Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dear Readers

Hey guys,
I wanted to take the time to explain to you why the content on the site has been so slow/poor lately. A lot of you have been loyal readers for over a year now and expect to come here and read well-thought out, detailed work. And I don't blame you. The thing is, I've now accepted a new job which starts in a few weeks and so now I'm absolutely swamped at my current job. And when I'm not working, I'm busy looking for a new place to live and wrapping up the details with my future employer. Needless to say, the last thing on my mind has been the NBA. So, the time has come for me to pass the torch. In accepting this new job, there is no way I can maintain the site on a regular basis anymore. Perhaps I could put up an article once, maybe twice a week, but that would be a serious stretch. Thus, I'd like to offer the opportunity to some of you to carry on the tradition of the Source. If you're interested in working for/purchasing the site please email me at APeretore@gmail.com

Again, I'm sorry it's come to this, but it's damn near impossible to maintain this site by myself. I hope you all understand.

Sincerely,

Anthony

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dear Draft Lottery, I Hate You

This jersey should have been teal Allen


I bet at least once a day something in this world makes you say, “Man, why is that like that?” Like why is there that gaping hole in the road that my tire just slammed into going 75 MPH? Why does my computer freeze up after I’ve worked on a spreadsheet for the last two hours without saving it? And why did I unnoticeably just dip my tie in yogurt before a big meeting? But even after I smash my stapler into the wall or huck my sandwich at a co-worker passing by, I tend to realize that no matter what, these daily annoyances in the real world will never cease. Within the sporting world however, things are different. We can fire the referees and umpires calling games well into their AARP years. We can eliminate the aggravating sideline reporters that bring absolutely nothing to the table. We can have analysts like Tom Tolbert and Suzyn Waldman killed—and the list goes on. But the one issue I would address first, is the pointless tradition of the NBA Draft Lottery. It makes absolutely no sense. Why shouldn’t the worst team get the first pick like in every other sport? Why should a team who narrowly missed the Playoffs be eligible for a higher pick than the #14 they deserve? And while you may be sitting there thinking, “who cares?”, think about the teams (and their fans) who have gotten royally screwed by this over the years. Don’t believe me? Check out the top 5 picks of the last ten Drafts and where some of the game’s superstars could/should of landed.

Note: the “Unlotterized Draft Order” simply means awarding the worst teams (record-wise) with the highest picks


1996

Lottery Draft
1. Philadelphia: Allen Iverson (Georgetown)
2. Toronto: Marcus Camby (Massachusetts)
3. Vancouver: Shareef Abdur-Rahim (California)
4. Milwaukee: Stephon Marbury (Georgia Tech)*
5. Minnesota: Ray Allen (Connecticut)*

*Milwaukee traded the rights to Marbury to Minnesota for the rights to Allen and a future 1st round pick.


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. Vancouver
2. Philadelphia
3. Toronto
4. Milwaukee
5. Minnesota


Analysis: You don’t need to be to be the head of NASA engineering to figure out that this means Iverson should have been a Grizzly (too bad Stern decided to restrict their # of ping pong balls--more on this later). Imagine all the fun we could have had writing about the endless saga between AI and “Big Country” Reeves? And how long do you think Allen would have tolerated that? A month? Two months? And where would he have ended up? You see, the entire landscape of the NBA over the last decade might have changed had the Grizzlies been awarded their rightful #1. In addition, as you continue reading take note of how many times Vancouver/Memphis reappears in the unlotterized top 5. If they had Iverson, would that have still been the case?


1997

Lottery Draft
1. San Antonio: Tim Duncan (Wake Forest)
2. Philadelphia: Keith Van Horn (Utah)*
3. Boston: Chauncey Billups (Colorado)
4. Vancouver: Antonio Daniels (Bowling Green)
5. Denver: Tony Battie (Texas Tech)

*Philadelphia traded Van Horn, Don MacLean, Michael Cage, & Lucious Harris to New Jersey for Jim Jackson, Eric Montross, Tim Thomas, and Anthony Parker


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. Boston
2. Vancouver
3. San Antonio
4. Denver
5. Philadelphia


Analysis: Thanks to "Champ Kind", I realized my mistake in thinking the Grizz had more ping pong balls than the C's for this Draft. But as he said, Vancouver's # of balls were restricted (ala John Kruk) due to the fact that they were still in their expansion era (which makes a ton of sense). Seriously, why hold back a team from drafting talented youth in their early stages? Does that make any sense at all? We'll see the same scenario later with the Bobcats. Anyway, the primary reason I hate the lottery so much is due to this season. After losing Lenny Bias and Reggie Lewis to premature deaths, Duncan was exactly what the C's needed. Now ten years later, banner #17 is still yet to be flying in Beantown. What a shame...


