The 2K10 & Beyond Project - Season 18/19: Reigning MVP Russ takes down Jazz

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Re: The 2K10 & Beyond Project - Season 18/19: Season Preview

Postby jubba910 on Mon Jan 02, 2023 9:37 pm

2018-19 Season Preview

After the dominant rise back to the top of the Mountain in DC, Kevin Durant has the league in his hands, now tying MJ with six rings. In his quest for his seventh, he looks across an NBA landscape that appears to be ever-shifting, especially in its competitiveness. The East looks no easier than in their own backyard, as Orlando's strong rebuild sees them appearing as darkhorses to provide the champions some challenges. Or north to the central, where the bitter taste of a Conference Finals sweep sits in the mouth of LeBron James, or their biggest challenge last playoffs in The Big Apple, where a Greek Freak continues to rumble towards superstardom. When we look to the West, we see none more ready for revenge than the Oklahoma City Thunder, falling ever so short without their MVP Russell Westbrook. Or who could forget the injury-riddled Jazz on their journey back to the top spot of the West, the ever-hungry Big Easy franchise in the Pelicans, or the dangerous newcomers in LA. If 2017-18 was the entree to a new-look league, we look forward to the main course.

Division Previews


Eastern Conference – Atlantic Division

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After a coming-of-age performance against the eventual champions, Giannis Antetokounmpo holds the rabid Knicks fanbase in the palm of his hands. With the handy pickup of Finals veteran Trevor Ariza replacing Joe Johnson, another postseason appearance looks to be certain for The Big Apple franchise. Swapping out Jae Crowder for Tobias Harris, the North looks set to bounce back after a horrid year which saw them sink from 1st in 2016-17 to missing the playoffs last season. With Harris looking to break out of being the fourth option on a stacked New Orleans outfit, DeMar DeRozan may have found his tag-team partner to take the Raptors back to the top. The City of Brotherly Love has been patiently waiting, and can bank on last year's playoff appearance as hopefully something to build on. Chock-full of young talent and emerging superstars in Devin Booker and Ben Simmons, Philadelphia will be hot on the heels of the Knicks and Raptors chasing a division crown. Taking a significant step back after missing the playoffs last season, the Celtics now regress further into the likely playoff bubble, hoping the hype of Jarrett Allen and different game of CJ McCollum can give Beantown the jumpstart it desperately needs to get back to competing for championships. Lacking in the rear-view mirror of their rivals is the Brooklyn Nets, betting on Dennis Smith Jr. and Jaren Jackson Jr. to provide Khris Middleton the required support alongside new signing Gary Harris, as their icon Pau Gasol stares down the road of retirement.


Eastern Conference – Central Division

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In a gutting 4-1 series loss to the Cavaliers, the Bucks went all-in last season and still fell short of the Conference Finals. With multiple season's deemed the PG-Kemba "Last Chance", it appears all but certain that if Milwaukee isn't one of the last two teams remaining in the East, it will be splitsville for their two stars. After a 4-0 romping by Kevin Durant and the Wizards, LeBron James and the Cavaliers have had the time to lick their wounds, though they may not get any better. Losing both Zach Randolph and Tyson Chandler, the former East champions look weak and ripe for the taking. With LeBron now entering his mid-30's, a further dip into their future draft stock may be the only thing to keep them afloat. Is this THE year for the Pistons? Entering their 10th season without a playoff appearance, the Motor City has plenty to be positive about, with Rookie of the Year Lonzo Ball tipped to lead the way with a hopeful second year performance to rival DeAngelo Russell. A fifth place finish after trading away Chris Bosh is not where anyone thought the Pacers would end up last season, though that may be a pipe dream for this season. Boasting Bojan Bogdanovic, DeMarre Carroll and Andre Iguodala all at SF, the Pacers look out of place and lost, fit for a major fire sale to bolster contender lineups. The long road continues for the Chicago Bulls, betting on middling free agents such as Orlando's Julius Randle, Milwaukee's Dante Exum and Phoenix's Alex Len to pull them out of the hole that has seen them buried at the bottom of the East for the past couple of years.


