The League: Reign of The NBA

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The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:17 pm

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The League: Reign of The NBA


Hello everyone, this is my first attempt at a franchise/association in years and I'm kind of trying something new, difficult, but fun here. Unlike pretty much every other dynasty out there, this will not focus on any one team, but instead the entire NBA. This will feature news articles, periodical updates on transactions and injuries, and also will feature updates throughout the year on the incoming draft class.

This also won't just follow the NBA as I will feature certain draft prospects throughout their college season(s) or overseas career prior to entering the draft.

(Note: I will only be using my personal fictional draft classes for this because draft classes using real life players always ruin the immersion for me because of the awful CAP system. By using fictional players I get to craft an entire story around them to flow along with everything else in this "basketball universe.")

Also, to make this as unique as possible, I'll be referring to this as a "video association" as I try to incorporate as much visual content as possible to engage you guys into this. My aim here is to create the most realistic/sim experience that I can with this mode and I hope you all enjoy.
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Settings:
System: XONE
Current NBA Teams
Start in Regular Season
82 Games
Quarter Length: 10 Minutes
Simulated Quarter Length: 12 Minutes- Normalize Played to Sim Stats: No /Minutes: Yes
Fantasy Draft: Off
Playoffs: All Best of 7
Difficulty:
Gameplay Difficulty: Superstar

All other settings are standard

Roster:
Custom roster

Draft Classes:
2017: Custom Fictional Draft 1 by me
2018: Custom Fictional Draft 2 by me
2019: Custom Fictional Draft 3 by me
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:47 pm

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Week 1: Cavs Hold Top Spot...For Now
By John Schuhmann NBA.com
@johnschuhmann
Oct 24, 2016

Under normal circumstances the reigning NBA Champion gets the top spot hands down until proven otherwise, but this past off-season was anything but normal. Especially considering the Finals runner-up landed arguably the 2nd best player in the NBA in Kevin Durant (oh yeah, did I mention they won 73 games last season and they didn't lose the 3 all-stars already on the roster).

With all that said though, Golden State has yet to play an official game together, but honestly, does anyone in their right mind think anything other than them becoming a juggernaut? It's only a matter of time.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
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Cleveland Rocks! No, seriously. They still have LeBron, they still have Kyrie, and they still have Love in The Land. All is well in the Kingdom and continuing to believe in "The Land" isn't a bad proposition given the East will hardly provide a threat to a LeBron led team once again.

2. Golden State Warriors
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Warriors fans are the most spoiled fanbase after decades of futility. First they ascend to title contention becoming a juggernaut seemingly overnight winning 60+ games featuring the leagues MVP in 2015 and then cap it off with a title. They follow that up with the most wins ever in a regular season going 73-9 while Steph Curry not only wins back to back MVP awards, but becomes the first ever unanimous MVP. Although they lost in Game 7 of the NBA Finals after being up 3-1, they still seemed to win the summer after landing the biggest free agent since LeBron James decided to change area codes in Kevin Durant...Things are looking golden out in The Bay.

3. San Antonio Spurs
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Yes, they lost the greatest power forward of all time to retirement this summer. But what you might have missed with Tim Duncan retiring was that Duncan was no longer the best player or even second best player on this team. That distinction belongs to Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, who are both still here, along with the Pop still patrolling the sidelines. They still have amazing depth and they also picked up Pau Gasol...yeah, never count these guys out.

4. Los Angeles Clippers
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You know, we say this every year, but the Clippers have the talent to win a title. The only issue is that since the trade in 2012 that brought Chris Paul to LA, the Clippers haven't even gotten past the 2nd round. With Golden State and San Antonio both looking like the cream of the crop out west, that may still hold true. The only problem now is that this may be Lob City's swan song given both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will be free agents at the end of this year.

5. Toronto Raptors
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Fresh off their first ever conference finals appearance, the Raptors and their fans have to be thrilled. This is the best Raptors team ever and they're in a sustained period of success. They're good, really good in fact. The problem? Are they good enough to get past Cleveland as currently constructed?

6. Boston Celtics
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The Celtics finally landed a big fish in free agency after acquiring Al Horford this summer. Winning 48 games last year and finishing as the 5th seed makes this even sweeter as most would probably peg them as the 3rd best team in the conference after Toronto and Cleveland. The problem is though, is that a good thing? Maybe after acquiring all those assets, Danny Ainge will FINALLY get the go-to player the Celtics need to jump into the upper tier of teams. Otherwise, they'll be hoping Jaylen Brown and whoever they land with the upcoming Brooklyn pick this year turn into All-Stars to break them out of the basketball purgatory most of the conference seems to be stuck in. "Good, but not good enough."

