Sit's Dynasty (NBA Live 06)

A collection of memorable Dynasty and Franchise threads.

Who will win the 2006 NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers
16
80%
Boston Celtics
4
20%
 
Total votes : 20

Postby Fresh8 on Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:42 pm

KOBE POSTS MAILMAN AWAY WITH NO RETURNS

Dec 5

Kobe Bryant appeared on a local radio show and made comments about Karl 'Mailman' Malone which have led to the Power Forward's agent to regard as 'recent personal attacks made in private.'

'Karl is furious,' agent Dwight Manley told The Associated Press. 'He felt very disrespected and betrayed after personally being the first to stand up for Kobe over the last year throughout his rape charge and all he went through.'

Karl Malone, 41 took a paycut to join the Lakers last season and was the only player who was close to both Shaquille O'neal and Kobe Bryant. The only man on the team who tried to settle the many disputes on a raging team, he often got caught in the crossfire but never gave up to calm his teammates down.

Malone was alledgedly feeling betrayed and 'back-stabbed' by Bryant whom he supported throughout the 6'6" shooting guard's legal ordeals and problems on court. Bryant had made comments about Malone's chances of returning to the Lakers and how that would affect the team's success.

'It's not really fair to hold it over the guys' heads that are here,' Bryant said. 'The guys that we have here are working hard, practicing hard every day. It's kind of tough for them to be looking over their shoulder, wondering if he's going to come back and then everybody is going to disappear.'

'They are here giving me 110 percent. It's really not fair for us to sit around and speculate how long this is going to go on. I mean, you can't sit up here and speculate for the remainder of the season whether or not he is going to come back. I mean, that's not fair to the guys that are working here.'

General Manager Will Sit of the Lakers has released a statement saying that Bryant should apologize to Malone in case any misunderstanding has occured. The GM has also decided to fine Bryant $ 500,000 which will be pocketed by Sit who will use it in any way he wishes.

"I believe money can solve lots of problems," Sit said with a grin on his face, "Bryant is not the voice of our orginisation and that is where GM Mitch Kupchak failed before me. He let Bryant get to his head too often."

As for Malone, Sit has attempted to contact the Power Forward who has forged a legendary career as one of the Leagues' 50 greatest players of all time. Malone has a guaranteed contract and in order to leave he will need to get a payout of his contract, something the Lakers won't do.

"He's got no choice but to live with it and if he really is that desperate to leave he will need to pay me his whole contract's value times two!" Sit said.

Malone played in 1,434 of a possible 1,444 regular-season games with the Jazz, but missed 40 games with the Lakers -- 39 after tearing a knee ligament Dec. 21 against Phoenix.

He returned in March and played a key role as the Lakers reached the NBA Finals before losing to the Detroit Pistons in five games.

Malone reinjured his knee in Game 2 of the finals, was limited in Games 3 and 4 and didn't play in Game 5. The Lakers lost the last three games.

Malone had played in 193 straight playoff games with the Jazz and Lakers before having to sit out the last game of the finals.

Considered one of the best power forwards in NBA history, Malone averaged a career-low 13.2 points and 8.7 rebounds in 42 games last season, leaving him with career averages of 25.0 points and 10.1 rebounds.

His 36,928 points in 1,476 games trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who finished his career with 38,387 points in 1,560 games.
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Postby Donatello on Thu Dec 09, 2004 6:53 pm

great article (Y)

and...i'm sure some pics wouldn't hurt- but you don't need them :wink:
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Postby Fresh8 on Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:10 pm

EURO-CENTER/FORMER LAKER RETURNING TO ACTION

Dec 5

Serbia Montenegro's 7'1" center Vlade Divac will be put into uniform for the next game against the Chicago Bulls in Chicago. Divac had a press release in the STAPLES centre and joked about his return.

"It's good. I was running out of clothes to wear," he said when was told he was rejoining the team nad the Lakers would dress him for the game. However, the player became serious when asked about staying healthy.

The original back problem arose when Divac attempted a spin move. "I just need to take it easy and not try any more fancy stuff. I'm 38 and I need to rest my bones," he said.

The former Lakers player who went to the Charlotte Hornets during the mid-90's ended up with the Sacramento Kings during the time when his former teams fought out in battles which fuelled hate between both squads in every game; even preseason exhibition matches.

