[Enter the Dragan] [6-2] - Winning streak continues in Brooklyn

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Re: Enter the Dragan [20-14] - Suns' twin towers star against Raptors

Postby Phil89 on Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:59 pm

Lamrock wrote:Who is your leading scorer on the year right now?

Injuries have kinda prevented me from having a consistent dominant scorer. Booker, Bledsoe, Bender, Len and Knight are all averaging between 11-16 points per game.

If I only count the games which I have played:

Len (19.8ppg in 15 games)
Bender (15.3 ppg in 10 games)
Booker (12.5 ppg in 14 games)
Bledsoe (11.1 ppg in 17 games)

Bender has been averaging 21 ppg since he returned from his injury. Maybe I'll try and win him the rookie of the year trophy (Y)
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Re: Enter the Dragan [20-14] - Suns' twin towers star against Raptors

Postby Phil89 on Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:05 pm

1/1/17

December 2016 Summary

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Division Standings

Eastern Conference


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Western Conference


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Playoff Seeds & Power Rankings

Eastern Conference

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Western Conference

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Power Rankings

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League Leaders

Points
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Rebounds
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Assists
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Steals
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Blocks
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Monthly and Weekly Awards

Players of the Week
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Players of the Month
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Rookies of the Month
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Rookies Ranking

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Key Injuries

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Contract Extensions


02/12/16 - Oklahoma City Thunder re-signed Andre Roberson (3 years / $33 million)
10/12/16 - Sacramento Kings re-signed Darren Collison (3 years / $30 million)
22/11/16 - Chicago Bulls re-signed Nikola Mirotic (4 years / $51 million)
23/11/16 - New Orleans Pelicans re-signed Jrue Holiday (4 years / $72 million)



Staff Changes

10/12/16 - Indiana Pacers fired head coach Nate McMillan. They hired Kevin McHale as his replacement for the rest of the season.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [20-14] - December summary

Postby Lamrock on Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:48 am

Blazers are killing it. (Y) Too bad they're trash in real life.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [18-12] - Getting healthy, gaining momentum

Postby Valor on Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:29 am

Phil89 wrote:
Valor wrote:Dragan Bender!! :headbang:

Imagine a seven-footer being the best three point shooter on your team :cool: I love his outside shooting.

I'm hoping Bender and Booker can eventually become my versions of Porzingis and Klay Thompson.

Well that's pretty easy to imagine, actually. Dirk :cool:

Rookie of the month!!
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Re: Enter the Dragan [20-14] - December summary

Postby Phil89 on Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:42 pm

2/1/17

Los Angeles Clippers [20-16] vs Phoenix Suns [20-14]

Suns produce big second half to win in Los Angeles

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LAC - 21 33 22 28 104
PHX - 26 21 31 39 117

Player of the Game: Dragan Bender
(24pts, 11reb, 5ast, 3blk)
(9-17 FG, 3-9 3PT, 3-4 FT)


Top Scorers
Blake Griffin - 28
Dragan Bender - 24
Devin Booker - 16
TJ Warren - 15
Alex Len - 15
JJ Redick - 15
Chris Paul - 14
Paul Pierce - 11
Eric Bledsoe - 10
Tyson Chandler - 10
Jared Dudley - 10
Jamal Crawford - 9
DeAndre Jordan - 9
Raymond Felton - 8
Marquese Chriss - 8

Rebounds
DeAndre Jordan - 13
Alex Len - 13
Dragan Bender - 11
Blake Griffin - 6
Marreese Speights - 5
TJ Warren - 5

Assists
Chris Paul - 11
Brandon Knight - 11
Eric Bledsoe - 10
Austin Rivers - 6
Alex Len - 5
Dragan Bender - 5

Steals
Blake Griffin - 3
Alex Len - 3
Chris Paul - 2
DeAndre Jordan - 2
JJ Redick - 2

Blocks
Alex Len - 3
Dragan Bender - 3
Marquese Chriss - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 24 18 12 26 80
MIA - 23 26 15 26 90

POTG: Chris Bosh (16pts, 18reb, 5ast, 1stl, 2blk)

Record: 21-15
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Re: Enter the Dragan [20-14] - December summary

Postby Phil89 on Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:49 pm

Lamrock wrote:Blazers are killing it. (Y) Too bad they're trash in real life.

Lillard and MCCollum are both top 10 scorers on this game. I think Portland will struggle against teams with good big men in the playoffs though.

Valor wrote:
Phil89 wrote:
Valor wrote:Dragan Bender!! :headbang:

Imagine a seven-footer being the best three point shooter on your team :cool: I love his outside shooting.

I'm hoping Bender and Booker can eventually become my versions of Porzingis and Klay Thompson.

Well that's pretty easy to imagine, actually. Dirk :cool:

Rookie of the month!!

Oh yeah. I forgot about Dirk.

Hopefully Bender can be half the player that Dirk has been (Y)
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Re: Enter the Dragan [20-14] - December summary

Postby Valor on Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:14 am

Phil89 wrote:Hopefully Bender can be half the player that Dirk has been (Y)

Well, he's looking very good so far! Big win against LAC (Y)
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Re: Enter the Dragan [21-15] - Trip to Los Angeles

Postby Phil89 on Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:14 pm

3/1/17

Injury-riddled Suns are defying the odds this season

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The Phoenix Suns were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season due to their youthful roster, but they are proving their doubters wrong and currently have the seventh best record in the league with 21 wins from their first 36 games. That puts them in the top six teams in the ultra-competitive western conference, well above what anyone could have predicted.

They find themselves with just two less wins than the star-studded Golden State Warriors in the race for the Pacific division title, despite having been blown-out by them in their two meetings thus far by a combined 88 points. In fact, Phoenix have only three less wins than the eastern-conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers right now.

All of this has been achieved despite them losing key players to injuries at different points throughout the first two months of the season. Young gun Devin Booker missed two weeks because of a sprained right knee that he suffered in one of those big blowout losses to the Warriors. Exciting Croatian rookie Dragan Bender was also forced out of that same game through injury after Shaun Livingston "accidentally" elbowed him in the face. The resulting broken nose sidelined him for nearly six weeks.

Fellow rookie Marquese Chriss was the next victim of the injury curse as he twisted his right ankle in Washington a couple of weeks later. Eric Bledsoe lightly sprained his right ankle in that game as well, but fortunately he was able to play through the pain. The most recent injury occurred in another loss to the Warriors, when big man Alex Len pulled up sore with shin splints in his right leg and was forced to miss two weeks.

--


The one positive from their injury crisis has been the ability of veterans Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley to seamlessly fill in for the missing starters and keep the Suns' momentum going. Both guys really stepped up and led by example when their young teammates needed them to. Now that everyone is mostly healthy again the duo will return to the second unit. It's a great luxury for Phoenix to have.

Being without several players also brought the whole group closer together on a personal level, as coach Earl Watson explained.

"In those games we became closer as a group, as a unit, and that will obviously help us moving forward", he said. "When you've got guys missing everyone else has to play at a higher level to compensate. I'm proud that my guys were able to overcome that adversity and still win games of basketball. There is a real sense of solidarity amongst our guys now, we're all striving hard for the same thing."

That shared work ethic has led to a team-first philosophy in Phoenix. There is no room for big egos on this team. Any player demanding the ball or expecting special treatment will quickly be put in his place by his teammates. Coach Watson has got his group playing an unselfish brand of basketball, in much the same way as San Antonio have done so well over the years, and it is paying dividends right now for them.

The Suns have already almost matched their win tally from last season and we haven't even reached the halfway mark of this season yet. If they keep playing at the same level and avoid anymore injuries, then they will most likely feature in the playoffs for the first time in seven years. It would be a great achievement for a rookie coach and a solid foundation for an ambitious young group to build upon.

--


Phoenix may be playing team-first basketball, but they have had one stand-out performer so far. His season averages may not show it, but Ukrainian seven-footer Alex Len has been playing at an all-star level at times during the past couple of months. He is averaging career highs in points, rebounds and blocks and is also leading the league in field goal percentage at 65%.

Len has scored twenty points or more on nine occasions, and has also managed to grab nine double-doubles. Easily his most impressive outing was against the Pacers in Indiana back in November. That night he scored 21 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, dished out 5 assists and threw in 2 blocks for good measure as his team won 108-100. Another dominant performance came against the Rockets only two weeks ago. In that game Len managed 18 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 blocks in a 104-83 blowout win.

What has been the catalyst for this improved output from the 23 year old? Some in the media simply put it down to the fact that Len is in the final year of his rookie contract and is playing better in order to get himself a big payday. Others suggest that maybe he is just maturing and that big men always take longer to settle into the NBA and find their level. The man himself says that he is just feeling more comfortable playing in the NBA now he has adjusted to the pace of it.