7. Memphis Grizzlies
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On paper, this team is loaded. Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Chandler Parsons, & Tony Allen is a hell of a core. That lineup would strike fear into every team in the league if this was 2012, unfortunately, that's not the case. Not only are Zach Randolph and Tony Allen heading into the twilight of their careers, they've become injury as most of this roster has. Memphis shocked everyone by making the playoffs last year with the cast of misfits they had feeling in, the only issue is that may have been a bad thing given the age and health status of this squad. They need as much good young talent as they can get before the inevitable downturn comes. Marc Gasol being in his 30's coming off of a foot injury only expedites this.

8. Atlanta Hawks
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Another team stuck in basketball purgatory now 2 years removed from a 60 win season and their first ever conference finals appearance (in which they were promptly swept by LeBron and Co.). They lost Al Horford over the summer, which would probably tell most teams to start thinking of rebuilding, however, the Hawks ended up signing Dwight Howard effectively keeping the treadmill alive (sorry Hawks fans, Orlando Dwight is long gone).

9. Utah Jazz
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This is the year. This will be the year Utah finally makes its return to the postseason after a couple of years of barely missing out on the 8th seed. Don't be surprised if they end up around the middle of the conference either. The continued development of Rudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favor, the return of Dante Exum, and the additions of George Hill, Boris Diaw, and Joe Johnson make this one of the deepest rosters in the bloodbath that is the west.

10. Indiana Pacers
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The additions of Thaddeus Young, Al Jefferson, and Jeff Teague should make the Pacers pretty dangerous out East. The question is how will Nate McMillian do replacing Frank Vogel as coach. Also, if Myles Turner develops faster than anyone expects, don't be shocked to see Paul George lift this squad into the upper echelon of the east.

11. New York Knicks
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Let's be honest here, are the Knicks ranked too high? Probably, but I still believe Derick Rose is a quality starting point guard in this league and that Joakim Noah has something left in the tank. Honestly though, this should've been the Bulls circa 2014 (sans the Zinger and replaced with "Holdat" expert Carlos Boozer). Carmelo has bad knees and looks like he may never win a ring, let alone in New York. Making the playoffs seems a realistic possibility, how far they'll go is one of the greater mysteries though.

12. New Orleans Pelicans

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ANTHONY MARSHON DAVIS JR. (still exists for all you KAT fans)

13. Houston Rockets
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Defense? Who needs that when you have a beard and stache'? With the hiring of Mike D'Antoni, the perfect coach for this team by the way, the Rockets have committed to return the NBA to it's ABA roots by running up the score. This team will score A LOT and James Harden will be unstoppable. How many games they will win, I have no clue, but I'm beyond excited to see all the crazy shootouts with this squad.

14. Portland Trailblazers
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So Portland managed to keep their team intact after shockingly making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs last year when most had them pegged as a lottery team. Damian Lillard is a legit MVP candidate, and they signed Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner to ridiculous contracts while also bringing in Festus Ezeli. What else were they supposed to do though? Portland isn't really a free agency destination.

15. Oklahoma City Thunder
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Oh boy, talk about stats. Russell Westbrook is about to have a season we'll look back on and won't believe. Angry Russ is about to lay waste to the NBA, the only issue is OKC has little else though. After trading away Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo, and seeing KD leave for golden pastures, everything lies at the feet of Westbrook to carry the load as a one man show. Triple doubles anyone?

16. Chicago Bulls
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I have no idea what Gar/Pax are doing in the Bulls front office. They've assembled the worst spacing starting lineup possible, jettisoned the hometown hero for little to nothing, and assembled this particular team a year after hiring Fred Hoiberg to run a faster, more modern offense. What? I'm honestly surprised Dwyane Wade chose this situation when he decided to leave Miami. He must really love his hometown because this mash of talent just doesn't fit together at all.

17. Charlotte Hornets
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The Hornets will make the playoffs in the east. The big question is how healthy can MKG stay this year and will Kemba finally get the All-Star nod this year after being snubbed last season? MJ's Hornets are feisty but won't do much beyond that. There's always that miracle scenario out there that maybe Steph Curry or Chris Paul want to return home to play in North Carolina.

18. Detroit Pistons
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Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons will continue building F****** walls , but how much untapped potential and development is left in this roster? Will Andre Drummond become a superstar this year? Will Stanley Johnson become the 2 way wing they envisioned when they drafted him? Find out next time on Deeeeeetroit BasketBaaaallll Z.

19. Milwaukee Bucks
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Giannis Antetokoumpo and Jabari Parker will lead the Bucks to the playoffs this year. Giannis will become a superstar this year and will win the Most Improved Player award. Jabari will make the All-Star this year as well and Milwaukee will rejoice as this is the new team to feature two rising stars. No these aren't predictions, these are facts. Giannis reached into the future with his endless arms and showed me an almanac with these facts in them like he was Marty McFly...wait, the Cubs actually won it this year. Weird...

