Zee Otoo Speaks Out, Wants More Playing TimeMagic reserve forward Zee Otoo is upset with his situation in Orlando. "I came to the NBA to play basketball, not sit on the bench and watch other people play. I may not have been very good when I got here, but I thought with some improvements I could make Van Gundy's rotation. Dwight Howard has helped me with my defense tremendously and my rebounding has improved since I got here too. I don't know what Van Gundy's waiting for or what he has to lose. We're not even in the playoffs! He doesn't want to trade me, he doesn't want to waive me, and he doesn't seem to want to play me either."
"I'm not demanding a trade," Zee Otoo said after Van Gundy called him "a whiny, trade-seeking bitch". "I love Orlando, I just want to play basketball in the NBA. That's all I'm asking." Both Van Gundy and Otoo have been fined by the NBA. Otoo has receive very few minutes in the NBA, but averaged 20 points, 40% 3-point shooting, and 9 rebounds in eleven D-League games, and in practice, regularly surprises his Magic teammates, who are puzzled at his lack of playing time in the NBA.
For those who know very little about Zee Otoo: Zee is 22, and only has four or five years of basketball under his belt. He never played high school basketball and only played basketball in his junior year of college after dominating over most of his friends in pick-up games. He impressed a lot of people at the University of South Carolina, and in the NBA, scouts were taking notice of Zee's 19 points, 7 rebounds, 44% outside shooting. An inexperienced, yet sharp-shooting combo forward, Zee Otoo has met his share of adversity in college and in the NBA. There were those who said he'd never make it into the NBA, or that once he was there, he'd get a couple short contracts and it would be over for him. However, he let his game do the talking and the dark horse led "The Other USC" to the NCAA Championships.
Otoo had dominated the first half, leading USC to a 47-33 lead, and he himself already had 12 points and 8 rebounds. In the opening play of the second half, he tweaked the ankle that had bothered him all year long and left the game. USC would tragically lose 88-87. Soon after, Zee underwent scans and confirmed ligament damage in the ankle and that he would have to stay off the court for three months. Questions of his durability spread throughout the NBA like wildfire and Zee found he was no longer projected as a possible late-lottery pick. Instead, mock drafts showed him as an early to late second rounder, with some actually keeping him undrafted altogether.
"It killed me to see my favorite teams, the Bobcats, the Mavs, the Suns, just overlook me. I was relieved when I was picked 45th by Orlando, because I was nervous I would have dropped out altogether."
Zee Otoo's ankle has been fine for months, and he doesn't think that's the reason Van Gundy keeps him off the court. "I know I'm inexperienced, but you're always inexperienced until someone gives you a chance. Van Gundy hasn't given me that chance."
Lamrock wrote:Okay... on to season 2
League NewsMavericks Looking For A Trade
DAL, Feb 1 (AP) – Leo Lai’s trade request has not fallen on death ears as the dangerously teetering Mavs are looking to improve their team one last time before the trade deadline passes. It is believed that Dallas desperately want Dirk Nowitzki to have one last shot at playoff success and are willing to part with the promising Lai in order to bring in some more help right now.
A number of players have been in the Mavs’ crosshairs and it has been reported that Dallas has made a play at Portland Trailblazers pair Darko Milicic and Ben Gordon. Other rumored targets have been New York’s Lamar Odom, Charlotte’s Devin Harris and Memphis’ TJ Ford.
It is unclear whether anything can happen as the Mavs would need to include another player in order to match salaries and talent; the Mavs just do not have the assets to make a deal happen without losing more than one player. However, it is clear that the team needs a boost at center as well point guard where Jerryd Bayless has not panned out well as a full time starter.
Veteran PF Nowitzki is playing one of the worst individual seasons, marred by injuries and inconsistency. The German has made it clear that he would love to play in the postseason one more time before retiring. “If Steve (Nash) got a good shot last year with us,” Nowitzki joked, “I think I should get a shot too.”
Read More…Magic Find Themselves In Precarious Position
ORLANDO, Feb 1 (AP) – The Orlando Magic have had the same team for many years now and it’s starting to show as they continue to struggle this season. It is granted that the poor record has been due to not having Jameer Nelson in the fold this season due to an injury but Gerald Wallace was supposed to improve the side.
Now, the franchise is looking to add some more talent alongside reigning Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard to try and get some more relevance. It is reported that Orlando is very close to two deals. One is with the Denver Nuggets that would see the return of former Magic favorite Tracy McGrady. The second deal would be with the Memphis Grizzlies that would land Emeka Okafor, the Rookie of the Year of the same draft class as Howard.
Magic leader Howard has been pleased by the news that McGrady and Okafor could soon be teammates with him. Understandably though, he is also worried about whether the team will still be deep enough to compete in the playoffs. “I would love for those guys to join me,” he said, “But you’re talking about T-Mac who can still ball and Meka who is a pretty decent player. If we’re not giving up Crash (Wallace), then who do we give up for any of them?”
