Thursday, April 21, 2005

BSing - The Season Awards

Bobby Simmons is just one of the players amped up about being a part of NBA Source's Award discussion.

In typical NBA Source fashion, we decided to go the unconventional route when announcing our season-end awards. If you want a long, boring article that simply states the award winners with justifiable reasoning, then go somewhere else. We decided to bring back a format that we tinkered with back in November right after the brawl in Detroit-- a back-and-forth coversation between the two of us on AIM. We of course editted some of it for your viewing pleasure (and discretion), but for the most part, it's all right from our brains to our fingertips. And oh yeah, I'm just going to assume you can figure out who's who.

El Phenom: Yo, instead of writing seperate articles for our NBA awards, I say we just hash it out online.

ANTsYOdady: Paul, it’s 8:30, I’ve been up since 6:30, just got home from the gym and ate a meal reminiscent of The Last Supper, that’s the last thing I want to do…plus I’m not prepared at all.

El Phenom: Dude, do you think I am? I’m at work. I mean you act like I’ve taken like preparatory exams on this shit.

ANTsYOdady: Fine dude, you always get what you want, but I gotta poop kinda.

El Phenom: Thanks for that tidbit of info. The chili I'm eating right now suddenly looks a little less appetizing.

ANTsYOdady: Tough shit, dude.

El Phenom: Yeah it will be later. Alright let's do this. We're supposed to be talking about the NBA awards, not our bowel movements.

ANTsYOdady: (8 minutes, 23 seconds later). Whew! How do you spell relief? S-H-I--

El Phenom: ANT! Cut the shit. Let's get going.

ANTsYodady: Word. Start from the bottom...Most Improved Player?

El Phenom: No doubt…I had Chris Mihm at the midway-point…

ANTsYOdady: Good choice, DDDDDDumbass.

El Phenom: Yeah, that's definitely changing. This is a tough call because I want to give it to Larry Hughes, but I think he's improved more based on the system he's playing in...and the fact that it's a contract year. So, I’ve got to give it to the guy I've been feeling all year (except for the midway-point), BOBBY SIMMONS (LAC). He was arguably the difference from that team being another typical crappy Clippers team, or a competitive club with playoff aspirations in the near future. We'll notice that difference when he's playing for another team next season since Donald Sterling won't open his checkbook for a copy of the latest Swank let alone Simmons.

ANTsYOdady: I like that choice a lot. B-Simms was my guy at the mid-way point, but did profit a great deal due to an array of injuries on that Clipper team: Kittles, Jaric, Mamadou N’diaye, etc. (Basically, I’m creating a BS excuse because I want to be different from Paul so you guys don't fall asleep in paragraph one). So I’m going with TAYSHAUN PRINCE (DET). His numbers went up steadily across the board (+4.4 PPG, +0.6 RPG, +0.7 SPG), but the main reason I picked him is due to his ferocious defense. Did you see that stand against LeBron on Sunday in the final seconds? He never left his feet and remained right in his grille-- James never had a chance in hell. That’s what he’s been doing all year and that's why the Pistons are better than last year.

El Phenom: I'm not sure the word "ferocious" has ever been used to describe Tayshaun Prince. That's like calling Violet Palmer "seductive". Moving right along-- 6th Man of the Year. Ant, I think I can guess who you got. Well, perhaps not since I know you're a big fan of the obvious top two candidates.

ANTsYOdady: Yeah, I’m going with RICKY DAVIS (BOS), partly because of my bias of course, but also because he could easily be a top-10 scorer in this league. At the beginning of the year, Celtics Coach Doc Rivers asked him to come off the pine and not only did he embrace the role, but he hasn’t bitched about it once the whole year (even with Jiri Welsch and rookie Tony Allen getting the nod over him). RD has hit countless big shots for the Cs this season, many of them in key moments of games when Pierce, Walker, or Payton could just as easily have been taking them. Labeled as a team cancer and cry baby, Davis has been anything but, and perhaps even the Celtics’ MVP. I’m tremendously high on Ben Gordon, but there were stretches of the season where he was non-existenet and this award should be based upon consistency. Remember, I picked Stackhouse at the midway-point, but his injuries and such completely exclude him from consideration now. I can't believe how much consideration Stackhouse is getting for this award. I feel like he's spent more time on the injured list that Pape Sow.