20. Washington Wizards
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So John Wall and Bradley Beal don't get along all the time, in other news, water is wet. Doesn't help that Bradley just got a ridiculous new contract and the Wizards aren't that good anymore. After not even being in the discussion regarding KD, the Wizards are back at the drawing board with new coach Scott Brooks and their All-Star guard Wall. Time is ticking though as Wall will be a free agent 2 summers from now.

21. Minnesota Timberwolves

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If you aren't already on the bandwagon, what's taking so long? This team has probably the best collection of young talent since the Thunder's early years in OKC and they've just brought in Tom Thibbodeau to coach and mold these young stars in the making. Don't be shocked if KAT and maybe even Andrew Wiggins push to be backup All-Stars this year, especially if Minnesota is fighting for a playoff spot like many suspect.

22. Denver Nuggets
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Denver is another young exciting team you'll want to watch this upcoming season. They won't be very good, but they'll be really fun. The Nuggets are hoping Emmanuel Mudiay can improve his efficiency though from last year, which was one of the worst seasons, statistically speaking, ever.

23. Orlando Magic
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The Magic continue their rebuild post Dwight, this may be the first time since Dwight left though that Orlando has an outside shot at the playoffs. With new head coach Frank Vogel leading the way along with new acquisitions Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo, and Jodie Meeks providing stability and leadership. Speaking of outside shots, is this the year Aaron Gordon takes off outside of the dunk contest and is unleashed?

24. Sacramento Kings
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New arena, same Kings. I feel so bad for these tortured fans and all they've been through with this franchise the last decade. This is the worst run organization in sports and it shows no signs of ending anytime soon. To make matters worse, the time is coming (oh who am I kidding the time has already been here) to finally do a full rebuild. Ever since the end of the Webber-Bibby years the Kings have yet to fully bottom out and start over. The Kings got lucky in landing Boogie at 5 back in 2010, but have done next to nothing to surround him with quality talent. The one guy they lucked into landing with the 60th pick in the draft and became an All-Star was promptly let go and is now thriving in Boston. His name is Isaiah Thomas. All their other draft picks and overall roster moves have been reaches and disasters to say the least: Ben McLemore, Thomas Robinson, Nik Stauskas(and his subsequent trade), Tyreke Evans, and the list goes on. #FreeBoogie

25. Miami Heat
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At least they were able to hang onto Hassan Whiteside this off-season. The bad news is they let the greatest player in Heat history leave while he still had something left. The also lost a large portion of the rest of their team including former All-Star forward Chris Bosh who may never play basketball again (at least in Miami). One thing to look forward to though this season for residents of South Beach, you're definitely landing one of the top prospects in the upcoming draft. Unfortunately, that player may not change the fortunes of this franchise unless they luck into the top pick given this is a weak class outside of consensus top pick Stephon Vaden out of Baylor. Again, not really a bad thing if your patient Miami fans, next years draft class is already being placed up there with the 84, 96, and 03 classes while some believe it may better than them all.

26. Phoenix Suns

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The Suns have light at the end of the tunnel after that rookie campaign from Devin Booker. The problem lies with what to do with the rest of the roster, and who will be the star for this team? The Suns are going to lose their fair share of games this year. The key will be to look for growth every game from the young players though.

27. Los Angeles Lakers
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Luke Walton takes the reigns as a rookie head coach breathing fresh air into the old battle worn tank that was Byron Scott trudging through Kobe's farewell tour last season. D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson all look to be unleashed in a new system and hopes are really high in LA for 2016 2nd overall pick Brandon Ingram. Ingram will need time for his body to catch up to his skill level, but make no mistake, he will be the player that determines whether this rebuild will end with the Lakers back in the postseason within the next 2-3 years or are starting over again with an entirely new front office structure.

28. Dallas Mavericks
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It's time Mark Cuban accepts the reality and begins the rebuild in Big D. As much as I hate seeing great players go out on bad teams, Dallas is going nowhere fast with this roster. Harrison Barnes is currently the best player on this team and their future hinges on him. That isn't a recipe for a playoff contender let alone championship contender in the west.

29. Philadelphia 76ers

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The Sixers and their fans finally get to see the long awaited debut of Joel Embiid and it just so happens to coincide with the debut of this years' top pick, Ben Simmons, who many believe "The Process" was worth going through to land. The scary part is, if they both are legit the Sixers not only have their faces of the franchise, but they also have tangible trade assets in Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. Oh, and did I forget to mention they'll more than likely have two top 10 picks this year as well? Mark my words Philly, this team will be at the top of the east within 3 years.