"It is good to return to the Lakers. I miss my fellow countryman, Peja (Stojakavic) but he understands that I had to leave and I can't wait to play the Kings!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SCUFFLE BREAKS OUT

A friendly practice session had fists flying yesterday as the Laker's top two men surprisingly threw punches at one another. Lamar Odom who suddenly lunged at Bryant was suspened for the next game against the Chicago Bulls. Odom alledged that Bryant had provoked him non-intentionally. "His ego just makes me want to kill him," he claimed.

Bryant was alledged to have taken the ball off Odom playfully and turned and asked him, "Who's the man?" Bryant will be suspened in the game following the the Chicago one.
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Postby Fresh8 on Fri Dec 10, 2004 9:29 pm

A TRADE IN THE WORKS

Dec 6

The Los Angeles Lakers are reported to have been in talks with the Washington Wiazards in a deal which could have the teams trade their injured underachievers.

Three time champion Devean Geroge and former first overall pick Kwame Brown have been reported to have been included in a deal which would see the teams trade underachieving players who have potential to become stars.

Devean Geroge, a 6'8" swingman has been sidelined since the start of the season. The small forward from Division III Augsburg has been on all of the Laker's three-peat teams. The player got to start last season at the small forward position however his inconsistent play plagued his ability to be awarded minutes.

A good scorer in a Lakers system which is loaded with small forwards and shooting guards, it was easily forseen that Geroge wouldn't have any chance to be playing much behind starters Kobe Bryant and Caron Butler and sixth man guard Kareem Rush and Luke Walton.

"It is a chance for George to go somewhere where he will get a chance to shine and play in a team which he is more suited to," General Manager Will Sit said, "Of course the trade isn't formalised but I can already see George doing well as the Wizards' Second Unit leader."

6'11" Forward Kwame Brown has also sat out on the injury list for the whole season so far. The player who was nabbed with the first overall pick in 2001 has been disappointing in his career but had shown glimpses of why he was taken first overall at times. He impressed many during the final stretch of last season with some big games however always had a worse night the following game.

"Kwame has been unpredictable throughtout his young career but I know that if he came to Los Angeles, he could learn from Vlade (Divac), Brian (Grant) and Karl (Malone). Then next season when those guys are gone, he will start with Chris Mihm who is another young big we have," Will Sit said. Brown was known for his inside game and strength throughout high school. His blocking game is also finely chiseled and the Lakers would benefit form more inside help.

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan who has had some trouble with Brown was sympathetic that Brown wouldn't be given another chance to shine with the Wizards but was happy that he would get a bigger opportunity with the Lakers.

"The Lakers have a history of having great centers. They have had Mikan, Kareem, Wilt and Shaq and I wish Kwame the best and hope that Lakers' history rubs off on him and he can become great one day," Eddie said. When asked about how his team would cope he replied, "We've got Brenden Haywood and Etan Thomas to use. Also we have Antawn Jamison and Jared Jeffries, we can cope!"

Along with the two players mentioned, it was reported the Lakers were willing to offer Jumaine Jones and Chucky Atkins for a point guard or draft pick.
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Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:10 pm

Shame about those losses, but it all adds to the challenge. Good to see that you're starting to bounce back from them, seems the team really benefits from Kobe lighting it up. Very nice work with the images, I really like how you've utilised them. Liked the modified article re: the Bryant/Mailman situation too. :) Looking good Sit, I'll try to stay updated. (Y)
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Postby Fresh8 on Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:24 pm

Wewll, Andrew. Next game is agianst ur beloved Bulls... last time i played them Curry killed me. So stay tuned for that one in a few days!
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Postby Fresh8 on Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:53 pm

KOBE FAILS IN THE CLUTCH

Los Angeles Lakers 97 @ Chicago Bulls 103

Dec 7, Chicago - The stage was set at the United Centre as the Bulls crowd braced themselves for what seemed to be Kobe Bryant's sixth sense- Crunch time performances. Michael Jordan was a special guest at the match and watched on as his 'heir apparent' seemed like he was going to dish out another spectacular game.