El Phenom: I think Ricky is a respectable selection, but I give the edge to BEN GORDON (CHI) for two reasons: 1) Bulls finished with a better record than the Celtics Ben Gordon didn't have Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce to ease some of the scoring load from him. 2) When it comes down to it, Ben Gordon won more games for his team than Davis. He led the NBA in double-digit 4th Quarter scoring games! 6th Men are like relief pitchers-- you want someone that can come in and hold down the fort when the starters go out, and then take over the game in the final stretches when your team needs that extra ounce of energy saved up from not starting the game. Gordon performed this role to perfection.

Don't cry Ricky, Paul doesn't know what he's talking about.

ANTsYOdady: This debate actually leads us right into our next award-- Rookie of the Year...

ANTsYOdady: (By the way, I could play out an entire season in NBA Live 2005 in the time Paul's taking here).

El Phenom: Yeah, I’m going with Ben Gordon (CHI) for this hardware, too (I actually already talked about this in detail last Friday). I do think it's closer between Gordon and Okafor than some people might believe. But in the end, Gordon was a huge reason the Bulls made the playoffs; Okafor was not. Now obviously you can't blame Emeka for not leading the Bobcats into the postseason (c'mon, Matt Carroll led them in scoring last night), but you do have to give Gordon a ton of credit for leading the Bulls. Okafor probably won some games for the Bobcats, but we don't even really know that for sure. It sucks he was cast into a crappy situation, but we can't just assume he'd have done for the Bulls what Gordon did. And don’t forget how terrible Ben and the Bulls were in the beginning of the season? That tells you how valuable he was for them coming off the bench...

ANTsYOdady: I totally agree with your choice of Ben Gordon (CHI) and being the number 3 overall pick in this year's draft, I think we all (including Gordo) expected him to be a starter under Scott Skiles. The Bulls were atrocious last year and to leave such a highly-touted rookie on the bench to start the game seemed absurd. But Skiles realized something we didn't and having Ben rested and red-hot for fourth quarters is, like Paul said, a huge reason Chicago's in the postseason for the first time without his Airness. Okafor’s a close second, with Dwight Howard 3rd and still my #1 overall prospect. I’d take him 3rd round in fantasy next year: 17, 12, and 2.5 blocks, mark that down.

El Phenom: Agreed. Dwight Howard will be the best player to come out of the 2004 Draft-- the next Karl Malone methinks. Coach of the Year...

ANTsYOdady: I choose Hubie Brown for realizing he probably would have died if he coached one more game in the NBA. I mean at 94 years old, you have no right to drive cars, use a stove, or even bathe alone, nevermind coach professional basketball teams. No, but for real, I got to give it to GEORGE KARL (DEN). Look up the stats-- the team under Jeff Bdzelik and Michael Cooper was 17-25 including 12-9 at home and 5-16 on the road. Under Karl, the Nuggets are 31-8, 13-7 away from Denver and an astonishing 18-1 at the Pepsi Center. Before GK, it seemed like there was no chance for the Nugs to make the playoffs and now they sit as a 7th seed with an excellent chance at knocking off the preseason favorite Spurs. If you told me that 3 months ago, I'd ask what you're smoking and where I might find some.

El Phenom: Yeah, this is a really tough argument. Sure Karl only coached half the season, but in the end he did as much for his team as any other coach. I'm still taking NATE McMILLAN (SEA) as my choice, but Karl deserves plenty of consideration. Nate Dogg did an unbelievable job this season. Ant, you had them picked to finish DEAD LAST in the West! I had them like 13th or something (and yes, we are experts). They did nothing in the offseason and on top of that, the entire organization was facing a contract year. All that normally translates to is self-absorbed egos putting up numbers for themselves. But McMillan kept the team together, and despite their recent struggles due to injuries, they're the #3 seed based on what they did all season...and they really owe it all to Nate.