"I'm just feeling good whenever I step onto the court right now", Len told reporters recently. "I've got a great group of guys around me who support me and trust me. That makes a huge difference. I think the work I've done with Tyson [Chandler] over the past two years is finally paying off. He has been a great mentor for me."

--


Phoenix really do look like a playoff-calibre team now that they have all of their players back healthy. The backcourt threesome of Bledsoe, Booker and Knight are finally looking more settled and are finding a nice rhythm. Knight has accepted his backup role without any fuss and provides great leadership when the starters are resting. He has a handy knack of piling up between five and ten assists every game, which keeps the offense rolling along nicely.

Rookie Marquese Chriss took full advantage of his increased playing time when Bender and Len were out injured. He impressed everyone with his energy and work at both ends of the floor. It seems that he showed enough to coach Watson to cement himself in the rotation. He is a key component off the bench and looks to have a really bright future ahead of him.

Fellow rookie Dragan Bender seems determined to make up for lost time since returning from his broken nose. In the nine games that he has played post-injury he is averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds. Particularly impressive is the range that he is showing in his shooting. His perimeter shooting ability is extremely good for a player of his size. It seems that the comparisons to Kristaps Porzingis were very accurate. The month out probably ruined his chances of being named rookie of the year, but Bender should still place well if he keeps playing like this.

One player who needs to improve his output is forward TJ Warren. He is only averaging 10 points per game this season, despite showing glimpses in the past of potentially being a solid scorer in the NBA. If he could find a way to be more effective at the offensive end, it may be the difference between a first round exit and a unlikely playoff adventure for Phoenix.


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Re: Enter the Dragan [21-15] - The season so far

Postby Phil89 on Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:47 pm

5/1/17

Dallas Mavericks [12-23] vs Phoenix Suns [21-15]

Team effort leads Suns to easy win in Dallas

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DAL - 21 24 25 27 197
PHX - 33 33 35 24 125

Player of the Game: Alex Len
(14pts, 8reb, 4ast, 2stl, 1blk)
(6-6 FG, 0-0 3PT, 2-2 FT)


Top Scorers
Dragan Bender - 17
Alex Len - 14
Tyson Chandler - 13
Dirk Nowitzki - 13
Wesley Matthews - 13
JJ Barea - 12
Archie Goodwin - 11
Devin Booker - 11
Eric Bledsoe - 11
TJ Warren - 10
Brandon Knight - 10
Andrew Bogut - 10
Harrison Barnes - 8
Marquese Chris - 8

Rebounds
Alex Len - 8
Andrew Bogut - 6
Dirk Nowitzki - 5
Salah Mejri - 5
PJ Tucker - 5

Assists
Eric Bledsoe - 10
Brandon Knight - 6
JJ Barea - 6
Archie Goodwin - 5

Steals
Eric Bledsoe - 3
Brandon Knight - 2
Alex Len - 2

Blocks
Alan Williams - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 24 29 21 27 101
CLE - 22 30 32 33 117

POTG: Kyrie Irving (36pts, 5reb, 9ast, 2stl)

Record: 22-16
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Re: Enter the Dragan [22-16] - Team effort against Mavericks

Postby Phil89 on Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:36 pm

9/1/17

Suns acquire former slam dunk champion in surprise trade

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The Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors today completed a trade which will see the Suns acquire explosive wingman Terrence Ross in exchange for veteran PJ Tucker and two future second round draft picks, due in 2017 and 2019.

Being traded in what is basically a salary dumping move is a rather large fall from grace for the number 8 pick from the 2012 draft. The sky seemed the limit for Ross on the back of some early-career milestones, such as winning the slam dunk contest in his rookie season and scoring 51 points against the Clippers in his sophomore campaign, which included a franchise-record-equaling 10 three-pointers.

Fast-forward two more years and his career has almost completely stagnated. He has been stuck playing back-up to DeMarre Carroll in Toronto and at different times over the past couple of seasons he has looked completely disinterested during games. The media have begun questioning whether or not he has reached his ceiling or if he is just in a career slump.

Hopefully for him this move to Phoenix will rejuvenate his enthusiasm for the game and help him recapture some of his past form. So far this season he has only managed to score in double-figures in 12 of the 37 games he played for the Raptors. It's that inconsistency that stopped him from taking the next step in his development. The same inconsistency that led to Raptors coach Dwane Casey only starting him in 7 games this season and giving him the lowest amount of minutes per game that he has had since his rookie season.

Despite playing fewer minutes, Ross is actually playing very efficiently this season. He is shooting at 48 percent from both inside and outside the three-point arc. It's that quality shooting that likely attracted the Suns to him. Phoenix are currently ranked 20th in the league for three-point shooting and desperately needed more firepower to compete with the likes of division rivals Golden State.

Ross also arrives in Phoenix with a reputation as a guy who stays healthy. He has only missed 19 games since he came into the league in 2012, which is probably another thing that Phoenix liked about him. They have had a terrible run with injuries this season, losing key players Alex Len, Dragan Bender, Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe and Marquese Chriss for extended spells.

It is unclear at this point whether TJ Warren will keep his starting role or not after the arrival of Ross. He probably will in the short-term at least, which should provide him with some incentive to improve his own lacklustre output. Ross will likely join the Suns' surprisingly effective second unit alongside Brandon Knight, Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley and fellow former Washington Huskies player Marquese Chriss. These bench players will be key for Phoenix if they hope to make the playoffs for the first time in six years.

Phoenix currently hold the 6th seed in the western conference with a 22-16 record, which has surprised a lot of people so far this year.



Toronto had reported been shopping Ross around the league for the past few weeks, looking for a team with cap space and some spare picks to take him.They finally found a suitor in Phoenix and were happy to take an expiring contract and a couple of likely mid-second round picks in exchange.

This trade helps the Raptors continue to compete in the playoffs this season, whilst also giving them the cap flexibility they need to re-sign star guard Kyle Lowry next season if he opts out of the player option in his contract. Key big man Jared Sullinger will also be a free agent at the end of the season.

It may seem like PJ Tucker is just an expiring contract in this deal, but he is a very useful role player to have. He is a good lockdown defender and has developed a serviceable outside shot. He will also have a point to prove in Toronto after he was originally drafted by the Raptors in 2006 with the 35th pick, but then waived after playing only 17 games for the franchise, He returns after having played all around the world and he will be keen to show the fans in Canada how much he has improved since they last saw him.

Before the season started Toronto were predicted by many to be Cleveland's main challenger in the eastern conference this season after pushing the Cavs to game six of the conference finals last season, but they are barely clinging on the the 7th seed right now thanks to a disappointing 18-19 record. Their fans will be hoping that this minor shake-up will kick-start their team's season.





Phoenix receive
Terrence Ross - 25 - SF - $31m - 3 years (75)

Projected line-up:
Alex Len - Dragan Bender - TJ Warren - Devin Booker - Eric Bledsoe
Reserves:
Brandon Knight, Jared Dudley, Terrence Ross, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Martin, Leandro Barbosa, Archie Goodwin, Marquese Chriss, Tyler Ulis, Alan Williams




Toronto receive
PJ Tucker - 31 - SF - $5m - 1 year (75)
Suns' 2017 second round pick
Suns' 2019 second round pick

Projected line-up:
Jonas Valanciunas - Jared Sullinger - DeMarre Carroll - DeMar DeRozan - Kyle Lowry
Reserves:
Patrick Patterson, Cory Joseph, PJ Tucker, Norman Powell, Jakob Poetl, Delon Wright, Lucas Nogueira, Pascal Siakam, Bruno Caboclo

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Re: Enter the Dragan [22-16] - Suns acquire former slam dunk champion

Postby Wyze on Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:00 am

Man, as a Raptor fan, I don't know how to feel about you fleecing them for T Ross like that haha. Good pickup for you though. Ross is tons of fun to have on the wing in 2K with his athleticism and three point shooting ability.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [22-16] - Suns acquire former slam dunk champion

Postby Phil89 on Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:44 pm

Wyze wrote:Man, as a Raptor fan, I don't know how to feel about you fleecing them for T Ross like that haha. Good pickup for you though. Ross is tons of fun to have on the wing in 2K with his athleticism and three point shooting ability.

Blame 2k trade logic, not me :P

I think Toronto were happy to do this deal without the draft picks. I only added them because I felt kinda guilty.

