we're a cool $24.2 million under the cap with 8 players signed.

Summer League
Ferdinand Kallenberger

Smallest summer league roster we've had for one of my teams in years.

It's all scrubs, so I'll just simply give our results and my impression of our German:

L 94-79 (vs. Milwaukee)
W 101-96 (OT) (@ Washington)
W 96-76 (@ San Antonio)
L 102-90 (vs. Utah)
W 97-87 (@ Toronto)

Ferdinand Kallenberger looked pretty bad in the summer league, but so did Jim Johnson that one summer. Mark Duhon, on the other hand, was awesome, having games of 24 points, 28 points, 38 points and 25 points. Taken 15th overall by the Nuggets the first year I was in Sacramento, Duhon's a defensive stopper and an emerging scoring threat who never got a starting chance in Denver. Can't rebound worth a damn though, so he's like a supercharged Tzvetan Kishishev or like another Ron McPherson.

Free Agency
The free agent crop is ridiculously deep at SG, shallow everywhere else.

SG David Johnson
SG Vladimir Tupolev
PF Tim Butler
C Dontay Williamson
SF David Anyan
SG Sonny Boxler
SG Charles Howard
SG Jermaine Butler

Dontay Williamson rejects our max-level offer to the point where he won't even consider us. I'm shocked when Timmy B does the same thing. Ungrateful bastard.

But that's okay. I wind up stealing Vladimir Tupolev on a max-level 5 year deal. Can you say loaded offense? I knew you could! We also now have no need to worry about a starting PG, SG or one forward spot for the foreseeable future. Heck, I may even ship Richler out for a legitimate C before the season starts.

Seattle strikes back by signing 25 year old Hayletts Dennis to a max deal. Yeah, okay. Dude can score like nobody's business. Too bad he can't shoot much above 40% and has never been tested in the playoffs. It's not a bad recovery by any means. It's just he's not Tupolev.

Mark Duhon goes to the Cavaliers for 5 years, $29.6 mil. If he can show anything of what he did for us in the summer league, that could go down as a steal. That same day, Tim Butler has a change of heart and takes a capped out offer from us to be re-united. He's 30, so a 5 year deal is way too long for that kind of money, but I'm too sentimental.

Valery Frahm hops ship from Golden State to Portland for 5 years, $59.6 while we quietly ink Alfred Baxley to a two year min-sal. Cleveland snaps up Nigel Abel for $4.26 million and one year and the Minnesota Timberwolves overpay Kelvin Moody at $6.3 mill. for a year after we show interest in him. Still, I give the T-Wolves credit for not pissing off their fanbase, unlike the Raptors.

Old men move. Demarcus Baptist robs the Magic with a mid-level exemption on the same day Jeremy Leach takes almost half that ($3.3 mil.) to join Moody in Minnesota. But the biggest irony? David Anyan to Denver for $5.14 mill, $400 LESS than Baptist, who always was an overrated git in my opinion.

Then again, it's a parched league for centers, as Austin Buller of the 35 years proves after getting a $6 million contract from Miami. I suppose I should be fortunate that I'm able to snare 23 year old, 7'5, 290 lbs project C Parick Weston on a two-year min sal given that standard, but on the other hand, Terrence Howard takes a min-sal from the Nets, as does Chris Gearheart from the Raptors and Ray Fields from the Suns. Funny how quickly the league landscape can change.

But when those guys are getting that, other old blokes like Phillip Gill are getting $2.7 million for a year from the Mavericks. I just don't get it. We finish free agency by stealing away accurate-shooting former Mav Jonathan Hill on a one year min-sal, because I always like to have one decent player on the inactive list.

Training Camp
Didn't really see the kind of improvement from the youngsters that I'd hoped, but on the other hand, Justin Richler didn't bomb, either. I'm not happy with the starting lineup Andre Miller is proposing, so I swing another trade.

Sacramento Kings receive
SG Vladimir Raschupchin
C Luke Smith
C David Jackson

Miami Heat receive
PF Tim Butler
SF Jermaine Trask
PF Jonathan Hill
Atlanta Hawks 2029 2nd round pick

What this means for the Kings
Raschupchin, 25, can flat out score and suddenly Sacramento has a perimeter game as electrifying as San Antonio's in Justin Richler, Vladimir Tupolev and Raschupchin. The Two Vladimirs also form the foundation for the future, along with Smith, a 25 year old briefly former Nugget who has the size (7'2, 278 lbs) to step in as Sacramento's new starting C. He also reportedly has upside to grow into an elite C, but even if he doesn't develop beyond what he is now, he's still a much-needed rebounding force for the Kings and a plugging of their biggest hole. 50 Ninja Jackson reunites with GM Jestor and still has good all-around talent as a bench player even at 35.

What this means for the Heat
Butler drew Jestor's ire by rejecting Sacramento's initial, higher offer in free agency and as a result, he gets banished to Miami even after his change of heart. That said he's a proven veteran scorer who can team with Tariel Abashize to give the Heat a 1-2 inside/outside scoring punch as opposed to the Raschupchin/Abashize Heat, which had nobody who could score inside. On the other hand, Butler's defense is very suspect and he tends to disappear for games at a time. Trask's potential was covered in the earlier trade and he moves to SF in the starting unit here. Nothing special to Hill.

Winner: Sacramento
Even with the defensive downgrade they take by dealing Trask, the fact that Jim "Twizzler" Johnson moves back to his native PF spot makes it worthwhile, along with the further strengthening of the team's youth movement. The Kings will definitely be a team that score; the only question is, will they be able to stop anyone? We think so. Meanwhile, Miami will be improved, but not enough to prevent Abashize from continuing to complain about the team's perpetual losing.

I like the trade myself.

And with that, I'll pause.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:43 PM   #557
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And somewhere in a small town in North Carolina, a Hall of Famer wonders what it would take to trade some of his young players for an established veteran.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:47 PM   #558
Autumn
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Wow, this season might never get started if you keep trading. Pretty soon you'll end up with your original lineup. Either that or every hot young scorer in the league.

I like the moves though, snagged some guys that have been doing well elsewhere, along with another great Raptor. You're like the place Raptors go to finish their career. A Raptor Retirement HOme.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:28 PM   #559
Izulde
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JoninMiddleGA Though to be fair, with the presumed talent Yeaton's got coming in next year, even if it's just those 3 four-star players who have their LOIs in, WCU's on the fast track to becoming a Southern Conference powerhouse.

Autumn: The biggest delay in the season starting is going to be the Yeaton dynasty. I haven't had the two games integrated and you can't integrate them after you've started an association I don't think.

Which means I have to go through the DDS:CB season, collect the Draftpool.rkf file that generates and then import it into DDS:PB.

Because I actually play out the college games, it takes a lot longer than the pro games, where I just sim.