With the Lakers down by 1 with 1:23 left, Bryant missed two crucial free throws. The star then stole the ball at half way and missed a wide open layup. As Rudy Tomajanovic shook his head in disapproval, Luol Deng scored a jumpshot to put the Bulls ahead 100-97 with 0:43 left. Bryant then rushed a long range shot at the other end which hit the left side of the backboard and Chris Mihm grabbed the rebound to go to the line. Mihm then made what Tomjanovic labelled as the 'most stupid play he had ever seen' and Kirk Hinrich sank a three point 'dagger' into the opposition's hearts to steal the game from Kobe and the Lakers who had mounted a late comeback.

The Lakers were led by all-star shooting guard Kobe Bryant who had 34 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Kareem Rush who had to start due to the absences of Lamar Odom and Caron Butler scored 5 three pointers, 4 in a row in the second quarter to achieve a season high 23 points. Chris Mihm grabbed 18 rebounds and Brian Grant came off the bench to score 16 and 10. However, the combined effort of the team's play couldn't overcome a spirited Chicago team which stopped a five game losing streak to win their first game of the season.

The key to the Bulls' victory was their frontcourt as Eddy Curry and Antonio Davis combined for 39 points and 21 rebounds on 19-24 shooting from the field. Kirk Hinrich added 22 points and a spirited effort which saw him score at points during the game which seemed to be important for the home side.

The Bulls took an early lead within 6 minutes of the first quarter as they led 19-4 with 5:43 left thanks to Antonio Davis coming off the bench to contribute early in the game. The Bulls took advantage of the Lakers' horrible ball handling as they forced the away team to commit 8 first quarter turnovers.

Kirk Hinrich said, "We knew that the Laker's point guard position is weaker than the rest of their roster and by forcing Kobe to bring the ball up and then double teaming him, he will make some mistakes." The strategy worked as Bryant made three costly mistakes early but didn't see him going to sit on the bench.

"I have a lot of faith in my players, especially Kobe Bryant. I knew that he would calm down a bit and get going eventually," Lakers coach Rudy T said. Bryant struggled however for much of the first half by shooting on 3-22 from the field but made up for that by shooting 8-9 from the stripe. Bulls coach Scott Skiles credited Bryant, "He (Bryant) kept his cool when his shot didn't work for him and found other ways of contributing. I admit he did very well on defence against Luol (Deng), Andres (Nocino) and Ben (Gordon)."

Bryant and Rushed helped each other play superb defence against the Chicago shooting guards and small forwards as they limited the three player mentioned by Skiles on 8-40 shooting.

Bryant scored 20 second half points and was supported by Rush's 11 second half points as the Lakers mounted a third quarter comeback, outscoring the Bulls 29-19 in the second half. Chris Mihm was the X-factor however as his timely rebounds kept the Lakers in the game, preventing Eddy Curry from grabbing easy rebounds.

"I went out and timed my rebounding today. I'm happy by doing that because it's my role on this team," Mihm commented. Bryant was satisfied with his teammates' production, "Tonight was a tough match. The Bulls hadn't won all season and everyone wants to beat the Lakers. Without Lamar and Caron, it was even harder to succeed."

Rudy Tomjanovic was especially angry about one specific play by the end of the game. With the game on the line, Chris Mihm went to shoot two free throws. He missed the first and then deliberately missed the second aiming it in the direction of Bryant. "That was just darn stupid. Why would you aim the ball so that Kobe will go for the boards? He had Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler boxing him out... Do you really expect Bryant to get the rebound against them?" Tomjanovic was furious as he screamed cross-court at Mihm.

Michael Jordan who is advertising his name-sake brand of shoes was present at the game and watched Bryant play. He had the following comment to make, "Two years ago I said I had left the game in the right hands of players but tonight I don't think Kobe proved me right. But he didn't prove me wrong. He has the tools to mould a game that he can call his own and not just be like me because he is unique. Players fail in games to find their shots early but Kobe proved he could contribute with defence and great hustle. But I think he needs to think about what he can do to help his team out when they need him to play smart which means to help his teammates instead of forcing jumpshots to win games."

Surprisingly Bryant took on-board the criticism saying, " I don't want to start a war of words with MJ. He's the greatest of all time and I want to learn off of him."

NOTES

Vlade Divac returned to the roster from the Injured List but didn't play... Kobe Bryant will serve his one-game suspention in the Milwaukee game and not the San Antonio game which are featured in a back-to-back away trip...