I hope Ross can become a solid sixth man for my team.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [22-16] - Suns acquire former slam dunk champion

Postby Phil89 on Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:22 pm

12/1/17

Phoenix Suns [22-16] vs Dallas Mavericks [13-25]

Bender and Booker guide Suns past Mavericks once again

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PHX - 26 29 25 34 114
DAL - 23 29 22 29 103

Player of the Game: Dragan Bender
(24pts, 2reb, 1ast, 3blk)
(8-16 FG, 5-10 3PT, 3-3 FT)


Top Scorers
Devin Booker - 25
Dragan Bender - 24
Harrison Barnes - 19
Wesley Matthews - 17
Dirk Nowitzki - 16
Terrence Ross - 14
Eric Bledsoe - 13
Salah Mejri - 12
Andrew Bogut - 11
Marquese Chriss - 10
TJ Warren - 10
Dwight Powell - 8
JJ Barea - 8

Rebounds
Andrew Bogut - 14
Alex Len - 11
Tyson Chandler - 7
Marquese Chriss - 7
Salah Mejri - 5

Assists
Eric Bledsoe - 10
JJ Barea - 7
Harrison Barnes - 6
Deron Williams - 5
Brandon Knight - 5
Alex Len - 5

Steals
Wesley Matthews - 3
Dwight Powell - 3
Terrence Ross - 2

Blocks
Tyson Chandler - 3
Dragan Bender - 3
TJ Warren - 2
Marquese Chriss - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 18 16 20 21 175
SAS - 27 35 34 16 102

POTG: Kawhi Leonard (29pts, 8reb, 1ast, 3stl, 1blk)

Record: 23-17
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Re: Enter the Dragan [22-16] - Suns acquire former slam dunk champion

Postby Valor on Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:26 pm

Loved the article and what a steal! The loss of the picks might hurt a bit but your roster looks pretty good for now, just gotta wait for the young guns to develop (Y)
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Re: Enter the Dragan [23-17] - Bender & Booker get it done againt Mavs

Postby Phil89 on Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:34 pm

16/1/17

Phoenix Suns [23-17] vs Utah Jazz [20-22]

Joe Johnson scores 28 first-half points as Jazz win in Phoenix

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PHX - 16 28 27 23 194
UTA - 26 27 23 25 101

Player of the Game: Joe Johnson
(30pts, 3reb, 3ast, 1stl)
(9-14 FG, 2-3 3PT, 10-10 FT)


Top Scorers
Joe Johnson - 30
Dragan Bender - 25
Gordon Hayward - 15
Derrick Favors - 14
Eric Bledsoe - 13
Tyson Chandler - 12
Marquese Chriss - 12
TJ Warren - 11
Dante Exum - 11
Alec Burks - 10
Terrence Ross - 8

Rebounds
Alex Len - 9
Rudy Gobert - 9
Derrick Favors - 6
Dragan Bender - 6
TJ Warren - 5

Assists
Brandon Knight - 9
Dante Exum - 5
Eric Bledsoe - 5

Steals
Derrick Favors - 5
Rudy Gobert - 2
Alec Burks - 2
Gordon Hayward - 2

Blocks
Dragan Bender - 3




Simmed Game

CLE - 30 27 25 29 111
PHX - 26 31 23 16 196

POTG: LeBron James (36pts, 7re,b 7ast, 1stl, 2blk)

Record: 23-19



Johnson scored 28 points in the first half and then basically did nothing in the second half. He couldn't miss in the first half. 2k really trolled me with that.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [22-16] - Suns acquire former slam dunk champion

Postby Phil89 on Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:42 pm

Valor wrote:Loved the article and what a steal! The loss of the picks might hurt a bit but your roster looks pretty good for now, just gotta wait for the young guns to develop (Y)

Thanks. I felt like I should write something other than game summaries.

For some reason I'm a real snob when it comes to second round picks. I don't really value them at all. Maybe it's just because I'm too lazy to scout properly :P

Like you said, I already have a lot of young talent already, so I have less need to invest in the next few drafts.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [22-16] - Suns acquire former slam dunk champion

Postby Valor on Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:45 pm

Phil89 wrote:
Valor wrote:Loved the article and what a steal! The loss of the picks might hurt a bit but your roster looks pretty good for now, just gotta wait for the young guns to develop (Y)

Thanks. I felt like I should write something other than game summaries.

For some reason I'm a real snob when it comes to second round picks. I don't really value them at all. Maybe it's just because I'm too lazy to scout properly :P

Like you said, I already have a lot of young talent already, so I have less need to invest in the next few drafts.

I reckon for playoff contending teams, second round picks are worth a lot more than their first round picks due to less guaranteed dollars being involved (salary cap ramifications), you can pretty much take a punt on prospects and either hit a home run or just let them go after two years instead of being stuck with a late first bust for 4 years (and for a lot of money). Reckon you would've been better off surrendering just one future lottery protected first or something but that's just me :)
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Re: Enter the Dragan [22-16] - Suns acquire former slam dunk champion

Postby Phil89 on Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:14 pm

Valor wrote:
Phil89 wrote:
Valor wrote:Loved the article and what a steal! The loss of the picks might hurt a bit but your roster looks pretty good for now, just gotta wait for the young guns to develop (Y)

Thanks. I felt like I should write something other than game summaries.

For some reason I'm a real snob when it comes to second round picks. I don't really value them at all. Maybe it's just because I'm too lazy to scout properly :P

Like you said, I already have a lot of young talent already, so I have less need to invest in the next few drafts.

I reckon for playoff contending teams, second round picks are worth a lot more than their first round picks due to less guaranteed dollars being involved (salary cap ramifications), you can pretty much take a punt on prospects and either hit a home run or just let them go after two years instead of being stuck with a late first bust for 4 years (and for a lot of money). Reckon you would've been better off surrendering just one future lottery protected first or something but that's just me :)

That's an interesting point. I didn't really think about any salary cap issues. It's probably because I usually just sign cheap veterans on one or two year deals to fill whatever roles my draft picks would be doing anyway.

But maybe that can be something for me to focus on in the 2018 draft. I'll see if I can turn a second round prospect into a Draymond Green or Manu Ginobili type.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [23-19] - Joe Johnson turns back the clock in Phoenix

Postby Phil89 on Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:11 pm

21/1/17

New York Knicks [18-26] vs Phoenix Suns [23-19]

Suns battle hard for win at MSG

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NYK - 21 25 29 22 197
PHX - 26 20 26 36 108

Player of the Game: Alex Len
(20pts, 11reb, 3ast, 1stl, 1blk)
(9-12 FG, 0-0 3PT, 2-2 FT)


Top Scorers
Carmelo Anthony - 29
Derrick Rose - 21
Alex Len - 20
Terrence Ross - 16
Tyson Chandler - 15
Kyle O'Quinn - 15
Devin Booker - 14
Dragan Bender - 12
Marquese Chriss - 11
TJ Warren - 10
Courtney Lee - 9
Mindaugus Kuzminskas - 8
Eric Bledsoe - 8

Rebounds
Alex Len - 11
Kyle O'Quinn - 9
Kristaps Porzingis - 8
Tyson Chandler - 6
Dragan Bender - 5
Joakim Noah - 5

Assists
Derrick Rose - 10
Eric Bledsoe - 9
Brandon Knight - 8

Steals
Kristaps Porzingis - 4
Eric Bledsoe - 3
Jared Dudley - 3
Marquese Chriss - 2
Brandon Jennings - 2
Joakim Noah - 2

Blocks
Dragan Bender - 3
Tyson Chandler - 2
Marquese Chriss - 2




Simmed Game

TOR - 15 26 29 28 98
PHX - 21 19 25 28 93

POTG: DeMar DeRozan (34pts, 7reb, 3ast)

Record: 24-20
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Re: Enter the Dragan [24-20] - Porzingis vs Bender in NYC

Postby Phil89 on Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:33 pm

24/1/17

Phoenix Suns [24-20] vs Minnesota Timberwolves [13-31]

Suns power past struggling Timberwolves

Image

PHX - 28 39 25 28 120
MIN - 20 24 33 31 108

Player of the Game: Devin Booker
(24pts, 5reb, 5ast, 1stl)
(8-12 FG, 4-6 3PT, 4-6 FT)


Top Scorers
Devin Booker - 24
Dragan Bender - 22
Alex Len - 19
Terrence Ross - 18
Andrew Wiggins - 17
Zach LaVine - 16
Karl-Anthony Towns - 14
Kris Dunn - 13
Nikola Bjelica - 13
Jordan Hill - 13
Gorgui Dieng - 11
TJ Warren - 10
Marquese Chriss - 9
Eric Bledsoe - 8

Rebounds
Karl-Anthony Towns - 11
Dragan Bender - 10
Tyson Chandler - 6
TJ Warren - 6
Devin Booker - 5
Alex Len - 5

Assists
Ricky Rubio - 17
Eric Bledsoe - 9
Brandon Knight - 7
Zach LaVine - 5
Alex Len - 5
Devin Booker - 5

Steals
Nikola Bjelica - 4
Karl-Anthony Towns - 3
Gorgui Dieng - 3
Eric Bledsoe - 3
Alex Len - 3
Tyson Chandler - 2
Dragan Bender - 2
Jordan Hill - 2

