NBA champs?

Marion or Pierce on the top 10 SF list?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

All league tournament- 50's vs 80's- Second round, round robin

50's vs 80's
80's vs 60's
50's vs 60's

PG Rodgers vs. Stockton. No contest, man. Stockton makes Rodgers look like a fool. Adv: Stock.

SG Arizin vs. Jordan. Adv: Jordan.

SF Baylor vs. Bird. Here, I actually think Baylor gets bullied. Bird is that physical and that skilled, all at the same time. If Bird pulls up, there's nothing Baylor can do about it. Adv: Bird.

80's beat out 50's.

All league tournament- 60's vs 90's

50's vs 00's
70's vs 80's
60's vs 90's

PG O vs. Nash. O couldn't guard Nash's passes if he tried. No one can. Then again, O's got a free pass on the offensive end. At 6'5" he would wear Nash out by the first quarter, at which point those shots would fail to fall. Advantage: O.

SG West vs. Kobe. Kobe's 6'6", West's 6'2". On the offensive end, Kobe would bully West around, and Kobe would probably contain West pretty well. It's pretty dead even, honestly, except Kobe's one of the best ever. Advantage: Kobe.

SF RB vs. Marion. Marion would contain Rick Barry. It's hard to see, but it's true. Marion would never get the ball anyway, so Rick Barry wouldn't really have a ball with anything on the defensive end. If the ball comes down, Marion bullies Barry for the rebound every time. Advantage: Marion.

PF Lucas vs. KG. This would be really interesting. KG can do it all, but Lucas, on the offensive end, would make KG look weak and frail. KG on the defensive end would probably, because of his size, freeze Lucas in his tracks. It's a dead heat. I have a bias for 90's players, to be perfectly honest. They're just more unique. To counter that bias, advantage: Lucas.

C Kareem vs. Duncan. I love you, Timmy, and you've been incredible, but for twenty years Kareem destroyed Hakeem, Pat Ewing, Lanier, Walton, Moses, Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld, and pretty much every great center in the 70's AND 80's. Timmy's the greatest defensive player that every lived, but in the end no amount of defense can stop that skyhook. Advantage: Kareem.

The 60's take this one.

All league tournament- 70's vs 80's

50's vs 00's
70's vs 80's
60's vs 90's

70's vs 80's.

PG Tiny vs. Stockton. Stockton will get by Tiny all the time, dish to Jordan and have Jordan make mincemeat out of every player that ever lived. When Tiny's rolling with the ball, however, there are few forces in physics that can stop a moving Tiny at 6'1". It's kind of even, but I have to pick one. Player vs. player, advantage: Tiny.

SG Pete vs. Jordan. No sentence required. Advantage: MJ.

SF Dr. J vs. Bird. Oy. This is the make or break comparison, I would guess. The good doctor will test Bird to no end physically. Bird will pull up and it will go in, though, and there's nothing Dr. J can do to stop it. Advantage: Bird.

PF McAdoo vs. Admiral. Oh boy. Tough territory. The Admiral would put an end to McAdoo with his defense. No one can stop a moving 7'1" scoring train. No one. Advantage: Admiral.

3-1 80's.

Friday, October 2, 2009

All league tournament- 50's vs 00's

50's vs 00's
70's vs 80's
60's vs 90's

PG Rodgers vs. Paul
SG Arizin vs. Mayo
SF Baylor vs. Durant
PF Russell vs. Griffin
C Wilt vs. Dwight

PG Rodgers vs. Paul. This isn't even funny, no disrespect to Guy. Chris Paul is the best PG in history, period.

SG Arizin vs. Mayo. This is tougher. Mayo's smaller, quicker, and will encircle Arizin several times with the rock. If Mayo takes the wrong shot, though, Arizin will be there to pick it up. You can't beat the guy who invented the jump shot at his own game, I imagine. Advantage: Arizin.

SF Baylor vs. Durant. Kevin Durant is the future. Kevin Durant makes all other comers look petty. At 6'9", Durant is too lanky and too soft to grab the boards, but he'll rarely miss a shot. One on one, it would be even. In a fullcourt game, though, Durant would be the offensive option and Baylor wouldn't know how to guard him. Advantage: Durant.

PF Russell vs. Griffin. Oy. BG's disgusting, but he's never played a regular season game. Bill Russell's also disgusting, and he's won 11 rings. I'm giving the advantage to Russell out of respect.