30. Brooklyn Nets
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Sigh. It is now the 2017 season and Billy King is still arguably the worst GM in NBA history. The Nets again, won't have their lottery pick from that god awful Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade, and it only makes it worse because they're probably going to have the worst record in the NBA. Losing out on possibly the top pick in the draft when you have absolutely no present nor future has to hurt. Brook Lopez is the only bright spot for the Nets, but he can't save them from another season in the cellar. One can only hope a miracle comes the Nets way, because no teams' future should be this bleak.
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:56 pm

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Lottery Big Board v1.0: Stephon Vaden Favorite to Go 1st Overall

Chad Ford
ESPN.com
Oct 25, 2016
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The NBA has appeared to enter into a new "Golden Age" as of late with the surplus of talent in the league. Not only are there a number of established stars who have dominated for the better part of the last decade, but there has been an influx of young up and coming stars from just the last few draft classes alone.

Players like Karl-Anthony Towns/ Kristaps Porzingis/ D'Angelo Russell/ Devin Booker (class of 2015), Andrew Wiggins/ Jabari Parker/ Joel Embiid/ Julius Randle/ Zach LaVine (class of 2014) all look to be cornerstones for their respective franchises and in some cases even top 10 players in a couple years (KAT anyone?). Then there's guys like Giannis Antetokoumpo (22), Anthony Davis (23), and Kyrie Irving (24) who are superstars well before their prime has even begun.
This doesn't even include this years rookie class featuring the closest thing resembling LeBron since The King entered the NBA 13 years ago in Ben Simmons.

With all that said, the draft class of 2017 leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to top tier talent. GM's and scouts are all relatively down on this years' crop featuring true franchise changers. This class is filled with upperclassmen looking to capitalize on the down year for one and done players, but that doesn't make these kids slouches. There is a lot of depth to be found here, and many teams may be able to find a solid contributor.

But let's be real here, if you're the Sixers or any other awful team, you're looking for the next Anthony Davis or Kevin Durant. You're looking for a player that will bring you from the depths of irrelevancy to the heights of contention. Most agree that the only player in this class that has the potential to reach such a ceiling is 6'8 star freshman Stephon Vaden out of Baylor.

1. Stephon Vaden - Baylor - 19, 6'8" 219lbs, SF/PG:

Vaden is without a doubt the runaway candidate to go 1st this coming June. He has the prototypical body type for an NBA wing at 6'8, 219lbs and he has the skills to become a really good two-way player in the NBA. While he lacks elite athleticism and is mostly potential on the defensive end, the tools are there. The most tantalizing aspect of his potential though lies on offense, as he's being tasked with running the point guard position at Baylor for stretches during games.
The coaching staff at Baylor want to take advantage of his unique ability to see the floor at his size, and so far in the early stages of the college season he's looked decent at it. He needs to improve as a decision maker of course and his shooting will need to improve for him to become an effective pro, but the early returns are that he could possibly become a star in the years to come in the mold of a Paul George or Kawhi Leonard.

2. Jermaine Craig - Alabama - 20, 7'0" 277lbs, C
If it wasn't readily obvious, Craig is the best center prospect in this class that's thin on big men. That may have something to do with Craig rising this high in the rankings, but he does posses skills.
With a solid-legit 7 foot frame, Craig is able to carve out deep position on post ups and is able to move well for his size. Although he isn't a refined post player by any means, he is pretty capable as a roller in pick and rolls, and also has ok touch on hooks. It remains to be seen whether he can harness his potential turning him into more than a rotation player at the next level as his motor wains at times and he can lose focus on the court. There are concerns, but teams seem willing to take a shot this year given the draft's outlook.

3. J.T. Horton - UNLV - 21, 6'6" 218lbs, SG
Absolute sniper from beyond the arc, J.T. Horton is the best shooter from deep in this class. He's a so-so athlete, but makes up for by playing angles on both ends. He's a solid defender and will be able to contribute to a team right away. The only question is whether you take a player with this low of an upside this high, or just play it safe with a guy who has a high floor.

4. Charlie Hoffman - Nebraska - 21, 6'2" 196lbs, PG
Another high floor, low ceiling player establishing himself as an early lottery guy. Hoffman has all the makings of a solid NBA point guard, although he's on the small at 6'2" 196lbs. He is the purest point prospect this year and makes great decisions with the ball. He'll need to improve as an outside shooter, but look for him to lead the Cornhuskers deep into the tourney this year.

5. Le'Bryan Blackman - Oregon - 20, 6'5" 207lbs, SG
Probably my favorite player in this draft given that I love highlights. LeBryan Blackman is the premier athlete this year and no doubt will record some incredible numbers at the combine this May. The questions surround the rest of his game though. If he's not in transition with an open lane to the hoop, Blackman can often become a forgotten man on the floor. He has upside given his age and athleticism, but it'll take some time before his IQ catches up to his physical abilities.

6. Bo Singleton - Michigan State - 19, 6'6" 218lbs, SG

Coach Izzo will try to keep Bo in the fold after this season to try and pair him with two of the top ranked incoming freshmen in Akyel Akwegbu and Dakari Heard, but I have a hard time seeing Bo miss out an chance to go this high in the lottery as one of the only true freshmen in this class. He's a raw scorer and will need some time once he gets to the league, but there is potential for a possible long time starter or 6th man here.