Blocks
Tyson Chandler - 4
Alex Len - 3
Eric Bledsoe - 2
Marquese Chriss - 2




Simmed Game

DEN - 30 22 26 27 105
PHX - 26 29 17 18 190

POTG: Will Barton (22pts, 8reb, 5ast, 4stl)

Record: 25-21



We had 12 blocks in the first half. Our defensive pressure really fed the offensive momentum.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [25-21] - Timberwolves no match for Suns

Postby Lamrock on Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:02 am

I like the Terrence Ross deal. Good for both teams, and he seems to be fitting in well. (Y)
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Re: Enter the Dragan [25-21] - Timberwolves no match for Suns

Postby Phil89 on Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:46 pm

Lamrock wrote:I like the Terrence Ross deal. Good for both teams, and he seems to be fitting in well. (Y)

I expected him to just be a highlight reel dunker, but he has a very nice outside shot as well. I'm happy with the trade so far.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [25-21] - Timberwolves no match for Suns

Postby Phil89 on Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:16 pm

26/1/17

Twitter News

Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA
NBA commissioner Adam Silver today revealed that the league is looking to expand to 32 teams for the 2017-18 season

Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA
Silver has been reviewing bids from around the country in recent months, with the field being narrowed down to a half dozen candidates

Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA
Sources say these include teams from: Kansas City (MO), Seattle (WA), Louisville (KY), Las Vegas (NV), San Diego (CA) & Pittsburgh (PA)

Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA
This expansion still has a lot of hurdles to clear, but expect it to go through. Silver is set on creating a legacy for himself
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Re: Enter the Dragan [25-21] - Expansion coming in 2017?

Postby Lamrock on Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:43 am

I vote for Seattle (for obvious reasons) and San Diego, since they're about to lose their NFL team
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Re: Enter the Dragan [25-21] - Expansion coming in 2017?

Postby Wyze on Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:05 am

You didn't mention it, but I'm going to throw Vancouver out there. You still owe Canada one for the Ross trade haha.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [25-21] - Expansion coming in 2017?

Postby Phil89 on Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:28 pm

28/1/17

Phoenix Suns [25-21] vs Denver Nuggets [19-26]

Bender and Len almost grab a triple-double each against Nuggets

Image

PHX - 26 33 29 26 114
DEN - 16 36 20 32 104

Player of the Game: Eric Bledsoe
(21pts, 1reb, 9ast, 6stl)
(9-11 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-2 FT)


Top Scorers
Emmanuel Mudiay - 31
Devin Booker - 23
TJ Warren - 21
Eric Bledsoe - 21
Kenneth Faried - 15
Nikola Jokic - 14
Dragan Bender - 13
Alex Len - 12
Danilo Gallinari - 12
Marquese Chriss - 10
Jusuf Nurkic - 9

Rebounds
Alex Len - 12
Dragan Bender - 12
Kenneth Faried - 8
Nikola Jokic - 6
Marquese Chriss - 6
Darrell Arthur - 5

Assists
Alex Len - 9
Eric Bledsoe - 9
Dragan Bender - 8
Brandon Knight - 7

Steals
Eric Bledsoe - 6
Nikola Jokic - 5
Emmanuel Mudiay - 5
Jusuf Nurkic - 4
Kenneth Faried - 2
Alex Len - 2
Dragan Bender - 2
TJ Warren - 2

Blocks
Dragan Bender - 5
Alex Len - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 23 30 24 21 198
MEM - 32 21 24 24 101

POTG: Mike Conley (21pts, 6reb, 9ast, 1stl)

Record: 26-22
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Re: Enter the Dragan [25-21] - Expansion coming in 2017?

Postby Phil89 on Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:50 pm

Lamrock wrote:I vote for Seattle (for obvious reasons) and San Diego, since they're about to lose their NFL team

Bringing back Seattle was my first thought, but I kinda wanted to create two completely new teams. Plus, it looks like everyone else here who did expansion already used them. I just wanted to do something different.

Maybe I should have held a vote instead of just creating the teams already though. Oops :doh:


Wyze wrote:You didn't mention it, but I'm going to throw Vancouver out there. You still owe Canada one for the Ross trade haha.

Haha. Maybe I can offer Toronto a slightly lopsided trade on draft night that evens things up a bit instead. Give them a better draft pick.



Okay, here's what I'll do. If I ever expand to 34 teams then Seattle and Vancouver will be my first choice.

I'll reveal the current expansion teams before the all-star break.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [26-22] - Bender & Len go off on Nuggets

Postby Wyze on Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:51 am

Looking forward to seeing the new teams!

Also, just noticed - did you outfit all of your players in custom shoes?
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Re: Enter the Dragan [26-22] - Bender & Len go off on Nuggets

Postby Phil89 on Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:44 pm

Wyze wrote:Looking forward to seeing the new teams!

Also, just noticed - did you outfit all of your players in custom shoes?

Yep. Just something to brighten things up a bit.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [26-22] - Bender & Len go off on Nuggets

Postby Phil89 on Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:47 pm

1/2/17

January 2017 Summary

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Division Standings

Eastern Conference


Image


Image


Image


-----


Western Conference


Image


Image


Image



-----



Playoff Seeds & Power Rankings

Eastern Conference

Image


Western Conference

Image


Power Rankings

Image


-----



League Leaders

Points
Image

Rebounds
Image

Assists
Image

Steals
Image

Blocks
Image



-----



Monthly and Weekly Awards

Players of the Week
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Players of the Month
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Rookies of the Month
Image



-----



Rookies Ranking

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-----




Contract Extensions


02/01/17 - Indiana Pacers re-signed Jeff Teague (4 years / $62 million)
11/01/17 - Orlando Magic re-signed Serge Ibaka (4 years / $80 million)
25/01/17 - New York Knicks re-signed Derrick Rose (3 years / $54 million)
25/01/17 - Detroit Pistons re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (4 years / $70 million)
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Re: Enter the Dragan [26-22] - January summary

Postby Valor on Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:05 pm

Good seeing you getting in on the expansion action, it's a fun feature for sure, maybe even the most endearing aspect of 2K17 imo (Y)

Spurs keeping up with Golden State :xmas:
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Re: Enter the Dragan [26-22] - January summary

Postby Kevin on Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:58 pm

Valor wrote:Good seeing you getting in on the expansion action, it's a fun feature for sure, maybe even the most endearing aspect of 2K17 imo (Y)

Don't forget 2k14.

Cant wait for the expansion teams!
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Re: Enter the Dragan [26-22] - January summary

Postby Phil89 on Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:54 pm

1/2/17

Phoenix Suns [26-22] vs Los Angeles Clippers [26-22]

Clippers come in to Phoenix and grab crucial win against playoff rivals

Image

PHX - 26 21 26 24 197
LAC - 24 28 28 32 112

Player of the Game: Blake Griffin
(32pts, 9reb, 3ast, 2stl)
(15-25 FG, 0-0 3PT, 2-2 FT)


Top Scorers
Blake Griffin - 32
Devin Booker - 26
Dragan Bender - 23
Chris Paul - 18
DeAndre Jordan - 15
Alex Len - 12
Terrence Ross - 11
Marquese Chriss - 10
Jamal Crawford - 10
Raymond Felton - 9
JJ Redick - 8

Rebounds
DeAndre Jordan - 15
Alex Len - 10
Blake Griffin - 9
Dragan Bender - 8
TJ Warren - 6

Assists
Eric Bledsoe - 12
Chris Paul - 10
JJ Redick - 5
Alex Len - 5
Dragan Bender - 5

Steals
Wesley Johnson - 3
DeAndre Jordan - 3
Blake Griffin - 2
JJ Redick - 2
Brandon Bass - 2
TJ Warren - 2
Devin Booker - 2

Blocks
Alex Len - 2




Simmed Game

SAC - 26 29 20 30 105
PHX - 29 28 22 35 114

POTG: Eric Bledsoe (30pts, 4reb, 8ast, 4stl)

Record: 27-23
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Re: Enter the Dragan [26-22] - January summary

Postby Phil89 on Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:09 pm

Valor wrote:Good seeing you getting in on the expansion action, it's a fun feature for sure, maybe even the most endearing aspect of 2K17 imo (Y)

Spurs keeping up with Golden State :xmas:

Kevin wrote:
Valor wrote:Good seeing you getting in on the expansion action, it's a fun feature for sure, maybe even the most endearing aspect of 2K17 imo (Y)

Don't forget 2k14.

Cant wait for the expansion teams!

It is pretty cool being able to add new teams.

I'm pretty happy with how they both turned out, so hopefully the reveal isn't a bit anti-climax :P
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Re: Enter the Dragan [27-23] - Clippers in town

Postby Phil89 on Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:51 pm

3/2/17

Expansion franchises revealed: San Diego and Louisville awarded NBA teams

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver confirmed the details of the two expansion teams for next season in a press conference today. The winning proposals were approved by the NBA's Board of Governors in a meeting last night. The two new franchises will be the "San Diego Eagles" and the "Louisville Lions".