C Wilt vs. Dwight. This is the only tough one. Dwight is an athletic animal. Wilt is a destroyer of worlds. In today's NBA, though, it's quite hard to compare Wilt to Dwight. One on one, you can see Wilt with the array of offensive moves and Dwight just trying to throw it down on someone who's 7'1". It won't work. Erick Dampier is one thing. The Stilt is another. Advantage: guy who averages 50 ppg.

The 50's take this one. We have yet to establish the legacy of the '00 players. This will probably change sometime soon.

All decade teams

All 50's team (drafted)
PG Guy Rodgers- The heavily overlooked Rodgers was a bit of a Steve Nash 48 years before Steve Nash was drafted. Bob Cousy's certainly an honorable mention. Bear in mind, though, that Cousy couldn't average 40% FG for his life. That's a big no-no.

SG Paul Arizin- This guy was the man. The best FL in the game. Averaged 11.4 RPG one 6'4"! That class of '50 was stacked.

SF Elgin Baylor- Elgin's the reason we had Billy Cunningham, the reason we had Dr. J, the reason we had Marques Johnson, the reason we had...LeBron. Elgin is the first great small forward. He rebounds like Russell, scores like Dr. J and could drop 50 on 6'5".

PF Bill Russell- The greatest champion. Russell is the first low-impact/high-output player. He doesn't have to score much to be effective. He often averaged less than 15 ppg, but more than 20 rpg, more than 4 bpg, etc.

C Wilt- No justification needed. Possibly the greatest ever.

All 60's (drafted)
PG Oscar Robertson- The only one to average a triple double, ever. In '62-'63 he averaged 30/13/12. LeBron, take heed.

SG Jerry West- The Logo. Scored like nothing. One of the first ever combo guards. Makes Dwyane Wade look like a copycat.

SF Rick Barry- The first of the ABA legends. One of the reasons why, by 1970, the ABA was stacked with greater talent than the NBA.

PF Jerry Lucas- One of the few super heavy rebounders (near 20) not named Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain. Played with Oscar Robertson on Royals teams that, were they still equipped with Maurice Stokes, would have been Celtics-big like the decade earlier. Robertson/Twyman/Lucas/Stokes? Seriously?

C Kareem- justification needed.

PG- Tiny Archibald. This, for the first time, wasn't easy. You have guys like Magic, and...well, you have Magic. Magic's really good. His advanced numbers (ast%, TS% especially) were top 20 across the board throughout history. I should pick Magic. I'm not going to. Tiny averaged 35 and 11 in '72. 2.6 stl. 35 and a freaking 11. 49% FG/85% FT/110 3's. Magic's better. I've never seen a PG average 35, though. I respect that highly. Let's think. In this season, Tiny took 2106 FGA's. He averaged 11.4 AST on 27 AST%. That's 3378 passes resulting in 910 AST. 2106 FGA's + 3378 passes = 5484 touches in 80 games. The team had 7581 possessions. 5484/7581 = 72%. 72% of the time, Tiny was the offensive option. He either scored a point or passed the ball. 72% of the time. Here's a comparison. LeBron in '07-'08, when he was supposedly the "entire team," took 1642 FGA's. He had 539 AST on 24.3% AST = 2218 passes, + 1642 FGA's = 3860 touches. The '08-'09 Cavs had 6454 touches. LeBron was 60% of the team. Tiny was 12% more of the team. Magic, '90-'91, with his career high AST%. 976 FGA, 987 AST on 39.9% AST. 2473 passes, + 976 = 3449 touches. The team had 6911 touches. 50%. For all that AST%, he was only 50% of the team. This was after Kareem retired. In other words, Tiny deserves this for being as ridiculous as he was scoring wise and as selfless, at the same time. Fear not; Magic can be our sixth man, seeing as he plays basically everything.

SG- Pistol Pete. The 70's had some of the classiest players, but in terms of 2's the decade was weak. Pistol Pete was, of course, one of the greatest scorers and passer in history. He also averaged more turnovers than almost anyone.

SF- This is tough, between Dr. J and Bird. I don't know what to do here. Dr. J was "the league" in the ABA and the NBA. Bird was a greater champion, a greater shooter, a greater passer...I don't know. I'm going to make an executive decision. Dr. J gets the 70's. Bird gets the 80's.

PF- Bob McAdoo- Mac averaged 30/15/3 blk in the beginning. Mac was so good, so consistent and so lengthy in terms of career, it's hard to find a combination like him. He was Kareem at 6'9", honestly, without inventing the skyhook.

C- Moses Malone. Lanier comes close, but the 20 year career is staggering. Took the Rockets in Houston to new heights all on his own.

PG- John Stockton. No explanation needed.

SG- MJ. No explanation needed.