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Postby Fresh8 on Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:38 am

LAKER DEBUTANT WINS GAME FOR TEAM

Los Angeles Lakers 125 @ San Antonio Spurs 103

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ABOVE: Kwame Brown who had 34 (16-21 FG), 11 and 5 slams home the alley-oop

Dec 12, San Antonio – Kwame Brown was acquired in a trade three days ago which saw him leave his team of two years to join the Los Angeles Lakers. A power forward who is widely known and considered to be a ‘bust,’ his first game for his new team may point to a new direction for Brown. The 6’11” monster helped limit Tim Duncan from dominating and scored 34 points on 16-21 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds while dishing out 5 dimes.

C/F Kwame Brown and PG Juan Dixon from the Washington Wizards were acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for F/G Devean George and F Jumaine Jones. All four players hadn’t played for their respective teams and if they did, they didn’t play significant minutes to show what they could do. It was considered by both GM’s a chance for the players to excel in environments which suited the individuals better.

GM Sit analysed, “Kwame comes to our team to fill the void of interior defence and offence while Juan will come and help handle the rock. Devean Geroge can start for the Wizards and contribute straight away while Jumaine will get more minutes than he would here playing behind Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Kareem Rush and Luke Walton. This is the perfect opportunity for all four guys and it’s for the best for their futures and our teams”

“This is the sort of centre I want to play with,” Kobe Bryant told sideline reporters at half time which saw Kwame put in 14 points but Brown scored 18 more in the third quarter. Kobe also said, “Kwame has been criticised a lot and being a player who has also come out of high school and skipped college, I know what it feels like.”

Bryant led his team to a win with 27 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 6 steals after taking on Michael Jordan’s advice from the last game against Chicago. Bryant scored evenly throughout the halves, 14 in the first then 13 in the second and didn’t make any ‘stupid decisions’ with the ball. “I truly understand how to play smart basketball and tonight I showed I could.”

The SBC crowd was disappointed their team fell short of a comeback. Led by Tony Parker’s 24, 5, 5 and Brent Barry’s 26 points, the Spurs came back with a 37 point third quarter and even led by 2 points during the third period. However, Tim Duncan was ‘limited’ to 16 points and 12 rebounds as the Lakers frontline kept substituting in and out to counter Duncan.

The Spurs made a desperate attempt of a comeback and had the game at 77-75 with 4:32 left in the third quarter but Kwame Brown showed glimpses of why he was made the first overall pick of the 2001 Draft. Brown had a series of dunks to score all 12 of his team’s points in a row in a 12-2 run and also grabbed 6 rebounds in that amount of time. His scoring run ended with an alley-oop dunk off his former Wizard’s counterpart Juan Dixon.

“Our game plan was to keep having players keep jumping out at him (Duncan) and play the passing lanes,” Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovic said. Unfortunately for the Lakers Duncan didn’t give up without a fight by blocking 5 shots in the final quarter but the Lakers, under the pressure, pulled the game out of the Spur’s hands behind Kobe Bryant’s 5 steals in the fourth quarter.

“I was feeling it tonight. I think I have found the right team to play for,” Brown said. Juan Dixon who also came in the Devean George trade didn’t make as big a debut as his friend Brown but showed why the Lakers traded for him. “He (Dixon) gives us a bit of youth and quickness at the point guard spot. That’s what we’ve been looking for for so long,” GM Sit explained at a press conference.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich congratulated the Lakers as he watched his own team fall, “The Lakers will always be good even in rebuilding. The franchise is legendary and even though I miss watching and playing against Shaquille O’neal, that tall guy and Kobe may be the next duo to dominate.”

Rudy Tomjanovic was ecstatic after his team’s win. “Without Shaq on our team I thought we wouldn’t be close to these guys. Honestly, I believe this team are the best NBA team this season!”

Robert Horry who was part of the Lakers three-peat teams was presented with a framed jersey during halftime. The Lakers had given him one last season but it was lost when a huge fire ripped through Horry’s estate.

NOTES

When Pop was told the ‘tall guy’ was Kwame Brown, he laughed and dismissed the fact… Devean Geroge scored 20 points in a Wizards victory for his new team hours before the Lakers played the Spurs… Tim Duncan who has only recently returned to play showed signs of his injury which is said to only be 85-90 % healed… Vlade Divac returned to play for his first game and scored 4 points and had 2 steals in 2 minutes of game play… Kobe Bryant will sit the next game out against the Milwaukee Bucks as the Lakers go to finish their back-to-back away schedule…

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Postby Donatello on Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:03 am

awesome trade, man!! :applaud:
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Congratulations!

