This is it. The games. I’ve been waiting so long for this (I can’t believe I stuck with the previews…Four months…FOUR…And 76,299 words.). As we said before, the Griz are our first team…Basically, it will look like this: The same line that I managed to burn into your brain during the preview (the (1) 2011 Blah (82-0) vs. (60000000000) 2010 Blah (0-82)), the box scores, and maybe some words of wisdom (or interesting (read: failed predictions) I said during the previews…Let’s get it ON! (But first………………..Some more notes. We start with the last matchup I wrote previews for in the last time. Since it is a three game series, they basically alternate home vs. away, with the higher seed being home…And lastly…if you have any complaints about the way I assign minutes, please comment ((I try…but WhatIf Sports isn’t the smartest at assigning minutes…). (Here are some notes added later: Sorry about the HUGE delay. I had a bout of laziness. I HAVE done 1/3rd of the 1st round sims. This really is a pain to do, so we are doing one matchup per post. Thanks for the wait.)
(8) 2001 Vancouver Grizzlies (23-59) vs. (9) 2002 Memphis Grizzlies (23-59)
Happy Halloween! Games are coming tomorrow...Most likely, unless Blogger decides not to cooperate. One more detail: After we (slosh) move through round 1, the brackets will be reseeded, and an actual bracket will be followed...Any questions, or concerns....This is the last day to voice them!
November 1st Update: Of course, Blogger decides not to cooperate. Or actually I'd blame Word. Or Excel. The issue is with the box scores...I don't want to eliminate them to get the tourney running...I feel that that is the most vital part of the post...It serves as proof. No one is going to be able to make a belevable box score in under 30 minutes. And I don't want to waste time doing that. (The only way I could rig it was if I just repeat the game...But I don't care enough about the 1st round outcome to waste time doing that...).
Almost there....Just a few days until we get some real action here...Here's some info you should know:
There WILL be a limit on how many games a player can miss before being ineligible for being on a team...That number in 50 for 82 game years. That's 1968 to present (except 1999...they have a limit of 30 games...). In 1967, the limit is 49 (only 81 games were played...). From 1962-1966, it's also 49 (80 games played...). In 1961, the number is 48. It's 46 in 1960, and from 1953 to 1959, the magic number is 44. And finally, in 1952, it is 40.
One last thing: We'll be going in reverse order of all time record. So that means Memphis is first!
So we move on to the Jazz…If someone starts a conversation on the Jazz, you don’t really get real excited….But this isn’t a bad teams by any means. From the early days of Pistol Pete, to Adrian Dantley and his 2 scoring titles here, finally to Stockton and Malone (and Boozer and Williams…..but who cares about those guys when we can gawk at Malone and Stockton………..)….(One note…We do end up starting with a late 90s team…Sorry to all the late 90s Utah fans, but it was much better in the early 90s…Sure, 10 less wins or so, but in a more competitive league…And better versions of Stockton and Malone………). Without further ado, lets’ get on to the matchups!!
There really is no debate that this is the best ABA team in the NBA…They missed the playoffs only 4 times in the NBA, and for Indiana, and New Jersey, you couldn’t count it on one hand…And Denver wasn’t that good either. And look at the stars, George Gervin, David Robinson, and Timmy Duncan, all top 50 all time. And 4 champs. You can’t dispute that….
(1) 2006 San Antonio Spurs (63-19)
The team stuck between two champs gets a bye. They couldn’t get by the Mavs in a Game 7 overtime thriller, even with Duncan submitting a monster 41-20. During the year, however, Timmy slipped down below 20 points a game, with 19-11-3 this year…Tony Parker had 19-3-6, Manu Ginobili had 15-4-4, as Michael Finley had 10-3, and Bruce Bowen had 8-4 along with some powerful (dirty) defense….Let’s talk about Timmy now….Timmy is a top 10 player most likely because of how great of a teammate he was. What sets him apart from KG is that he knows when to turn it on, and totally crush everyone. Maybe not in an exciting way, like KG, but he got it done. A very effective player, though he did have a weaker era than some other top 10 candidates….Essentially, he’s a great, top tier team player, someone you would want to play with, and he did crush anyone when needed. Boring, but effective…One thing I don’t like is how he bulges his eyes at a bad call….That would be my complaint….
(11) 1979 Kansas City Kings (48-34) vs. (50) 1989 Sacramento Kings (27-55)
Remember that they used to be in Kansas City? We begin post two with our first Kansas team (in this tourney I mean…). Otis Birdsong (remember him from New Jersey….he had some pretty good years there, but some of his Kansas days were better…It feels weird saying Kansas when talking about the NBA….) had 22-4-3, Scott Wedman (he played most of his career here in Kansas, played for a year and a half in Cleveland, then ended it off in Boston….He was worst in Boston, but whenever someone says Scott Wedman ((if you say it to me, you’ll be the first!)), I think of Boston ((maybe because I’m a Boston fan…He was pretty good on the Kings….) had 18-5, Phil Ford had 16-2-9, Sam Lacey had 11-9-5, and Bill Robinzine had 13-8.
