Enter the Dragan [19-7] Rockets' bad run continues in Phoenix

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Re: Enter the Dragan - 2019-20 Season Preview

Postby Phil89 on Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:56 pm

29/10/19

Phoenix Suns [0-0] vs Memphis Grizzlies [0-0]

Jokic impresses on Suns debut as champions win season opener comfortably

Image

PHX - 24 27 26 23 100
MEM - 21 22 20 13 176

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic
(24pts, 7reb, 3ast, 1stl, 2blk)

(10-16 FG, 4-4 FT)


Top Scorers
Nikola Jokic - 24
Devin Booker - 16
Mike Conley - 15
Marquese Chriss - 15
Dragan Bender - 14
JaMychal Green - 13
Jonathan Jeanne - 13
Chandler Parsons - 11
Wade Baldwin - 10

Rebounds
Tristan Thompson - 9
JaMychal Green - 7
Nikola Jokic - 7
Dragan Bender - 6
CJ Miles - 5
Marquese Chriss - 5

Assists
Marcus Smart - 12
Mike Conley - 7
Wade Baldwin - 6

Steals
Marcus Smart - 7
Mike Conley - 2
Chandler Parsons - 2
JaMychal Green - 2
Marquese Chriss - 2
Dragan Bender - 2

Blocks
Kevin Knox - 2
CJ Miles - 2
Nikola Jokic - 2
Jonathan Jeanne - 2
JaMychal Green - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 18 22 20 23 83
ATL - 17 11 22 17 67

POTG: Devin Booker (23pts, 4reb, 1ast, 1blk)

Record: 2-0



Our 2018-19 championship players got their rings before the game
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Unfortunately, the banner that got raised was just a blank white one. (Probably because I'm using non-default logos/team designs. Slightly disappointing.)



Jokic was great on debut, but I was most impressed with Marcus Smart. Even though he only scored 2 points, he did dish out 12 assists and had 7 steals and a block.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [2-0] New season begins against Memphis

Postby cavs4872 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:43 am

Ever achieve a triple-double with Smart? Seems like he's due.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [2-0] New season begins against Memphis

Postby Andrew on Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:36 pm

Jokic certainly looking like a great acquisition, no surprises there. The low scores in that simulated game are more surprising, though. At least you won!
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Re: Enter the Dragan [2-0] New season begins against Memphis

Postby spiderxx7 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:28 pm

Man, I missed some sweet, sweet stories. You turned the Suns around in no time.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [2-0] New season begins against Memphis

Postby Phil89 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:29 pm

cavs4872 wrote:Ever achieve a triple-double with Smart? Seems like he's due.

Honestly, it's a struggle to get him a double-double most games through points and assists :P

At 6'4" he could turn into a good rebounding guard like Westbrook. But I'm poor at rebounding even with my big guys, so it probably won't happen.

Jokic and Bender will probably get a triple-double or two at some point this season though.


Andrew wrote:Jokic certainly looking like a great acquisition, no surprises there. The low scores in that simulated game are more surprising, though. At least you won!

It's only a small sample size, but Jokic seems to fit in with this team perfectly.

I'm hoping the sim engine likes me more this season. Ratings wise Jokic is a big upgrade on Alex Len and all of my young players have improved, so I'm hoping that we'll be stronger in sim games now.


spiderxx7 wrote:Man, I missed some sweet, sweet stories. You turned the Suns around in no time.

It took 3 years, but yeah that was a pretty quick rebuild. I didn't expect to be a contender until maybe this season. So the championship was a huge bonus.

Welcome back btw (Y)
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Re: Enter the Dragan [2-0] New season begins against Memphis

Postby Phil89 on Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:14 pm

1/11/19

Phoenix Suns [2-0] vs Orlando Magic [0-0]

Suns hold off late push by Magic to maintain unbeaten start

Image

PHX - 24 28 20 33 105
ORL - 25 21 21 33 100

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic
(26pts, 9reb, 1ast, 1blk)

(11-15 FG, 4-5 FT)


Top Scorers
Nikola Jokic - 26
Devin Booker - 26
Evan Fournier - 22
Aaron Gordon - 18
Jonathan Isaac - 14
Jonathan Jeanne - 12
Dragan Bender - 11
Isaiah Hartenstein - 11
Kevin Knox - 10
Mario Hezonja - 9
Elfrid Payton - 8

Rebounds
Aaron Gordon - 11
Nikola Jokic - 9
Bismack Biyombo - 7
Kevin Knox - 7
Dragan Bender - 6

Assists
Marcus Smart - 7
Mario Hezonja - 7
Elfrid Payton - 6
Devin Booker - 5

Steals
Marcus Smart - 3
Jonathan Isaac - 3
Elfrid Payton - 3
CJ Miles - 2
Isaiah Hartenstein - 2
Aaron Gordon - 2
Bismack Biyombo - 2