7. Marvin Nichols - Michigan - 20, 6'7" 238lbs, PF

One of the few face-up fours in this class, Nichols is a decent athlete who is deadly from mid-range. He'll need to extend his range to the 3 to become a serious threat for teams though given his physical limitations (short for the 4 and an ok athlete).

8. Matthew Rollins - Oregon State - 20, 6'6" 197lbs, SG/SF

Knockdown standstill shooter with amazing vision at the swing positions. Also a pretty good defender when tasked with guarding the other teams' best players. Rollins projects as a Demarre Carroll/ Jae Crowder type with the playmaking ability and IQ of a Luke Walton.

9. Gheorge Eminescu - Romania - 20, 6'8" 219lbs, SF

The scouting universe is up in arms over whether or not you take Eminescu before you take Uros Drobnjak as the first European player in the draft. Given how no one has really seen Drobnjak in person, most are siding with Eminescu. While he has decent size for his position and has tools to score from all over, he's an average athlete who has no elite skill to separate himself.

10. Daryl Trent - Alabama - 20, 6'8" 224lbs, SF/PF
Pure athlete at this point with defensive potential. Best case for him would be to model himself after a player like Tony Allen as the only way he'll stick around while he develops any semblance of an offensive game will be his defense.

11. Stephen Olson - Florida - 21, 6'8" 232lbs, SF
Olson comes from the Lamar Odom school of point forwards. He's smooth and has a great feel for the game, but doesn't have much of an outside shot to speak of at this point. If he develops that over time though, you have a guy who can stuff a stat sheet for you.

12. Uros Drobnjak - Slovenia - 20, 6'8" 246lbs, PF

From what most have heard, Drobnjak is an amazing athlete with point forward skills. Obviously if he's as good as advertised he'll move up this list, but currently he's hardly been seen by most people in the States. He's being called the "Slovenian Paul George" for whatever it's worth though, so here's hoping he can live up to that name once we see him in next years' summer league.

13. Sam Brooks - North Carolina - 19, 6'8" 225lbs, SF/S
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Brooks is solid get this late in the lottery. He's great at nothing, but good at a lot of things that help a team win. Think the Cavs version of Richard Jefferson.

14. Rodney Smits - Central Michigan - 21, 5'10" 164lbs, PG

Normally if you were to take a guy like Smits this high it'd be considered a reach, but this draft class has a bunch a guys you'll have to take a leap of faith on. He's raw right now, but can shoot the rock, which at his size is necessary, and he has elite speed. Who knows, you may have another bite sized point guard dynamo ready to emerge here.
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:01 pm

Opening Night

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GD's Highlights
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:15 pm

10/26/16
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10/27/16
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10/28/16
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10/29/16
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10/30/16
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10/31/16
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby Lamrock on Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:09 am

Looks great. Seems like a lot of work so good luck man
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:24 pm

Lamrock wrote:Looks great. Seems like a lot of work so good luck man

Thanks Lam, definitely a sizeable undertaking and I'm still working out the kinks and tryna find a faster format, but I'm excited to attempt something like this.
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:33 am

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Sources: Hawks Talking Korver Trade With Cavs
Marc Stein
ESPN.com
Nov 1, 2016

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Cleveland, OH - League sources confirm that the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers are making serious progress towards a deal that would send sharpshooter Kyle Korver to "The Land."
This is a bit of a shocker given we're only a week into the new season and Atlanta (2-1) seems to have already begun to have a firesale. While Korver is no longer the player he once was, he is still a deadly catch and shoot player and on the Cavs, they could become that much more of a juggernaut. This begs the question as to what is happening in Atlanta to warrant helping a rival.

Most figured Atlanta would begin it's rebuild last off-season in the aftermath of Al Horford leaving, the Hawks had other plans re-signing Kent Bazemore and bringing in former All-Star bigman Dwight Howard. After such moves, people around the league expected the Hawks to stand pat for the season and continue to ride the treadmill. If this is the beginning signs of the rebuilding process many are wondering what will be the next domino to fall. Logically, the next name that comes to mind is forward Paul Millsap who is highly likely to test the free agent market again next summer. Then there's the conundrum regarding Howard and how he thought returning home to Atlanta would bring stability to his career.