So we’re on to our last full length team…This one will be pretty good too. Not only is there Oscar, but we can’t forget the early 50s, with Arnie Risen, and Bob Davies, while in Rochester (winning a championship…which we miss by ONE year….it is still basically the same team the next year though so….), then Jerry Lucas and Jack Twyman with Oscar in Cincinnati, then Sam Lacey and Tiny Archibald while in the Kansas City area, and finally Chris Webber, Peja, and Mitch Richmond in Sacramento…Should actually be good. Some really great teams, despite a lack of championships….
The Blazers are a pretty good team overall, with their most famous team being the 1977 one that featured Bill Walton crushing the NBA. They’ve only really missed the playoffs for more than one year at the beginning of their run, and the mid-2000s….Never bad, and only a few instances of great. 1977 is rated pretty low, not even in the top 10 of the Blazers…They won JUST below 50 games. 1978 was more dominant, but they lost Walton that year. Those two years were legendary, not just 1977…
(1) 1991 Portland Trail Blazers (63-19)
Portland’s only 60+ win team…You may forget that this was a pretty good team then, contenders back in the early 90s. There was even some Drexler vs. Jordan talk…Then he got destroyed in the Finals, and that ended that…But they made two Finals, once in 1990, and once in 1992 (lost to Detroit and Chicago…). This is the year stuck in between…Drexler had 22-7-6, as Terry Porter (who had peak assist wise a few years ago, and had been going down since…he’s 27, and his assists dropped from 10-9.5-9-8…then 6, then 5…and he’s playing about the same minutes…) had 17-4-8. Pretty good cast around them too, Kevin Duckworth had 16-7, Jerome Kersey had 15-7, and Buck Williams had 12-9, not to mention 12-4 from Cliff Robinson, and 11-3-4 from Danny Ainge…Drazen Petrovic (bet you didn’t know he played in Portland…he did for one year before this year…) was traded to New Jersey in a three team deal…An old Walter Davis made his way to Portland for 32 games….Pretty loaded team, it will be a tight race between a Drexler team and a 1977 or 78 Walton team for the Blazers spot…
Another good Nash year…He had 17-4-11 as Amare led scores with 25-9. Barbosa had 16-3-3 and Grant Hill had 13-5-3, as Shawn Marion (16-10) was traded to Miami for Shaq (13-11). A 29 year old for a 35 year old…Guess which is which (neither stayed long where they were traded…Marion was dished out to the Raptors during 2009, and Shaq was in Cleveland for 2010…).
The Suns were a pretty good franchise overall…Never won anything, but made a few Finals….
(1) 1993 Phoenix Suns (62-20)
The famous Barkley led Finals team…Chuck had 26-12-5, as Dan Majerle had 17-5-4, KJ (only 49 games) had 16-2-8, Cedric Ceballos had 13-6, Tom Chambers (who was released after the year) had 12-5, and Danny Ainge had 12-3-3…Not much to say….
(21) 1955 Syracuse Nationals (43-29) vs. (40) 2008 Philadelphia 76ers (40-42)
Finally the 1955 champs! This is the first shot clock year, which probably had an impact on them winning, considering their owner came up with the idea…Dolph Schayes had 19-12-3, Paul Seymour had 15-4-7, Red Rocha had 11-7-3, Red Kerr had 11-7, and George King had 9-3-5…Pretty good year…
(11) 1978 Philadelphia 76ers (55-27) vs. (50) 2004 Philadelphia 76ers (33-49)
This team is one year removed from a Finals appearance (losing to Portland’s legendary Bill Walton led 1977 team….speaking of champs…we still have one to go for Philly…or should I say Syracuse…). A whole bunch of selfish stars here…Doc was too nice to fight for shots, as he still led the team with 21-7-4. George McGinnis had 20-10-4, and 4 giveaways. Doug Collins had 20-3-4 (in an almost full year…79 games is close enough…), while Lloyd Free freed the world (heh….how many of you got that…) with 16-3-4, and Darryl Dawkins thundered out 12-8. Jelly Bean Joe Bryant (guess who his son is!) had 6-4.
What a stacked team….Think of all the legends that played here, from Dolph Schayes, to Wilt, to Billy Cunningham, to Erving, to Moses, and Barkley, and AI….really a great team…Only 3 championships though, which is sort of surprising, considering how good they were at some points…We begin:
In terms of memorable players, this is the best of the late 80s on expansion teams…You say it’s not much, but that’s over 20% of the league! 7 teams have come about since the late 80s, and when you look at talent, this one is best…Look at them, from the days of Shaq, and Penny, to the impressive years of McGrady (now, I really, really, REALLY, hate him, but you have to admit, 32 points in a low scoring, defensive minded league is impressive, to today, with Howard (who I also, really, really hate…He’s so overrated. He’s not really a good defender…It’s all crap. They get the ball back…His blocks aren’t worth much…). Pretty impressive, I guess…Here we go!
We begin in the Shaq era…27-11 came from him, in his last Orlando year (he’d bolt to LA after the year…he played only 54 games this year….this starts his “not playing full years” trend…). And this is a really good team around him, with Penny Hardaway had an impressive 22-4-7 in the absence of Shaq, while a still-rattled Nick Anderson had 15-5-4, Dennis Scott had 18-4-3, and Horace Grant had 13-9…It’s possible that they completely obliterate everyone else.