1998

Lottery Draft
1. LA Clippers: Michael Olowokandi (Pacific)
2. Vancouver: Mike Bibby (Arizona)
3. Denver: Raef LaFrentz (Kansas)
4. Toronto: Antawn Jamison (North Carolina)*
5. Golden State: Vince Carter (North Carolina)*

*Golden State traded Carter and cash to Toronto for Jamison


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. Denver
2. Toronto
3. LA Clippers
4. Golden State
5. Vancouver

Analysis: Assuming the picks would have remained the same 1-5, this not only means that Denver would have ended up with the Kandi Man, but that Vancouver would have had yet another All-Star caliber player to choose from (Jamison or Carter). Also, the Raptors would have been in position to nab their PG of the future in Bibby—a position they desperately needed after trading Damon Stoudamire to Portland.


1999

Lottery Draft
1. Chicago: Elton Brand (Duke)
2. Vancouver: Steve Francis (Maryland)
3. Charlotte: Baron Davis (UCLA)
4. LA Clippers: Lamar Odom (Rhode Island)
5. Toronto: Jonathan Bender (H.S.)


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. Vancouver
2. LA Clippers
3. Chicago
4. Denver
5. New Jersey


Analysis: Need I even go on? I’m ready to burst into tears for Vancouver. And where the hell did Charlotte come from? They were the 14th worst team in the league that year—how is that remotely fair? Denver also got ripped off seeing that they should have ended up with one of those top 4 guys. Perhaps those two teams (CHA and DEN) made a prior deal that swapped their picks? I couldn’t find this info anywhere, if you find anything let me know.


2000

Lottery Draft
1. New Jersey: Kenyon Martin (Cincinnati)
2. Vancouver: Stromile Swift (LSU)
3. LA Clippers: Darius Miles (H.S.)
4. Chicago: Marcus Fizer (Iowa State)
5. Orlando (from GS): Mike Miller (Florida)


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. LA Clippers
2. Chicago
3. Golden State
4. Vancouver
5. Atlanta


Analysis: These are the scenarios that kill me the most. The Nets, with the 7th worst record in the league, nab the 1st overall pick. How can league officials allow this to continue? Do they enjoy seeing the Grizzlies and Clippers of the league struggle for decades? Why doesn’t David Stern realize that the game needs more parity and that eliminating the lottery is an excellent first step?


2001

Lottery Draft
1. Washington: Kwame Brown (H.S.)
2. LA Clippers: Tyson Chandler (H.S.)
3. Memphis (from ATL): Pau Gasol (Spain)
4. Chicago: Eddy Curry (H.S.)
5. Golden State: Jason Richardson (Michigan State)


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. Chicago
2. Golden State
3. Washington
4. Vancouver
5. Atlanta


Analysis: Isn’t ironic that Jordan’s Wizards somehow ended up with the 1st pick? Quite incredible, wouldn’t you say? Too bad Kwame ending up biting them in the ass. But what if they had had the unlotterized third pick instead? At that slot they would have been in position to take Gasol and thus, could have been an entirely different team today. Seriously, replace Brendan Haywood with Pau and who beats the Wizards right now? But then again, with Gasol perhaps then they don’t sign Arenas or trade for Jamison. Remember, there’s always two ways to look at it…


2002

Lottery Draft
1. Houston: Yao Ming (China)
2. Chicago: Jay Williams (Duke)
3. Golden State: Mike Dunleavy (Duke)
4. Memphis: Drew Gooden (Kansas)
5. Denver: Nickoloz Tskitishvili (Georgia)


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. Chicago
2. Golden State
3. Memphis
4. Denver
5. Houston


Analysis: Obviously the biggest observation we pull from this is that the Bulls should have had Yao rather than Jay Williams. While one guy is establishing himself as a premier center in the league, the other is writing blogs discussing how mangled his leg was after the motorcycle accident. What an unfortunate turn of events for both the Bulls and J-Will.


2003

Lottery Draft
1. Cleveland: LeBron James (H.S.)
2. Detroit (from MEM): Darko Milicic (Serbia-Montenegro)
3. Denver: Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse)
4. Toronto: Chris Bosh (Georgia Tech)
5. Miami: Dwyane Wade (Marquette)


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. Cleveland
2. Denver
3. Toronto
4. Miami
5. LA Clippers


Analysis: I find this Draft as the most interesting to break down. Notice how without the lottery, Memphis wouldn’t have even been a top 5 pick? That means Darko to Detroit would have never gone down. Thus, the unlotterized Draft would have most likely put ‘Melo in Toronto, Bosh in Miami, and Wade in LA (had the picks remained the same). Let that settle in your minds…


2004

Lottery Draft
1. Orlando: Dwight Howard (H.S.)
2. Charlotte: Emeka Okafor (Connecticut)
3. Chicago: Ben Gordon (Connecticut)
4. LA Clippers: Shaun Livingston (H.S.)
5. Dallas (from WAS): Devin Harris (Wisconsin)


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. Charlotte
2. Orlando
3. Chicago
4. Washington
5. Atlanta


Analysis: It’s complete bullshit that Charlotte wasn’t granted the #1 overall pick in this Draft. They were an expansion team for God’s sake, give them a break. You may not think it’s a big deal now, but watch when Dwight Howard is absolutely dominating and Emeka Okafor is stuck on the sidelines reading Grant Hill’s autobiography.