Good point on the Raptor retirement home. Seriously, I just loved that Nuggets/Raptors rivalry we had going for so many years. The overall talent in the league is better now and there's an actual oligarchy of top teams now as opposed to the bipolar system of Nuggets/Raptors during that time frame, but it was still a really fun chapter in this universe's history.

I'm absolutely stoked about getting Tupolev. After he kicked our asses so badly in the playoffs the last two years, it's awesome to have him on our side. He's only 23, too, whereas Mateen was 24 or 25 when we got him I think. I'd have to go back and doublecheck.

Of course, I'm not saying he'll turn into another Mateen. He doesn't have anywhere near Mateen's size, which was the biggest factor in Yeaton's ability to generate turnovers via steals and blocks, but he's got that youth and potential going on. He's actually probably most like Justin Richler, an average size two guard with sexy scoring talent and exquisite playoff performances.
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:03 AM   #560
Izulde
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We're tabbed for 8th in the conference, 3rd in the divison behind the Clippers and the Suns. Phoenix I could see topping us, the Red and White, no. In a great irony, the Nuggets are picked to win the West. Granted a Tony Bryson/David Anyan/Dontay Williamson frontcourt is deadly, but I'm not buying Greg Horan and Dondrell Wilder as a championship backcourt. Rockets #2, Hornets #3, Clippers #4. So the usual preseason mag silliness.

For the East they're saying Chicago, Indiana, Orlando as the top 3. The Magic at 3 is crazy, but really, it feels like it's wide open in the East this year, so I can't argue too much with their other selections.

2028 Opening Day Lineup - Sacramento Kings
PG Justin Richler
SG Vladimir Tupolev
SF Vladmir Raschupchin
PF Jim Johnson
C Luke Smith
6th William Tackett (PG/SG)
7th Patrick Weston (SF/PF/C)
8th David Jackson (SF/PF/C)
9th Ferdinand Kallenberger (SF/PF)
10th Brandon Edmond (SF/PF/C)
11th Justin Cherry (PG/SG/SF)
12th Alfred Baxley (PG/SG)
Inactive
Tzvetan Kishishev (SF/PF/C)

If there's one thing that worries me, it's that we might not have rebounding and defense enough in our starting five. But we'll find out soon enough.

A split to open the season. It's always nice beating the Mavericks and we do it on their court, 104-99, thanks to a fourth quarter rally and a blistering 44 points from Vladimir Tupolev in his first game as a King. Justin Richler tacks on 20 points and it's basically those two that do it. We have more balance the next night in San Antonio, with 21 points from Vladimir Tupolev, 12 points and 10 rebounds from Luke Smith and 12 bench boards from Patrick Weston, but the fast-rising Spurs beat us 103-96 as we blow it in the fourth. Ameirin Qipani may be the best PG since Bernard Kelly if tonight's game is any indication: 27 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks and a steal. He and Damian Thomas (27 points) are forces to be reckoned with, to be sure.

We get a look at just how good we can -really- be when we kick the snot out of the Rockets 138-96. Jim "Twizzler" Johnson and Vladimir Tupolev score 34 points a piece, Patrick Weston and Alfred Baxley score 12 and 10 points respectively off the bench and William Tackett distributes 10 assists with the second time. Damn it feels good having Tupolev on our side.

Our first home game of the year's a disappointment as the Raptors beat us 109-97, Ronnie Fry lighting up for 35 points as a point of revenge. 26 and 21 points from Vladimir Tupolev and Justin Richler and 15 bench points each from William Tackett and David "50 Ninja" Jackson can't cut it when our entire starting frontcourt scores in single digits. We don't let it get to us though, beating the Sonics 107-98 in Seattle. Vladmir Tupolev punishes his old team with 28 points and William Tackett continues to adapt well off the bench with 14 points.

It's been a little frustrating in the early going because we can't find a consistent rhythm and that continues in our next back-to-back. 118-113 win in Phoenix on Justin Richler's 32 points, Vladimir Raschupchin's 28 points, doubles from Jim Johnson (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Luke Smith (13 points, 11 rebounds) and 10 bench assists from William Tacket is followed by 101-92 home loss to the Nuggets. Grr. I can't believe we lost by 9, because it seemed a lot closer than that. Luke Smith records 11 points and 12 rebounds and David Jackson contributes 10 points and 8 rebounds off the bench, but we can't break through.

We need a 35 point fourth quarter to do it, but we -finally- win a home game. The narrowest of margins at 108-107 over the Bulls, but we'll take it. Vladimir Tupolev scores 30, Jim "Twizzler" Johnson makes his presence known with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Vladimir Raschupchin chips in 21 points.

It takes us way too many games, but we finally string two wins in a row, beating Memphis 101-74 thanks to Justin Richler's 29 points and 15 assists and William Tackett's 10 bench points.

The Two Vladimirs roar for 40 (Raschupchin) and 21 (Tupolev) points a piece and we rip apart Milwaukee 130-101. 50 Ninja Jackson puts up 14 bench points and William Tackett sets a second team record with 16 assists.

William Tackett comes off the bench for 19 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks as we whip the Rockets 128-92. Justin Richler leads all scorers with 22 points and Luke Smith adds 11 points and 14 rebounds for our fourth straight win.

A war breaks out against the Lakers and we just barely eke out a 113-112 in Los Angeles, Justin Richler our main general with 27 points and 9 assists, William Tackett on fire with 20 points in 19 minutes off the bench.

No such cardiac theatrics versus the Timberwolves as we roll 104-76 on Justin Richler's 22 points and 10 assists, Luke Smith's 11 points and 11 rebounds and William Tackett's 10 bench points.

A road back-to-back finishes off the first month. Memphis ends our win streak 113-105 despite Justin Richler's 30 points, Luke Smith's 14 points and 15 rebounds and William Tackett's 10 bench assists. But we snap back to clip the Hornets 113-106 as Justin Richler scores 36, Twizzler Johnson jams for 27 points and 12 rebounds and Vladimir Raschupchin hangs 25 points on New Orleans.

It took us a while, but once we got ourselves sorted out, we compiled an 11-4 record, giving us an early 4 game lead on the Suns, sandwiched between 11-3 Denver and 11-5 Dallas for the first month conference lead.

Over in the East, the Pacers are 15-0, the first time in my 20 years anybody's finished the first month undefeated. In light of that, nobody notices New Jersey's 12-3 mark. Amazing.

But not as amazing as the news I heard from Mateen Yeaton, who's the head coach at West Carolina. He's gotten 3 four-star players in North Carolina to sign their LOIs during the early period, a recruiting coup I think is just him kidding me until I read the papers.

What a crazy year it's been already, both at the pro and college levels just in the first month.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:57 PM   #561
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
It feels so strange, having a team GM'ed by me without a true PG in the starting lineup. I mean, it's working, but I still have trouble reconciling it, given my usual team-building methods.