Ray Allen averaged 24-4-4, while Rashard Lewis put up an inhuman 21-6! Vlad Rad had 12 points (I don’t know who came up with that nickname, but it is a very catchy one….Who wants to say Vladimir Radmanovic when you can say Vlad Rad?), while Antonio Daniels had 4 assists and Luke Ridnour had 6 assists.
When you think of the Thunder, you think of Durant and OKC, but nothing about Seattle (personally, I don’t like Durant for some reason….I just don’t like him….). When you think of the Sonics, you think of Payton, Kemp, Dennis Johnson, and the champ….That’s who I’m eager to see…I don’t really care about OKC. That's why the post is the "Sonics". I just can't stand the Thunder. But I don't mind the Sonics....If that makes sense....
This is the year that the incredible pairing of Kemp and Payton made the Finals….Kemp rained down 20-11, while Payton put up 19-4-8-3….Not only that, they got 17-5-4 from Detlef Schrempf, 16-4-3 from Hershey Hawkins, and 12-5 from Sam Perkins….this is a pretty dangerous team. A pretty exciting team to watch also….
The Knicks…they’ve been around forever, and have had some great players, and moments (like the 1970 champ…). But it doesn’t seem like many people talk about them…They were good in a few eras, sure, but they were AWFUL in others…The early 50s were a good time, Harry Gallatin, and the McGuire’s' (Dick…the passer, and Al, who lasted a few years in the NBA and was the scrappy one, who once proclaimed “I can stop Cousy” and then continued to foul him six straight times down the floor)….then the awful late 50s and 60s….then there was the legendary Willis-Frazier teams…then on and off as a decent team through the 70s and early 80s…then there was a pretty good Ewing era….then there was the Isiah era. Some teams were great………….Others? Not so much.
(1) 1970 New York Knicks (60-22) vs. (60) 1963 New York Knicks (21-59)
This is the iconic, legendary 1970 Knickerbockers. Not only did New York love them because of their exquisite passing and top notch cohesive togetherness, they also had their iconic “Here comes Willis” moment after Willis tore a muscle in his thigh that is critical for movement, then comes back two games later and fires up the Knicks team, and leads them to a title. Reed had 22-14 during the year, and had Walt “Clyde” Frazier at point, razzling and dazzling for 21-6-8, while Dave DeBusschere provided defense and 15-10-3 a night. Dick Barnett had 15-3-4, Bill Bradley had 15-4-4, and Cazzie Russell averaged 12-3-2…and they were missing Phil Jackson! Incredible team…they will tear up the rest of the Knicks.
So here we are at the Hornets…They haven’t been bad for any extended stretch (except maybe at the very beginning….) but they haven’t ever been top tier contenders…Without further ado, the Hornets!
(1) 2008 New Orleans Hornets (56-26)
This is their first year back from the New Orleans/OKC location after Hurricane Katrina. This probably is the best team, led by the best Hornets player, Chris Paul (21-4-12-3 steals). David West was a great second scorer, with his 21-9, while Peja Stojakovic averaged 16-4 for them. Tyson Chandler had 12-12.
(2) 1997 Charlotte Hornets (54-28) vs. (23) 2005 New Orleans Hornets (18-64)
We move away from Paul, and we check out this 1997 team…It is pretty good, Glen Rice had 27-4, Anthony Mason had 16-11-6 (wow…), and Dell Curry had 15-3. Vlade Divac (who came over in the Kobe trade), had 13-9-4, Muggsy Bogues got 8-2-7 from his 5-3 body, and they even got an appearance from Tom Chambers for 12 games…They got swept by New York though…
(11) 1985 New Jersey Nets (42-40) vs. (26) 1997 New Jersey Nets (26-56)
This is actually a pretty good team…Michael Ray Richardson had 20-6-8, and 3 steals, plus Otis Birdsong (though only in 56 games) had 21-3-4. Buck Williams had 18-12, and Mike Gminski had 13-8…I bet this team gets pretty far…
The Nets haven’t exactly been very good since the ABA (which isn’t included here…they were really good there…Rick Barry, the Doctor, Bill Melchionni, and Brian Taylor….but they haven’t been the WORST in the NBA….they DID have Kidd, and Buck Williams…and Drazen Petrovic……………………..and Vince Carter, I guess…Anyway, here we go (I don’t think that last paragraph made people want to read this…in fact, I bet most people will skip this team, thanks to my bad promoting…Might as well have said, “Come see the 12 win Nets, that happen to be missing their 3 best teams because of the ABA rule! And don’t forget about their two NBA Finals teams, that brought us some bad Finals, that were basically just Jason Kidd!…Don’t forget next year, they are changing their name to the Brooklyn __________s!”)!
We pick the T’Wolves up with MVP KG in beast mode, averaging 24-14-5 on a largely successful Wolves team (that missed the playoffs next year after a 14 win decline…). And he brought Minneapolis 58 wins when his best teammates are Latrell Sprewell (17-4-4) and Sam Cassell (20-3-7). They made the West Finals before losing to LA….after 7 straight 1st round exits…
This team is famous for sweeping the Celtics in the semis this year…that’s the team that would move on to a champ the next year (without Tiny Archibald though, he went to this team for 1984…). Sidney (23-6-4) and Marques (21-7-5) both had phenomenal seasons, while Junior Bridgeman had 14-4-3. Bob Lanier played only 39 games, while Paul Pressey played 7-4-3 to debut. Dave Cowens made an unsuccessful comeback this year, with him averaging 8-7 in 40 games. He may be only 34, but his talent had diminished since his retirement in 1980.