Postby spiderxx7 on Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:09 am

First: Incredible trade, hope that Dixon fix the starting PG place!
Second: The only thing you needed was a image, and you added one.
Post 1 or 2 more images, and it will be amazing.
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Postby trubucksfan on Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:11 am

yeah Kwame looks dope in a lakers jersey!
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Postby Fresh8 on Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:07 pm

I've always liked Kwame so it was a good trade and I thought it was better than getting Eddy Curry.. lol

And Juan is awesome, hes like a Stevie Franchise-like player cause he's a SG in a PG body and I love playing with Franchise so I decided to get Juan. He should play heaps good on my team and since Jones and Geroge were expendible I've got this awesome looking team!

Thanks for the props fellas...
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Postby HonorGlow on Thu Dec 16, 2004 2:00 pm

Jurmaine Jones and Devean George for Brown? I personally think you got a steal. Good job...sometimes teams will surprise you!
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Postby Fresh8 on Thu Dec 16, 2004 4:07 pm

FORMER-WIZARDS DISH OUT MAGIC AGAINST BUCKS

Los Angeles Lakers 130 @ Milwaukee Bucks 99

Dec 13, Milwaukee - The night before, Kwame Brown had an outstanding debut, the next, both Wizards stepped up their games to the 'max' to serve Lakers fans something to talk about before the dynamic duo return to play at the STAPLES centre in two weeks.

With Kobe Bryant suspended for the match, Juan Dixon had a 23 point first half en route to a team leading 28 points, 11 assists and 5 steals and Kwame Brown added a dominating 26 and 8 off the bench. The duo led seven Lakers in double figures as the team went on to a 31 point stomping of the home side.

"Kobe was out and I know that I won't have many nights like this but I did enjoy the 27 minutes of fame!" Juan said. Kwame added, "We (Juan and Kwame) can't wait till the Wizards visit us because we want to show the team what they're missing. I truly am starting to believe this is the team we will shine for!"

The Lakers and Bucks both came out to start the game slowly but Juan Dixon scored 12 of the Lakers 16 points during a run which clearly won the game early for the Lakers. After winning the first quarter 38-23, the Lake Show were set on cruise control as they easily won against their 1-10 opponents.

"Tonight was a good game. Juan Dixon played an AI type game. A lot of slashing and he also made a couple of lucky jumpshots," on-looker Kobe Bryant stated, "I'm looking forward to leading this team into the Playoffs!"

Juan Dixon had a series of brilliant passes including an alley-oop to teammate Brian Grant late in the first half. He also had two great thefts from running behind the ball carrier for Milwaukee and even faked out offensive talent Michael Redd. "Tonight, I felt that I could play and it showed!"

Michael Redd led the Bucks with 33 points but his supporting cast never stood up against the fast break style Lakers. Dan Gadzuric was limited to 13 and 11 while Keith Van Horn only managed to score 12 points. The Buck's night got worse as Joe Smith exited due to an arm injury.

"My team didn't step up at all," an angry Michael Redd screamed at reporters when asked what lost them the game, "I have no respect for the team that beat us tonight... they didn't have their star player and we lost to a team of bench warmers!"

Lamar Odom who had scored 17 points shot back at the attack saying, "If your team is so good why are you guys coming last?" Brian Grant who came off the bench to score 12 points and grab 17 rebounds defended the third year guard, "Let him get over it. He's only dissapointed his team isn't doing too well at the moment."

NOTES

It is rumoured that the Lakers want Vlade Divac to start the next game in two weeks if he passes another physical... The Lakers have scored in triple figures in all but 3 games this season... Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers was told of Juan Dixon being compared to him and he said, "Good for him"... Kobe Bryant's quest for the Most Valuable Player award doesn't look like coming into reality unless his team does improve it's 5-6 record...

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Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:11 am

Sit wrote:KOBE FAILS IN THE CLUTCH

Los Angeles Lakers 97 @ Chicago Bulls 103


:twisted:

Alright, here's my attempt at something a little different - an article on someone else's Dynasty.