Instead, he's run into a situation just about to hit the fan. With that in mind, will he want out? Atlanta can't even think about trading Howard until after December 15th but who would want Howard given his recent baggage in previous stops. Most teams last summer passed on Howard and I wouldn't expect much different on the trade market.
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:36 pm

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Week 2: Cavs Dominating NBA
By John Schuhmann NBA.com
@johnschuhmann
Nov 1, 2016

It should come as no surprise who the top two spots belong to this week. Both the Cavs and Warriors are favorites to meet again in this years' Finals and both have breezed through the first week of the season. After that though, there is a lot of movement throughout these rankings as their have been some surprise starts from teams most prognosticators figured to be mediocre.
This weeks biggest jumps comes from the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, and Milwaukee Bucks. The biggest drops are the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Toronto Raptors :

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
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Last Week: 1
A week into the season and it appears LeBron and Co. are having no issues with championship hangover. With the Cavs reportedly being close to acquiring Kyle Korver to add depth and even more shooting to this team, it's beginning to look like a 7th consecutive trip to the Finals for LeBron (and 3rd straight for Cleveland) will be the easiest prediction to make this year.

2. Golden State Warriors (3-0)
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Last Week: 2
Well... were a week into the "Justice League" era of the Warriors and so far-so good. KD has been phenomenal for GS so far, but it's clear there will be an adjustment period as Steph and Draymond seem to be taking a backseat to make the change a bit easier. GS will need MVP level Stephen Curry though to have a chance of returning to the Finals and winning. Something tells me they'll be alright though given they're already boasting a point differential of +14.

3. Detroit Pistons (3-0)
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Last Week: 18
Looks like Stan Van Gundy has this Pistons team in overdrive (nice right?) coming off of their first Playoff appearance in 7 years. That experience has apparently turned this team into an Eastern Conference contender. The next step for Detroit will be whether Andre Drummond can transition into becoming one of the best players in the league or will he plateau. If it's the latter, Detroit may find itself stuck among the NBA's middle class for years to come.

4. Portland TrailBlazers (3-0)
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Last Week: 14
Damian Lillard is the earliest frontrunner for MVP at the moment. Yes, it's only been a week, but man oh man what a week he's had. He's averaging 33.5ppg and 10.5apg and has the Blazers off to their best start in 5 years. Is it sustainable with this particular roster and their lack of defense? Probably not, but it is fun to see for those fans in Oregon.

5. Indiana Pacers (3-0)
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Last Week: 10
Paul George and his new look Pacers are off to a good start and have made Larry Bird look like a genius so far. The additions of Jeff Teague, and Thaddeus Young have given the Pacers some much needed depth and scoring punch, but something tells me this could just be the light schedule they've had so far.

6. LA Clippers (2-1)
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Last Week: 4
The Clippers are about where you'd expect them to be. They're not dominating in wins and are good, but not great. They'll be in the mix all year as is always the case with this group but what is their ceiling? Blake does look to be healthy again, even without the otherworldly athleticism. CP3 is as good as ever even in a slow decline, yet, I'm puzzled as to whether this team actually likes playing with one another anymore or if they're going through the motions until they have a chance to redeem themselves in the playoffs.

7. Houston Rockets (2-1)
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Last Week: 13
James Harden is having himself a heck of a start to the 2016-17 season. He's almost averaging a triple double and he along with Russell Westbrook look to have a couple of the most statistically amazing years ever. The Rockets as a whole meanwhile actually look like a sleeper out west. The additions of Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon have paid dividends so far.

8. Milwaukee Bucks (2-1)
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Last Week: 19
HE HAS ARRIVED! The Greek Freak has arrived as an NBA superstar and is well on his way to winning the Most Improved Player Award. We knew he'd have a heck of a season, but currently he's looking like 6'11' Russell Westbrook for the Bucks (with a better fg% of course). Add in the emergence of Jabari Parker looking like a legitimate second option and Milwaukee may just become an East power faster than anyone imagined. Oh yeah, Jabari and Giannis are both only 21 years old...

9. Memphis Grizzlies (2-1)
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Last Week: 7
First year Head Coach Dave Fizdale seems to be following in the footsteps of the past couple coaches in being able to step right in and keep the Grit and Grind Grizzlies rolling right along. With a roster as experienced and talented as this one it's no surprise. The surprise is the increase in 3pt shooting from the the Grizz so far this campaign. They are shooting them at a higher clip and making more of them. If this continues, Memphis may have a shot when it matters most... in the postseason (barring injury of course).

10. Atlanta Hawks (2-1)
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Last Week: 8
The Hawks have looked average through the first week of the season and I think their front office may have finally realized that this team is going nowhere fast. With the rumors of Kyle Korver heading to Cleveland and with teams inquiring about the availability of Paul Millsap, how long will it be before Atlanta decides to pull the plug on the season? On the bright side, Dwight looks healthy and rejuvenated in "Hotlanta."

11. New Orleans Pelicans (2-1)
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Last Week: 12
If my opening week power rankings description didn't give you a clear indication on what the Pelicans season rode on, then just look at a boxscore. In both wins for the Pels this week AD has put up astronomical numbers culminating with a surprise W down in San Antonio. Can he stay healthy and return The Big Easy to the postseason?