The Bucks….not many huge names (excepting Kareem and Oscar…), but they had some really incredible, often overlooked players, like Sidney Moncrief, Marques Johnson, Bobby Dandridge, and they of course have that legendary 1971 title team…which is where we begin…
(1) 1971 Milwaukee Bucks (66-16)
The legendary Bucks team gets a bye this round…Too bad, I’m eager to see how well Kareem (32-16-3) fares against anyone…Of course, we will also want to get our first glance at the Big O (19-6-8), who they wouldn’t have won a title without. Bobby Dandridge had 18-8-4…and the depth continues. Jon McGlocklin had 16-3-4, while Greg Smith had 12-7, Bob Boozer had 9-5, and Lucius Allen had 7-3-3. No doubt this is the Bucks winner…This is an incredible year, considering this is year 3 of the Bucks…no doubt winners.
That’s right, 60+ wins right here. And it’s by the teams that brought us the AWFUL Heat-Knicks playoff battles…Alonzo Mourning is the anchor, averaging 20-10 on a bruising team. Tim Hardaway had 20-3-9, and they acquired Jamal Mashburn (13-6-4) to finish out the year. Voshon Lenard had 12-3-2, PJ Brown had 10-8, while Bruce Bowen made his NBA debut, one game, one minute, and one block….Pretty good team here….
(21) 1997 Los Angeles Lakers (56-26) vs. (40) 1979 Los Angeles Lakers (47-35)
It’s rookie Kobe time! Nothing good from him at all though…8-2-1 is all they got. Shaq played only 51 games (26-13), but they got 17-4-3 from Eddie Jones, and 15-3-9 from Nick Van Excel. Elden Campbell had 15-8.
Decent year, led by Kareem (24-13-5-1-4…great year…), and also had Jamaal Wilkes (19-7) in the foreground. Adrian Dantley completed year two of his Lakers stay, also his last, as he had 17-6. Norm Nixon had 17-3-9, and an aged Lou Hudson had 10-2-2.
(11) 1980 Los Angeles Lakers (60-22) vs. (50) 1993 Los Angeles Lakers (39-43)
This team is still above 60 wins…Boston lasted till 14 till they slipped (and that was because of the shorter year in the 60s…so really 16 teams were above 60 wins…). These guys are getting close to 59…This is Magic’s rookie year (18-8-7), a successful Finals champ, though Kareem really is the alpha-dog (25-11-5). Jamaal Wilkes is good this year, with 20-6-3, and they got 18-3-8 from resident point guard Norm Nixon. Spencer Haywood added 10 points, and Michael Cooper had 9-3-3…but no all-D team.
This may be the best team of all time (says a Celtics fan…). They were consistently great every era…no holes at all (except for short 2-3 year stretches before the next all-time great joins). The Celts were a better team based team…and these guys have some of the best talents out there…Russell and Bird…they are both definitely top 5…but that is because of extra, all out, hard work. Give them the attitude of Tim Thomas and Bird is like Kyle Korver. Russell is like Joel Anthony. This Lakers franchise has more talent (and I’m not saying that they didn’t work hard…maybe not as much as Boston…but still world class effort). Unfortunately, we miss 28 point a game Mikan because of the 1952 rule (they widened the foul lane for 1952, which brought his PPG down by 5…). Get ready, here come the all-time greats. There’s Mikan, Baylor, West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Shaq, Kobe, and the LA/Minneapolis Lakers! (I actually am really excited about this…as evidenced by the excessive preamble…
We're finishing off the first of the LA teams today....
(11) 1981 San Diego Clippers (36-46) vs. (32) 1973 Buffalo Braves (21-61)
OK team I guess…Freeman Williams led them with 19 points, and Phil Smith had 17-2-5. Swen Nater had 16-12, and Michael Brooks had 15-5-3. Bill Walton was out all year. Nothing special (but really, what Clippers team is…), but not TOO bad…
Well, it’s Clippers time. As we said before, a WHOLE lot of blown out knees…Not much positiveness…only Bob McAdoo…Remember they used to be in Buffalo, where we start.
(1) 1975 Buffalo Braves (49-33)
They didn’t have ONE 50 win team in 41 years….Every team formed before 1995 (before the Grizzlies/Raptors expansion, though Memphis has won 50 before...) have won 50 in a year…not LA. Bob McAdoo played in his best Buffalo year, averaging 35-14. Randy Smith had 18-4-7, Jim McMillian had 14-6, and Gar Heard had 11-10….pretty good team I guess.
The Pacers….nothing has really happened when they were in the NBA except Reggie Miller (of course, they were good while in the ABA, but that’s for later….). Let’s get rolling!
(1) 2004 Indiana Pacers (61-21)
That’s right, the Pacers were pretty good in the early 2000s (making the Finals one year…though this is not it). This team faced the Pistons in the East Finals (which led to a short lived rivalry, until the league shut it down because of a fight the next year. You may have heard of it. Ron Ron decided to try to attack a fan…Smart decision making there…I blame Artest for screwing the Pacers ((actually, it was Wallace’s fault…why would you push him like that…that was a little foul. Nothing big, you made it big…then it’s also Ron’s fault, because he probably knew something was going to happen, and finally, I blame Reggie Miller for not stopping him…))) but lost the champs. This team isn’t really Reggie’s anyway. It’s Jermaine O’Neal’s (20-10). Artest had 18-5-4, and Al Harrington had 13-6. Reggie only mustered up 10-2-3…hey, he IS 38….