Trade should help, but Lakers should be wary of familiar trap

Andrew Begley
NLSC Associated Press

Los Angeles -- Just when the "haters" thought they'd seen their dreams come true, Kobe and co have started to right the good ship Laker and string together a few victories. They even put together a trade that seems to have paid off...for the meantime.

Hats off to Will Sit for pulling off the Kwame Brown/Juan Dixon for Devean George/Jumaine Jones swap. A colleague and I were discussing Washington's possible motives for agreeing to the deal. Neither of us could muster any explanation better than Kwame's potential wearing out its welcome in the capital. Their impatience and subsequent loss is the Lakers' gain.

The effects were felt immediately in Tinseltown. Kwame's 34 points (16/21 FG), 11 boards and 5 assists helped destroy rival San Antonio by 22 points. He had 26 and 8 off the bench against the Bucks, another blowout victory. Folks in Washington must be wringing their hands at Kwame finally realising his potential, elsewhere.

Let's not forget Juan Dixon's 28 points, 11 assists and 5 steals vs Milwaukee either. There's no question as to who got the better end of that deal or whether Sit addressed the problems his team had been facing. The future looks bright for the Lakers.

But haven't we seen this from Kwame before? Spectacular performances that seem to explain why that famous former basketball player took him number one back in 2001, but performances that are few and far between. Kwame bounces between bust and breakout status all too easily, spending most of the time wearing the former label. The trade seems to have given him motivation but I have to wonder how long it will last.

The Lakers have also been relying on Kobe to score a lot of points; repeat, a lot of points. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but it does raise the question of what happens when Kobe is unavailable or simply just not knocking down shots. LA has some capable scorers and Odom in particular has had some big games, but I believe the team would benefit from some of the role players providing some consistency in picking up the scoring slack.

Take their 105-95 loss to Portland for example. Kobe only played 27 minutes, scoring 10 points. Odom had 24 and Mihm had 15, but guys like Caron Butler (who went 4/14 that game) need to take the load off Kobe when he's struggling. Granted, those are some big shoes to fill but Kobe needs help from the whole team when his jumper isn't falling.

In any event, good luck to the two newest Lakers, as well as the rest of Team Kobe. Providing Kwame doesn't shrink again and Kobe gets a little more help at the offensive end, I'm expecting an impressive turnaround from the slow start to the 2004/2005 NBA season.
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Postby Fresh8 on Sun Dec 19, 2004 8:43 pm

PAYTON PAYS LAKERS BACK FOR BACKSTAB

Boston Celtics 120 @ Los Angeles Lakers 105

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ABOVE: Kobe Bryant (8) and Gary Payton (20) battled it out all night long as the Celtics prevailed

Dec 27, Los Angeles – Gary Payton returned to the STAPLES Centre to play against his team of one season. He scored 43 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in his best performance in 2 years for the Celtics who had lacked any intensity against their long-time historic rivals. Payton and Lakers star Kobe Bryant injected a breath of fresh air for their Franchises’ rivalry since the days of Larry ‘Legend’ Bird and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson as they battled it out all game for their team’s supremacy. Payton’s Celtics overcame the Lakers to win their fourth straight game.

Gary Payton who was acquired by the Celtics in exchange for Lakers Centre Chris Mihm and Jumaine Jones came up big for his new team who are now atop the NBA ladder. Payton had initially felt betrayed by the Lakers club for using him as trade bait a few weeks after Payton decided he’d stay with Los Angeles despite a large pay cut.

Payton had also gone onto national TV with his point of view of Kobe Bryant and even is quoted as answering a question about the 6’7” All-star, “Bryant is as arrogant as any spoilt child can be. He is a selfless jerk and I want to take him back to school when we meet on court again.” His actions along with Karl Malone and Kobe’s feud have provided a daunting month which the Lakers have endured as the team received criticism from left, right and centre.

Paul Pierce who only managed 16 points because of foul trouble was backed up by Payton and team-mate Ricky Davis who scored 26 points but it was Payton who single handily outplayed Bryant in the fourth quarter as he scored 16 of Boston’s 32 points in the final period.

Kobe Bryant scored a NBA and team season high of 51 points on 19-43 shooting from the field and 13-15 from the free throw line. He had game leading 11 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals but his individual performance wasn’t awarded with a win as his team-mates again failed to step up. Kobe was crucial in keeping the Lakers in the game as he scored 22 points in the third period including 12 straight within a 3 minute period. His 22 points eclipsed a franchise record originally his own for most points in a quarter.