2005

Lottery Draft
1. Milwaukee: Andrew Bogut (Utah)
2. Atlanta: Marvin Williams (North Carolina)
3. Utah (from Portland): Deron Williams (Illinois)
4. New Orleans: Chris Paul (Wake Forest)
5. Charlotte: Raymond Felton (North Carolina)


Unlotterized Draft Order
1. Atlanta
2. New Orleans
3. Charlotte
4. Utah
5. Portland


Analysis: Um, notice how Milwaukee is nowhere to be found in the unlotterized version? But because of this senseless lottery tradition, they now own one of the best young versatile big men in the game. So, say Atlanta took Bogut instead, where would that have left the rest of the lottery? Would the Hornets have left Marv on the board and still taken CP3? What would Charlotte have done, taken Deron Williams instead? And maybe one of them would have nabbed Gerald Green instead of letting him free fall. Kind of crazy to imagine all the possibilities…

Monday, March 20, 2006

Triple Threat

AI: Back to street clothes



3 Players on Fire

1. Joe Johnson, Atlanta
Remember back in the summer when I predicted JJ to become the NBA’s next star ala Amare from a season ago? Well if you don’t remember some of the responses I received, here are a handful of quotes from you, the readers.


“I hope Joe Johnson does have a breakout year, but I'm not expecting it. He was the last guy you worried about shutting down out of the Sun's starting five - now he's #1.”

“Hi, I’m Chris. Greeting from Germany Bottrop!!

“Joe will be good, but I don't see him as an all-star on that team.”

“He’ll have 5 or 6 TO per game, if he plays the point full-time.”


For a guy playing his first season in a new uniform, at a new position, for a team with mostly prepubescent talent, an increase in points (3.5), assists (3.1), steals (0.3), FG% (0.3%), and FT% (3.7%) ain’t too shabby. In fact, since February 22nd JJ has put up 27.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 8.4 APG—certainly “star” numbers by anyone’s standards. And as for those 5 or 6 turnovers per game, they have thus far equated to only 3.3. And while that total may rank as 5th worse in the league, look at the four guys ahead of him: Nash, Arenas, Wade, and Pierce. All this means is that the more times you touch the rock, the more prone you are to coughing it up. Go ask a mathematician.

2. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
Remember back in college when you’d get that one Wednesday in February where it was like 65 degrees and the majority of the campus pranced around in t-shirts, shorts, and Birkenstocks only to come down with a vicious cold by the weekend? And yet you, as the only guy with enough sense not to rock one of those sleeveless Abercrombie T’s that read something like “My Major=Happy Hour”, got screwed out of a great weekend because everyone else was sick. Well I bet that’s kind of how Dirk feels right now with Howard, Daniels, Griffin, Harris, and Van Horn all missing time while he’s gearing up for the race for the 1 seed. Hell, recently the team has even started Rawle Marshall, the equivalent to you calling that random kid in your psych class to see if he’s going out. Just an unfortunate situation all around.

3. Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
This isn’t so much for his play over the last week or so (22.8 PPG, 13.4 RPG, & 2.4 SPG), which was decent at best, but more so for what I expect to come. You see, when I enter my DefCon 4 level of frustration, I just go around throwing/breaking/destroying things. KG on the other hand, enters his “Please, for the love of everything sacred and holy, don’t get in my way” mode. Personally, I’m very excited for it. This will conveniently segue into Garnett demanding a trade this summer and him finally getting a chance to win a title for a team that respects him.



3 Players in the Dumps

1. Eric Snow, Cleveland
I don’t get it, how can a guy who does practically nothing remain in the starting lineup for a contending team? Over his last five games, Snow has tallied nearly 33 minutes a night, while putting up just 2.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, and 4.2 APG. Seriously, what’s the minimum requirement for a player to net those stats playing alongside LeBron James? Stay alive? I really think I could be just as effective as Snow, if not more. Picture it—everyone double-teams LeBron, leaving me wide open for a layup, boom, two points. Then, every other time I touch the ball I give it to James, boom, 4 dimes (minimum). I guess Mike Brown really has no choice with Damon Jones for a backup.

2. Allen Iverson, Philadelphia
Man, is there anyone with worse luck than Iverson? First they stick him with Webber (he’d probably rather play with Brian Sclalabrine), then his name surfaces in trade rumors, now his ankle has forced him to the bench while his teammates slowly destroy his Playoff hopes. At least there’s plenty of weed in Philly.