A successful 70s year, which is an oddity. I think the arrival of Moses had something to do with it (he had 14-13). Rudy Tomjanovich was still very good, good enough for 22-8-2. Calvin Murphy had 18-2-5, and Mike Newlin had 13-3-4.
Well, now that we made it past the Warriors, we’re on to Houston (and a short stint in San Diego…). Hayes, Moses, Sampson, Hakeem, Yao…one memorable big to the next. This is going to be interesting (definitely more than Golden State….)
Here’s the first of the two-peat. Talent-wise, I’d say 1986 is the best vintage of Houston (and my pick to win Houston’s bracket). Hakeem was great in 1994 though, averaging 27-12-4, plus almost 2 steals, and 3.7 blocks. Otis Thorpe had 14-11, Vernon Maxwell had 14-3-5, and Kenny Smith had 12-2-4, plus they got 10 points from Robert Horry.
(11) 1961 Philadelphia Warriors (46-33) vs. (50) 1995 Golden State Warriors (26-56)
This team was led by Pickles Johnson (maybe he wasn’t the best ((and he was there for only 7 games)), but his name makes him the leader by default…Pickles Johnson….Why did he feel the urge to be called Pickles…), and Wilt Chamberlain (38-27). Paul Arizin thrived with 23-9, Tom Gola had 14-9-4, and Guy Rodgers had 13-7-9. Pretty good team…even though they got SWEPT by the Nationals…a sweeping sensation across the nation! (Sorry, that’s by Walt Frazier impersonation…The Warriors were stumbling and bumbling, while Syracuse swooped and hooped.).
Here we are, in Golden State. This team used to be very, very good. Look at some of the marquee players they had. Joe Fulks in the 40s (we don’t get to see him though, not at his best, but he was still pretty good when we pick up the Warriors), Paul Arizin and Neil Johnston in the 50s, Wilt, Thurmond, and Barry in the 60s, and Run TMC later. Great team. There were three champs, but we miss the 1947 one with Fulks. On to the matchups!
(21) 1996 Detroit Pistons (46-36) vs. (40) 1952 Fort Wayne Pistons (29-37)
Incredible year by Grant Hill, averaging 20-10-7 this season. Allan Houston added 20 points of his own to the mix, and Otis Thorpe had 14-8. Joe Dumars stumbled to only 12-2-4 in 1996…not very good considering he played 33 minutes a game….
(11) 1987 Detroit Pistons (52-30) vs. (50) 1967 Detroit Pistons (30-51)
This 1987 Detroit team was so close to the Finals…one Isiah Thomas brain fart, and 3 points in game 7 to the Celtics (remember Bird’s steal in this series). Adrian Dantley had 22 points a day, and he was followed by Thomas, who had a superb 21-4-10 season. Bill Laimbeer had 15-12 this year (and he got clocked by Robert Parish…one of my favorite moments of all time. Look it up when you get a chance…if you hate Bill Laimbeer….that video is for you…). 16 points came from Vinnie Johnson, and the Pistons got promising rookies in Joe Dumars (12-2-5) and 25 year old Dennis Rodman (7-4).
Not a bad team…Dave Bing had 20-5-4, and DeBusschere had 18-12. Eddie Miles contributed 18-4-2, while Joe Strawder had 10-10 this year.
So we are on to Detroit. This team did have some really great moments (mostly 1989), and it had a whole bunch of stars, from Larry Foust and George Yardley of the 50s, to Dave Bing, to Bob Lanier, to Isiah and friends, to Hill, finally to their 04 championship bunch. I’m excited to see this team play. Lots of great players, let’s see who the best of them is. (Note: This has 60 teams….30 matchups…..this may take a while…Note: Why haven't I been posting? I'm too lazy! That's why...and school started also...been writing, just not posting...)
(1) 2006 Detroit Pistons (64-18) vs. (60) 1980 Detroit Pistons (16-66)
And the Pistons begin with….2006. They made the East Finals before falling to Miami. This team still had its championship team mostly intact: Chauncey Billups (19-3-9), Rip Hamilton (20-3-3), Rasheed Wallace (15-7), Tayshaun Prince (14-4-2), and the master defender, Ben Wallace (7-11, almost 2 steals, and over 2 blocks), but this team also had the addition of Antonio McDyess (8-5…One Note on McDyess: I used to be scared of him as a kid….no idea why). This is a pretty good team, but they didn’t win it all….
Not really exciting…Bob Lanier (having 22-10-3 this season) was traded to Milwaukee, but Bob McAdoo was there (21-8-3). I don’t get why you don’t get rid of McAdoo, who was known as a head case kinda then…and you should respect Lanier! He stayed with you through the good and bad…he’s your best player of all time at this point! Treat him better than that…John Long had 19-5-3 this season.