12. San Antonio Spurs (2-2)
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Last Week: 3
San Antonio has kind of sputtered in their 1st week of the post Tim Duncan era. We don't expect it to take long to sort out though as Coach Pop lit into them after their last defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans.

13. Chicago Bulls (2-1)
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Last Week: 16
You know, this trio of Rondo/ Butler/ Wade seemed destined to fail and maybe it still is. But you've gotta admit it's really fun seeing these three figure this out. The game against Brooklyn was a perfect example of how deadly and how awful they can both look. We're hoping for more of the former.

14. Sacramento Kings (2-2)
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Last Week: 24
Demarcus Cousins and his Kings are tied for the 8th spot in the West! Of course if that's the case in 5 months then it'll be time to celebrate, right now, not so much. Vivek Ranadive and Vlade Divac are said to be driven to end Sacramento's 10 year playoff drought at all costs this year and are in no way trying to trade Cousins, but instead plan to extend him this off-season. Cousins is said to want to stay in Sacramento too, though that may be because the Kings can offer more money than any other team....This is like a terrible relationship everyone can see isn't working yet these two just won't quit each other.

15. Philadelphia 76ers (1-1)

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Last Week: 29
Joel "Trust The Process" Embiid has been a revelation so far in limited minutes for the Sixers. He looks like the real deal only adding to the enthusiasm surrounding Philly these days. Following the depressing training camp news regarding Ben Simmons breaking his foot, we hear he may not sit out the year and possibly may come back around January or February.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-1)
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Last Week: 21
The Wolves are kind of hard to read so far outside of KAT. Kriss Dunn doesn't look close to being ready to start yet, Andrew Wiggins still isn't much of a playmaker yet outside of scoring and tends to float through some games, and Zach Lavine still is more athlete than basketball player. Yet this is still probably the best trio of youngsters since OKC's in the early 2010's.

17. Orlando Magic (1-2)
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Last Week: 23
There's so much going with this roster that new head coach Frank Vogel has to sift through. His number one problem though will be finding playing time for Aaron Gordon at the four and any playing time at all for last years' 5th overall pick Mario Hezonja.

18. Miami Heat (1-2)
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Last Week: 25
It's kind of crazy to see this team now considering they were in the NBA Finals 2 years ago and now are destined for the lottery. This is the 1st season since 2003 that didn't feature at least one member of the Big 3 of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James.

19. Utah Jazz (1-2)
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Last Week: 9
Gordon Hayward has gotten off to a decent start and Rudy Gobert as well for that matter. Players like Joe Johnson, Alec Burks, and Rodney Hood on the other hand have started slow and the Jazz will need all the production it can get to make up for it's offensive shortcomings.

20. Los Angeles Lakers (1-2)
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Last Week: 27
Don't look now but Luke Walton has the Lakers looking like an NBA team again and competing. I know Lakers fans think this is a shot, but this team won't make the playoffs, they will compete most nights though and will improve. That is the biggest thing for them, improvement. Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, & D'Angelo Russell all hold the future in their hands and LA hopes they reach their potential.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2)
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Last Week: 15
Russ is averaging a triple double so far and isn't looking to slow down anytime soon. Outside of that there isn't much to say about this team. Nothing particularly stands out about them except for the fact that the offense is absolutely atrocious once Westbrook takes a breather. Saturday's loss at home to the Lakers was a prime example of this.

22. Dallas Mavericks (1-2)
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Last Week: 28
So, maybe Marc Cuban won't regret giving Harrison Barnes that max deal last summer so much. Either way, Dallas isn't looking very good. In fact, they look pretty old and not very talented. Dirk is still producing surprisingly well this late in his career but if they want any chance at making the 8th seed, they're gonna need some resurgent play from former All-NBA caliber players Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut.

23. Charlotte Hornets (1-2)
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Last Week: 17
The Hornets have a weird mix of talent that somehow creates a decent defensive unit that can't score that much barring a Kemba Walker explosion. Which is odd given a lot of players on this team are offensively inclined, but that's neither here nor there. That just speaks to the job Steve Clifford has done as a coach.

24. Toronto Raptors (1-2)
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Last Week: 5
Normally I'd never drop a team this far down the rankings for a week where most of the teams are this jumbled together. Unfortunately for Raptors fans, this drop is due to their loss of All-Star PG Kyle Lowry until early December due to a broken toe. Hopefully the other half of their all-star backcourt Demar Derozan can keep them afloat long enough to get healthy again.

25. Phoenix Suns (1-2)
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Last Week: 26
Devin Booker continues to impress with his scoring prowess out in the desert and Eric Bledsoe seems to be doing okay in his return from injury. The Suns do have a lot of redundant parts though and you wonder if they'll be sellers closer to this years trade deadline.

26. Brooklyn Nets (1-3)
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Last Week: 30
I hate having to be the guy who brings this up every week, but talking anything Nets currently is really depressing. This team is bad and for a rebuilding team that would be a great thing as that would help in the lottery. Problem is this team will not have that pick so being awful isn't an option for a team that's going to be awful. See why it's hard to not pay attention to this.