Blocks
Bismack Biyombo - 2
Dragan Bender - 2
Jonathan Jeanne - 2
Marcus Smart - 2
Kevin Knox - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 30 19 27 24 100
LAC - 25 22 15 24 186

POTG: Nikola Jokic (22pts, 11reb, 2ast)

Record: 4-0
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Re: Enter the Dragan [4-0] Tight finish against Magic

Postby Andrew on Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:20 pm

Championship form out of the gate.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [4-0] Tight finish against Magic

Postby Phil89 on Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:47 pm

For some reason 10 of our first 11 games this season are at home. Hopefully we can take advantage and give ourselves a strong platform to build on.

The Warriors are visiting soon, so that should be a good early test for both teams. I wonder how much the addition of Jokic and the loss of Klay will affect the match-up.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [4-0] Tight finish against Magic

Postby Lamrock on Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:44 am

I really like how you implement some of the real off-season moves here. It's a neat hybrid of the current NBA landscape and what's transpired in your game file.

Not a huge fan of the Jokic addition but can't deny you're in a good position to repeat!
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Re: Enter the Dragan [4-0] Tight finish against Magic

Postby Phil89 on Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:43 pm

6/11/19

Phoenix Suns [4-0] vs Cleveland Cavaliers [1-2]

Team effort helps Suns cruise past woeful Cavs

Image

PHX - 35 28 26 18 107
CLE - 14 22 26 18 180

Player of the Game: Jonathan Jeanne
(17pts, 14reb, 4ast, 7blk)

(6-11 FG, 5-6 FT)


Top Scorers
Jonathan Jeanne - 17
Nikola Jokic - 17
Marc Gasol - 15
Devin Booker - 14
Isaiah Thomas - 13
Terry Rozier - 12
Marquese Chriss - 12
Dragan Bender - 9
Michael Carter-Williams - 9
Marcus Smart - 8
Kelly Olynyk - 8

Rebounds
Jonathan Jeanne - 14
Dragan Bender - 8
Marc Gasol - 7
Nikola Jokic - 6
Marcus Morris - 5
Kelly Olynyk - 5
Jordan Mickey - 5
Kevin Knox - 5

Assists
Marcus Smart - 7
Michael Carter-Williams - 6
Andrew Harrison - 6

Steals
Marcus Morris - 3
Nikola Jokic - 2
Terry Rozier - 2

Blocks
Jonathan Jeanne - 7
Tim Hardaway Jr - 2




Simmed Game

MIN - 27 21 25 20 93
PHX - 25 14 24 12 76

POTG: Karl-Anthony Towns (32pts, 7reb, 1ast, 1stl)

Record: 5-1
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Re: Enter the Dragan [5-1] Cavs struggle without LeBron

Postby Andrew on Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:54 pm

Sim engine has no respect for the defending champions. Looks like the Cavs are in for a rough year, meanwhile.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [5-1] Cavs struggle without LeBron

Postby cavs4872 on Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:46 am

I literally did this :shock: at the sim score.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [4-0] Tight finish against Magic

Postby Phil89 on Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:38 pm

Lamrock wrote:I really like how you implement some of the real off-season moves here. It's a neat hybrid of the current NBA landscape and what's transpired in your game file.

Not a huge fan of the Jokic addition but can't deny you're in a good position to repeat!

You don't like Jokic or don't like his fit on this team?

Andrew wrote:Sim engine has no respect for the defending champions. Looks like the Cavs are in for a rough year, meanwhile.
cavs4872 wrote:I literally did this :shock: at the sim score.

It sucked to lose our first game of the season because of the sim engine. But I didn't want to go the whole season unbeaten anyway :fruity:
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Re: Enter the Dragan [5-1] Cavs struggle without LeBron

Postby Phil89 on Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:52 pm

11/11/19

Phoenix Suns [5-1] vs San Francisco Warriors [3-2]

Booker and Jokic help Suns make early season statement against the Warriors

Image

PHX - 30 31 24 22 107
SFW - 24 23 17 28 192

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic
(26pts, 3reb, 3ast, 1blk)

(10-13 FG, 6-6 FT)


Top Scorers
Nikola Jokic - 26
Devin Booker - 26
Kevin Durant - 19
Stephen Curry - 19
Draymond Green - 14
Jonathan Jeanne - 14
Marquese Chriss - 10
Patrick McCaw - 10
Wayne Ellington - 10
Dragan Bender - 8