(2) 1989 Detroit Pistons (63-19) vs. (59) 1994 Detroit Pistons (20-62)
This was the first of the Pistons champs. They had Isiah putting up 18-3-8, Dumars had 17-3-6, Laimbeer had 14-10, Vinnie Johnson scored 14 off the bench (instant offense), Aguirre came over for Dantley (Aguirre had 16 points here, and Dantley had 18, but Mark didn’t gripe over minutes…), and they had other tough, immovable big men, like Rick Mahorn (7-7), and James Edwards (7-3), and they of course had Rodman (9-9), and they also had John Salley (7-5). Why did I list all those people? Because each was key in their own way (don’t mistake me for a Pistons fan…I despise Laimbeer like almost no other…and I hate their fouling style….but you have to respect them..((which I do with Thomas, mostly because of his heart….Remember his sprained ankle in 1988…that, my friends, is one of the largest desires to win I have ever seen))). They had a really smart team….I give them that, and they looked for every advantage…but I still hate them…Great team….but they are mostly assholes in my book…
Hello, everyone (anyone?)...hope you've been enjoying this. I have another post all ready to go....but two (real) posts in one day in too much...
I've been enjoying this...hopefully there will be some readers soon. I think we're progressing well...
I'm sure you're wondering when the actual games start. I'm planning on opening the first round November 1st (when the season is supposed to start...or was...) or when I am done with the previews, whichever is first.... I will continue writing them after the tourney starts...but I bet I'll be a ways into by then.
Also: It's that time of year again....school starts up in like 4 days. Which means I get less time to write. Don't worry though, I write whenever I can.....Game results will be posted under the label (guess what it is..) game results....
Another high scoring Nuggets team, this one with Alex
English at the top of his powers, putting up 30-5-4 every night. Calvin Natt
had 18-6, and the do-everything point guard, Fat Lever, had 14-5-8-2 steals.
Wayne Cooper and Bill Hanzlik had double figures for Denver.
The Nuggets….a mix of David Thompson, Alex English, Dikembe Mutombo (and the 1994 team that knocked off the Sonics), and their offensive (and no defense) ways. This was never an elite team, but they did have their moments…
Note: Remember, this does not include ABA…so their two best teams are not in (but I will eventually do an ABA tourney…stay tuned…)
(1) 1988 Denver Nuggets (54-28)
This team gets a bye. It’s one of those incredible Nugget offensive team, led by English (25-5-5), and Fat Lever (19-8-8, and almost 3 steals). 15 points came from Jay Vincent, and they got double figures from Michael Adams, Danny Schayes (son of Dolph), and Blair Rasmussen.
After ditching AI for Billups (18-3-6), freeing up Melo for 23-7-3, he led them to the most successful season since 1988, which featured 15 points from JR Smith, and Nene (who doubled as their center, giving 8 boards a night). This may or may not be a successful team in the tourney…On one hand they have pretty good offense….not so much on the other end.
On the other hand…this is basically a nothing team…getting 15 points from Johnny Newman, and 14-7-3 from LaPhonso Ellis.
I know that I said I wouldn't include ABA...and it is for a pretty good reason....They're stats are skewed, there wasn't much defense.
But when I looked at the Nuggets....I saw so many teams that might be in contention...Like 1976. Is it fair to not include ABA teams? Should I add them in (I haven't really started with Denver yet). Anyone have an opinion?
I think what I will end up doing is just have an ABA tourney at some (later) point.
This is the other pre 2000s team in the top 13, this one again led by Aguirre (25-6-4). Ronaldo Blackman had a pretty good year, consisting of a daily 19-4-4 diet. Derek Harper manned the backcourt, serving up 17-3-7. Young center (off the bench) Roy Tarpley has 14-12 cooking every night. And who can forget the sweet smell of what Sam Perkins is cooking (14-8). Sorry…I am really hungry right now.
Roy Tarpley got kicked out of the league (to return in 1995, only to be re-kicked out) for drugs. After 20-11 (well, it WAS only 5 games…but still…)! Ronaldo Blackman was still good, averaging 20-3-4, while Derek Harper averaged 20-3-7. To fill the rebounding void 6, 8, 9 rebounds came from Herb Williams, Rodney McCray, and James Donaldson respectively. 10 points were contributed in from an aged Alex English.
This is where the Dirk era really takes off (after 40 wins last year). Dirk had 22-9, while he got a lot of help from Michael Finley (22-5-4). Steve Nash did a good job at point, having 16-3-7. A late season trade added Juwan Howard, good for 18-7-3 in 27 games.
Year two of the Mavericks was year one for some important Mavs. Debuting was Jay Vincent (21-7), Ronaldo Blackman (13-3) and, most importantly, Mark Aguirre (19-5-3). Brad Davis was a good guard for them, averaging 12-3-6.
The Mavs….the first thing I see is Dirk (a weird note on Dirk…I can’t seem to refer to him as “Nowitzki”…it just feels weird), but there was also Mark Aguirre, and J-Kidd…and one champ (take that Heat fans!). This should be interesting…..
(1) 2007 Dallas Mavericks (67-15)
This infamous Mavs team gets a bye (remember these guys after their meltdown in the first-round against Golden State). Led by MVP Dirk (25-9-3), plus instant offense from Jason Terry (17-3-5), and Josh Howard (19-7-2), these guys didn’t come out of the playoffs anywhere close to where they should have.