SF- Bird. Not technically drafted in the 80s...but did play his first season ending in 1980. It's a stretch. It's also Larry freakin' Bird. We can make allowances.

PF- Sorry, Charles and Karl. We're putting David Robinson at the 4. You can be our sixth man. Robinson was such a skilled big man that it's hard to imagine that he only won two championships, and only with Tim Duncan alongside him. Throughout the 90's, though, he was brilliant. He even dunked like Dr. J. I will give Karl the sixth man, though. He was the epitome of an athlete.

C- Hakeem. You could argue for Pat Ewing...but you'd be foolish in doing so. Ewing scored a lot more than he rebounded, and Hakeem was just...Hakeem. He played like Wilt or Russell or Moses Malone years after that style of play was eliminated.

PG- Steve Nash. I don't want to hear the "he doesn't play defense argument." He's Steve Nash. He's the greatest passer of all time. That's that.

SG- Kobe. 'Nuff said.

SF- Shawn Marion. Over Grant Hill? Si. Over Ray Allen, Peja, Pierce, VC, T-Mac, the Candyman? Claro. Marion was the only player of his kind. His defensive displays, at 6'7", are unparalleled. His stats make you feel weak and restless if you're any other player. Pierce is the honorable mention, but in the end Marion's unstoppable.

PF- KG. Tim Duncan's a...

C- Tim Duncan. I don't want to hear the Shaq arguments. I never liked Shaq. Shaq bores me. His antics are hilarious, but his work ethic is precarious. Duncan is the greatest defensive player of all time.

00's. You can't really justify these yet. I imagine you will be able, however, sooner or later.
PG- Chris Paul.

SG- OJ Mayo.

SF- Kevin Durant.

PF- Blake Griffin.

C- Dwight Howard.

There are too many honorable mentions to count. LeBron, Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon...but, history speaks and I listen.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fantasy drafting tips - my personal strategy - first unit

I'm going to structure this like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. You'll see.

1st Round
1st pick- Chris Paul. Period. He's better than LeBron, he shoots better than LeBron, he's younger than LeBron (could he possibly be improving this season?) and he makes all those who enter the assist and steal battles feel empty.

2nd pick- LeBron. Easy. If you can't get CP, get this stud.

3rd pick- Dwyane Wade. Also easy. Better than Kobe, younger than Kobe, and the main offensive option. If Jermaine's FGA's decrease and Beasley's increase, Wade has the same number as last year. The same numbers at least year will suit you perfectly. Take it from me.

4th-8th pick- Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant is THE pick for the first round. He's a steal at anything lower than 7th, just because the incredible upside, incredible scoring and rebounding and shooting and....everything. Man, he's just really good. If he's not an All-Star starter next year, we have a serious problem.

9th-end of round pick- Al Jefferson. Jefferson is the beast. After one season of injury, two things happen: a) the player comes back with a vengeance, or b) the player comes back injured. Jefferson's a battler and the Wolves need him badly. He'll be up and running, and he'll make Tim Duncan run for his money.

OR: 9th-end of round pick- Amare Stoudemire. Amare is going to outperform any standard because he needs a contract in 2010. If he's injured again and keeps complaining, he won't hold any leverage. If he keeps complaining and plays really freakin' well, at least it will be half-way warranted.

OR: 9th-end of round pick- Kevin Garnett. KG's got more than a lot left in the tank. Ray Allen is very possibly on the way out of Boston if they can't pulverize like usual. If that's the case, Garnett gets Timberwolf-like touches and makes every other power forward in the game look soft. If not, KG's still back with a vengeance. After having been without Garnett for so long, they'll look to him again.

If you picked Chris Paul, turn to my recommendation for my late second round pick.
If you picked LeBron, turn to my recommendation for my late second round pick.
If you picked Wade, turn to my recommendation for my late second round pick.
If you picked Kevin Durant, turn to any recommendation from the middle of the second round.
If you picked Amare Stoudemire, turn to my early second round pick.
If you picked Al Jefferson, turn to my early second round pick.
If you picked Kevin Garnett, turn to my early second round pick.

Early second round pick- Steve Nash. If you call him dried up from the outset, you're missing the point. He's still Steve Nash, basketball king of passing and shooting. From no one else in the league can you get 50-40-90, period. That's very important in any format.

Early to middle second round pick- Antawn Jamison. One thing you don't know anything about when it comes to Antawn Jamison are his pretty incredible stats. He hit 112 3's last season. That's more than Steve Nash. So he shoots well for a big guy and rebounds well as well. Expect another great year, considering Gilbert Arenas' return.