Sorry Georgie, Coach of the Year is mine.

ANTsYOdady: Honestly, three weeks ago I would have agreed with you, but this team has absolutely fallen apart and I even think the Kings may dispose of them in round one. For the Nuggets, the sky’s the limit and thus my nod to Karl. So put a sock in it dude.

El Phenom: Nuggets aren't going anywhere, but we'll delve into that later this week.

ANTsYOdady: Delve? Who says delve?!

El Phenom: Die. All-Rookie Team- Here’s my squad: Ben Gordon (CHI), Dwight Howard (ORL), Emeka Okafor (CHA), Andre Iguodala (PHI), and Nenad Krstic (NJ). The first four are obvious selections and I'm going with Kristic because in reality, he's been the x-factor for the Nets as they've essentially marched into the playoffs (14.9 PPG, 55.1 FG%, 7.5 RPG over last 10 games). They needed someone to step up and give them a scoring presence in the post, and he's filled the role well.

ANTsYOdady: No debate here, except for that last spot: Ben Gordon (CHI), Emeka Okafor (CHA), Dwight Howard (ORL), Andre Iguodala (PHI), and......Josh Smith (ATL). I’m taking Smith over "Nenad’s Gonads" because he was in a litter of young 2’s and 3’s in Atlanta (Josh Childress, Boris Diaw, Donta Smith, and Al Harrington) and really emerged as the best of that crew. He also gives Hawks fans (all 4 of them) something to look forward to—well, until he's a free agent in two years. He made the Slam Dunk Competition an electric event and really stepped up over the latter half of the year as one of Atlanta's premier players (15.3 PPG, 9.2 RPG and 2.2 BPG in April). In addition, he took part in helping to smoke my fantasy team in the championship this past week. Screw it, I give the last spot to Rafael Araujo.

Josh Smith will be hanging out with the All-Rookie First Team.

El Phenom: Oh yeah Ant, "one of Atlanta's premier players"...that says a lot when your team wins 13 games.

ANTsYOdady: I know. I thought the same thing when I wrote that. It’s like bragging to a chick about your SAT scores, like who cares?

El Phenom: I think a team of me, you, Mark Blount, Robert Swift, and Ben Handlogten could win 13 games in a league that boasts such stalwarts as the Jazz, Blazers, Bobcats, and Hornets.

ANTsYOdady: Yeah, and we'd get all the chicks since we look like stallions compared to those monstrosities.

El Phenom: All-Defensive Team...

ANTsYOdady: Easy-- Tim Duncan (SA), Kevin Garnett (MIN), Shawn Marion (PHX), Bruce Bowen (SA), and Allen Iverson (PHI), with Honorbale Mention to: Larry Hughes and Iguodala.

El Phenom: I got Marcus Camby (DEN), Ben Wallace (DET), Shawn Marion (PHX), Bruce Bowen (SA) and Larry Hughes (WAS). I Duncan or KG for me. I would have taken either of them, but I feel compelled to fill a team with two guards, two forwards, and a center.

ANTsYOdady: Duncan's a center dude. What's a shame is that we don't even consider arguably the game's best shut down defender in Kobe Bryant

El Phenom: Oh yeah, and Marcus Camby (DEN) is my Defensive Player of the Year. Check these numbers out-- Denver with Camby: 43-23, 95.8 Opp. PPG, +0.3 Reb. Margin; Without Camby: 5-10, 103.7 Opp. PPG, -2.2 Reb. Margin. When it comes down to it, there really is no standout choice this season. But I''m handing the award over to Camby because I think he means more to his team on the defensive end than any other player in the league.

ANTsYOdady: Hmm, interesting choice, but I don’t like giving guys the true hardware when they miss 20% of their team’s games. I got to give the nod to Kevin Garnett (MIN) because I feel obliged to give him something. He’s a warrior and if every player in the league had half the heart as him, the NBA wouldn’t be an afterthought compared to the NFL and Major League Baseball. He never gave up on his team and worked his ass off on both ends of the floor. Hopefully this will prompt a trade from Minnesota.