3. Tracy McGrady, Houston
Last summer if you told me that Orlando would end up on top of the T-Mac-Francis deal I would have said you’re crazy. Now, you’d be absolutely right. They pushed Francis out for a ton of cap room and gave up Cato for Darko. Meanwhile, T-Mac’s hanging out with Lee Trevino and Don Mattingly in some chiropractor’s office.



3 Teams on Fire

1. Miami Heat (45-21)
Here’s concrete proof that if you’re a headline reader, you’ll never get the full story. Sure Miami has won 15 of 16 , but have any of you stopped to see that only three of those wins came against teams with winning records? Beating up on the Bostons, Atlantas, Charlottes, and New Yorks of the NBA world can only get you so far come May and June. However, I do like the fact that Pat Riley is finally warming to the idea of using Shaq and ‘Zo together. Long overdue, don’t you think?

2. San Antonio Spurs (52-14)
Yeah, yeah, winners of 8 out of their last 10, now tied with Detroit for most wins in the league, owners of the 1 seed out West—it’s all fine and dandy. But what matters most is getting rest for Manu and Duncan because playing with any of these two at less than 90-100% in the Playoffs will spell trouble, trust me.

3. Sacramento Kings (33-33)
They are 15-9 since Artest’s arrival, winners of 7 out of their last 10, and the owners of the 8th seed in the West. If you were Dallas, San Antonio, or Phoenix, would you really want to face this Kings team? I sure wouldn’t…



3 Teams in the Dumps

1. Philadelphia 76ers (31-35)
Randy Ayers, Chris Ford, Jim O’Brien, and Mo Cheeks. Three coaches in three years with relatively no improvement. You know what that means don’t you? Billy King’s house should have a for sale sign in front of it by April 20th.

2. Detroit Pistons (52-13)
On the one hand, it’s a good thing to be considered slumping when you lose four of ten. But on the other hand, there’s definite room for concern when you lose to the Knicks. At this point Rutgers would be favored against New York.

3. Portland Trailblazers (20-46)
Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s a hell of an achievement for Nate McMillan to have won 20 games with this team. But what I don’t get is Nate’s blatant disregard for those of us who have fantasy leagues to win. For instance, with Zach Randolph missing Saturday’s game at Milwaukee, Darius Miles got the start, played 43 minutes and put up 26/6/4/1/2. In addition, Joel Przybilla (recently back from injury) also got the starting nod and tallied 14 and 11 in 34 minutes of work. You think the fact that they only lost by 4, when they dropped their previous three by an average of 19.0 points might give McMillan a clue that these guys can ball? I mean, as cool as it is to lose by 29 to the Bulls, I bet all of the Blazers would rather play competitive basketball every night. Well, the same goes for me in fantasy.



3 Fantasy Buys

1. F Danny Granger, Indiana
It was reported today that as long as Jermaine O’Neal and Austin Croshere remain sidelined, Granger will continue to warrant a starting nod. However, Coach Carlisle informed the media that if he had a choice, he would rather have the rookie forward come off the pine. Wake up Rick, the kid can ball: 18.5 PPG and 6.5 RPG in his last two starts.

2. SF Trevor Ariza, Orlando
This is going out on a pretty flimsy limb here, but I think Sunday’s 10-8-5 performance in 18 minutes might serve as a wake up call for Brian Hill. His other option at the 2 right now is DeShawn Stevenson, a guy that brings absolutely nothing to the table but 11 points. So at this point in the year, why not let the kid step in and see what he can do alongside Jameer Nelson? It just might happen…

3. PF Reggie Evans, Denver
With Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin listed as questionable almost every night, it’d be very wise for you to take a shot on Evans. Check at his numbers on the glass when given 30+ minutes in a Nuggets uni: 16, 8, 20, and 10. What’s even more appealing here (for you and Coach Karl) is that those have been all wins.



3 Fantasy Sells

1. Any Knick aside from Francis and Marbury
If this is a shock to you, pack up your team right now because you’re not seeing a penny from your league anyway.

2. Stromile Swift, Houston
There are no words to describe the frustration I feel when discussing this player. Anytime Dikembe Mutombo is stealing minutes from you after you just signed a lucrative offseason deal, you should contemplate killing yourself.

3. Jake Tsakalidis, Memphis
Don’t lie now, did he rope you into picking him up last week? C’mon admit it, he’s sitting on your bench as we speak, isn’t he? Here’s a rule I’d like to share with you. Anytime you can say, “Dude, it’s bleeping ______________!”, he’s more than likely a guy you should avoid. Players that fall into this category include: Tsakalidis, Jake Voskuhl, any of the Collins twins, Vitaly Potapenko, John Edwards, and every other player we’ve ever made fun of on this site.