Middle to late second round pick- Paul Pierce. Your two picks here are Carter and Pierce. Pierce and Carter and quite similar. The difference is age. Pierce only just broke 30, and Carter's 33. That's pretty much it. The distribution is more or less the same passing-wise, the touches are the same, the talent's the same. It's a tossup. They're even, except you want Pierce, who has less chance of slowing down.

OR: Middle to late second round- Brook Lopez. The should-have-been rookie of the year, Brookie is a monster at a very early age. He was Andrew Bynum-like in his first year. What Lopez lacks in girth compared to Bynum, he makes up for in intensity. Unfortunately, this is the Lopez to pay attention to (not Robin).

If you have already picked a guard, proceed to Rashard Lewis.
If you have already picked a big man, proceed to Jason Richardson.
If any of the players listed are still available, pick the one that is. If more than one is available, pick the one earlier on this list.

Third round pick, regardless of time: Rashard Lewis. His shooting, decent rebounding, and...well, his shooting is impeccable. He'll easily give you six rebounds, 20 points, three 3's, a steal and a block. He's Rashard Lewis. He just happens to be good at everything. He'll also get deceptively good as the year goes along: not necessarily better, but the name Rashard Lewis will be in higher demand if the shooters that owners originally pick (Peja Stojakovic, Stephen Curry, Al Harrington, i.e.) fade away.

Third round pick: Jason Richardson. Yes, you might be tempted to say, "Oh, J-Drunk who stinks it up in Phoenix?" Correction: J-Drunk who stunk it up in Phoenix because he couldn't get touches when Shaq was around. J-Rich, as it happens, will get his threes and touches since Shaq's departure and once Nash takes more of a role-playing position. Remember, J-Rich Version 07-08 was one of the top three point shooters in history. He had an off-year last year and still had 1.8.

If you lack a point guard, proceed to Baron Davis.
If you picked later than half way and lack rebounding, proceed to David Lee.
If you picked earlier than half way and lack a shooting guard, proceed to OJ Mayo.
If you're not any of these, proceed to Jameer Nelson or Rajon Rondo.

Fourth round
Baron Davis. B-Diddy is back. Diddy is again going to be late-first round talent like in 2007-08. Why? Because he's passing to one of the picks that will make you look like a fantasy behemoth: Blake Griffin. Griffin will go off like nothing you've ever seen save for Tim Duncan, and Diddy will be there for 10 ast a game, 5 reb, 20 pts, 2 threes, 2 stl and half a block. In other words, think big. A repaired relationship with Mike Dunleavy, healthy limbs and great weapons in his arsenal will pump Diddy up to nothing you've ever seen.

David Lee. In Mike D'Antoni's system, anything is possible. Just ask Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire. The system carries over to New York, where any Knick is a fantasy staple at some level. Lee is highly underrated and for 17 pts/11 rebounds, he's a steal. You're not going to get much blocking out of him, which is a problem, but the rest of it, the FG%, the decent FT%, is all more than worth it.

OJ Mayo. The thing about OJ Mayo is that he was bonafide last year, and under Derrick Rose's shadow. Next year he's going to be even more bonafide. Think 2.5 3's, 2 stl, 47% FG for a guard, 5 ast, 5 reb...think Allen Iverson, to be perfectly honest.

Nelson/Rondo. They're pretty much the same in a number of ways. They're both going to be the main distributors on their team and give you around 7 ast per game. Nelson will give you 2 stl, Rondo will give you 2 stl. Nelson will give you 2 3's, Rondo will give you 5 reb. Nelson will give you 15 pts, Rondo will give you 15 pts. If you're looking for Jason Kidd, pick Rondo. If you're looking for a player like Steve Nash when he was with the Mavs, pick Nelson.

Fifth round
If you're missing a forward, proceed to Blake Griffin.
If you're missing a center, proceed to Andrew Bynum.
If you're missing a guard, proceed to Eric Gordon.

Blake Griffin. Blake Griffin, dominating force of basketball, throw-it-down monster and savior of the Clippers franchise, is the best pick in the whole dang draft. He's going to have a Tim Duncan-esque year in a round where you can feasibly pick up Al Horford. To heck with Al Horford! Take the guy who averaged 22 and 14 last year! Seriously!

Andrew Bynum. Reminds me of Artis Gilmore. Low scoring, ridiculous FG%, 2 blk, 8 or more RPG. He's a future Hall of Famer. His low post arsenal is far too advanced for most centers, who simply get to the basket and throw it down. Bynum is working with the likes of Kareem, so obviously his repertoire is advanced beyond belief. Expect a full season out of Bynum.