El Phenom: I don't know about giving the award to Garnett out of shear obligation, but like I said, there is no real out-of-this-world candidate. I'm allowing myself one eyebrow-raising pick, so Camby it is.

ANTsYOdady: Dude, my eyebrows didn’t move a bit. If anything, my brain did from trying to understand why you made such a ddddddumb pick.

El Phenom: Okay, Ant. Why don't you go annoint another "star" on the Hawks?

Camby may have swatted a plethora of shots this season, but I'm not sure how many eyebrows he raised.

ANTsYOdady: Is that even an insult? Can we move on? All-NBA Third Team...

El Phenom: 3rd team? Geez dude, I didn't realize we were trying to make this longer than Moots' criminal record. Give me a minute here...

ANTsYOdady: (5 minutes later) Hello?

ANTsYOdady: (5 more minutes later) I got mines. Where are you dude?

El Phenom: (Another 5 minutes later) Sorry. Lets hear it, I’m having trouble here.

ANTsYOdady: You're still not done?! Close out all your porn windows dude, I'm trying to get to bed soon. Here's my 3rd Team All-NBA: Mike Bibby (SAC), Kobe Bryant (LAL), Tracy McGrady (HOU), Ben Wallace (DET), and Amare Stoudemire (PHX).

El Phenom: And mine: Mike Bibby (SAC), Ray Allen (SEA), Vince Carter (NJ), Shawn Marion (PHX), and Ben Wallace (DET). Although, I feel like an idiot for leaving off Gilbert Arenas.

ANTsYOdady: I pondered him too, but he shoots way too much. I think Bibby did way more for the Kings, especially after the C-Webb deal.

El Phenom: Yeah, I love Bibby. I can't leave him off. There isn't a player out there who is as underappreciated as Bibby as far as I'm concerned.

El Phenom: Hold on a second. Kobe?! C'mon man. What did Kobe do? Shoot 40% for a 34 win team? Miss 25 games?

ANTsYOdady: Are you serious? Who else is there to guard on that team?

El Phenom: Butler, Odom...Tony Bbbbbbobbitt.

ANTsYOdady: Okay, first of all he only missed 18 games, same as your boy DUNCAN (Who Paul has on his first team, I know it). Second of all, Chucky Atkins was his backcourt mate dude.

El Phenom: I don't know man. I just don't see how Kobe is any different from Michael Redd or Stephon Marbury this season-- guys that don't even merit a brainstorm. I guess I can handle Kobe being on the 3rd team, I mean he is Kobe Bryant. I just hope nobody ends up placing him higher than that.

ANTsYOdady: There’s obviously a bias against him, but we can’t forget that he's one of the best players in the game and so you cannot leave him completely off. Plus he totals 6 boards and dimes every night to go along with 1.3 SPG and 0.8 blocks--that’s getting it done on both ends

El Phenom: Those are just numbers dude--numbers that mean nothing when your team wins 34 games.

ANTsYOdady: Dude, Frank Stallone is their coach.

El Phenom: Hahahahaha. Alright, you win.

ANTsYOdady: Okay, shut up. 2nd Team All-NBA: Dwyane Wade (MIA), Vince Carter (NJ), Shawn Marion (PHX), Kevin Garnett (MIN), and Tim Duncan (SA).

El Phenom: Umm...Duncan, KG and Dirk don't count as Centers; Amare does.

ANTsYOdady: Duncan definitely does.

El Phenom: Nah, he doesn't.

ANTsYOdady: He's an FC in fantasy dude.

El Phenom: Yeah, and so is Eduardo Najera. Check the All-Star Ballots, that's what they go by.
El Phenom: I just made that up by the way. I have no idea what they base it on.

El Phenom: Alright, here’s mine: 2nd Team All-NBA: Dwyane Wade (MIA), Tracy McGrady (HOU), LeBron James (CLE), Kevin Garnett (MIN), and Amare Stoudemire (PHX).

ANTsYOdady: Paul, how on Earth can you have LeBron on the 2nd Team? He’s triple-teamed every night, it’s not his fault the Cavs fell apart. That’s on Dan Gilbert and that bullshit ownership.