Silver explained why these two teams were chosen over the bids. "After several months of due diligence and research, we concluded that the proposals from San Diego and Louisville were the most viable and sustainable options, both financially and from a competitive point of view. Both groups already have stadium deals lined up and a solid economic plans. San Diego in particular have an impressive multi-million dollar training facility planned, which is just waiting for planning permission to be given before it can commence building."

"On behalf of the current thirty teams, I'd like to formally welcome the Lions and Eagles to the NBA family. We hope to see them thriving for many decades to come."

Whilst there was jubilation in San Diego and Louisville, there was disappointment and frustration for the four other finalists as the bids from Kansas City, Seattle, Las Vegas & Pittsburgh were all ultimately unsuccessful. It's another disappointing blow for fans in Seattle as they will have to wait a little while longer to have an NBA team once again.


As part of the expansion the new division alignment will look like this:

Western Conference

Northwest
Denver, Oklahoma City, Minnesota, Portland, Utah

Pacific
Golden State, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego

Southwest
Dallas, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, San Antonio


Eastern Conference

Atlantic
Brooklyn, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto

Central
Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indiana, Louisville, Milwaukee

Southeast
Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando, Washington







Louisville Lions

Kentucky has a rich basketball history with the University of Kentucky being the most successful NCAA Division I basketball program in history in terms of both all-time wins and all-time winning percentage. Between the Wildcats and their in-state rivals the Louisville Cardinals there have been 11 NCAA championships won by teams from the state.

The Louisville ownership group is made up of several local businessmen and former Kentucky Wildcats and NBA player Jamal Mashburn.

Those owners will be hoping that the same kind of fan support and on-court success that the local colleges enjoy can be replicated in the NBA as they attempt to build their team over the next few years. It's likely that some of the high-end draft prospects that the Wildcats have been producing lately could end up staying in Kentucky as the Lions will likely find themselves at the bottom of the standings until they strengthen their team.

Current Kentucky Wildcats stars De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are two players who could get drafted by the Lions in their inaugural NBA draft in June of this year.

The team has an arena sponsorship deal in place with the Ford motor company, who have two major Ford plants located in Louisville. They will play their games at the 'Ford Center' in downtown Louisville. Ford previously held the naming rights on the Oklahoma City Thunder's arena before they signed a deal with Chesapeake Energy.


Image








San Diego Eagles

The San Diego bid is backed by local billionaire Ryan Graves. Thirty-four year old Graves is a vice-president at transportation company Uber and is said to have a personal fortune of $1.5 billion. He is reportedly an avid sports fan and seems to have jumped at the opportunity to help bring an NBA team to his hometown.

"I was really excited when they approached me with the idea of bringing a franchise to San Diego," he said. "We might be losing our football team soon and I know how much San Diegans love their sport. It really was a no-brainer to get involved with this project."

"When I got that phone call from Adam [Silver] I almost starting crying with joy. We're already working hard to have everything ready for the start of next season. I think we can create something special here."

San Diego will be the fifth NBA team based in California and will compete in the Pacific division alongside the Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Suns and Kings.

They will play their home games at the Nokia Arena, which is currently being constructed in the downtown area. The arena will have a seating capacity of just over 19,000 and will include an array of green technologies which will help to reduce the building's energy use.


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Re: Enter the Dragan [27-23] - Expansion teams revealed

Postby Wyze on Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:19 am

I like the Eagles' jerseys a lot. The battle for the Pacific will be interesting in future years.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [27-23] - Expansion teams revealed

Postby Phil89 on Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:35 am

Wyze wrote:I like the Eagles' jerseys a lot. The battle for the Pacific will be interesting in future years.

Yeah, that was my favourite of the two.

It's tricky coming up with two original colour schemes/jersey designs when there are already 30 teams in the league. Maybe that future Vancouver expansion can have bright pink jerseys :cheeky:
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Re: Enter the Dragan [27-23] - Expansion teams revealed

Postby Phil89 on Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:39 am

4/2/17

Phoenix Suns [27-23] vs Milwaukee Bucks [21-29]

Bender scores career-high and Len grabs a triple-double as Suns beat the Bucks

Image

PHX - 30 35 21 25 111
MIL - 33 13 26 26 198

Player of the Game: Dragan Bender
(36pts, 10reb, 5ast, 2stl, 3blk)
(14-21 FG, 4-6 3PT, 4-5 FT)


Top Scorers
Dragan Bender - 36
Matthew Dellavedova - 21
Greg Monroe - 17
Devin Booker - 17
Jabari Parker - 15
Eric Bledsoe - 14
Giannis Antetokounmpo - 13
Alex Len - 11
Tyson Chandler - 10
Khris Middleton - 10
Mirza Teletovic - 10
Terrence Ross - 9

Rebounds
Alex Len - 15
Dragan Bender - 10
Tyson Chandler - 7
Greg Monroe - 7
Giannis Antetokounmpo - 5

Assists
Alex Len - 10
Matthew Dellavedova - 8
Giannis Antetokounmpo - 7
Eric Bledsoe - 7
Dragan Bender - 5

Steals
Giannis Antetokounmpo - 4
Khris Middleton - 3
Alex Len - 3
Tyson Chandler - 2
Eric Bledsoe - 2
Dragan Bender - 2
Greg Monroe - 2
Jabari Parker - 2
John Henson - 2
Mirza Teletovic - 2

Blocks
Alex Len - 5
Dragan Bender - 3
TJ Warren - 2
Tyson Chandler - 2




Simmed Game

NOP - 26 34 30 26 116
PHX - 23 19 28 27 187

POTG: Anthony Davis (25pts, 8reb, 3ast, 3blk)

Record: 28-24



Bender scored 23 points in the first half :cool:

Bender & Len combined for 47 points, 25 rebounds, 15 assists, 5 steals and 8 blocks. Not bad for a couple of seven footers.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [28-24] - Bender & Len dominate against Milwaukee

Postby Phil89 on Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:22 pm

6/2/17

Twitter News

Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA
Wizards all-star John Wall is reportedly unsettled in Washington and thinking about demanding a trade. Team looks set to miss playoffs again

Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA
Big decision for Ernie Grunfeld to make if it happens. Keep an unhappy player, or reset with bunch of good assets + build around Beal?
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Re: Enter the Dragan [28-24] - Bender & Len dominate against Milwaukee

Postby Phil89 on Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:23 pm

8/2/17

Memphis Grizzlies [33-21] vs Phoenix Suns [28-24]

Suns escape from Memphis with thrilling win

Image

MEM - 38 23 28 25 114
PHX - 26 28 30 31 115

Player of the Game: Dragan Bender
(35pts, 6reb, 5ast, 3stl, 3blk)
(12-21 FG, 2-8 3PT, 9-11 FT)


Top Scorers
Dragan Bender - 35
Mike Conley - 26
Chandler Parsons - 20
Alex Len - 16
Brandon Knight - 15
Terrence Ross - 15
Zach Randolph - 15
Devin Booker - 14
Marc Gasol - 13
JaMychal Green - 13
James Ennis - 10
Vince Carter - 8
Marquese Chriss - 8

Rebounds
Zach Randolph - 11
Dragan Bender - 6
Alex Len - 6
JaMychal Green - 6
Marc Gasol - 6

Assists
Marquese Chriss - 6
Brandon Knight - 6
Eric Bledsoe - 6
Dragan Bender - 5
Mike Conley - 5

Steals
Marc Gasol - 3
Dragan Bender - 3
Marquese Chriss - 2
Jared Dudley - 2
Mike Conley - 2
Zach Randolph - 2

Blocks
Dragan Bender - 3
Alex Len - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 21 28 34 28 111
CHI - 40 22 23 19 104

POTG: Devin Booker (24pts, 3reb, 7ast, 1stl)

Record: 30-24
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Re: Enter the Dragan [30-24] - Thriller in Memphis

Postby Phil89 on Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:33 pm

11/2/17

Houston Rockets [33-23] vs Phoenix Suns [30-24]

Bender improves his career-high once again as Suns win in Houston

Image

HOU - 24 22 22 31 199
PHX - 21 23 33 32 109

Player of the Game: Dragan Bender
(37pts, 7reb, 4ast, 4stl, 1blk)
(13-17 FG, 2-5 3PT, 9-10 FT)


Top Scorers
Dragan Bender - 37
James Harden - 20
Patrick Beverley - 17
Eric Gordon - 17
Alex Len - 13
Devin Booker - 12
Clint Capela - 12
Trevor Ariza - 10
Tyson Chandler - 10
TJ Warren - 10
Marquese Chriss - 8