Eastern Conference – Southeast Division

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The reigning champions may look slightly different, but still seem just as deadly. With DeAndre Jordan shifting to the PF position, the Wizards now start with 6'11, 6'11 and 7'0 for their 3, 4 and 5 positions, an agonizing sight for any inside-focussed offense as the DC franchise drives for a repeat. No team looks set to rock the NBA more than the Orlando Magic, with sophomore Donovan Mitchell locked in as many pundits Most Improved Player before a single tipoff. Alongside Gordon Hayward, Mitchell and the Magic could be a serious contender to shock the reigning champions and snatch the division crown. Another youthful team set for a rise is the Hawks, adding longtime Blazer LaMarcus Aldridge alongside burgeoning big man Myles Turner down low, creating a dynamic low-post presence. Sitting only a few wins away from a postseason appearance last season, Atlanta's fanbase can have faith that natural progression should see them back in the playoffs. Back-to-back Finals appearances seems like decades ago in South Beach, with their heart and soul Kyrie Irving now in Los Angeles, Miami now have to pick up the pieces, scrounging together a lineup that won't provide the type of record they've come to expect. Dwight Howard's massive contract weighs heavily on their shoulders, and could be a big domino to fall at the deadline.


Western Conference - Pacific Division

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Landing arguably the most promising player tapped to move this past free agency, the Los Angeles Clippers are back to being a household name in LA, thanks mainly to the presence of Joel Embiid. The 24-year old coming across with former #1 pick Victor Oladipo supercharges a youthful lineup that looks set to rock the West, and in particular steal the winning thunder from their stadium-sharing rivals. After a brutal Game 7 loss to the Pelicans, the Warriors are hungry to get back to the top whilst in the prime of Stephen Curry and DeMarcus Cousins. With some changes in the lineup in Cedi Osman and Mirza Teletovic, the Warriors still look to be one of the biggest permiter threats in the league. Swapping LaMarcus Aldridge for Nerlens Noel is not what most predicted would be the Trailblazers offseason, but after another disappointing year and entering the last year of Draymond Green's contract, Portland looks desperate to prove they can still hang with the West's best. If not, it could get ugly by the deadline. In the ultimate glow-up, the Lake Show looks back with Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard now leading the purple and gold to a much more promising finish this season. Though looking thin behind their two stars, a big question is if there's enough support to make a signficant impact this year. Circling the bottom again are the Kings, who were buoyed by some fantastic play of All-NBA Center Greg Monroe to shock most pundits with a postseason berth. Kyle Kuzma looks set for a breakout year, but Sacramento's pairing of Mike Conley and Monroe will need to move mountains to get above the rest of their division.


Western Conference – Southwest Division

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Finishing atop of the West after a heated battle with the then-defending champions, the Pelicans look slightly weaker, appearing to have regressed with the signing of Jae Crowder over former swingman Tobias Harris. A lot can be forgiven for The Big Easy however with their unbelievable frontcourt duo in Karl-Anthony Towns and Nikola Jokic who will ensure the Pelicans have their shot again in the playoffs. The league's oldest roster remains in San Antonio, betting on the experience of their many veterans to will Chris Paul to some postseason success after narrowly missing out last season. Though it appears safe to say another disappointing result could see a major shift in strategy for the Spurs. Now Brandon Ingram and Kristaps Porzingis' team as much as Eric Bledsoe's, H-Town will be banking on further development to go one step further this season after being completely outmatched by the Thunder. The perplexing situation in Dallas continues to not look to threaten the rest of their division, with the last contracted year of Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay and Dwyane Wade promising a fresh start for the Mavericks in 2019-20. In the opposite position of the Spurs, the Grizzlies draft haul looks set to excite the Music City, with Marvin Bagley III, Luka Doncic and Kevin Knox joining Marcus Smart, Otto Porter and Bam Adebayo to create a new chapter in Grizzlies history, and likely a death lineup to face in the future.


Western Conference – Midwest Division

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Jimmy Butler's absence throughout the season and Eric Gordon's season-ending injury midway through can be pointed to what should've been another Conference Finals visit for the 2017 champions. Significantly bolstering their frontcourt stocks with Al Jefferson and Tyson Chandler, the Jazz will be hard to top at the pointy end of the West this season. After sorely missing the reigning MVP in the playoffs, the Thunder will be back to defend their West crown back at full strength. Can Westbrook and Harden dominate the MVP talk again whilst also dominating the West's countless contenders? Locking in their future with long-term deals to Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker, a Game 7 loss to the Warriors capped off a suprisingly successful first season for the Suns in the Midwest division. Further progress lead by their captain John Wall should hopefully see them rubbing shoulders with the likes of the West's elite. Dropping to the bottom of the West after topping the conference in 2017, the Nuggets look refreshed and ready to put up a fight once again, now with #1 pick DeAndre Ayton set to fill the shoes of DeAndre Jordan who was sorely missed last season. The second year of the Andrew Wiggins and DeAngelo Russell combination will be essential for the Mile High franchise to return to the top. Losing a step in the age of Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony, further focus in Minnesota falls on Bradley Beal, the locked in future of the franchise as Minnesota look to go one better than their Conference Semifinals loss to the Thunder last season.