El Phenom: Have you seen LeBron play defense over the past month? He's atrocious. Nobody wants to place any blame on him, but you're not getting on my 1st Team All-NBA Team when you can't even lead your team to must-win victory over the KNICKS!

El Phenom: 1st Team All-NBA: Steve Nash (PHX), Allen Iverson (PHI), Dirk Nowitzki (DAL), Tim Duncan (SA), Shaquille O'Neal (MIA). I don't see how anyone could rationally argue against this 1st Team.

ANTsYOdady: 1st Team All-NBA: Steve Nash (PHX), Allen Iverson (PHI), Dirk Nowitzki (DAL), Shaquille O'Neal...LeBron James (CLE)--THAT’S HOW! I just feel that missing 17 games, no matter if you’re Tim Duncan or not, should omit you from the First Team. I realize it’s not his fault for getting injured, but LeBron is a phenom and deserves it a bit more for 1) emerging as one of the game’s best and 2) dealing with all the crap in Cleveland without bitching one bit.

"Anthony, WHYYYY???"

El Phenom: Alright Ant, sheddddddddddup, onto MVP, cuz I have to be out of here in 7 minutes.

El Phenom: This is the easiest choice of the night-- MVP: Shaquille O'Neal (MIA), for obvious reasons. Iverson is my #2, Dirk my #3, Nash #4, Duncan #5. Shaq shifted the balance of the entire league, if that's not valuable, I don't know what is. No other player is capable of that. Nobody else is even close. At the same time, Shaq loses points in my mind for having a down season numbers-wise, and for tanking it Shaq-style these last 3 weeks. Nevertheless, nobody else did quite enough to win me over. If Sixers won 50 games, I'd maybe give it to AI.

ANTsYOdady: I completely agree-- Shaquille O'Neal (MIA) is the MVP, plain and simple: look at the Heat and Lakers last year and now this year. There's one big difference: Shaq. Besides Wade (only in his second season), there are no other All-Stars on that team. Hell, Shaq made men out of Damon Jones and Udonis Haslem. The Heat are the one seed in the East, no one expected that and it’s because he creates match-up problems that coaches lose sleep over. If you double team him, that leaves Wade open to create, or the Jones brothers to fire away from 3. It’s really a nightmare. As far as your statement about Shaq losing points in your book, he tanked these last three weeks because he had to in order to get in shape for the playoffs. He's getting old, and that big body gets beat up all season long. The Heat had the one seed no matter what, that’s just Shaq and the Miami coaching staff playing it safe.

El Phenom: I know. But I don't agree with him missing these last 2 games. The team isn't playing well and he's taking days off for a thigh bruise? C'mon. The Pistons are undoubtedly the East favorite for this reason- they're on fire and Miami is limping in.

ANTsYOdady: Paul, have you ever gotten a Jermaine O'Neal knee to your thigh?

El Phenom: .....

ANTsYOdady: Didn't think so.

El Phenom: Am I Shaq's size?

ANTsYOdady: Paul, a 7 footer's knee to your thigh muscle KILLS no matter how big you are. If that was you, your leg would be shattered into pieces. Before I go, here's the stat of the night: Kobe is only averaging 1.9 more FG attempts this season compared to last. Seems crazy right? Look it up.

El Phenom: Yeah, but whats his FG% compared to last year?

ANTsYOdady: Just 0.4 lower.

El Phenom: Wow, that's a bit surprising since I've heard on Sportscenter for the last few weeks how LeBron is becoming Kobe-esque with his 30+ shots and poor shooting percentage. He's still not cracking my team though Ant, dddddddumbass!

ANTsYOdady: Shhhhhhhhhut up dude!

El Phenom: Word.

El Phenom signed off at 9:58:55 PM.

Clap your hands y'all the Source guys got me as their MVP


At 1:25 AM, Blogger Nat said...

Loved it.. you guys had me crackin up while evaluating the season gone by... i dont particularly agree with alot of your selections but hey... now just get to look forward to your pre playoff article lookin at the matchups ( lol ... hope there is one)


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