Rebounds
Alex Len - 13
Clint Capela - 12
Dragan Bender - 7

Assists
Eric Bledsoe - 13
Jared Dudley - 6
Pablo Prigioni - 6
James Harden - 6

Steals
Dragan Bender - 4
Corey Brewer - 3
Trevor Ariza - 2
Clint Capela - 2
Ryan Anderson - 2
Alex Len - 2

Blocks
Alex Len - 5
Tyson Chandler - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 23 26 25 28 102
NOP - 30 24 27 32 113

POTG: Jrue Holiday (25pts, 5reb, 8ast, 6stl)

Record: 31-25
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Re: Enter the Dragan [30-24] - Thriller in Memphis

Postby Phil89 on Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:37 pm

12/2/17

The usual suspects headline 2017 all-star selections

Image


There were a lot of familiar names when the 2017 all-star teams were announced today. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul all made the team once again. Each one of them is now in double figures in terms of all-star appearances, with an impressive fifty-eight combined between them.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were both selected as starters for the western all-stars. It will be the first time that they have played together since Durant controversially left Westbrook and Oklahoma City to join the Golden State Warriors last summer. Their former teammate on the Thunder James Harden also made the team, his fifth all-star appearance. All three are in contention for the MVP award this year and it must really fill Thunder fans with a sense a "what might have been" now that they are no longer together.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Gordon Hayward and Mike Conley will all make their first all-star game appearances. Among those unlucky to narrowly miss out on selection were Paul George, Brook Lopez, CJ McCollum, Isaiah Thomas, Rudy Gay, Bradley Beal, Kemba Walker and Klay Thompson.

Klay Thompson and Zach LaVine return to defend their three-point and dunk contests titles, respectively. Both will have extremely tough competition though as both contests feature high quality challengers. LaVine has to go had-to-head with Orlando's Aaron Gordon once again after narrowly beating him in a epic dunk-off last year. Meanwhile, Thompson will have to beat teammates Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant to retain his title.

Young teams like the Sixers Timberwolves, Suns, Lakers and Nuggets dominate the rising stars game rosters, accounting for eleven of the twenty players chosen to play. In what is sure to be an entertaining showcase of the future, the likes of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Karl-Anthony Towns will face off against Kristaps Porzingis, Kris Dunn, Emmanuel Mudiay and Brandon Ingram.



Eastern All-Stars

Andre Drummond - Detroit Pistons - (2nd)
Carmelo Anthony - New York Knicks - (10th)
LeBron James - Cleveland Cavaliers - (13th)
John Wall - Washington Wizards - (4th)
Kyrie Irving - Cleveland Cavaliers - (4th)

Kyle Lowry - Toronto Raptors - (3rd)
Jimmy Butler - Chicago Bulls - (3rd)
Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks - (1st)
Chris Bosh - Miami Heat - (12th)
Al Horford - Boston Celtics - (5th)
Dwyane Wade - Chicago Bulls - (13th)
DeMar DeRozan - Toronto Raptors - (3rd)




Western All-Stars

Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans - (4th)
Kevin Durant - Golden State Warriors - (8th)
Kawhi Leonard - San Antonio Spurs - (2nd)
Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder - (6th)
Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors - (4th)

Damian Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers - (3rd)
James Harden - Houston Rockets - (5th)
Gordon Hayward - Utah Jazz - (1st)
Blake Griffin - Los Angeles Clippers - (6th)
DeMarcus Cousins - Sacramento Kings - (3rd)
Mike Conley - Memphis Grizzlies - (1st)
Chris Paul - Los Angeles Clippers - (10th)



2017 Slam Dunk Contest

Aaron Gordon - Orlando Magic
Zach LaVine* - Minnesota Timberwolves
Marquese Chriss - Phoenix Suns
Andrew Wiggins - Minnesota Timberwolves


(* Defending champion)




2017 Three Point Contest

James Harden - Houston Rockets
Kevin Durant - Golden State Warriors
CJ McCollum - Portland Trail Blazers
Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson* - Golden State Warriors
JJ Redick - Los Angeles Clippers


(* Defending champion)




2017 Rising Stars Game

Stars
Joel Embiid - Philadelphia 76ers
Ben Simmons - Philadelphia 76ers
Justise Winslow - Miami Heat
Devin Booker - Phoenix Suns
Kay Felder - Cleveland Cavaliers

D'Angelo Russell - Los Angeles Lakers
Caris LaVert - Brooklyn Nets
Jaylen Brown - Boston Celtics
Dragan Bender - Phoenix Suns
Karl-Anthony Towns - Minnesota Timberwolves



Elites
Jahlil Okafor - Philadelphia 76ers
Kristaps Porzingis - New York Knicks
Henry Ellenson - Detroit Pistons
Buddy Hield - New Orleans Pelicans
Kris Dunn - Minnesota Timberwolves

Emmanuel Mudiay - Denver Nuggets
Mario Hezonja - Orlando Magic
Brandon Ingram - Los Angeles Lakers
Bobby Portis - Chicago Bulls
Nikola Jokic - Denver Nuggets
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Re: Enter the Dragan [31-25] - All-Star weekend preview

Postby Lamrock on Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:45 am

Mike Conley to the all-star game! Only in 2K...
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Re: Enter the Dragan [31-25] - All-Star weekend preview

Postby Phil89 on Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:00 pm

Lamrock wrote:Mike Conley to the all-star game! Only in 2K...

It is weird that he made it over CJ McCollum (23p/6a), Klay Thompson (20p/3r) and Rudy Gay (20p/7r/3a).

Conley is averaging 15p/10a though (2nd in NBA for assists). Who knows what logic 2K use for this stuff.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [31-25] - All-Star weekend preview

Postby Phil89 on Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:37 am

14/2/17

Wizards give in to John Wall's demands and trade him in three-team deal

Image


After several weeks of uncertainty and speculation, the John Wall saga has finally come to an end today as the Washington Wizards caved to his demands and decided to trade the All-Star point guard. They have agreed to a three-way trade that includes both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns.

The elaborate deal sees Philadelphia acquire John Wall and veteran big man Marcin Gortat from the Wizards. As part of the agreement Washington will receive center Jahlil Okafor and several draft picks from the Sixers, as well as point guard Brandon Knight from the Suns. Lastly, Phoenix will get veteran point guard Sergio Rodriguez and a heavily-protected first round pick from the Sixers.





Background of the deal

This has been threatening to happen for the past few weeks after John Wall publicly hinted at the possibility of handing in a trade request to Wizards management about a month ago, after a bad loss to the Hawks in Atlanta. The soon-to-be four-time all-star had grown weary of playing for a losing team that consistently missed the playoffs every year.

Washington have only made it to the post-season in two of the six seasons since Wall arrived and look set to miss out again this season after an uninspiring 22-32 start to the season, which sees them holding the 11th seed in the eastern conference. It seems that Wall lost faith in the ability of his teammates and coaches to help him get them off of the treadmill of mediocrity.

The failure to even get an interview with free agent and D.C. local Kevin Durant was also something that annoyed Wall greatly, after he had publicly tried to attract the superstar to sign with the Wizards. Wall privately felt that team management hadn't tried hard enough to attract a guy who would have been a franchise-altering player. Durant would have instantly made Washington into a legitimate eastern conference contender if he had of joined them.


A 114-107 loss to Oklahoma City yesterday, in which the Wizards were down by 25 by halftime, appears to have been the final straw for Wall. After the game he was visibly annoyed and was very cagey with the media, simply stating "I'm done with this, man.", before walking out of the locker room with a concerned look on his face.

It's been reported that he held a meeting with his agent Rich Paul some time yesterday evening in which he instructed him to let the Wizards management know that he wasn't going to play another game for them and wanted to be traded immediately. He was now on a well-worn path taken by all-stars like Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams in recent years.


This ultimatum put Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld in a very difficult position. He either had to refuse Wall's request and risk having a disgruntled player harming team unity and undermining the coaching staff. Or give in, trade his star player and set back the timeline of the franchise by several years.

That first option would have also meant that his prized asset would lose significant trade value, as rival general managers would be wary of bringing a disruptive influence into their teams. The second option would have made Grunfeld appear weak publicly, but it would have given him a great opportunity to reset his project and inject some fresh talent into the team.

He eventually opted for the latter option after a lot of discussion with his staff and set out to find the best possible deal for the franchise. After several hours of taking calls from around the league, Grunfeld had narrowed his options down to three offers.





The offers

First off was an offer from Utah, which reportedly included forward Derrick Favors, guard Dante Exum and a future first round pick in exchange for John Wall and forward Markieff Morris. Grunfeld liked the value of this deal, but he felt that Favors was slightly too old to be apart of his new project and that Exum was still a bit too raw at NBA level. He eventually called Jazz management to decline the offer.


Orlando supposedly offered forwards Aaron Gordon and Jeff Green, guard Elfrid Payton and a future first round pick in exchange for Wall and forward Jason Smith. Again, Grunfeld felt that the value was fair, but the fit didn't seem quite right.