3 Thoughts from the NCAA Tournament

1. Bracketology
Anyone else want to punch Joe Lunardi in the face? Seriously, can my bracket be any worse at this point? Out of 333 in my office pool, you know what place I’m in? 327th. And you know what peeves me the most, that I know more about college basketball than 99% of these people. Every year I watch more and more games, read more and more articles, watch more and more shows, and yet every year I do worse. Bradley and George Mason? C’mon now, is there one person on earth with those two teams in his Sweet Sixteen? What bothers me the most about these pools is that people with absolutely no knowledge of college basketball are making me look like a complete moron. For instance, one guy in my department is currently 6th overall and you know what he said to me this morning? “I didn’t realize teams played more than one game over the course of the first few days. I turned on the television yesterday and was so surprised to see more games being played.” These are the people that pick George Mason to win because they did their undergrad there or liked Georgetown because they had “prettiest outfits”. I swear, next year I’m letting 3-month old sister fill this thing out.

2. Adam Morrison/JJ Redick Debate
I don’t care how great these two are as scorers, I just don’t see either as good enough to warrant a top-5 pick. Redick may serve as a nasty 3-point specialist off someone’s bench, but anything more than that will be asking a lot. And Morrison, well sure he scores at will against the St. Mary’s and San Franciscos of the collegiate world, but who the hell is he going to outmuscle in the NBA with those Ally McBeal arms? Both players need to bulk up fast and also work on getting their teammates more involved. (And while we’re at it, what the hell is Rudy Gay’s deal? It seems to me that everyone defending him is either 2-3 inches smaller, or 1-2 two steps slower. Yet there he is sitting on the perimeter waiting for something to open up rather than creating it himself. I can assure you that I’m not the only one recognizing this and that Jim Calhoun has been pushing for Gay to dominate just as much as I am. Thus the question arises, is he ever going to get it?)

3. Final Four Picks
Without any explanation: Texas, Gonzaga, UConn, Villanova (now go to Gertrude in the mailroom and get the real winners)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

2006 NCAA Tourney Picks


ATLANTA

1st Round
Duke
George Washington
Texas A&M
LSU
West Virginia
Iowa
N.C. St.
Texas

2nd Round
Duke
Texas A&M
Iowa
Texas

Sweet Sixteen
Duke
Texas

Elite Eight
Texas


OAKLAND

1st Round
Memphis
Bucknell
Pittsburgh
Kansas
San Diego St.
Gonzaga


2nd Round
Marquette
UCLA
Bucknell
Kansas
Gonzaga
Marquette

Sweet Sixteen
Kansas
Gonzaga

Elite Eight
Gonzaga


WASHINGTON D.C.

1st Round
UConn
UAB
Utah St.
Illinois
Michigan St.
North Carolina
Wichita St.
Tennessee

2nd Round
UConn
Illinois
Michigan St.
Tennessee

Sweet Sixteen
UConn
Michigan State

Elite Eight
UConn


MINNEAPOLIS

1st Round
Villanova
Wisconsin
Nevada
Boston College
Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Florida
Georgetown
Ohio State

2nd Round
Villanova
Boston College
Wisc-Mil
Ohio State

Sweet Sixteen
Boston College
Ohio State

Elite Eight
Ohio State


FINAL FOUR
Texas 76, Gonzaga 68
UConn 81, Ohio State 73

CHAMPIONSHIP
UConn 77, Texas 72

Monday, March 13, 2006

Stretch Run Fantasy Pick-ups: Atlantic

The C's expect big things from Baby Al


Boston
If a manager in your league was foolish enough to drop the injury-plagued PF Al Jefferson or C Kendrick Perkins, now is your chance to capitalize. Boston has been playing very well of late and everyone on the team down to the guy who massages Paul Pierce’s groin believes they can sneak into the Playoff race. That said, this goal has no chance to come to fruition without stellar play from their two young bigs. In assuming that F Ryan Gomes has already been snatched up in your league (go get him now if he hasn’t), your best alternative has to be Jeff or Perk.


New Jersey
I wouldn’t trust anyone on this team aside from Kidd, Carter, Jefferson and Krstic. Lawrence Frank is simply too unpredictable to take a chance on anyone else. Plus, who the hell wants Uncle Cliffy or Zoran Planinic?


New York
With this squad, you’re really facing a week-to-week analysis. For instance, F Malik Rose averaged 31+ minutes, 12.3 PPG, and 10.3 RPG in the three games leading up to NY’s contest with Charlotte on Saturday. But of course, against the 'Cats Rose got in early foul trouble and ended up with just 2 points in 9 minutes. Remember, anytime a coach is warranting playing time to as many as 12 guys per night, no pick-up is really a sure thing. Thus, besides Malik, keep an eye on G/F Jalen Rose, F David Lee, and G Jamal Crawford.