Rebounds
Kevon Looney - 13
Dragan Bender - 9
Kevin Durant - 6

Assists
Marcus Smart - 10
Kevin Durant - 6
Patrick McCaw - 6
Stephen Curry - 6
Michael Carter-Williams - 6
Tim Hardaway Jr - 5

Steals
Kevin Durant - 5
Dragan Bender - 3
Marcus Smart - 3
Andrew Bogut - 2
Draymond Green - 2
Stephen Curry - 2

Blocks
Jonathan Jeanne - 5
Andrew Bogut - 3
Dragan Bender - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 24 30 30 24 108
DET - 28 18 28 26 100

POTG: Devin Booker (38pts, 1reb, 5ast)

Record: 7-1



This was my first regular season win against the Warriors, and only second overall win in four seasons. I lost my first 11 games against them (2-17 record in total, including one sim loss).

Jokic had to deal with foul trouble all game. He still scored some valuable points though.

I got a bit worried halfway through the fourth quarter when they reduced the 21 point margin down to 10. But we held firm and got the win.


CJ Miles got injured in the sim game against Detroit. He'll miss 1-2 weeks with a sprained knee.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [7-1] No Klay, No Warriors?

Postby spiderxx7 on Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:02 am

So it's the San Francisco Warriors now. Great touch (y) Nice to see the sim being good to you.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [7-1] No Klay, No Warriors?

Postby Phil89 on Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:19 pm

spiderxx7 wrote:So it's the San Francisco Warriors now. Great touch (y) Nice to see the sim being good to you.

Yep. I figured it made sense that since they were moving to a new arena in San Fran, so they may as well change their name as well.

There have been some interesting changes around the league. The Pelicans moved to Seattle, Louisville and San Diego got expansion teams and OKC moved to the Southwest division when the Pelicans became the Sonics.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [7-1] No Klay, No Warriors?

Postby Andrew on Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:58 pm

Jokic the Warrior Killer.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [7-1] No Klay, No Warriors?

Postby Phil89 on Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:18 pm

Andrew wrote:Jokic the Warrior Killer.

I'm feeling pretty happy about my decision to ship out Alex Len so that I could sign this guy.

I do feel a bit bad for him though, because he led the league in rebounding last season and now he has me controlling him. He's down from 15 rebounds per game to 9 :lol: :oops:
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Re: Enter the Dragan [7-1] No Klay, No Warriors?

Postby Andrew on Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:22 am

Just needs a few big games to bring it up to double digits again.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [7-1] No Klay, No Warriors?

Postby Phil89 on Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:34 pm

16/11/19

Phoenix Suns [7-1] vs Washington Wizards [2-6]

Beal and Wizards hand Suns first home defeat of the season

Image

PHX - 29 26 27 20 102
WAS - 25 29 26 28 108

Player of the Game: Bradley Beal
(23pts, 2reb, 4ast, 1stl)

(7-19 FG, 4-10 3PT, 5-5 FT)


Top Scorers
Bradley Beal - 23
Nikola Jokic - 22
Devin Booker - 20
Brandon Knight - 20
Malik Monk - 20
Jahlil Okafor - 20
Jonathan Jeanne - 17
Dragan Bender - 14
Tim Hardaway Jr - 9
Otto Porter - 9
Markieff Morris - 8

Rebounds
Jahlil Okafor - 9
Dragan Bender - 8
Markieff Morris - 8
Nikola Jokic - 7
Jonathan Jeanne - 7
Marquese Chriss - 7
Ian Mahinmi - 5
Kevin Knox - 5

Assists
Marcus Smart - 9
Markieff Morris - 6
Brandon Knight - 6
Michael Carter-Williams - 5
Trey Burke - 5

Steals
Markieff Morris - 7
Jahlil Okafor - 4
Otto Porter - 3
Marcus Smart - 3

Blocks
Jonathan Jeanne - 3
Kevin Knox - 2




Simmed Game

PHX - 18 32 25 21 96
SAS - 20 27 27 18 92

POTG: Devin Booker (23pts, 1reb, 2ast, 1stl)

Record: 8-2




This game was just a real arm-wrestle. I got the upper hand a few times, but just couldn't stop them from scoring late on.

It really felt as though Beal had scored twice as much as he actually did. He was so hard to stop all game.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [8-2] Wizards pull away late in Phoenix

Postby Andrew on Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:35 pm

I know the feeling, and it happens in real life as well as video games. It seems like a player has scored 40 points and hasn't missed a shot, yet the total and shooting percentage aren't quite that high when you take a look at the end of the game.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [8-2] Wizards pull away late in Phoenix

Postby spiderxx7 on Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:03 am

Oh, nice to see Tim Hardaway Jr. in the team. :bowdown2:
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Re: Enter the Dragan [8-2] Wizards pull away late in Phoenix

Postby Phil89 on Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:34 pm

18/11/19

Suns must decide futures of expiring players in the coming months

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The Phoenix Suns are still riding high several months after their surprise NBA Finals win over the Chicago Bulls. They then had a productive off-season, adding all-star center Nikola Jokic through free agency and re-signing finals MVP Devin Booker to a long-term deal.