Just a note: Trying to minimize some of the random stats that aren’t very important…just to save time between posts (wow does this take a long time…)
These teams aren’t anything special….mostly just bland. The Cavs have had some really successful years…but after that it’s not so good. Tell that to the Reign Man Shawn Kemp, who had 18-9-3-1-1. Wesley Person gave in to 15-4 nightly, while they were manned by point guard Brevin Knight (9-3-8, and 2.5 steals). Rookie Zydrunas Ilgauskas (with hair!) had 14-9 in a great debut season. After him, came Cedric Henderson rounding out the starting 5 with 10-4-2, even with Derek Anderson preforming 12-3-3 off the bench. After that….not much else (Vitaly Potapenko for 7-4 anyone?).
World B Free was still going strong with 23-3-4 (though this is his last remotely successful year…he barely played at all next year in Philly…) and Roy Hinson packed the one-two scoring punch (20-8). Manning the point was John Bagley; going for 12-4-9 nightly. After him, Mel Turpin (14-7) was their only other threat….Don’t worry, next year will bring Daugherty, Price, Harper, and Hot Rod Williams….
Ahhh yes. The Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron, my most hated player. I will (maybe) keep my hate to a minimum. Is that all you see? What about Mark Price, and Brad Daugherty of the 90s? Delve into Cavs history!
(One note…I will not say anything to insult LeBron, I will just say his statline. I don’t feel like insulting him during the morning….)
(1) 2009 Cleveland Cavaliers (66-16)
The Cavs get a first round bye…James had 28-8-7-almost 2 steals-1 block. Mo Williams was the point, giving in 18-3-4, while the big center, Zydrunas Ilgauskas (I can spell that with no help….) had 13-8, plus some outside shooting that kills you if left open. Delonte West had 12-3-4. Splitting starting minutes, Anderson Varejao had 9-7, while the 14.5 Million Dollar Man (Ben Wallace) put up a whopping 3-7 (nice job trading your core players for an overpaid 34 year old, remember they traded Gooden and Hughes to get him). Made it to the East Finals before falling to Orlando.
The MVP James had 30-7-9. Mo Williams was still at point guard, this year, having 16-3-5, not bad. Zydrunas Ilgauskas (7-5) became expendable (as Shaq ((12-7)) was starting) in a deal that brought in Antawn Jamison for the end of the year, and he had 16-8 with Cleveland. Ilgauskas resigned with the Cavs after he refused to play for Washington. Varejao had a respectable 9-8.
Have you heard of Ted Stepien? Possibly the worst owner if pro basketball (never mind, is). He traded valuable 1st rounders, and nearly killed the Cavs…During this year Mike Mitchell (20-5) was traded (stats for Cavs only…), but they got back Ron Brewer (19-2-3, yes he is Ronnie Brewer’s dad). James Edwards stayed the whole way (17-8), and they acquired Cliff Robinson (16-10), but traded Bill Laimbeer (7-6, but to be important later), and Kenny Carr (15-9) for Paul Mokeski! Other contributors: Geoff Huston (10-8), and Scott Wedman (11-6-3). Just a lot of individuals floating around…The trades become a recurring theme, by the way.
We will be finishing up Chicago today, and we begin with the 11-36 matchup.
(11) 1974 Chicago Bulls (54-28) vs. (36) 2003 Chicago Bulls (30-52)
I really like these early 70s Bulls teams (no I am not a Bulls fan…). Probably because I like defense…and this team was a great one (though second in opponent points). Bob Love was the leader (22-6-2, and second All-D team), helped by the old, but still great, Chet Walker, having 19-5-2, and an all-star. Norm Van Lier was first All-D team, and he also had 14-5-7 and 2 steals. Sloan was an aged 31, but he was first All-D, and 13-5-7, about 2 steals, and 2.5 blocks (you realize he is only 6-5 right?)! I love this team, so stacked defensively, though they only got to the West Finals. Look for some damage to be done…
I don’t like what I see in 2003. Jalen Rose led the 03 Bulls (a warning sign in itself) with 22-4-5…in 41 minutes. Donyell Marshall had his 13-9 season, and Jamal Crawford had 11-2-4 daily. Enter Year 2 was Tyson Chandler (9-7) and (wait for it…wait for it…) Eddy Curry and his almost 300 pounds lumbering for 11 points, and the life altering 4 boards a game he brought…Ugly team in my opinion, I like no one (except Roger Mason, at the bottom, and maybe Chandler…). Of course, who cares who I like….Just remember these guys were mostly ballhogs and egotrains….
Fear not...I haven't forgotten this blog. On to the Bulls!
The Chicago Bulls. The team of the 90s. When you hear the name, you see Jordan preforming his spectacular moves, Pippen coming along with him. You see Jerry Sloan, Bob Love, and, more recently, Derrick Rose. To review one of the best NBA teams, we invite you to read on.
Welcome to the brief history of the Charlotte Bobcats. Charlotte had players like Raymond Felton, Emeka Okafor, and Gerald Wallace in their short time. Though not very good, they have improved to making the playoffs one year.
(1) 2010 Charlotte Bobcats (44-38)
Since there is an odd number of teams, this ’10 Bobcats team gets a first round bye. It is the only team above .500, and the only playoff team. There is a mumble of trades, and subpar players littering this team, which was led by Gerald Wallace, who managed 18-10-2, plus nearly 2 steal. Stephen Jackson was another key part of their success; he had 21-5-4 in his great season that had nearly 2 steals. Raymond Felton was their point guard; he had 12-4-6 in this season.