Eric Gordon. If you followed my advice, you already have a point guard. Eric Gordon is the next logical step. I pigeonhole Gordon for about 1.8 stl, 2.5 3's, 23 ppg, 80% other words, the works. He's the real deal, but behind Rose and Mayo and Love he gets the short end of the stick.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Playoff results

1. Lakers vs. 8. Thunder. Destruction. Kobe runs by the half decent defense and lights up Durant. Sorry, K-Dazzle - you've got a little bit of a way to go. Lakers in 4.

4. Mavs vs. 5. Blaze. The Mavs are too deep. That's hard to say against the Blaze, but it's true. They're very similar teams. They both play great defense. They both have point guards who like to slow up. They both have versatile scorers at the 2. They both have 8/8 defensive powerhouses in the middle. The Mavs just do it better. They're older. They've had more experience. The Blaze will have it's turn. Mavs in 7.

3. Nugs vs. 6. Hornets. I like the Hornets, but this is a rematch of last year, with the exception of Emeka Okafor and an improved JR Smith. That pretty much evens up talent-wise. Nugs in 5.

2. Spurs vs. 7. Clippers. Blake Griffin runs Tim Duncan up the wall, and goes over. The greatest defensive player in history is Duncan. Griffin takes Duncan to the hole. A tall feat? Not when Baron Davis is making Tony Parker look soft, Eric Gordon is out-Manu'ing Manu at a younger age, Al Thornton is outscoring RJ at a younger age, and Camby is limiting Duncan when worst comes to worse with Duncan, allowing Griffin to dominate. It sounds crazy, but Clips in 6.

1. Magic vs. 8. Raptors. The Magic are way too talented. Old Carter kicks undeveloped Carter's butt. Nelson is very Calderon'y, but from three there's no question who wins. Hedo is a point of controversy, but Lewis shoots Bosh out of a big contract in 2010. And then there's Dwight. Magic in 4.

4. Wiz vs. 5. Heat. These are two different teams. Arenas and Wade are both very flashy scorers, both almost as effective. When Arenas/Foye goes up against Chalmers/Wade, though, Wade shuts Arenas down on the defensive end and Arenas and Foye can't do anything about Wade on the offensive end. The frontcourt, however, is a clear victory for the Wiz. Butler/Jamison/Haywood is balanced, defensively sound and .offensively dangerous. Beasley/Haslem/O'Neal is not. Wiz in 5.

3. Cavs vs. 6. Bulls. The Cavs take the Bulls to school. The Bulls have no answer for the King, nor Shaq. Derrick Rose will probably be a match for Mo, but that's about all she wrote. Cavs in 5.

2. Celts vs. 7. Bobcats. Two of the best defensive teams in the league go at it. The difference is that Boston can score, period. Charlotte can't, not without AI. Wrong move, MJ, again. Celts in 4.

1. Lakers vs. 4. Mavs. The Lakers are still really good. The Mavs are good. The Lakers are better. Gasol and Dirk match up pretty evenly defensively. Dirk would be able outscore Gasol if this were taking places a couple years ago, but not by much by this season. Kobe is Kobe, and Josh Howard can defend him to a point before he gets schooled. Artest and Marion is a battle, but Marion's not the Marion he used to be. Dampier can't defend a new and improved Bynum. Lakers in 6.

3. Nugs vs. 7. Clips. It's hard to say that the Clips are in contention for the Western conference finals, but they very well may be. Chauncey can contain Baron. Gordon and JR fight it out on very similar playing fields. If TD can't completely contain the Griffin, then Kenyon Martin certainly can't. Conversely, Thornton can't even come close to containing Melo. Melo, in the end, makes the indomitable Griffin overstretch his bounds defense-wise. It'll be close, believe it or not. The Nugs just defend better. Nugs in 7. The Griffin will be back.

1. Magic vs. 4. Wiz. This is pretty interesting. The Magic are way too good for the Wiz in the end, but don't tell Gil Arenas. He'll fight to the end to keep that team afloat. In the end, Nelson contains Arenas and Carter blows by everyone in his last incredible series. Magic in 5

2. Celts vs. 3. Cavs. A rematch of the '08 playoffs, but with Shaq and Mo now in the picture. KG and Ray are tired, and Paul Pierce does everything he can to contain LeBron, but it's not good enough. He's LeBron, after all. Cavs in 6

1. Lakers and 3. Nugs. The Lakers destroy the Nugs, all due respect to the Nugs. Artest makes Melo look ridiculous, Kobe runs by Chauncey, Bynum completely posterizes Nene a couple times. Lakers in 5