27. New York Knicks (0-2)
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Last Week: 11
I mentioned last week this could go really well or it could all blow up really fast. The postive thing about being 0-2 so far for this "superteam" is that they've been in both games until the very end. Derrick Rose is the closest he's been to 100% since 2012 and Kristaps Porzingis is still a unicorn if there ever was one. Problem is Melo is starting to slow down and isn't the guy who can carry a team anymore, Joakim Noah looks beyond washed up, and the parts don't look like they fit all that well.

28. Washington Wizards (0-2)
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Last Week: 20
I disregarded the slight dysfunction with this team thanks to the John Wall-Bradley Beal duo but it's been apparent to start the season. Wall is off to an amazing start while Beal has only reinforced what many believed was a ludicrous contract extension with his play. Hopefully, they can repair and recover in time to start showing Wall they see him as the main figure moving forward or else...

29. Denver Nuggets (0-3)
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Last Week: 22

Denver has a nice dilemma on it's hands with Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic. Both are really talented big man and Denver looks to have a deadly frontcourt combo for years to come. The issue will be with Denver's backcourt, which currently is somewhat of an enigma. Emmanual Mudiay still is struggling to become an efficient NBA player and guys like Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris are giving up as many points as they're scoring.

30. Boston Celtics (0-3)
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Last Week: 6
I can definitely say I didn't see Boston starting off this bad. The addition of AL Horford has apparently altered team chemistry a lot more than anticipated and Isaiah Thomas is struggling the most with trying to adjust his game. Just play devil's advocate here (we know they'll make the playoffs), let's say Boston continued being this awful, Nets fans may have hope as Boston wouldn't even need to pick swap if they finished with one of the worst records in the NBA.
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:52 pm

11/1/16
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11/2/16
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GD's Highlights
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phpBB [video]
Last edited by qfrmcpt310 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:55 pm

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Julius Randle To Miss 6-8 Weeks Due to Broken Ankle
Marc Stein
ESPN.com
Nov 2, 2016

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Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle will miss up to 8 weeks of action after suffering a broken right ankle today in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. Randle had been showing improved play in Head Coach Luke Walton's new system, showcasing the forwards' versatility.

Randle was injured late in the 3rd quarter against the Hawks after leading the Lakers to a large lead. He finished the night with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. This is yet another setback for the forward who saw his rookie season cut to only 14 minutes when he broke his leg on opening night 2 years ago.
The Lakers will look to continue their trek to respectability through this adversity counting on the development of young forward Brandon Ingram and guard D'Angelo Russell.

Other Note-able Injuries:
Kyle Lowry - Broken left toe: 2-4 weeks
Al Jefferson - High right ankle sprain: 4-6 weeks
Jon Leur - Severe right ankle sprain: 6-8 weeks
J.J. Barea - Twisted right knee: 1-2 weeks
Jared Dudley - Sprained left knee: 1-2 weeks
Tony Snell - Twisted right knee: 1-2 weeks
Marcus Thorton - Strained right elbow ligament: 1-2 weeks
Ben Simmons - Broken right foot: 2-3 months
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:59 pm

11/3/16
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GD's Highlights
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11/4/16
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11/5/16
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Last edited by qfrmcpt310 on Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The League: Reign of The NBA

Postby qfrmcpt310 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:07 pm

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KD vs. Westbrook Round 1 Goes to Warriors

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Oakland, Ca (AP) - The Warriors to no surprise made easy work of the Thunder Thursday night, but that wasn't the main story to follow. The headline grabber was that this was the first time Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook would take the floor as opponents following Durant's decision to leave Oklahoma City this summer.

As expected, their was a considerable amount of tension between the two going into the game and it only increased as the game went on. With the Thunder coming off an excellent last second win against the LA Clippers the night before and Russell Westbrook averaging a triple double for the season (though slowed by a sprained ankle suffered the night before) many expected a decent contest with Durant and Westbrook having one of the best duels since the first time Shaq played against Kobe in 2005.

Durant would have none of that as he opened the game on fire scoring his first 10 points on 2-3 shooting. He would go on to score a game high 36 points on 50% shooting and tie the game high of 10 rebounds (Draymond Green). Westbrook had 17 points shooting 8-23 from the field.
The Warriors weren't all just Durant though as 4 other Warriors scored in double figures. Klay Thompson had 20 points on 9-13 shooting, Steph Curry finished with 18 on 7-17 shooting, Draymond Green flirted with a triple double in the first half with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, and Shaun Livingston finished with 10 points off the bench.

The Thunder and Warriors will meet 3 more times this season. The next game will be 2 days after Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 18, 2017, right back here in Oakland. Durant's return to OKC will be February 11th.
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