Read More…Ariza Enjoying Lakers Life
LOS ANGELES, Jan 1 (AP) – Trevor Ariza is thoroughly enjoying his second stint in Hollywood. The veteran forward has pushed his scoring average to 15 points a game and the Lakers are currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 27-19 record. No one had envisioned to be in this position.
“I love to play on a winning team,” Ariza told reporters after a Lakers’ shootaround, “And what better place to play in than LA?” Ariza has also admitted that he has been keeping a close eye on his former team, Seattle, and their current success.
“I wish all of the guys well,” he stated, “They deserve the success and the winning streak shows that they are a great team.” When questioned if he felt like he missed out on being a part of something special, he said, “Maybe I will sound a bit greedy but you only have one career in the NBA. I wasn’t going to spend it sitting on the bench behind Kevin (Durant). I mean, that’s a guaranteed sitting on the bench role right there.”
Read More…Must Enjoying Breakout Season
PHOENIX, Feb 1 (AP) – Martti Must never understood why he did not play as much as he would have liked whilst with the Tar Heels. But he has learnt that some things can never be explained and just to understand that everything happens for a reason. “I am the player I am today from all my experiences in the past,” Must reflected.
Must was never a strong defensive player but this season, his game has soared to new heights as he is in a tight race with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. Howard has never been challenged like this for the award ever since winning his first one. Must is enjoying the challenge, “Dwight is an All-Time great defender. It’s an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence with him.”
The numerous times he sat in close games for the Heels and then the numerous times his Memphis Grizzlies fell out of the playoff race has helped Must become a more focused and disciplined player. “I feel like I am playing the best ball in my life,” he said, “The only thing that’s not happening this season is team success.” Despite the team’s mediocre performance, Must claims that he is having a good time, “This team is the most fun I’ve been on in a while.”
Must: 11.8 rpg, 3.0 bpg, 0.8 spg
Howard: 11.9 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 1.3 spg
Read More…Shad O’Greene Allowed Visa
NEW YORK, Feb 1 (AP) – Controversial Philippines forward Shad O’Greene has won a battle with the United States Immigration Department by being granted a working Visa. O’Greene’s criminal history and substance abuse was the reason for his visa application to stall.
His strangest misdemeanor was an incident where he had stolen toys from a toy store and burnt them in a pickup truck. He was only found to be responsible after admitting to the crime when police found him drunk in a children’s playpen of a parent’s room the next morning. O’Greene has stated that he hopes his hard-nosed defense reconciles fans with the ‘throwback era where everyone was bashing each other up and being physical like Chuck Norris.’ The PBA star was voted the most hated player in the Philippines for the second straight time last year and has just controversially quit the league by leaving his team in the fourth quarter of a recent game.
It is unclear where O’Greene is to be projected for the upcoming draft. A lot of that will be determined when he starts to work out for NBA teams in the months to come.
Player of the Month
East: Jay Gray
West: Martti Must
Rookie of the Month
East: Coby Clark
West: Lucius Santos
Race 2 MVP
1. Kevin Durant, SF, Seattle Stealth
29.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.5 bpg, .576 FG%
Durant should be a unanimous MVP winner if he continues with either his strong individual form or facilitation of his team’s success. See, his case is so strong that he doesn’t need both to get him that trophy. Durant has developed into the best offensive player in the NBA and although he does not do everything he’s capable of, he’s doing everything that he does best. Durant could average 30 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists a game if he wanted to.
2. Lebron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
23.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 7.0 apg
Lebron James is still doing it all and the Cavs are still holding onto the number one spot at the top of the Eastern Conference. Voters like how James has more of an all-around game than Durant but sorry King James; this is Kevin’s year. James can take solace in the fact that his Cavs are likely to have an easier task to reach the NBA Finals again and if what he is saying is true – then a championship is the real aim for him this season.
3. Moses Chara, SF, Sacramento Kings
23.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 7.6 apg
Moses Chara trails Lebron for second best player in the NBA. The Kings have been disappointing as the improved NBA champs have struggled lately. The New Orleans Hornets have 3 less losses than the defending champs and have looked much more impressive than the Kings. Sacramento might even be knocked out in the second round if the playoffs began today.
4. Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets
22.2 ppg, 7.2 apg, 2.2 spg
Quietly proving that he is still the best point guard in this league, Paul has continued to enjoy being the engine to the boiling room for the Hornets. No player in the league is able to change the flow of the game like Paul does. It is amazing that Paul has done it for so long and still no team has a solution for him. The former MVP remains modest as ever though, “I would not be here without my teammates. We do this together.”
5. Andrew Bogut, C, Seattle Stealth
15.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 5.7 apg, 2.2 bpg
The affable Aussie is the rock of a very talented Stealth team. Time and time again, everyone has talked about how good his teammates are but as all you readers know; we love Bogut here at R2MVP HQ. There is no NBA center in history that has been so effective and well-rounded than Bogut has been this season. As opposing center Dwight Howard has stated, “Bogut is one of the hardest players to guard in this league. He is a real triple threat.”