1. Magic and 3. Cavs. Tough. Shaq and Dwight go at it. Dwight is superior. It's a rematch, save for Carter, who destroys. Magic in 7

Magic vs. Lakers. I got the Magic. Carter is the difference. Bass is the difference, and he probably shuts Gasol down given a few games with him. Howard obliterates Bynum. It's still really hard, because Artest's perimeter defense will shut Lewis down from time to time and kill Orlando's whole game. In the end, the Magic wanted to win a championship and they get it. Magic in 6

Western conference standings

1. Lakers. No explanation required. Kobe/Artest/Gasol is absolutely diabolical. Artest is an upgraded version of Ariza, truth be told. Bynum will get 70+ games in, and the Lakers will now approach 70 wins. If only they could give Jordan Farmar the start. I really do despise Derek Fisher. Sue me.

2. Spurs. RJ is the least of their additions. DeJuan Blair, Antonio McDyess, a healthy Manu....well, RJ's pretty good. The Spurs are set to do some damage, and Tim Duncan, as always, is set to lead the Spurs close to the promised land. Manu's the definition of per minute efficiency. TP will health up before the season starts, no doubt. This is the same team that won two championships in the past five years, but better.

3. Nuggets. I like this team because I like Chauncey Billups. That said, JR Smith, for all his explosive talent, is not mature enough to start on an NBA team, far more so than Mike Beasley. Kenyon Martin is quickly fading. Carmelo can't play defense to save a family member's life. This is a great team, but they won't be better than last year: they'll be a tad worse.

4. Mavs. Dirk and Kidd are an incredible pair, and whoever you surround them with is the only thing that determines whether they win a championship or one playoff game. They've been surrounded with top notch talent this time around including Josh Howard, and more recently Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden, and very likely Stephen Jackson or Monta Ellis. Rodrigue Beaubois is even a great talent for a rookie, as we saw at Summer League. I just love this team's depth and solid mixture of offense and defense.

5. Blaze. This was a good team last year, and it's better with Andre Miller. It's better with an improved Greg Oden. It's better with an improved Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. It's better because of all of those people. Not that much better. The West just got too good for the Blazers, and Andre Miller does not cut it as the answer.

6. Hornets. Emeka Okafor is a serious offensive threat in that system. That's the biggest improvement. Chris Paul is still Chris Paul, David West is still David West. Emeka Okafor is a serious offensive boost from Tyson Chandler, and a more consistent one if Tyson Chandler fails to fully recover from the toe ordeal.

7. Clippers. Ooh, do I love this year's Clippers. I think Baron Davis and Mike Dunleavy are going to figure it out. I think Eric Gordon is going to destroy people and possibly headline the steals category across the league. I think Al Thornton is going to be very Alex English-y. I think Marcus Camby will continue to do what he does best. Most importantly, I think Blake Griffin is going to destroy people very early in his career. 20/11/1 block/1 steal. He will shut people down, he will tear it up. Add a couple more young pieces and this team will soar. I also love their depth, as it stands. Telfair, Craig Smith, Rasual Butler are for real.

8. Thunder. Durant is the future. Durant good it's scary. 30 ppg next year, almost without question. The reason they make the playoffs is because Russell Westbrook is primed for a breakout, because James Harden is going to complement Durant very well, Jeff Green is, as always, going to complement Kevin Durant well, etc. They're young, they're very talented, and they have Kevin Durant. And the Suns and Jazz stink, anyway.

9. Suns. The Suns have always held a special place in my heart. But they stink. They're making all the wrong moves. No one plays defense. Amare Stoudemire is a beast, J-Rich scores like a manic, Steve Nash is the greatest passer in the game, Earl Clark is a bright spot if I've ever seen one. Doesn't matter. Defense must be played. The offense will get them to the brink of the playoffs, but that's that.

10. Jazz. They haven't changed. They're paying a lot money for a very decent group. That's that. Paul Millsap is re-signed, but he doesn't have the starting job. Mehmet Okur is not going to keep up last year's excellence forever. Deron is, of course, nasty, but that's that. The pick they're getting from New York will help. I think Evan Turner has potential, if they use that pick on him. Otherwise, don't expect any more than the usual.

11. T-Wolves. As we explained, Kevin Love is the future. Al Jefferson is beast. That, enough, is enough for some serious damage. Jonny Flynn is ROTY sleeper material, just for his incredible playmaking and penetration. That's serious damage, but that's all. Their starting 2 is Bobby Brown. Ryan Gomes will get better. That's all. It's not enough, but it's a weak bottom of the West. They're at least better than the Warriors, Rockets, Kings and Grizzlies.