Here's the final part of the Boston Celtics franchise...
(21) 1972 Boston Celtics (56-26) vs. (40) 2005 Boston Celtics (45-37)
Another spectacular season of the 70s Big 3. This is the second viewing of them, and it is remarkable. Havlicek is amazing with his 28-8-8 averages, while Jo Jo White shows shades of Cousy with his cool 23-6-5 season. Cowens shows obvious shades of Russell with his 19-15-3 season (great passer….like Russell). Don Nelson is still hanging on for his large (heh…) 14-6 season. Don Chaney gave a needed 12-5 year, but they only got to the ECF…
Paul Pierce is showing his greatness, leading some decent parts to 45 wins with his 22-7-4 season. Antoine Walker came back home to Boston, where he got in 24 games to close the season, all while giving Boston 16-8-3. Ricky Davis played 82 games, with a good 16-3-3 average. Gary Payton showed his age at a small 11-3-6 season. Raef LaFrentz and Mark Blount gave double figures, or close to double figures.
(11) 1962 Boston Celtics (60-20) vs. (50) 1995 Boston Celtics (35-47)
Here is a wonderful Russell era team. It has Russell going full steam ahead with jaw dropping averages of 19-24-5, and has Tommy Heinsohn putting up 22-10-2. Cousy is one of the top points in the league, even at 33, and he shows it with 16-4-8 numbers. Sam Jones is showing his true skills, as he adds the pivotal 18-6-3 to Boston, helped out by a 15 point bench explosion by Frank Ramsey. Loaded, loaded team.
Hey! This is a playoff team!!! You know your franchise is good when your 50th team can make the postseason…though the league wasn’t great without Jordan, and a team led by a 35 year old Dominique Wilkins could thrive (that’s right, 35, and he’s putting up 18-5 a night), though not much, as he’s matched by Dino Radja (17-9). Dee Brown was a helper, he added 16-3-4 to the mix, along with 15 from Sherman Douglas.
(12) 1980 Boston Celtics (61-21) vs. (49) 2004 Boston Celtics (36-46)
How can all these non-champs be so high!?! The ’80 Celtics lost to Philadelphia in the ECF. This is a loaded (maybe too much so) team. Just look at this! 21-10-5 from (ROOKIE) Larry Bird, Cedric Maxwell had 17-9, 14-8 from Dave Cowens (in his last Celtic year), 14-3-8 from Tiny Archibald, Rick Robey, ML Carr, and Chris Ford all had 11 points. Like I said, loaded.
Ahh….the Celtics. Considered by many to be the best franchise of all time. They had Cousy, Russell, Havlicek, Bird, McHale, Parish, Pierce and more great names. When you see the Celtics, you see a winning tradition (well, unless you missed Bird, then you see a crappy team). There are also 60 series here (aughh!). So keep reading to see them, along with (an attempt at minimal) Celtics bias. (Trying something new here...splitting up the teams into parts...here is part 1).
(1) 1973 Boston Celtics (68-14) vs. (60) 1997 Boston Celtics (15-67)
What?!? I thought maybe a Russell or Bird team would be the best of all-time for Boston?? Who are they?!?!?!? Yes. The ’73 Celtics. And no, they did not win a title. Havlicek got injured. There are many people that could be considered “the leader”, but we’ll say it’s the ’73 MVP, Dave Cowens, who had a 21-16-4 year. John Havlicek was also dominant; he put up 24-7-7 in a promising year. Jo Jo White had a 20-5-6, along with a great 13-13 year from defender Paul Silas. Don Nelson and Don Chaney also helped, adding double digit scoring to the mix.
And with every best team, there is a worst. The Celtics were led by Rick Pitino as coach, as they gunned for the hyped Tim Duncan. A 20-year old Antoine Walker led them with 18-9, with David Wesley having 17-4-7 year. Rick Fox, Todd Day, and Eric Williams all added 15 points.
(2) 1986 Boston Celtics (67-15) vs. (59) 2007 Boston Celtics (24-58)
Here is the famous ’86 title team, featuring many players close to or at their peak. You must love the camaraderie of the best of the best, with Larry Bird (26-10-7) leading the way. World class “these-guys-are-supporters?” feature Kevin McHale (21-8-3) and the Panda Express, and the boring-yet-key Robert Parish (16-10-2). This is one of the greatest passing teams of all-time, with bigman Bill Walton leading the bench, at an underrated 8-7-2. Who can forget DJ (16-3-6) and Danny Ainge (11-3-5)? My bet for best C’s team…
Our first team to cover. I will give you the matchups and then a quick overview of the team…
There are 60 Milwaukee/St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks teams (yay, an even number), so every team will be playing in this one. The Hawks are a great franchise, featuring Bob Pettit and the 1958 championship team, Pete Maravich in Atlanta, and the Human Highlight Film, Dominique Wilkins headlining the Hawks franchise. Click to see the first matchup…
Have you ever wondered if this NBA team you’re watching is the best of its franchise? How would it fare against the previous year’s team? Or even if it is the best team of all time in the NBA? Welcome to the best NBA team of all time project. (There goes my free time…)
What is it? It is basically a playoff to find the best team of all time.