Award Predictions


Most Valuable Player
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Kevin Durant, Washington Wizards

En-route to another East-topping performance for his home town Wizards, Kevin Durant looks set to lock up his fifth MVP.

Rookie of the Year
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Luka Doncic, Memphis Grizzlies

Following the trend of the past two years, the highest-pick PG could take it out again, with Luka Doncic leading the way for the revolutionised Grizzlies.


Defensive Player of the Year
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Joel Embiid, Los Angeles Clippers

Tying in nicely with his new home, Joel Embiid's rim presence will be on display all season long as the Clippers battle it out with the West's elite.


Most Improved Player
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Donovan Mitchell, Orlando Magic

After muscling out George Hill in Orlando for the starting spot late last season, Spida's ascension to notoriety will take the next step this season.


Sixth Man of the Year
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Evan Fournier, Houston Rockets

Sharing minutes with Eric Bledsoe, Fournier will be a vital cog in what looks to be a strong season for the upstart Rockets.


Coach of the Year
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Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers

Despite not having a massive impact for the Clippers since his arrival, a rejuvinated lineup will skyrocket Doc Rivers to the top of the coaching pile if they can deliver him a top-placed finish.
"I just tried to play the right way." - Kwame Brown

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Re: The 2K10 & Beyond Project - Season 18/19: Opening Night

Postby jubba910 on Fri Jan 06, 2023 12:17 pm

Opening Night

PHI 117 @ BOS 87

16th October 2018

Simmons shines in Beantown

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Starting their season off on the right foot, Ben Simmons lead all comers with 37 points as the Sixers took a 1-0 season series lead against crosstown rivals in Boston.

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PHX 110 @ GS 119
16th October 2018

Curry, Warriors edge out Suns

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In a rematch of their First Round Game 7 last season, former MVP Stephen Curry's 31 points helped the Warriors take down the Suns.

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"I just tried to play the right way." - Kwame Brown

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Re: The 2K10 & Beyond Project - Season 18/19: Opening Night

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 06, 2023 4:49 pm

Deng is still sticking around I see. As it is, I felt he had a couple of decent years left in real life. Never was the same after leaving Chicago, unfortunately.
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Re: The 2K10 & Beyond Project - Season 18/19: Wizards blow out Heat on Ring Night

Postby jubba910 on Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:31 am

MIA 98 @ WAS 121
18th October 2018

Wizards blow out Heat on Ring Night

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In a night of celebration, it was business as usual for the reigning champions, handing their division rival a double-digit beating to open their championship defence.

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Last edited by jubba910 on Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I just tried to play the right way." - Kwame Brown

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Re: The 2K10 & Beyond Project - Season 18/19: Wizards blow out Heat on Ring Night

Postby Andrew on Tue Jan 17, 2023 9:27 am

Durant truly feels like the face of the league at this point.
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Re: The 2K10 & Beyond Project - Season 18/19: Nuggets take win in LA

Postby jubba910 on Sun Jan 22, 2023 9:59 am

DEN 110 @ LAL 91
25th October 2018

Nuggets take win in LA

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It was a battle of the 0-4 starts in Los Angeles, with the Denver Nuggets taking care of business against the newly formed partnership of Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, worsening the duo's record to 0-5.

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"I just tried to play the right way." - Kwame Brown

Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
Baltimore Ravens (NFL)
Ottawa Senators (NHL)
Baylor Bears (NCAAB)
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Re: The 2K10 & Beyond Project - Season 18/19: Reigning MVP Russ takes down Jazz

Postby jubba910 on Wed Jan 25, 2023 12:07 am

UTA 96 @ OKC 109
31st October 2018

Reigning MVP Russ takes down Jazz

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Continuing his revenge tour after missing the postseason last year, last year's MVP Russell Westbrook put 37 on the Jazz to snap their winning streak at 6.

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"I just tried to play the right way." - Kwame Brown

Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
Baltimore Ravens (NFL)
Ottawa Senators (NHL)
Baylor Bears (NCAAB)
TCU Horned Frogs (NCAAF)

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