12. Grizzlies. Allen Iverson is a great addition, but to a very bad team. Would they be worse than the Kings without him? Maybe. Are they at the bottom of the Western Conference with him? Sure. Iverson and Mayo are very reminiscent of each other, which is redundancy, which never works. Conley has a tiny bit of future. Randolph and Thabeet are wastes. Gay is going to improve. At 6'8", 240, and with a down year last year, he's destined to have a good year. His teammates? Substandard. We'll see how it turns out, but don't expect anything from this team but a high pick.

13. Warriors. Stephen Curry is the man. He's very unfortunate to be in Golden State. Like in Phoenix, no one plays defense. The offense is ballin'. As it stands, they're set to start Corey Maggette at PF and leave Tony Randolph on the bench. Don Nelson doesn't understand how to play his players, and he never has. The Warriors have great talent, but they stink. It happens.

14. Rockets. Oy, what a fall. Yao's out, T-Mac's out, Artest is gone. Brooks and Ariza are your main offensive options. Pathetic. Pray for John Wall.

15. Kings. They don't deserve a sentenc

Eastern conference standings

1. Magic. The biggest addition to this team was not Vince Carter. The biggest addition was the combination of Brandon Bass, Matt Barnes, keeping Marcin Gortat and a healthy Jameer Nelson. Nelson is a clear upgrade over Rafer Alston. Bass is a clear update over Battie. Carter is a very clear update over Hedo. In all, this team is much better. Not necessarily true of Cleveland and Boston.

2. Celts. 'Sheed is still for real. He makes up for the unfortunate loss of Leon Powe tenfold. KG will be healthy, which will make a world of difference. I think the Celts with KG are better than the Cavs with Shaq, but are obviously worse than the Cavs with Shaq without KG. I think the Celts with KG are also better than the Cavs with Z. They're better, they're deeper, they're more experienced. If KG goes down, though, that's that.

3. Cavs. LBJ and Shaq is a force to be reckoned with. Sadly, that force isn't that much more dominant than LBJ and Z. Mo is going to score like wildfire again. Signings of Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon are solid, but not significant. I'm interested to see what happens with Leon Powe, how he reacts to Cleveland. His per minute stats are quite impressive. He could bump the Cavs ahead of the Celts by himself.

4. Wiz. The addition of Gilbert Arenas, Randy Foye and Mike Miller is a three man wrecking crew to a backcourt that was the only piece missing from this team. Miller's a prototypical FL, Foye's a prototypical SC and Arenas is a SH or a SC. Flip Saunders can do wonders with Arenas, making this a team to beat. Any time you have Hibachi on fire, you should be ready to get grilled, so to speak.

5. Heat. Mike Beasley has had enough. He's had enough with the redo '08 drafts with him out of the lottery. He's had enough with the weed association, and the immaturity accusation. He wants to score and rebound and show everyone what he's made of, and he knows darn well he's only got one season left before he starts getting waived. So he's going to explode, and he's going to give Miami a couple more wins. Not going to be enough. Jermaine is just not Jermaine. Dwyane is, of course, top Dwyane, but that's about it. With a rookie PG and a very young team and without that Robin to Wade's Batman, the Heat are not going to make it to the upper echelons.

6. Bulls. I like the Bulls. I think Derrick Rose is going to be bonafide. I think Tyrus Thomas is going to explode, and I think the Blazers will be very sorry they traded him. I think Brad Miller will be a suitable fill in the middle. The pieces work. Vinny Del Negro is a junk coach, but Derrick Rose can probably half coach that team on his own.

7. Bobcats (do-do-do doooo do-do-do). Hear me out. DJ Augustin is ballin'. GW and Boris Diaw are much better in Charlotte. The point is that this is quite possibly the best defensive team in the league, save for Boston, and they can pretty much shut anyone down.

8. Raptors. Hedo and DeRozan are the big reasons for this. Hedo gives Jose the ability to take on SH duties, and DeRozan takes up Vince Carter SC duties. Bargnani was stellar last year and will only get better. Running and gunning can definitely get you the 8th seed in the east, even if you don't play defense to save your life. Amir Johnson is the X factor. If Triano knows how to get him moving, the Raptors can move up this list.

9. Hawks. All decent pieces. Mike Bibby is decent. Al Horford is decent. Marvin Williams is decent. Zaza Pachulia is decent. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith are good. That's not good enough anymore. The East got better. Jamal Crawford doesn't help.