Goodbye to Indiana's dreams of Sweet 16-0 as we beat them in a thrilling 112-108 game at home. What an amazing output as four Kings score 20+ points: Vladimir Raschupchin (22 points, 10 rebounds), Justin Richler (23 points) and Vladimir Tupolev and Jim "Twizzler" Johnson with 22 points a piece. William Tackett paces the bench with 11 assists. Oh by the way, David "50 Ninja" Jackson is starting at C while Luke Smith recovers from a nasty toe injury.

Ferdinand Kallenberger hasn't been getting much in the way of minutes and has been playing badly in that limited PT, so I send him down to Bakersfield.

Justin Richler looks a real-live PG with 39 points and 13 assists as we roll Boston 131-114. Vladimir Tupolev scores 26 and Patrick Weston powers the reserves with 16 points.

It's not a one-off either as Justin Richler rips the Bobcats for 39 points and 11 assists in our narrow 114-110 win. Vladimir Tupolev hauls in 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Jim "Twizzler" Johnson pops off for 23 points.

A road doubleheader's up next and we split it. The T-Wolves go down 113-102 due to Vladimir Tupolev's 23 points and 10 assists, Jim Johnson's 17 points and 10 rebounds and William Tackett's 18 bench points in 12 minutes. The Pacers avenge their spoiled perfect season the next night, beating us 120-110 in Indiana despite Vladimir Tupolev's 33 points and William Tackett's explosive 22 points off the bench.

Justin Richler and Vladimir Tupolev combine for 30 and 26 points in our 109-98 smackdown of Milwaukee. William Tackett sizzles with the second team, hitting 11 of 13 from from the floor for 23 points. What an amazing season he's having!

The Lakers have to feel frustrated. First they lose 113-112 to us in November and now, here in December, we nip them 128-126, bailed out by a 50 point fourth quarter. Vladimir Tupolev scores 33, Justin Richler puts up 27 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, Jim Johnson doubles for 14 points and 10 rebounds and William Tackett continues to be a fearsome third guard with 26 bench points.

For the first time all year, our offense takes a nap and we lose 95-86 to the Hornets. Justin Richler may have scored 25, but he was 4 of 17 from 3 point range. Far more efficient was Vladimir Raschupchin with 22 points.

But we've yet to lose two in a row this season and shake it off for a 119-112 win over the Wizards. Justin Richler gets back to shooting form for his 32 points and 10 assists, Vladimir Raschupchin scores 20 and Luke Smith, who got back to the starting lineup a few games back, doubles for 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Miami ambushes us 97-90 as Vladmir Raschupchin chokes against his former team, shooting just 4 for 13. Double-doubles of 15 points and 11 rebounds and 16 points, 11 rebounds from Vladimir Tupolev and Jim Johnson don't get the job done, even with William Tackett's 15 bench points.

We've had a very uneven home performance so far this season and that continues on Christmas Eve versus Golden State. It takes OT to get the 129-124 win. OT and Vladimir Tupolev's 40 points, Justin Richler's 26 points and 10 assists, Luke Smith's 17 points and 12 rebounds and 10 bench points a piece from David Jackson and William Tackett, the latter of whom also had 9 assists.

Off to Utah we go for a 128-116 victory over the Jazz keyed by three Kings with 20+ points: Vladimir Tupolev (25 points), Justin Richler (24 points, 11 assists) and Jim Johnson (24 points). The second team is headed up by William Tackett's 18 points and David Jackson's 13 points. I'm loving 50 Ninja contributing to this team and happy. He's mellowed out some now that he's in his 30s, but he still knows how to get the team hyped up.

The Spurs are furious after they win the first three quarters and still lose 102-98 on New Year's Eve in Sacramento. Justin Richler singlehandedly carries us with 30 points, with no other Kings making statistical highlights.

I love that we beat San Antonio. Great win to end 2029's calendar year.

21-7 gives us the #1 seed in the West and a 5 game lead on the Pistons. Denver's 20-10, 3.5 games ahead of the Jazz, while the Southwest is a murder's row. To wit:

Dallas Mavericks - 20-10
San Antonio Spurs - 21-11
New Orleans Hornets - 18-10 (1 GB)
Memphis Grizzlies - 20-12 (1 GB)
Houston Rockets - 15-16 (5.5 GB)

...Yeah. I'll be honest, San Antonio and Denver are the two teams that scare me the most. The Nuggets have the defense to contain our firepower and the Spurs have a brilliant young team.

Indiana tumbled in December, but they're still leading the East at 22-6, 6.5 over the Bucks in the Central. 20-9 New Jersey enjoys a 3.5 game lead on the Celtics while the Southeast continues its fine tradition of being the worst division in the East, with 16-16 Miami leading the division and Bobcats by a half-game.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:45 AM   #562
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
I just now realized I've completely forgotten about tracking trades, probably because for the first time in my 20 year career, I'm not seriously considering any moves.

Time to catch up.

November Trades

Charlotte Bobcats receive
C Milan Nouge

Phoenix Suns receive
SG Jamel Jackson

What this means for the Bobcats
The 32 year old Belgian Nouge is one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory. Taken 3rd overall in 2017 by the Suns, he never produced in his 11 year and change career with the Suns, despite being given ample opportunity to. His career season highs are 8.4 points (2022 in a season cut short by injury) and 9.8 rebounds (2021). That said, he can rebound and score some as a bench player and he actually is an upgrade for an astonishingly weak Charlotte bench.

What this means for the Suns
Phoenix has been trying to get rid of Nouge for years and they finally found a taker. What they get back is 35 year old Jackson, a terrific bench scorer whose expiring contract is worth $800k more than Nouge's. Of course, a team that has Ray Fields on its bench and a promising young scorer and defensive specialist in 25 year old Tavorris Gebbors, a second round steal by the Cavaliers (2nd pick in 2nd round - 2025 draft), Jackson doesn't mean much.

Winner: Charlotte
Strictly on the basis of need fulfillment, the Bobcats win this one. Jackson is just the Suns adding strength to more strength.

Side note: Jackson broke his arm last month, so I guess that makes it even bigger a win for Charlotte.

Houston Rockets receive
SF Samaki McKenzie
Minnesota Timberwolves 2029 2nd round pick

Minnesota Timberwolves receive
PF Ryan Bush

What this means for the Rockets
Houston hasn't had a winning season since 2015 (though they did go .500 in 2020). McKenzie isn't the one to push them over the top. Yes, he plays four positions and he'll put up points, but he'll shoot miserably while doing it. So miserably that his career shooting average is 31.2%. Throw in that he's a defensive sieve and it's really hard to see how this doesn't harm the Rockets' hopes for a good year.