On the bubble: Josh Smith, PF, Atlanta Hawks; Carmelo Anthony, SF, New Jersey Nets; Chris Bosh, PF, New Jerseys Nets; Kobe Bryant, SG, LA Lakers; Brandon Roy, SF, Portland Trailblazers; Marrti Must, PF, Phoenix Suns; Jay Gray, PF, Milwaukee Bucks.
1. Coby Clark, C, Toronto Raptors
14.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.6 bpg
(Drafted 1 by Toronto)
2. Julian Martin, SG, Charlotte Bobcats
17.1 ppg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 spg
(Drafted 4 by Charlotte)
3. Sam Slater, SG, Detroit Pistons
6.1 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.6 spg
(Drafted 2 by Detroit)
4. Lucius Santos, SF, Houston Rockets
6.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.1 apg
(Drafted 9 by Houston)
5. Christian Oliver, PG, Houston Rockets
4.7 ppg, 2.7 apg
(Drafted 6 by Houston)
Lamrock wrote:L-train's absence in R2'MVP is the elephant in the room
Stealth Win With Second Half Run
February 3, SEATTLE – The Seattle Stealth continued their winning streak by defeating the New York Knicks at home. The 118-90 win was actually close up until half time before the home side roared to victory with a 66-38 second half. It was win number 29 for Seattle that now needs just 4 games to tie the All-time record for highest number of consecutive wins.
Kevin Durant and Reshawn Tyson shared the scoring load with 28 apiece while Andrew Bogut chipped in with 14 points. Ron Artest and Travis Ward each scored 20 points to pace the Knicks.
“This was a big win for us,” Durant said after the game, “We’re going for 33 (wins) and for a moment (at halftime) we thought that we weren’t going to get this one because we weren’t playing that well. Then I decided to win the third quarter for us and the bench brought us home!” The Stealth won the third quarter 33-16 with Durant scoring 16 of his 28 points in the third period.
Sit wrote:Durant has developed into the best player in the NBA
Sit wrote:Moses Chara trails Lebron for second best player in the NBA.
Valor wrote:Sit wrote:Durant has developed into the best player in the NBASit wrote:Moses Chara trails Lebron for second best player in the NBA.
Typo much Sit? Haha just nitpicking, sorry.
Nice recap, just wanna say I really don't like those trade destinations aside from New York IF it's not for Lamar (cause I wanna team with a quality big if traded)
Speaking of the Knicks...monster second half from you
Sit wrote:“This was a big win for us,” Durant said after the game, “We’re going for 33 (wins) and for a moment (at halftime) we thought that we weren’t going to get this one because we weren’t playing that well. Then I decided to win the third quarter for us and the bench brought us home!"
Durant’s Double Double Delivers Thirty Straight
February 5, SEATTLE – The Seattle Stealth inched closer to the LA Lakers’ historic 33-game winning streak from 1972 and they had Kevin Durant to thank for it. Durant scored all 29 of his points in the first half and helped Seattle build an unassailable lead as they romped to a 126-96 victory against the visiting Indiana Pacers. It was their 30th win in a row.
“I was in the zone,” Durant said before pausing then adding, “… again.” Durant left the stadium at halftime before returning for a podium interview. When asked where he went, Durant stated, “I’m not wasting my time waiting for these fools to finish the game. The result was already in the books.” Head Coach George Karl claimed that his star player had some urgent matters to attend to but pictures put up online placed him in a nearby Burger King with a number of friends.
“What I do is my own business,” Durant told media when questioned about the pictures online, “How do you know they weren’t taken last night?” Durant further defended himself, “I work hard for my pay cheque and all of you are just acting ungrateful right now. Haven't I shown all of you jokers that I'm a God in this league? Actually - I'm a god in sport internationally. This is ridiculous how you treat me!”
Durant finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds. The Stealth bench were huge as well. They were led by Allen Iverson’s 20 points and Mingyu Li’s 17 points. Fan favourite Adam Morrison also chipped in 11.
Danny Granger led the Pacers with 16 points while Albano Spagnoletti (2-10 FG) and Marc Gasol (5-13 FG) added 13 apiece. Ricky Rubio looked embarrassing and did not take advantage of being matched against veterans Jason Kidd and Iverson. Rubio struggled on 1 for 9 shooting from the field to finish with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists.
Martti. wrote:Also, could you post a head-to-head comparison of stats between me and my arch-nemesis Gray? If there's time.
Sit wrote:You're not even gonna cry back? You're becomming softer crybaby!
Cruzerr wrote:Haha about the full court shot
Sit wrote:Cruzerr wrote:Haha about the full court shot
No haha. I was so pissed off about it, I snapped at my teammate about it. He knew not to talk back to me.
Need to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Cruzerr wrote:Sit wrote:Cruzerr wrote:Haha about the full court shot
No haha. I was so pissed off about it, I snapped at my teammate about it. He knew not to talk back to me.
Need to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Yeah, I get it that It would piss you off. But I just find it funny why in the hell would he shoot it
I guess his idol is Tyreke Evans
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