Philadelphia
With Allen Iverson bowing out with an ankle injury on Sunday, G/F John Salmons became the chief beneficiary with 32 minutes off the bench. AI was scheduled for an MRI on Monday, but while the results are still pending it may be wise to take a gamble on Salmons. With Iverson nursing an ankle injury in late-January, JS stepped in to average 18.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 5.7 APG, and 2.0 SPG over a three-game span. Anything close to these numbers should provide a nice boost to your team during this crucial stretch.


Toronto
Having trouble finding a legit center right now? Join the freakin’ club. One guy out there that you may not be considering is F/C Matt Bonner. Yes he has red hair, no he doesn’t resemble anything close to a pro basketball player, but the guy tends to turn in some rather decent performances. If there are better options out there (Mourning, Dampier, Perkins, Foster, etc.) then don’t bother with Bonner. But if you’re desperate, he might just end up surprising you and the rest of your league.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Real Classy Gil

In case you missed it, last night's Celtics-Wizards game went down to the wire. With Boston up by 1, Gilbert Arenas came down and burried a 15-footer with just under 14 seconds left to go in overtime. At that point, Arenas backpedaled and gave the Celtics' bench the double-bird. Shortly after, it was Paul Pierce who would have the last say, hitting an off-balance prayer from the wing to send the C's home with a victory. I think it's safe to say that the Washington guard will be facing at least a fine for this classless jesture.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What If Rosters: Southeast Division



Thanks to Tyner, who provided me with the link that summarizes all of the league’s trade history, I can now complete these articles appropriately. Before you scroll down, beware that it gets pretty messy. There were dozens of decisions regarding transactions (e.g. would you rather Grant Hill or Ben Wallace & Chucky Atkins) and so I went ahead and made the selection I felt better suited that particular team. Please feel free to voice your praise or displeasure.


Atlanta Hawks

Current Roster
Esteban Batista
Josh Childress
John Edwards
Al Harrington (6)
Royal Ivey
Joe Johnson (8)
James Lang
Tyronn Lue
Zaza Pachulia
Donta Smith
Josh Smith (5)
Salim Stoudamire
Marvin Williams


Come & Gone
Jason Terry (1)
Alan Henderson (1)
Lorenzen Wright (3)
Toni Kukoc (7)
Dermarr Johnson
Nazr Mohammed (2)
Brevin Knight (3)
Shareef Abdur-Rahim (3) (4)
Theo Ratliff (4)
Dan Dickau (4)
Rasheed Wallace (4) (5)
Stephen Jackson (6)
Joel Przybilla (2)
Antoine Walker (1)
Boris Diaw (8)

(1) ATL traded Terry, Henderson, and a 1st Rd pick to DAL for Walker and Tony Delk
(2) ATL traded Mohammed for Przybilla, M. Doleac, and a 2nd Rd pick
(3) ATL traded L. Wright, Knight, and the rights to Pau Gasol for Abdur-Rahim and the rights to Jamaal Tinsley
(4) ATL traded Abdur-Rahim, Ratliff, & Dickau for R. Wallace and W. Person
(5) ATL traded Wallace for a 1st Rd pick (J. Smith) and a bunch of crap
(6) ATL traded Jackson to IND for Harrington
(7) ATL traded Kukoc, Leon Smith, and a 1st Rd pick to MIL for Glenn Robinson—that pick turned out to be TJ Ford*
(8) ATL traded Diaw and picks to PHX for Johnson


Transaction decisions
(1) Terry over Walker
(2) Przybilla and a 2nd Rd pick over Mohammed
(3) Wright/Knight/Gasol over Abdur-Rahim/Tinsley
(4) Nulled with previous selection
(5) Nulled with selection #3
(6) Harrington over Jackson
(7) Kukoc, Smith, and Ford over Robinson.
(8) Johnson over Diaw


2005-06 “What If” Roster
PG—J.Terry, B. Knight, T.J. Ford*
SG—J. Johnson, S. Stoudamire, R. Ivey
SF—M. Williams, J. Childress, T. Kukoc
PF—A. Harrington, E. Batista
C—P. Gasol, Z. Pachulia, J. Przybilla, L. Wright


Analysis
Apparently every under-achieving center of the 21st century has to go through Atlanta first before giving fantasy owners the impression they are ready to shine but instead just miserably flop. Seriously, how do the Hawks not get credit for ridding themselves of bums like Nazr, Ratliff, Przybilla, and Lo Wright? Instead of this quartet, they own perhaps the biggest bargain at the center position in Pachulia ($3.4M). Unfortunately, the praise ends there. At the time, I’m sure that Gasol-for-Abdur-Rahim swap seemed like a steal, but now, not so much. One player is a promising young (25) big man quietly establishing himself as the foundation of his team. The other is a perennial candidate for athroscopic knee surgery. In addition, the three players they could really use right now (Terry, Knight, and Ford) are playing some of the best basketball of their careers this season. You might be asking why they need a PG when they have Johnson? Well I think JJ is better suited on the wing and hopefully we’ll get a chance to see that next season.