What this means for the Timberwolves
Bush, 25, isn't an All-Star player or anything, but he's good decent ballhandling skills for a big man and will score and rebound a little bit here and there. He slots in as the starting PF, meaning Kelvin Moody moves to C. Bush has got reason to want to play well, because he, like McKenzie, is an expiring contract and in no way does he want to stay in Minnesota, where the Timberwolves are stinking up the joint in what may be Moody's swansong season, his 21st.

Winner: Minnesota
The Timberwolves improve now and they make a West Conference team worse by shipping off a bad player to the Rockets. Even if Bush leaves Minneapolis as expected, Minnesota still makes out here.

December Trades

Atlanta Hawks receive
SG Alan Lentz
New York Knicks 2029 2nd round pick

New York Knicks receive
SG Nyah Boyce
PG Josh Tyler

What this means for the Hawks
Lentz is a decent all-around 24 year old and a good reserve player to have, but he just can't seem to find minutes anywhere. He didn't get much of them in New York and he won't see that much more time in Atlanta, where he's the 10th man, stuck even behind 39 year old Kevin Durant.

What this means for the Knicks
Boyce's a defensive specialist with high-percentage shooting, but he can't pass the ball to save his life and is unfortunately buried here as the Knicks' 12th man. It's a shame too, because he had a good rookie season with the Hawks and for some reason just fell out of favor from there. Tyler's a defensive scrub.

Winner: Draw
This really feels like it should be None, because it's just a pointless shuffling of unwanted pieces.

Houston Rockets receive
C Brett Johnson

Charlotte Bobcats receive
C Benjamin Williams
Houston Rockets 2029 2nd round pick

What this means for the Rockets
It says something about the deplorable state of Houston's frontcourt when a one-dimensional player like Johnson (rebounding specialist) is the starting C. He isn't likely to get any better at 26 and he fell into a golden opportunity here. But like the recently departed Bush, he desperately wants to play for a winner.

What this means for the Bobcats
Williams is 24 and a better defender and shotblocker than Johnson, but Johnson provides a touch more offense. Oh and did we mention that Johnson's an expiring contract, whereas Charlotte's on the hook for another year with a guy they're making their 12th man?

Winner: Houston
Nice piece of work by the Rockets. Any time you get a new starter and financial flexibility, no matter how tiny (Not even $1.5 mill. in this case), it's a winning situation.

I'm extremely intrigued by this Tavorris Gebbors kid, so I contact the Suns about a deal. It doesn't take long to work one out.

Sacramento Kings receive
SG Tavorris Gebbors
Phoenix Suns 2029 1st round pick
Phoenix Suns 2030 2nd round pick
Phoenix Suns 2031 2nd round pick

Phoenix Suns receive
C Patrick Weston
Sacramento Kings 2029 1st round pick

What this means for the Kings
The 25 year old Gebbors has a nice, accurate shot and is a defensive whiz, but isn't the best ballhandler, especially for a guard. That said, he'll provide more scoring punch and a lockdown defender at the swingman spots and that's never a bad thing. The Kings should see a higher 1st round pick as a result of this deal too.

What this means for the Suns
Weston, 23, is a mammoth 7'5, 290 lbs and a very good defender and decent shotblocker. Not much on the offensive end and while he can haul in rebounds, he doesn't get as many as a man of his size should be able to. That said, he's a huge presence on Phoenix's bench, which had, after Damous Price, 37 year old softie Tim Davis as their big man. Weston's got great passing and handling skills for a big man, rather like David "50 Ninja" Jackson in that regard, so he improves the Suns' bench overall.

Winner: Draw
For the Kings, they get a likely better draft pick and more points and defense for their bench along with a couple second round picks that will surely be traded off at some point. On the other hand, the Suns shore up their weakest area and only gave up a little bit from their strongest area, freeing up minutes for Jamel Jackson when he comes back from his broken arm. It's a trade that works well for both teams.

A back-to-back road trip to start the New Year. We beat the Knicks 97-87 as Justin Richler tears it up for 34 points, Vladimir Tupolev scores 23 and Luke Smith doubles for 13 points and 15 rebounds. But then the Raptors blow us out 115-85 where our best showing is Luke Smith's 10 points and staggering 21 rebounds.

Yet another away doubleheader with another split. I really do hate how Schedulegate hosed the Kings. 114-102 over the Hawks as Vladimir Tupolev scores 29, Vladimir Rascupchin adds 25 points and Luke Smith records his third straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Luke Smith keeps the streak going with an impressive 20 points and 16 rebounds against the Hornets, but we lose 115-108. Vladimir Raschupchin scores 21 and William Tackett comes off the bench for 12 points.

Finally, a win we can be proud of in 2029 as Jim "Twizzler Johnson rains down 32 points and 12 rebounds in our 116-104 victory over the Nuggets. Justin Richler and Vladimir Tupolev each score 22 to seal the deal and I don't care one whit that Luke Smith's double-double streak ended (7 points, 7 rebounds). We beat that damned Denver team.

At last we put two wins in a row together, knocking off Utah 106-91 behind defense and Justin Richler's 37 points and Jim Johnson's 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Make that three in a row as we edge the Clippers 104-97. Vladimir Tupolev and Jim Johnson score 21 a piece, Luke Smith barges in for 14 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out and David "50 Ninja" Jackson picks up the slack for him with 12 bench points. All five starters scored 14 points or more. Total team effort.

It's with considerable dread that I eye the upcoming doubleheader, but we pull off the sweep. Luke Smith bashes the Clippers for 25 points and 13 rebounds in our 102-91 road win, aided by William Tackett's 11 bench points and Justin Richler and Vladimir Raschupchin take down the Trailblazers 115-106 with 26 and 23 points respectively. Jim Johnson picks up 15 points and 12 rebounds, a point total matched by David Jackson off the bench.

We stomp the Cavaliers 110-96 as Jim Johnson breaks loose for 23 points and 12 rebounds and David Jackson and Tzvetan Kishishev score 11 and 10 points with the second team.

I'm schoolgirl giddy after we rape the Spurs 124-94 on Justin Richler's 30 point, 9 assist, 7 rebound performance and Tzvetan Kishishev's 15 bench points. One of the reasons why I was willing to deal Patrick Weston was so that it would give 50 Ninja and our Bulgarian more minutes and it's paid off beautifully, with nice results for each.

We thwart the Nets 119-102 as all 5 Kings starters score 14 or more. Leading the way is Justin Richler with 30 points, followed by Twizzler Johnson and Vladimir Tupolev with 23 points, then Vladimir Raschupchin with 18 points and Luke Smith providing the icing with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The Spurs go looking for payback when we head to San Antonio on the front end of a road doubleheader. They don't get it as Justin Richler pummels them for 35 points, Twizzler Johnson piles on with 31 points and 12 rebounds, Vladimir Raschupchin elbow drops them for 22 points and Luke Smith donkeypunches them inside for 10 points and 12 rebounds. 128-117 may not seem like much of a smackdown, but against the Spurs on their home turf, it's a big win. No letdown in Houstin either as we win 109-102 the next night. Justin Richler decides to play a little PG in netting 23 points and 12 assists, Vladimir Raschupchin tries his hand at rebounding with 24 points and 10 boards and Tavorris Gebbers steps up with 10 bench points. Good job, kid. Way to make me proud.