Sure, Gordon is a crowd pleaser with his high-flying dunking, but he lacks the offensive game that would enable him to become an all-star like Blake Griffin. Payton is a great facilitator on offense, but lacks the ability to create his own shot. Having him on the team would put more of the scoring burden on Bradley Beal. This offer was also rejected.


The final offer under consideration from Philadelphia was based around an exchange of center Jahlil Okafor and draft picks for John Wall. Grunfeld wasn't fully satisfied with this initial proposal and told them to improve their offer. Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo decided to bring in a third team in order to facilitate a trade.

He knew that Phoenix had been quietly taking calls for point guard Brandon Knight all season and decided to give Suns GM Ryan McDonough a call. The pair quickly reached an agreement in which the Suns would acquire the expiring contract of guard Sergio Rodriguez and a 2017 lottery-protected first round pick if they sent Knight to the Wizards as part of the John Wall deal.

Colangelo then called Grunfeld back with an improved offer of Jahlil Okafor, Brandon Knight and two future first round picks for Wall. Grunfeld liked this deal more, but wanted to squeeze out as much value as he could. He ultimately got the Sixers to include several future second round picks and to take back the 3 year, $38 million contract of 32 year old center Marcin Gortat. The deal was finally agreed and the details were sent off for league approval.





Wizards reset in the hopes of building a contender

Today was a day of mixed emotions for Wizards fans after the news broke about Wall leaving. On the one hand, they were losing a beloved star player who had been the number one pick back in 2010 and had been the great hope to lead them to glory.

But on the other hand they were getting a chance to see their team get reshaped, which could perhaps one day lead them to them reaching finals if it is done successfully. As good as Wall had been for the Wizards, it was clear to everyone that things were just not working out. In a way this trade could be the best thing for the Wizards if they hope to break free from their losing culture and really build a strong team for the future.

Washington are currently sitting in 11th spot in the eastern conference with a 22-32 record and look likely to miss out of the playoffs for the seventh time in nine seasons. They won't openly tank now, but they also won't be too concerned if they slip further down the standings and increase their chances of getting a top-end draft pick.


There is some good news for Wizards fans this week though, with Otto Porter and Trey Burke reportedly close to signing contract extensions ahead of the February 28th deadline. If those two sign on, then Washington's young core will actually be pretty good. Bradley Beal, Jahlil Okafor, Brandon Knight, Otto Porter, Trey Burke and Kelly Oubre Jr. are all between 21 and 25 years old, whilst Markieff Morris is still only 27. If Grunfeld can nail his two potential top 10 selections in the upcoming draft then the building of a contender in Washington is a real possibility.

Okafor has been rather underrated since he entered the league, mainly due to the presence of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in Philadelphia. But he has proven himself to be a gifted low-post scorer, averaging 17 points per game in his rookie season and increasing that to 19 points per game this season. The potential inside-outside combination between Okafor and Beal could prove to be a very effective weapon for the Wizards in the future.

Brandon Knight should be another perimeter scoring threat as well. He has been one of the best bench players in the league this season, averaging 11 points and 5 assists per game in Phoenix, but he will return to his preferred staring role with the Wizards. He probably won't mind dropping out of contention for the Sixth Man of the Year award.


If the draft was held today then the Wizards would be holding two top ten picks, numbers 8 and 9. That is a very nice position to be in with such a strong draft class available this year. If everything falls their way, then they should end up with a chance at drafting a nice replacement for John Wall immediately.

Highly rated guards Markelle Fultz (Washington), Dennis Smith Jr. (NC state), De'Aaron Fox (Kentucky), Frank Ntilikina (Belgium) and Lonzo Ball (UCLA) are all expected to go in the top ten selections. Grunfeld will also likely be keeping tabs on the likes of Josh Jackson (Kansas), Jonathan Isaac (Florida State), Jayson Tatum (Duke), Malik Monk (Kentucky), Harry Giles (Duke) and Isaiah Hartenstein (Germany) as well.

The 2019 first round pick from Sacramento could end up being the real jewel of this trade for the Wizards. It is unprotected and could be a top 3 pick if DeMarcus Cousins leaves through free agency during the 2018 off-season and the Kings fail to replace him. It's hard to imagine just how terrible they would be without Boogie there to carry them on his shoulders every game.





Sixers become an eastern powerhouse

This deal is a great coup for Bryan Colangelo, even though he had to give up a sizable amount of assets to get it done. Adding an all-star calibre player like John Wall to a team that already has rising stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid is scary for the rest of the NBA. It should make the Sixers a serious contender in the eastern conference for the best part of the next decade. Having a quality point guard allows them to match-up a whole lot better against eastern powerhouses Cleveland, Toronto, Boston and Chicago.

As far as talented NBA trios go, there haven't been too many more exciting than what the Sixers will now be able to put on the court. The combination of athleticism and skill that Wall, Simmons and Embiid possess is quite impressive. So far in their rookie campaigns Simmons (13pts/9reb/6ast p/g) and Embiid (12pts/8reb p/g) are both in the running to win the Rookie of the Year award. As is versatile Croatian forward Dario Saric (12 pts/7reb/3ast p/g).

People have been talking about how bright the future will be for the Sixers, but the truth is, things are pretty great for them right now. After a slow start to the season, everyone expected them to struggle once again and be closer to the draft lottery than the playoffs. But things started to improve when Simmons and Embiid finally settled in after a few weeks.

January was the best month of basketball that Philadelphia have produced in such a long time. They won 11 of their 15 games and shot up to within two games of Atlantic division leaders Toronto and Boston. They continued that strong form into February and have won 6 of the 8 games they have played so far this month. Amazingly, their 32-24 record puts them on top of their division and now has them holding the second seed behind only Cleveland.

John Wall is averaging 19 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists per game this season and that great form has earned him his fourth all-star selection. There may be an issue about sharing ball-handling duties with his new teammate Ben Simmons, but Wall's ability to create his own shot should allow them to work together effectively.


For the past two seasons everyone has chimed in with an opinion on how the Sixers should clear up their frontcourt logjam. It became obvious this season that Joel Embiid wasn't going anywhere due to his impressive play and being a fan favourite, so it came down to Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. Colangelo appeared to have made up his mind earlier in the month when he signed Noel to a 4 year, $62 million extension. Ever since then Okafor has unofficially been on the trade block.

One issue that the Sixers will have to deal with after this trade is the sudden loss of inside scorer now that Jahlil Okafor is gone. Marcin Gortat is a solid role player and will compete hard every night, but he can't replace the scoring output that was lost. He is only averaging about half the number of points per game that Okafor is. There will be more pressure on Joel Embiid now that he will have increased playing time. It's expected that Gortat will take Okafor's spot as the starting center and allow Embiid to continue coming off the bench as he improves his fitness levels.


The Sixers have a really intriguing roster now. There are the stars (Wall, Simmons and Embiid), the role players (Gortat, Noel, Saric, Covington, Ilyasova, Bayless and Henderson) and the young bench guys (Stauskas, McConnell, Luwawu-Cabarrot and Holmes). It's a good mix of veteran experience and youthful energy that could lead them on an exciting playoff adventure in May and beyond.

They could have as much as $31 million in cap space to spend in the upcoming off-season as well. But that is probably unlikely to happen because they have a lot of contract decisions to make. About $22 million of that space could be taken up by the team options for Joel Embiid, Nik Stauskas, Gerald Henderson, TJ McConnell, Robert Covington and Richaun Holmes. Ersan Ilyasova and Hollis Thompson will also be unrestricted free agents.

It wouldn't be surprising to see Colangelo look to add some more outside shooting to the team during the free agency period. Veteran sharpshooters like Kyle Korver or JJ Redick would be ideal targets for the Sixers and it's entirely possible that they may opt to take a pay cut in order to join a team that is seemingly on the verge of something special.


It may seem like giving up three first round picks and and three second round picks in this trade is excessive, but the majority of those picks may not even end up being high-ended. Their own 2017 pick is sitting at 19 right now and could end up falling somewhere between 25-30 if their current form continues for the rest of the season. And of course that pick will fall another two places with the entry of the two expansion teams.

The rest of the picks were expendable assets that were gathered by Sam Hinkie for the purpose of acquiring a quality veteran player when the possibility came up. It was the next step of his infamous 'process' that he never got to implement himself.





Suns prepare for a busy off-season

For Phoenix, this deal was all about creating more salary cap flexibility ahead of an important free agency period. With Eric Bledsoe still owed $43 million over the next three years, it made sense to move Brandon Knight's $46 million contract and replace him with the expiring Sergio Rodriguez. The Suns have in-form center Alex Len coming to the end of his rookie deal at the end of this season and they also have to think about the future extensions of Devin Booker, Dragan Bender, TJ Warren and Marquese Chriss.