Charlotte Bobcats

Analyzing the brief history of the Bobcats is not only a waste of time, but it’s unfair to the franchise. Charlotte has not had nearly enough time (or money) to make the necessary moves to compete in this league. Check back in ten years for a thorough breakdown.




Miami Heat

Current Roster
Derek Anderson
Shandon Anderson
Earl Barron
Michael Doleac
Udonis Haslem
Jason Kapono
Alonzo Mourning
Shaquille O’Neal (3)
Gary Payton
James Posey
Wayne Simien
Dwyane Wade
Antoine Walker
Jason Williams
Dorrell Wright


Come & Gone
Kurt Thomas
Voshon Lenard (2)
P.J. Brown (1)
Bruce Bowen (FA to Spurs)
Eddie House (2)
Eddie Jones (1)
Brian Grant (3)
Ricky Davis (1)
Jim Jackson (FA to SAC)
Mike James (FA to BOS)
Caron Butler (3)
Lamar Odom (3)
Rafer Alston (FA to TOR)
Damon Jones (FA to CLE)
Keyon Dooling (FA to ORL)

(1) MIA traded Jamal Mashburn, P.J. Brown, Otis Thorpe, Tim James, and Rodney Buford to CHA for Eddie Jones, Anthony Mason, Ricky Davis, and Dale Ellis.
(2) MIA traded Lenard and Mark Strickland to DEN for Chris Gatling and a 2nd Rd Pick (House)
(3) MIA traded Grant, Butler, and Odom to LAL for O’Neal


Transaction decisions
(1) Jones, Mason, Davis and Ellis over Mashburn, Brown, Thorpe, James, & Buford
(2) Gatling and House over Lenard and Strickland
(3) O’Neal over Grant, Butler, and Odom


2005-06 "What If" Roster
PG—J. Williams, G. Payton, M. James, R. Alston
SG—D. Wade, R. Davis, E. House
SF—B. Bowen, E. Jones, J. Posey
PF—K. Thomas, A. Walker, U. Haslem
C—S. O’Neal, A. Mourning


Analysis
Honestly, the only guy I’d kill to have back from this group is Bowen. Posey has certainly lost a step or two and having that perennial All-Defensive guy would make Wade that much better. Also, I bet most of you didn’t even remember that Davis was a member of this squad back in the day (I didn’t). He would certainly be an offensive upgrade over the Andersons, but not an essential piece to the puzzle. I must say, the Heat management has done an excellent job over the last decade, yet they still remain without that championship banner.


Orlando Magic

Current Roster
Trevor Ariza (1)
Carlos Arroyo
Stacey Augmon
Tony Battie (9)
Travis Diener
Keyon Dooling
Pat Garrity (3)
Grant Hill (2)
Dwight Howard
Mario Kasun
Darko Milicic
Jameer Nelson
Bo Outlaw
DeShawn Stevenson (8)
Hedo Turkoglu


Come & Gone
Shaquille O’Neal (FA to LAL)
Anfernee Hardaway (3)
Michael Doleac
Matt Harpring
Chucky Atkins (2)
Corey Maggette (6)
Earl Boykins (waived)
Ben Wallace (2)
Anthony Johnson (waived)
Tracy McGrady (7)
Mike Miller (5)
Troy Hudson
Gordon Giricek (5) and (8)
Drew Gooden (5) (9)
Steven Hunter (9)
Zaza Pachulia (lost in expansion draft-CHA)
Kelvin Cato (7)
Tyronn Lue (7)
Juwan Howard (7)
Lee Nailon
Steve Francis (1) (7)
Cuttino Mobley (7)
Amare Stoudemire (3 and 4)*
Anderson Varejao (9)

(1) ORL traded Francis to the NYK for Ariza and Penny
(2) ORL traded Atkins and Wallace to DET for Hill
(3) ORL traded Hardaway to PHX for Garrity, Danny Manning, and two 1st Rd picks (Stoudemire and Jason Collins)
(4) ORL traded Bo Outlaw and a 2002 1st Rd pick (A. Stoudemire) to PHX for Jud Buechler and Vinny Del Negro (Yikes)
(5) ORL traded Miller, Ryan Humphrey, a 1st Rd pick (Kendrick Perkins), and a 2nd Rd pick to MEM for Gooden, Giricek, and cash
(6) ORL traded Maggette, Derek Strong, and K. Dooling to LAC for a 1st Rd pick (not yet used)
(7) ORL traded McGrady, Howard, Lue, and Reece Gaines to HOU for Francis, Mobley, and Cato
(8) ORL traded Giricek to UTH for Stevenson
(9) ORL traded Gooden, Hunter, and the rights to Varejao to CLE for Battie, and two 2nd Rd picks