I don't know what stuns me more about our 132-124 shootout OT win over the Timberwolves at the Target Center; the fact that Minnesota was actually able to give us that hard a game or Justin Richler's 47 points. The Two Vladimirs combine for 28 (Tupolev) and 23 (Raschupchin points a piece and Luke Smith chips in 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Home versus Seattle, followed by next night's way game in Oakland to finish off January. We win both easily. The Two Vladimirs score 25 points each and 50 Ninja stealth-strikes the Sonics for 10 bench points in our 102-92 win that was never really in doubt, while our 111-79 bitchslapping of the Warriors comes courtesy of Vladimir Raschupchin's 26 points and our bench going haywire. Brandon Edmond comes out of nowhere for 18 points, Justin Cherry finds some of his old game back with 11 points in 13 minutes on flawless 4/4 shooting and William Tackett dishes out 11 assists.

36-9. We have a ridiculous 11.5 game lead on the Suns, who I'm sure are now quite sorry they agreed to flip-flop 1st rounders. Dallas is closest to us in the top seed race, but the Mavericks are 29-15 and fighting to hold off the Grizzlies, who are somehow 1.5 games back, with the Spurs lurking dangerously beneath at 2.5 behind. But that's not as crazy as the Northwest:

Denver Nuggets - 27-19
Seattle Supersonics - 26-18
Utah Jazz - 26-20 (1 GB)
Portland Trailblazers - 22-22 (4 GB)

But then again, the Southwest has 4 teams over .500, so it's a tough call to say which is the better division. Exciting time to be an NBA fan that's for sure.

Indiana's still hanging on to the top seed in the East at 32-11. Like us, they've got a double-digit lead on their nearest division foe (10.5 over the Bulls). New Jersey's 32-14, 4 games up on the Celtics, while the Southeast is not just the worst division in the East, it's the worst in the league, with 22-25 Miami tied with 21-24 for the division lead.

You know it's bad when 16-28 Atlanta is just 4 games out.

If I was Oswaldo Apolonario, I'd be going bonkers right now. But he doesn't care. He just wants to be the Star, the Man, no matter how poor the team's doing. He's certainly got that going for him with the Hawks.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:10 PM   #563
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Philadelphia 76ers receive
PF Marcus Givens

Miami Heat receive
PG Scott Miles

What this means for the 76ers
The 28 year old Givens has some scoring and defensive ability, but he's a mid-low bench player for Philadelphia and he can't rebound worth anything.

What this means for the Heat
Miles has some good pass skills, but he's a horribly inconsistent shooter and is merely mediocre on defense. On the other hand, both their contracts are the same length, this year and next, and Miles will be worth more when his contract expires.

Winner: Miami
Miles rates higher on the depth chart than Givens and will be more valuable next year financially, but this isn't a noteworthy deal for either team.

Denver Nuggets receive
PF Dennis Edwards
Philadelphia 76ers 2029 2nd round pick

Philadelphia 76ers receive
PF Tommy Kent
SF Gerard Dudley

What this means for the Nuggets
Edwards may not be able to play defense, but he can shoot from anywhere on the court (52.4% conversion) and as in underrated rebounder. A pure scorer who scarily enough has some upside and should have the #1 pick in last year's draft. He's an instant jolt of offense for a Denver squad primarily noted for its defense.

What this means for the 76ers
Kent, taken 6th overall last year, is very raw but has promising upside as a shooter and scorer and projects as a better rebounder than Edwards, though it's a wash defensively. Terrible work ethic and a lack of basketball intelligence suggest Kent won't reach those lofty heights. Dudley's a 24 year old with an accurate shot, but ultimately unremarkable, save for some defensive toughness.

Winner: Denver
The Nuggets pull off an absolute steal here, getting a much more polished player and a potential franchise scorer for relatively little when all factors are weighed in. The front office learned well from GM Jestor how to rob someone on the trade market.

Portland Trailblazers receive
PG Bryan Hankar
Golden State Warriors 2029 2nd round pick

Golden State Warriors receive
SF Dionsio Harrick
PF Ron Echols

What this means for the Trailblazers
The 19 year old Belgian Hankar can't shoot worth a lick, but if the #4 overall selection from last year can improve on that and his defense, he should be a solid pass-first PG, but he's not going to start for a team that has another 19 year old PG taken last year, Lithuanian Kaluj Kazlauskas, taken 11th, who has all the hallmarks of a potential franchise PG. Fortunately for Portland, Hankar's $2.9 mill. rookie salary expires after the season since the Warriors didn't pick up his option.

What this means for the Warriors
Harrick, 22, taken 14th overall by Portland this year, is nothing special and a probable borderline bench player/career D-Leaguer. 25 year old Echols is in the same boat.

Winner: Portland
The Traiblazers get financial flexiblity and a good backup guard for a couple of youngish scrubs, whereas Golden State merely trades one draft mistake only to take on another one.

I'm not at all happy about Denver pulling off that swindle. It'll make the Nuggets that much tougher to beat come playoff time.

What does make me happy is a pair of easy back-to-back wins to kick off February. Justin Richler and Vladimir Tupolev score 23 points a piece in our 106-72 squash of the Knicks and carry us in our 122-103 victory in Portland as well, netting 29 and 34 points respectively.

After a few days off, we whip the Suns 111-88 as Justin Richler scores 29, Jim Johnson puts up 26 points and 13 rebounds, Vladimir Tupolev scores 20 and Luke Smith doubles for 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Sonics stop our streak in Seattle 93-80 as we can only manage Vladimir Rachupchin's 19 points and 12 rebounds, but we rebound for an always pleasant 118-106 victory over the Mavericks the next night. Justin Richler scores 35 and Jim "Twizzler" Johnson barges his way to 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Vladimir Tupolev rattles the Celtics for 31 points, Justin Richler and Vladimir Raschupchin adding 21 points each in our 127-108 win in Boston. Jim Johnson and Luke Smith double-double for 16 points, 13 rebounds and 13 points, 11 rebounds respectively.

An away doubleheader doesn't frighten us as we win both. The Bulls trip up 113-100 as Justin Richler gores them for 33 points, Vladimir Tupolev nets 13 points and 10 assists and William Tackett wakens up from our too-long silent bench with 14 points. The 120-97 cutting of the Nets the next evening is driven by 4 Kings with 20+ points - Vladimir Tupolev (25 points), Justin Richler (24 points, 12 assists), Jim Johnson (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Vladimir Raschupchin (22 points).