The Suns will have almost $62 million in salaries on their books before (presumably) re-signing Alex Len. That means that they should have about $38 million to spend on free agents, although they will need to decide on the futures of Kevin Martin, Alan Williams, Archie Goodwin, Leandro Barbosa and of course, Sergio Rodriguez.

After adding the $10 million per season salary of Terrence Ross last month, dumping Knight's contract was really vital for them to preserve cap space. They clearly didn't want four bench players earning eight-figure salaries and Knight was easier to move than Chandler or Dudley.


It will be interesting to see how ambitious the Suns are in free agency. They have got enough money to sign a max-level player and if the likes of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Gordon Hayward or Paul Millsap are available, maybe they could be persuaded to join the exciting project being built in Phoenix. If they sign a free agent first they can then go over the cap to re-sign Alex Len.

Perhaps they will just keep things more realistic and target solid players like Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, Danilo Gallinari, Tyreke Evans or Zach Randolph. Using their free cap space on a quality veteran player for a couple of seasons would be a good option for them. Such a player could help keep them in the playoff race and his salary would be off the books by the time the likes of Booker and Bender need new contracts.

Rodriguez is a vastly experienced point guard and should fit right in as part of the second unit in Phoenix alongside fellow veterans Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley, Kevin Martin and Leandro Barbosa. That group will really help the younger players when the playoffs come around, if the Suns make it that far. It would be quite beneficial for the Suns to keep Rodriguez around for a couple of seasons in order for him to mentor rookie Tyler Ulis, so that the youngster can eventually take over the back-up point guard role.


As things stand, the draft pick that Phoenix get from the Sixers as part of this deal would fall at pick 19. Their own 2017 pick is currently at number 20, so after the expansion franchises are added it seems that the Suns will likely have two picks somewhere between 22 and 28. If Ryan McDonough can pick up two late first round gems it'll be a nice bonus for a team that suddenly finds itself in playoff or bust mode.

The Suns are currently exceeding expectations this season and are holding on to the 8th seed in the western conference with a 31-25 record. They are aiming to make the playoffs for the first time in six long years.





Image



Philadelphia receive
John Wall - 26 - PG - $54m - 3 years (89)
Marcin Gortat - 32 - C - $38m - 3 years (80)

Projected line-up:
Marcin Gortat - Nerlens Noel - Ben Simmons - Gerald Henderson - John Wall
Reserves:
Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Ersan Ilyasova, TJ McConnell, Hollis Thompson, Richaun Holmes, Nik Stauskas, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot





Phoenix receive
Sergio Rodriguez - 30 - PG - $8m - 1 year (74)
Sixers 2017 first round pick (lottery protected)

Projected line-up:
Alex Len - Dragan Bender - TJ Warren - Devin Booker - Eric Bledsoe
Reserves:
Jared Dudley, Terrence Ross, Tyson Chandler, Sergio Rodriguez, Kevin Martin, Leandro Barbosa, Archie Goodwin, Tyler Ulis, Marquese Chriss, Alan Williams





Washington receive
Jahlil Okafor - 21 - C - $5m - 1 year (+2yr TO) (79)
Brandon Knight - 25 - PG - $56m - 4 years (78)
2x first round pick (2017 Lakers (top 3 protected), 2019 Kings)
3x second round pick (2018 Sixers, 2019 Knicks, 2020 Nets)

Projected line-up:
Jahlil Okafor - Markieff Morris - Otto Porter - Bradley Beal - Brandon Knight
Reserves:
Ian Mahinmi, Jason Smith, Marcus Thornton, Andrew Nicholson, Trey Burke, Tomas Satoransky, Kelly Oubre Jr, Jarell Eddie
Last edited by Phil89 on Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [31-25] - All-Star weekend preview

Postby Phil89 on Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:41 am

15/2/17

Phoenix Suns [31-25] vs Los Angeles Lakers [22-35]

Suns head into the all-star break in high spirits after win over Lakers

Image

PHX - 29 15 25 31 100
LAL - 22 23 18 31 194

Player of the Game: Dragan Bender
(18pts, 7reb, 5ast, 1blk)
(6-17 FG, 2-8 3PT, 4-4 FT)


Top Scorers
Devin Booker - 22
Dragan Bender - 18
Jordan Clarkson - 17
Terrence Ross - 16
Eric Bledsoe - 13
D'Angelo Russell - 12
Larry Nancy Jr - 12
Timofey Mozgov - 10
Marcelo Huertas - 9
Louis Williams - 9
Alex Len - 9
Julius Randle - 8

Rebounds
Alex Len - 10
Larry Nance Jr - 9
TJ Warren - 8
Dragan Bender - 7
Julius Randle - 7
Terrence Ross - 5

Assists
Sergio Rodriguez - 8
Eric Bledsoe - 5
Dragan Bender - 5

Steals
Alex Len - 3
Julius Randle - 3
Brandon Ingram - 3
Larry Nance Jr - 2
D'Angelo Russell - 2
Tyson Chandler - 2
Devin Booker - 2
Jared Dudley - 2
TJ Warren - 2

Blocks
Alex Len - 3
Marquese Chriss - 2



Record: 32-25
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Re: Enter the Dragan [32-25] - Big deadline trade + Lakers game

Postby Phil89 on Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:52 pm

17/2/17

Towns dominates in Rising Stars game

Image

STA - 33 27 21 28 109
ELI - 19 24 25 33 101

Player of the Game: Karl-Anthony Towns
(31pts, 16reb, 1ast, 2stl, 7blk)
(13-15 FG, 1-1 3PT, 4-4 FT)


Top Scorers
Karl-Anthony Towns - 31
Brandon Ingram - 21
Joel Embiid - 21
Devin Booker - 20
Dragan Bender - 18
Kristaps Porzingis - 14
Buddy Hield - 13
Emmanuel Mudiay - 12
Mario Hezonja - 12
Jahlil Okafor - 11
Ben Simmons - 9

Rebounds
Karl-Anthony Towns - 16
Joel Embiid - 9
Nikola Jokic - 9
Ben Simmons - 8
Jahlil Okafor - 7
Bobby Portis - 6
Kristaps Porzingis - 5

Assists
D'Angelo Russell - 8
Ben Simmons - 7
Kris Dunn - 7
Kristaps Porzingis - 6
Emmanuel Mudiay - 6
Devin Booker - 6

Steals
D'Angelo Russell - 2
Karl-Anthony Towns - 2
Justise Winslow - 2
Jahlil Okafor - 2
Nikola Jokic - 2
Mario Hezonja - 2
Emmanuel Mudiay - 2

Blocks
Karl-Anthony Towns - 7
Brandon Ingram - 2





KAT had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the first half. One block he had was just him grabbing the ball out of the air with one hand. He is a beast :cool:
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Re: Enter the Dragan [32-25] - KAT dominates Rising Stars game

Postby Phil89 on Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:43 pm

18/2/17

All-Star Three Point & Dunk contests

Image



2017 Three Point Contest


Round One
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFh70pMQG_4
phpBB [video]




Round Two
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yS3xs_56M4
phpBB [video]




-----


2017 Dunk Contest


Round One
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydv19P1UTLw
phpBB [video]




Round Two
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6w-FX4kv6g
phpBB [video]




Round Three
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIfjix-l5-M
phpBB [video]

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Re: Enter the Dragan [32-25] - Three point & dunk contests

Postby Lamrock on Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:48 am

Wow, that trade deadline was nuts!
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Re: Enter the Dragan [32-25] - Three point & dunk contests

Postby Phil89 on Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:09 pm

19/2/17

Cousins and Westbrook lead Western all-stars to victory

Image

EAST - 30 23 32 22 107
WEST - 29 29 23 38 119

All-Star Game MVP: DeMarcus Cousins
(26pts, 7reb, 5ast, 2stl, 1blk)
(11-14 FG, 0-0 3PT, 4-4 FT)


Top Scorers
DeMarcus Cousins - 26
Russell Westbrook - 24
Anthony Davis - 21
Carmelo Anthony - 20
Kawhi Leonard - 17
LeBron James - 15
DeMar DeRozan - 12
Andre Drummond - 12
Chris Bosh - 12
Kyrie Irving - 9
Blake Griffin - 9

Rebounds
Andre Drummond - 14
Kawhi Leonard - 9
DeMarcus Cousins - 7
Blake Griffin - 7
Kevin Durant - 6
Anthony Davis - 5
LeBron James - 5

Assists
James Harden - 7
Russell Westbrook - 7
John Wall - 7
Anthony Davis - 6
DeMarcus Cousins - 5
Kyle Lowry - 5

Steals
Russell Westbrook - 2
DeMarcus Cousins - 2
Anthony Davis - 2
Kyrie Irving - 2
Jimmy Butler - 2
Chris Bosh - 2

Blocks
Kevin Durant - 3
Kawhi Leonard - 2
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