Transaction decisions
(1) Nulled due to trade (7)
(2) Atkins/B. Wallace
(3) Garrity, Manning, and the picks
(4) Outlaw and the 1st Rd pick (Stoudemire)
(5) Miller, Humphrey, and 1st Rd pick (Perkins)
(6) In keeping McGrady, Maggette wouldn’t be necessary, thus I would keep the unused pick
(7) McGrady, Howard, Lue, and Gaines
(8) Nulled by decision (5)
(9) Nulled by decision (5), thus Hunter and Varejao stay


2005-06 "What If" Roster
PG—J. Nelson, E. Boykins, C. Arroyo
SG— T. McGrady, M. Miller, M. Harpring
SF— A. Stoudemire, H. Turkoglu, P. Garrity
PF—D. Howard, J. Howard, Z. Pachulia
C—S. O’Neal, B. Wallace, K. Perkins


Analysis
You had no clue they gave up the pick that turned into Amare, did you? And while it’s unfair to say the Magic definitely would have drafted Stoudemire, I think it’s worth the fun of imagining this nightmarish frontcourt. In addition, perhaps it would be an exaggeration to assume Amare could play the 3, but if you were coaching this team would you really want him or Howard coming off the pine? I wouldn’t, especially not when Miller or Turkoglu would be taking that place. And man, how lucky would Jameer be? He’d have three 20+ scorers, the two best young big men in the game, and a defensive beast and two sharpshooters off the pine. With that bunch, Nelson could average 12 assists with two Stuart Scott eyes.



Washington Wizards

Current Roster
Gilbert Arenas
Andray Blatche
Calvin Booth
Caron Butler (6)
Antonio Daniels
Jarvis Hayes
Brendan Haywood
Antawn Jamison (7)
Jared Jeffries
Peter John Ramos
Michael Ruffin
Awvee Storey
Donnell Taylor
Billy Thomas
Etan Thomas (2)


Come & Gone
Chris Webber (1)
Juwan Howard (2)
Rasheed Wallace (3)
Ben Wallace (4)
Richard Hamilton (5)
Aaron Williams (FA to NJN)
Tyronn Lue (FA to ORL)
Kwame Brown (6)
Bobby Simmons (5)
Chucky Atkins (6)
Juan Dixon (FA to POR)
Jerry Stackhouse (5) (7)
Larry Hughes (FA to CLE)
Brian Cardinal (5)
Steve Blake (FA to POR)
Brevin Knight (waived)

(1) WAS traded Webber to SAC for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe (gross)
(2) WAS traded Howard, Calvin Booth, and Obinna Ekezie to DAL for Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught, Etan Thomas, Hubert Davis, Courtney Alexander, and $3 million
(3) WAS traded R. Wallace and Mitchell Butler to POR for Rod Strickland and Harvey Grant
(4) WAS B. Wallace, Terry Davis, Tim Legler, and Jeff McInnis to ORL for Ike Austin
(5) WAS traded Hamilton, Hubert Davis, and Bobby Simmons to DET for Stackhouse, Cardinal, and Ratko Varda
(6) WAS traded Brown and Laron Profit to LAL for Butler and Atkins
(7) WAS traded Stackhouse, Laettner, and the rights to Devin Harris to DAL for Jamison and $1 million


Transaction decisions
(1) Webber
(2) The latter to A) save money, and B) later move Laettner to DAL (7)
(3) R. Wallace and Butler
(4) B. Wallace and co.
(5) Hamilton, Davis, and Simmons
(6) Butler and Atkins
(7) Jamison


2005-06 "What If" Roster
PG—G. Arenas, B. Knight, A. Daniels
SG—R. Hamilton, L. Hughes, J. Jeffries
SF—A. Jamison, C. Butler, B. Simmons, J. Hayes
PF—C. Webber, R. Wallace
C—B. Wallace, B. Haywood, E. Thomas


Analysis
Notice anything peculiar? No? How about three of the current starting five from Detroit? And take a look at the first five of these seven transactions and the fact that I would have done the opposite of each. What kinds of drugs were flowing through D.C. in the 90s? Webber for two senior citizens? They couldn’t get at least a first round pick out of that trade? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt with the ‘02 Rip-for-Stack deal (JS was 2nd in the NBA in scoring in ‘00-01), but as for the Big Ben trade that netted them Ike Austin, give me a break. These miserable deals are a true testament to why the Wizards needed eight years to finally reach the postseason.



Monday, March 06, 2006

R.I.P. Kirby Puckett


One of my favorite baseball players has died today. I'll miss you Kirby...