It's a great way to go into the All-Star break.

Dennis Edwards is a king among peasants with 25 points and 14 rebounds in the Sophomores 85-72 win over the Rookies. Ugly game offensively except for Edwards, who I'm still unhappy to see wearing powder blue.

As dull as the undercard was, the main event was thrilling, as the West's rally fell just short in a 107-104 loss to the East. Our only All-Star was Justin Richler, who scored 14 points in 12 minutes as a reserve. Corey Neal showed in this game why he's the best PG in the NBA, putting on a breathtaking performance of 26 points, 19 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals on his way to MVP.

I'm amazed at some of the names on the trading block, including Oswaldo Apolonario, but even with Vladimir Tupolev and Luke Smith offered together in a package, Atlanta's not listening.

No worries as we simply go out and crush the Hawks 122-99 for their impudence. Justin Richler scores 29, Vladimir Tupolev adds 27 points and Brandon Edmond booms off the bench for 16 points.

With that great temptation done with, we beat the Mavericks 109-96 in Dallas on matching 25 points from Justin Richler and Vladimir Raschupchin and 15 points and 10 assists from Vladimir Tupolev.

The road doubleheader up next is a split decision. We top the 76ers 122-110 as Justin Richler scores 35, Luke Smith tacks on 17 points and 11 rebounds and David Jackson shows off his 50 Ninja skills, exploding off the bench for 22 points. But then the Wizards dispel us 106-95 the next evening, despite 26, 24 and 21 points from Vladimir Tupolev, Justin Richler and Vladimir Raschupchin respectively and not even 50 Ninja's 11 bench boards are enough.

Dallas/Philadelphia/Washington are the first half of a 6 game road stretch, for what it's worth and Games 4 and 5, both wins, finish out February. We stuff the Bobcats 105-84 as Justin Richler scores 27, Vladimir Tupolev doubles for 21 points and 11 assists and Jim Johnson chips in 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Magic give us hell in Orlando, but we escape with a 103-98 win on Luke Smith and Vladimir Raschupchin igniting for 23 and 21 points respectively, while Jim Johnson completes the strong frontcourt effort with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Rough night for the backcourt, save for William Tackett, who bails us out with 17 bench points.

48-11 and we've got a 16 game lead in the Pacific over the Suns and a 5 game edge on the 36-21 Nuggets for the West's #1 seed. Denver's only fending Seattle off by 1.5 games, as the Sonics have adapated marvelously to losing Vladimir Tupolev while 35-21 Dallas is 2.5 up on the Spurs.

Out East, 41-15 Indiana is 13 games in front of the .500 Bulls and 40-18 New Jersey has a 5 game advantage on the Celtics. Miracle of miracles, a .+500 leader in the Southeast in the 30-26 Wizards, with the Magic 2 games back at .500.

NBA Leaders

Points
1. Damian Thomas (SA) - 31.1
2. Marcelino Augusto (DAL) - 27.7
3. Filip Mikulic (HOU) - 27.3
5. Justin Richler (SA) - 24.2

Assists
1. Ameirin Qipani (SA) - 13.6
2. Waldemar Althusser (ATL) - 12.6
3. Caleb James (TOR) - 12.5

Rebounds
1. Dontay Williamson (DEN) - 14.5
2. Victor Gipson (MIA) - 12.5
3. Oswaldo Apolonario (ATL) - 12.3

Blocks
1. Dontay Williamson (DEN) - 3.4
2. Patrick Riley (NO) - 3.3
3. Tariel Abashize (MIA) - 3.0

Steals
1. Russell Sims (SEA) - 2.5
2. David Johnson (IND) - 2.3
3. Corey Westbrooks (PHI) - 2.1
4. Walter Hicks (NJ) - 2.0

Rookies Leaders

Points
1. Fred Cole (CHA) - 18.5
2. John Tulley (GS) - 7.6
3. Ben Weaver (PHI) - 6.7

Assists
1. Jamaal Davenport (MIA) - 4.2
2. Fred Cole (CHA) - 2.4
3. Gary Crawford (CHI) - 2.1

Rebounds
1. Ben Weaver (PHI) - 8.4
2. Aaron Anderson (DAL) - 5.9
3. Ben Webber (LAC) - 5.0
4. Fred Cole (CHA) - 4.4

Blocks
1. Ben Weaver (PHI) - 2.2
2. Ben Webber (LAC) - 1.2
3. Fred Cole (CHA) - 0.9

Steals
1. Ben Weaver (PHI) - 1.1
2. Fred Cole (CHA) - 0.9
T3. Aaron Anderson (DAL) - 0.6
T3. John Tulley (GS) - 0.6

Horrible, horrible rookie class, as you might have guessed from the Rookies/Sophs game.

Weaver, the #3 overall pick, can rebound and shotblock and that's it. Cole, a Gonzaga senior, taken 7th by the Bobcats, is easily the most polished and best player of the class and is a real steal. No upside from where he is though, really.

But when 3.5*/3.5* is the highest in a draft class and even the #1 overall pick is 2*/2* as is the case with Mario Mihm, you know just how awful it is.

In fact, I'd call this the single worst draft class in NBA history.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:19 AM   #564
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Atlanta Hawks receive
PF Booker Werner
Detroit Pistons 2029 2nd round pick

Detroit Pistons receive
PG Bart Shipley

What this means for the Hawks
The 29 year old Werner's a solid all-around, intelligent bench player, if a bit weak on the defensive end. Very accurate shooter with some nice passing and handling skills for a big man. It'll be his second half-season in Atlanta, the other half in 2024.

What this means for the Pistons
Shipley, a 20 year old rookie, is extremely raw, but he has the potential to become a great reserve PG someday. Unfortunately, he's not going to realize that in Detroit, where he's inactive and there's no room on the D-League roster for him.

Winner: Atlanta
Werner brings value to the Hawks, whereas Shipley's a roll of the dice unlikely to pan out as he rots away in little-used territory. The extra 2nd rounder for Atlanta just strengthens the argument.

New Jersey Nets receive
SG David Chambers
Charlotte Bobcats 2029 2nd round pick

Charlotte Bobcats receive
C Tony Cooper
SG Mario Mihm

What this means for the Nets
Chambers, 29, is a fantastic scorer off the bench and instantly steps in as New Jersey's 6th man. Good rebounder for a good and underrated as a passer. Subpar on defense and basketball IQ, but his point production and accurate shooting makes it all worthwhile.

What this means for the Bobcats
Want proof that Charlotte's in decline? Look no further than their acquistion of big, young, worthless Cooper and the worst #1 pick in the history of the NBA. Granted, Mihm has defensive specialist talent and he works harder than any other player in the league, but there's no way he should've been the first overall pick, no matter that it's the worst the league has ever seen.

