Saturday, October 22, 2005

Midwest Division Preview

By SonDog

Denver Nuggets -- Is it politically incorrect to call this team the GHE-tow Nuggets? Don't get me wrong, I love their style of play. However, I don't think they will ever be mistaken with a team from Princeton. That is to say, they won't be winning any spelling bees anytime soon.

Despite being called a "Fugazi" by Tim Thomas two years ago (and despite the fact that I have NO idea what the hell "Fugazi" is supposed to mean), PF Kenyon Martin is simply one of the toughest inside players in the league. He may never be the 20-10 man that his contract warrants, but the man does so many other little things to help his team win. Like wear more bling than anybody in recent memory. Truly, he's one of the 5 best power forwards in the west.

Carmelo Anthony, you are now on the clock. If Anthony (who slipped below D-Wade last year as the second-best player in the 2004 draft class) ever wants to regain the prestige and reputation that he earned after helping Syracuse win the NCAA National Championship during his freshman campaign, he's going to have to put down the candy bars and push aside the junk food. Really, to say he's "ballooned" since college would be a ridiculous understatement. Nevertheless, it's all about shot selection with this guy. With his smooth jumper and powerful inside game, he should easily score 25 a night. Problem is, he's never seen a shot he didn't like. Thus, his 35-40% shooting percentage will remain the same until he wises up.

All that said, I don't think there is a team in the West that will want to play them in a seven-game series next spring (let alone meet up with them in a dark alley -- or a light alley, for that matter). They've had the greater part of two years to learn from one another and they have one of the deepest teams in the conference (Martin, Anthony, Marcus Camby, Nene, Andre Miller, Earl Boykins, Demaar Johnson, new guard Earl Watkins) This team is young. They are hungry. They are GHE-tow (which is to say, they're tough and they don't give a rip about what you or I say). And they have something to prove. I see them running away with the Midwest and gaining a top-4 seed in the West.

Denver's team shuttle...

Minnesota Timberwolves -- This is the year that we see the absolute monster in Kevin Garnett come out of hiding. LeseDog has always called him "Satan," simply because there is something behind his eyes that she doesn't like. Seriously, she gets frightened just watching him play. Well, this year, I think the internal demon will come out. Like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, we will see The Exorcism of The Big Ticket in theaters next spring.

The 2004/2005 season was an absolute anomaly for Garnett. He was surrounded by Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell, two of the league's biggest tumors. (By the way, I looked up the phrase "Poetic Justice" this afternoon, and next to it was a picture of Latrell Spreewell still out of work. I mean, the man turned down a 3 year, $21 million contract from Minnesota last year. He said it was insulting, and used the excuse, "I've got a family to feed." Now, as a free-agent, he can't even get the league minimum. Every fan in Minneapolis is still exhaling from the collective sigh of relief that Spree didn't accept that contract. Every fan throughout the rest of the country is still laughing.) At any rate, it was just so unimaginable that Garnett could miss the playoffs. Really, I don't think it will happen again in his career. When he's on, Garnett is the most dominating player in the game. The T-wolves will be back in the playoffs. They don't have much surrounding Garnett in terms of talent, so they won't necessarily make much noise, but they'll be back at the dance.

The demon inside KG...

Seattle Supersonics -- What do you do after posting your first winning campaign in years? You blow the whole damn thing up. You replace the young, upstart coach with the old-fart coach who most recently coached the Atlanta Hawks. Didn't go too well in Atlanta, did it? Then you let half of the team walk as free-agents. Good Call!!! Seattle's marketing slogan for the 2005/2006 season reads, "WHA??"

That's all I really have to say about Seattle, so let me ramble for a moment: Fantasy football is all the rage right now. Like kids with video games, everybody has a fantasy team. The popularity is such that often stories on fantasy scoring dominate the page 2 section of newspapers. It truly is the Playstation or XBox for the professional businessman.

While fantasy basketball isn't quite to that stage, I gotta tell you that it is as addictive as crack (not that I've tried crack, but everybody makes jokes about its addictive properties, so I think I'm safe drawing this analogy). I've been in a fantasy basketball league for two years with the same group of guys who all can be considered true NBA fans (and there aren't many of those out there, let me tell you). And while I'm proud to say that I finished second two years ago, and dominated the league last year, it's not the success that causes my enjoyment.

You see, I love the NBA. Absolutely love it. Really, I would like to have sex with it, if at all possible. Fantasy basketball, much like fantasy football, truly gives you a better understanding of the game. By watching games that seemingly don't matter in reality (like, say, Portland against Utah), you can really see why some teams simply suck. Rebounding, steals, assists, free-throw percentage, turnovers, blocked shots... these things all matter in fantasy basketball. Really, these things are even more important in reality basketball. With that in mind, let's look at the aforementioned teams that suck.

Portland Trailblazers-- "Anytime I wake up in the morning and Zach isn't in jail or dead, it's a really good day for me." That was an actual quote from Zach Randolph's high school coach. No, really, it was. Honest. Look it up, that was a serious quote.

This guy is the franchise player for the TrailBlazers.

(wait for it)

(think about it)


Other than that, everything is just peachy.

Portland hired Seattle's aforementioned young, upstart coach. They took him from Seattle by making him the third highest-paid coach in the league behind Phil Jackson and Larry Brown. Coach Nate McMillan hasn't really proven anything in his career outside of guiding Seattle into the playoffs last year. Yet, I repeat, he's now the third highest paid coach in the league. Do you really need any other information to discern why this is one of the worst teams in the NBA right now?

Well, here is some more: Their second best player is Darius Miles, who was recently voted a starter on the SportingNews' All-Poison First Team.

No truth to the rumors that they are going to retire the team bong this fall.

In all, the words "solid citizens" and "Portland Jailblazers" simply will not be found in the same sentence, ever again.

One notable incident not listed is the Qyntel Woods Dog-Fighting Ring. I can't make this stuff up.

Utah Jazz -- First of all, Carlos Boozer bamboozled a blind guy last year. Walking out on Gordon Gund's handshake agreement was just a despicable act. Maybe Boozer didn't offer his own hand, rather, it was a fake hand, and that's how he justified leaving Cleveland for Utah. But, this begs the question: Is it possible... Rather, is it necessary to stab a blind guy in the back? Do you really need to sneak up from behind? I'm just asking.

Andrei Kirilenko is back. Fantasy owners everywhere rejoice. AK-47 is the best moniker in basketball. The Russian Rifle is a joy to watch, and a joy to have on your fantasy team.

Coming Soon: The ridiculous Southwest Division. Home to San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Memphis, and New Orleans/Oklahoma City.

1 comment:

OZ said...

It will be interesting to see how the Nuggs deal with the new dress code. I foresee a rampant abuse policy going into effect just for them, particularly the bling wearing, iPod toting K-Mart.

How were people not as baffled as I was when KG missed the playoffs last year? This guy will NEVER be overlooked come MVP time and his motivation and determination are rivaled only by old clips of Jordan ripping up Utah. He is frightening though.