10. Sixers. Brand doesn't work here, and he might end up on the bench. Without Andre Miller, this team is a lot worse, even though Andre Miller is not exactly what he was with the Cavs and Nuggets. Jrue Holiday has my support as a bonafide high school prospect with the wrong position in college, but in the end if he were that much better than Darren Collison he would've gotten the job instead of Collison. This team was decent, and now it's mediocre.

11. Pacers. This is a good team that will get better, but not that much better. Hans and Hibbert are set to explode. Troy Murphy, under pressure from Hans and Hibbert, should get shipped out for a serious PG. Granger is an absolute stud. If those things all happen, this team will make the playoffs. As it stands, I think this is a decent team with depth chart issues and improper execution of all of its assets.

12. Pistons. I like CV, and I like CV a lot. That said, every thing else in Motor City is a mess. Ben Gordon and Rip Hamilton are competing for minutes. Tayshaun Prince is drying up. Rodney Stuckey is a 2 in a 1's chair. Ben Wallace is old. I get the feeling they'll trade Rip Hamilton for someone to clog up the middle. Mehmet Okur? and start Booze at the five for a small, run and fun lineup in Utah. Unless they do anything, same problem as the Pacers. It wasn't exactly a bad move to get Allen Iverson, but it didn't help their immediate prospects.

13. Bucks. This team is crap. Michael Redd reminds me of Tracy McGrady last year, and Bogut has a long way to go before he's the top pick we all envisioned. They do have a bright spot: Donny Motiejunas. Before they get him, they're crap.

14/15. Knicks/Nets. No explanation required.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Future

As I peered into the 2010 NBA Draft, as I always do early, I was curious about the prospects. John Wall is apparently the future. Picture Derrick Rose finishing every shot, they said. Fine. You think that, don't you? You do. And you have every right. But Donatas Motiejunas is the prize. Donawhat Motiewho?

The patterns have aligned once more. I ran some tests with the draft chart again. Last time on The Pattern segment we determined the following:

a) that 2008 was better than 2003.
b) that Kevin Love is the future.
c) that Blake Griffin is the future.

The specific way that you predict the future is through playing styles. How did I know Orlando was going to the Finals? Because they were a clone of Louisville. The brackets aren't the same, so I had to gauge it a little. How did I know Kevin Love was the future? Because, as you'll find, he's not only numerically consistent, he's also the one proven star in the 2008 draft that can't be matched to a 1996 or 1994 player.

Go ahead. List all of the significant players in each draft. I did as follows: the position, the pick, the team that drafted him. MJ is SG3Bulls. Karl Malone is PF13Jazz. Dale Ellis and Rolando Blackman are both SG9Mavs. Go figure.

The 12 year theory held true, for a while. 1992 resembled 2004. 1993 resembled 1985. That was odd, because that was an 8 year differential. That made sense, however, because it was the same distance on the board. 12 years is two years right, one decade up. 8 years, on a year ending in a number greater than 2, is two years back and one decade up.

But then I figured out that 1984 was most like....1970. Archibald wreaks of Stockton, considering they were both picked late. Lanier wreaks of Olajuwon. Pistol Pete, considered the greatest player up until that point (that wouldn't change until Bird and Magic went at it), was Jordan-esque in terms of the incredulosity of his moves. Tomjanovich and Barkley were both Rockets, both big rebounders. So I had a problem. I had fourteen year distances, twelve year distances and eight year distances. I couldn't draw any more connections. I had to figure out what 2010 was.

Technically, 2010 should be representative of 2024, 2022, 1998 and 1996. Since we know nothing about 2024 or 2022, let's work with 1998 and 1996. 2010 prospects line up as follows:

John Wall- Derrick Rose-y. FL.

Ed Davis- Elden Campbell? BANG.

Derrick Favors- Amare Stoudemire? BANG

Cole Aldrich- Artis Gilmore with the Spurs BANG

Willie Warren- ? SC

Donatas Motiejunas- Dirk Nowitzki GL

Al-Farouq Aminu- Donyell Marshall VS

Greg Monroe- 6'10" Shawn Marion VS

The one that matches up is Motiejunas and Dirk. Dirk was drafted in '98. As it happens, the best player in 2010 is the fifth pick, a forward. As an international player, it's unlikely he'll get much coverage and he'll end up with the same pick he started with, which, right now, is from five to ten. Robertson was 1. Erving was 12. Jordan was 3. Bryant was 13. Love is 5. What I missed earlier was the best of the fifties, which was 1958. The best player in '58 was Elgin Baylor, at pick #1. So, is the pattern. What that would indicate to me, on a hunch, is that 5 repeats. Match five with Motiejunas' expected pick and the year Dirk was drafted, and you have DMoney as the future.

Prediction #4: DMoney is the future, take 3.