Winner: New Jersey
Tim Duncan just committed highway robbery and he has the Nets in position to make a run for the title, giving up trash and getting great value in return.

Indiana Pacers receive
SF Andrew Soloman
New Jersey Nets 2029 2nd round pick

New Jersey Nets receive
SG Isaac Campbell

What this means for the Pacers
The 37 year old Soloman is a one-dimensional player as a scorer and is only a min-sal expiring contract. A mid-bench pickup and a low 2nd rounder is all.

What this means for the Nets
Campbell, 21, is similiarly one note, but has potential to develop into a phenomenal defender. Still very raw and won't ever be more than a bench player and won't get the PT he needs to develop, but it doesn't matter because he's expiring anyway.

Winner: Draw
An inconsequential deal for both teams.

San Antonio Spurs receive
C Fabian Kruger

Charlotte Bobcats receive
PF Todd Dissinger
San Antonio Spurs 2029 1st round pick

What this means for the Spurs
Kruger's been rumored out of Charlotte for a few seasons now and he finally goes, jettisoned to the Spurs, who now make their offense even more scary than it already was. Ameirin Qipani/Prokopios Vadeki/Damian Thomas/Jamarcus Wilson/Kruger is an explosive firepower five that rivals that of the Kings. On the downside, the 7'3, 299 lb Argentinian is a complete sieve on defense.

What this means for the Bobcats
Dissinger's an $8.7 million expiring contract as opposed to Kruger, who's signed to a multi-year deal, which, combined with Charlotte's other expiring deals and assuming the Bobcats renounce everyone, means the team will be approximately $19.86 million under the cap and major free agent players this offseason. The first rounder's a late one, but it's another piece for the Bobcats to try and rebuild with.

Winner: Charlotte
Brilliant work by the Bobcats here, who spin an offense-only, 31 year old C with a fairly nasty contract into cap room and a first round draft pick. The Spurs overpaid, but they're in the NBA's best conference and have to contend with the Nuggets and Kings, among others.

I have to say, I'm really impressed myself with what Charlotte managed to flip Kruger for. That completely makes up for Tim Duncan ripping them off.

Our last game of the six game road trip and our first game of March is a 109-101 loss to the Heat. Luke Smith played just 15 minutes because of foul trouble and 24 points each from Vladimir Tupolev and Justin Richler plus William Tackett's 13 bench points weren't enough to overcome that handicap.

Back home in Sacramento, we beat the Pistons 114-102 as Jim "Twizzler" Johnson scores 26, Justin Richler adds 23 points and Vladimir Tupolev is the third 20 point scorer with exactly that. William Tackett leads the bench with 10 points.

Another 3 Kings with 20+ points key our 125-91 rollover of the Grizzlies: Vladimir Tupolev (28 points), Justin Richler (25 points) and Vladimir Raschupchin (24 points). Brandon Edmond's the top reserve this game with 12 points on 5/5 shooting.

The Clippers give us a great fight, but in the end, they're no match for Justin Richler's 39 points and fall 104-97. Contributing to the Red and White's demise were Jim Johnson with 19 points and 15 rebounds and Luke Smith with 11 points and 11 boards.

Perhaps the biggest win in team history next, 140-76 over the Rockets. Funny thing was, only two players with 20+ points: Vladimir Raschupchin with 29 and William Tackett with a jaw-dropping 21 point, 12 assist, 5 steal game off the bench. Throw in Luke Smith's 10 points and 10 rebounds and David Jackson's 19 point surge and you start to see why we manhandled Houston so well.

Conversely, the Magic don't get put away until the fourth quarter, but we still win 108-100. 24 points from Justin Richler, 22 points from Vladimir Tupolev and 21 points from Vladimir Raschupchin seal the deal from the starters while William Tackett continues his marvelous March with 11 bench points.

Golden State tries to throw off our rhythm, but we prevail 110-103 on Justin Richler's 36 points, Vladimir Tupolev's 24 points and Jim Johnson's 20 points.

Our first doubleheader in a long time is a squashy sweep. 22 points from Justin Richler, Jim Johnson's 17 points and 13 rebounds and David "50 Ninja" Jackson's stunning 20 points and 13 rebounds off the bench bury the Clippers 99-73. Jim Johnson and Justin Richler combine for 26 and 21 points and William Tackett powers the second team with 18 points in our 118-85 steamrolling of the Warriors the next evening.

We top the Trailblazers 118-109 on the three-headed hydra of Justin Richler (26 points, 12 assists), Jim Johnson (27 points) and Vladimir Tupolev (21 points) to keep our win streak going.

Not even the Mavericks can offstride us, though the 130-122 takes a total team effort captained by Justin Richler's 31 points and 12 assists and supported by The Two Vladimirs, Tupolev with 28 points, Raschupchin with 20. I'd be remiss to dismiss the shock cavalry of our reserves, particularly William Tackett and David Jackson with 15 and 12 points respectively.

The real test, of course, is an away game against the Nuggets and I'm sad to say that despite Justin Richler's 33 points, Vladimir Tupolev's 27 points and Luke Smith's 10 points and 18 rebounds, we bombed, blown out 139-109 as Denver shot 63.9%. Ugly, no matter how you look at it.

But we've yet to lose two games in a row this season and come right back for a 122-104 win over the 76ers on Justin Richler's 35 points and 11 assists, Jim Johnson's 27 points and 10 rebounds, Vladimir Tupolev's 22 points and William Tackett's 11 bench assists.

Still, I feel like we've been rattled somehow and my sense of that is growing after we drop one in Detroit, 117-109 and thoroughly waste Justin Richler's gorgeous 47 point, 11 assist gem.

We very nearly lose two in a row for the first time this year, but we rally in the fourth for a 111-107 win over the Cavs, once again riding our stellar backcourt. Justin Richler scores 33 and Vladimir Tupolev adds 24 points.

So at 60-14, we've already clinched the #1 seed in the West. Phoenix is 16 games back in the division and the Nuggets appear to be headed for the #2 seed, as 48-23 gives them a 4 game lead over the Sonics and Mavericks for that spot, while Dallas is 3 games up on the Spurs in the Southwest.

I'm really hoping the Jazz have a poor run of form at the end of the season and that Portland gets hot so Utah misses the playoffs and I get the first non-lottery pick. From what Mateen Yeaton tells me, it should be an excellent class, one I'd love to trade it up in.

Rough first year for Mateen at WCU, by the way. They needed that mini-run in the SoCon tournament just to break even recordwise, but his recruiting class should pay off huge dividends immediately.

Anyway, Indiana's sewn up the Central at 47-24, but 46-27 New Jersey and 45-27 Boston are chasing them for the East's top seed. The Central's looking like the bad division now, as the second-place Bucks are .500, while we have two +.500 teams in the Southeast, 38-34 Orlando and 37-34 Washington.
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:22 PM   #565
Izulde
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Nothing really to play for with everything locked up, so I'm not too concerned with how we do going to the finish line.