They have also started the new season on a positive note by winning eight of their first ten games, including a memorable victory over their bogie team the Warriors. That strong start sees them mixing it with the likes of Oklahoma City, Portland and San Francisco in the battle for the top seed of the western conference.

But as with all successful teams, they are due to face some tough decisions as players come out of contract and expect to be paid larger salaries.




Phoenix salaries & future cap situation

The good news for Phoenix is that they have Devin Booker locked in for five years and Nikola Jokic for four years. Marcus Smart also has three years remaining on a good value deal. The bad news is that they have eight players who are set to become free agents at the end of the current season.

Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss, Tim Hardaway Jr and DeAndre Bembry will all be restricted free agents, whilst CJ Miles, Joffrey Lauvergne, Jerryd Bayless and Jared Dudley will be unrestricted.

There are also team options for both Jonathan Jeanne and Kevin Knox, which they will surely pick up.


Right now, the Suns could have as much as $30 million in cap room to spend next off-season. Take away the roughly $3 million for Jeanne and Knox and it drops to about $27 million.

Dudley, Bayless and Lauvergne seem to be backup players on the team and rather expendable. If they are offered new contracts it will most likely be for the minimum salary.

Bembry will need to prove himself to be a solid bench contributor this season in order to convince the Suns that he deserves a new deal.

Hardaway Jr and Miles have already provided critical bench scoring so far and could be brought back next season, as long as they don't cost too much.




The potential big earners

That just leaves the two biggest names on their free agent list. A pair of 22 year old big men who both played key roles in their championship run last season.

Dragan Bender; the inconsistent unicorn who has all-star potential, but still needs to develop an NBA body and a more assertive mentality.

And Marquese Chriss; the high-flying dunker who has developed into a key bench scorer, but has yet to figure out how to play with the same intensity at the other end of the court.


At current market rates Bender could be looking to earn somewhere between $18 to $22 million per season. Such an extension would basically put the Suns out of the running for any big-name free agents at the end of the season.

A deal for Chriss is a bit harder to gauge. He isn't a starter for Phoenix, but he did prove himself to be a more consistent performer than Bender in the NBA Finals. He came off the bench to put up double-figures each game, including a game-high 32 points in game six.

He has become a key bench player for the team and is even being suggested as one of the top candidates for the Sixth Man of the Year award this season. He could realistically ask for a similar salary to Bender.


Phoenix will no doubt have a limit on how much they are willing to pay Chriss. So it will be interesting to see what happens if both parties can't agree on a mutually beneficial agreement before the trade deadline arrives. He could find himself playing for a new team come March.

It's hard to see them wanting to have more than three players earning over $20 million per season.




Another top quality free agency pool awaits

The potential free agent list for next season is almost as star-studded as the one that we just saw.

Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Love, Andre Drummond, Khris Middleton and Evan Fournier headline the group of players who could be available to sign next July.


It's not quite that straightforward though. Davis, DeRozan, Drummond and Fournier will only be free agents if they decline their player options for next season.

Kawhi Leonard just got traded to his hometown Lakers by request, so it's unlikely that he will be leaving.

Draymond Green is a key part of the championship-winning Warriors juggernaut. He won't be going anywhere, especially now that Klay Thompson is gone and there is more money available in their cap.

The Kyrie Irving situation in Boston is 50-50 right now. On paper the team around him is a contender with Paul George, Al Horford and Thaddeus Young. But they haven't made it past the first round of the playoffs in either of the past two seasons.


The ones most likely to leave in search of a better chance of winning a championship are Jimmy Butler and Kevin Love. It's not hard to imagine LeBron luring either of them to the Lakers.

It wouldn't be surprising to see Anthony Davis actually decline his player option and go join a superteam. He has spent his entire career carrying his team on his back and probably wants someone to help share the load.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [8-2] Super early free agency preview

Postby Andrew on Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:45 pm

Tough call. I've let players go or risked losing them in the "re-sign" phase of franchise games to make a run at the big names, only to have them re-sign or quickly sign elsewhere. That's left me to re-sign the player I was willing to let walk, or worst case scenario, lose out on them as well.
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Re: Enter the Dragan [8-2] Super early free agency preview

Postby spiderxx7 on Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:23 pm

None of them has shown brilliance in real life. I guess it comes down to how you feel to either one of them.
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The newest Thierry/Ezio incarnation
 
Posts: 11998
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:34 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

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