Vladimir Tupolev shreds the Timberwolves for 38 points as we beat Minnesota 120-110. Vladimir Raschupchin and Justin Richler tack on 24 and 22 points and William Tackett comes off the bench for 10 assists.

Gritty game against the Sonics, but we win 96-78 on Vladimir Tupolev's 20 points, Jim Johnson's poor man's double of 10 points, 10 rebounds and William Tackett's 12 bench points.

Portland rallies and nearly beats us, but we eke out a 112-110 win. Vladimir Raschupchin and Justin Richler combine for 28 and 25 points, Luke Smith pulls down 13 points and 10 rebounds and William Tackett's still looking good with 13 points and 12 assists off the bench.

The Two Vladimirs rampage for 28 (Tupolev) and 27 (Raschupchin) points respectively, Justin Richler scores 32 and William Tackett and David "50 Ninja" Jackson storm off the bench for 12 points and 11 points, 12 rebounds respectively in our 130-116 scoregasm versus the Lakers.

A road doubleheader up next and we finally lose one in drawing a split. Justin Richler scores 28, Jim Johnson 21 as we kick the Lakers 109-95. Adding to the parade are Vladimir Tupolev with the interesting line of 12 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, William Tackett with 11 bench points and 50 Ninja Jackson just missing a bench double-double with 9 points and 13 rebounds. Unfortunately we can't complete overcome a 24-15 1st quarter deficit and lose 117-112 in Phoenix. Good games from Justin Richler (31 points), Luke Smith (14 points, 21 rebounds, 6 assists) and Vladimir Tupolev (23 points), though.

The Jazz hand us our first two consecutive losses of the season in the second to last game of the year and it's not even close as we fall 123-105 in Utah. Justin Richler and Vladimir Tupolev came ready with 28 and 21 points respectively, but no one else did.

Happily, we restore some momentum for the playoffs, beating Phoenix 112-100 on Vladimir Tupolev's 32 points, Vladimir Raschupchin's 23 points and Jim "Twizzler" Johnson's 20 points and 13 rebounds.

West Conference Seedings
1. Sacramento Kings (66-16)
2. Denver Nuggets (57-25)
3. Dallas Mavericks (50-32)
4. Phoenix Suns (50-32)
5. Seattle Supersonics (49-33)
6. San Antonio Spurs (47-35)
7. New Orleans Hornets (44-38)
8. Utah Jazz (44-38)

Left Out: Memphis Grizzlies (42-40)

East Conference Seedings
1. Indiana Pacers (55-27)
2. Boston Celtics (51-31)
3. New Jersey Nets (50-32)
4. Orlando Magic (45-37)
5. Toronto Raptors (49-33)
6. Milwaukee Bucks (41-41)
7. Chicago Bulls (41-41)
8. Washington Wizards (40-42)

NBA Leaders

Scoring
1. Damian Thomas (SA) - 29.1
2. Filip Mikulic (HOU) - 27.9
3. Marcelino Augusto (DAL) - 27.3
4. Justin Richler (SAC) - 25.1

Assists
1. Ameirin Qipani (SA) - 14.4
2. Waldemar Althusser (ATL) - 12.3
3. Caleb James (TOR) - 12.1

Rebounds
1. Dontay Williamson (DEN) - 14.1
2. Victor Gipson (MIA) - 12.5
3. Oswaldo Apolonario (ATL) - 11.9

Blocks
1. Dontay Williamson (DEN) - 3.4
2. Patrick Riley (NO) - 3.3
3. James Bellairs (IND) - 3.0

Steals
T1. Corey Westbrooks (PHI) - 2.1
T1. Curtis Wilkerson (ATL) - 2.1
T1. Russell Sims (SEA) - 2.1
4. David Johnson (IND) - 2.0

Rookies

Points
1. Fred Cole (CHA) - 18.1
2. John Tulley (GS) - 8.8
3. Ben Weaver (PHI) - 6.5

Assists
1. Jamaal Davenport (MIA) - 4.2
2. Fred Cole (CHA) - 2.3
3. John Tulley (GS) - 2.1

Rebounds
1. Ben Weaver (PHI) - 8.7
2. Aaron Anderson (DAL) - 6.3
3. Ben Webber (LAC) - 5.3

Blocks
1. Ben Weaver (PHI) - 2.3
2. Ben Webber (LAC) - 1.3
3. Fred Cole (CHA) - 0.8

Steals
1. Ben Weaver (PHI) - 1.1
2. Fred Cole (CHA) - 0.9
3. Jamaal Davenport (MIA) - 0.8
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:56 PM   #566
Izulde
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Well my laptop's in the shop at Best Buy. No guarantees as to hard drive survival and I didn't back up, nor did I have the money to pay for a backup.

So yeah... if it survives, we're good. If not, basically all my dynasties are dead.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:11 PM   #567
Swaggs
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Ouch.

Don't tell me that Mateen Yeaton's continued existence rests on the shoulders of a member of the Geek Squad...
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:57 PM   #568
Autumn
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That's obviously a bummer but my second thought was excitement at thinking what new dynasties you might cook up, so there's at least that.

Hard drive retrieval is expensive for sure. We had to cough up a lot for the hard drive that had all the pictures of my kids on it. It was painfully costly, and Mr. Yeaton's not worth that.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:30 PM   #569
Izulde
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Swaggs: And the Kings' run for a title in arguably their best season ever and seeing how the college stars in Mateen's universe play in Jestor's pro universe...

Autumn: Yeah it was $100 to back it up and I'm a grad student. Don't have that kind of money to spend... so I'll leave it up to fate.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:24 AM   #570
rjolley
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Location: Roseville, CA
Sorry to hear that, Izulde. If things don't work out, hope you'll start up a new dynasty sometime. I enjoy reading yours.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:13 AM   #571
Izulde
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Just to update on this. I've asked my folks, when they get the chance, to see if they can take my old hard drive to a friend of theirs to pull the data off of it.

I'm not guaranteeing this will be resurrected, and I won't know for a few weeks most likely, but here's to hoping.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:11 AM   #572
Autumn
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That would be great. Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:56 AM   #573
Northwood_DK
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Location: Back in Norway
Thatís great news.

This dynasty alone have made me almost a lock to buy DDS:PB2 when its released.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:05 AM   #574
kobe360x
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I just caught up with this, great dynasty man
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:00 PM   #575
sterlingice
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Ok, just started reading this for some Golden Scribes homework. This is definitely one of the better written dynasties I've ever read on FOFC.

SI
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Last edited by sterlingice : 01-02-2011 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:52 PM   #576
MacroGuru
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I saw this bumped and got all excited...
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