“Tonight was Kobe’s night especially when he had 42 by the start of the fourth, it seemed that the Lakers would win but Gary kept us in it,” Paul Pierce said.

The Lakers stayed in the game until the final 8 minutes of the final period when Gary Payton started to heat up and Kobe started to go cold. As Bryant missed five straight shots including two lay ups, Payton hit two jump shots, had a three point play then scored three reverse lay ups against his former team.

“Kobe tried to do too much for the Lakers but I guess he had no other options tonight,” Gary Payton said, “I still think he is selfish on-court and a bit arrogant but I see that he has matured a lot since we last played together. Kudos to him for keeping his team in the game and I mean it, the Lakers are his team now. Respect.”

It wasn’t all praises for Bryant however as analysts from around the league criticised him for not passing to his team-mates during the final stages of the game. A post game analyst said, “Kobe needs to trust in his teammates. Lamar (Odom) had shot 4 from 10 from the field. Why didn’t he get some of Kobe’s shots? Bryant took 11 of the Lakers last 15 shots and he only made 3 of them.” Another analyst said, “We all admire Kobe’s ability but sometimes he needs to know when to play ‘Showtime’ basketball and when to play ‘Smart’ basketball.”

Rudy Tomjanovic, the Lakers Head Coach was undoubtedly disappointed with the outcome of the game. “I put on player after player but the different lineups we had on the court never seemed to find their groove. Kobe is a unique player and I don’t regret playing him down the stretch. We just need the role players to play consistently.”

Respected NBA analyst Andrew Begley from NLSC Press was proven correct for one game as new Lakers Kwame Brown and Juan Dixon returned to meritocracy as both struggled in front of their new home crowd. Juan was 1-6 from the field as Kwame struugled with 2-6 shooting. However, the two only played limited minutes.

NOTES

The teams wore jerseys from the mid-80’s which resembled the old Lakers-Celtics rivalry in the Great Western Forum… Lamar Odom is reported to have become much more disgruntled about his situation despite being second on the team’s scoring list and assists list… Jack Nicholson visited Gary Payton before the game and welcomed him by showering popcorn all over him and then rubbing his head… Karl Malone who is close to being able to play was present in the arena…

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Postby Fresh8 on Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:22 pm

CARTER WINS GAME FOR STRUGGLING TEAM

Toronto Raptors 115 @ Los Angeles Lakers 112

Dec 31, Los Angeles - Chris Bosh, Jalen Rose and Donyell Marshall both played pivitol roles for the Toronto Raptors' last second victory over the Los Angeles Lakers but it was shooting guard Vince Carter who was put into the driver's seat and controlled the game with 1 second left.

The Lakers let another big lead slip away as they led by as much as 15 points during the third quarter but a breakdown on defence allowed the Raptors to get back into the game. The Lakers then played a very passive offensive game during the final period, went down by 5 and caught up to tie the game 112-112 with 32 seconds left. Kobe Bryant had a chance to put the Lakers up but hesitated before passing to Chris Mihm instead of driving for an open lay up. Mihm missed and the Raptors hurried up court who landed Carter with a pass. 'Air Canada' came off a screen to sink the long range shot in Bryant's face as the STAPLES crowd booed in disapproval.

"That was a great shot," the five-time All-star who has been struggling all season said, "I think it (The Shot) means a lot to me because I haven't made any of them in a while." Carter who is averaging just over 18 ppg has been blamed by fans for his team's mediocre play of late. The win snapped a three game losing streak for the Raptors who are now just above 50% with a 7-6 record.

Carter scored 29 points on 50% shooting and was supported by a 29 point effort from teammate Jalen Rose and a combined 20 points, 27 rebounds and 9 blocks from the Raptors starting frontcourt of Marshall and Bosh.

The Lakers once again relied on their team captain Kobe Bryant from start to finish but for the second game straight and third time this season, Bryant failed in the dying moments of the game. Bryant had three of his four personals in the final quarter and two were called when he twice hit Carter on three point shot attempts. Carter who sank all six free trows was able to get the Raptors close enough to the Lakers to tie the game and eventuall for him to score the game winner.

Bryant scored 39 points and had 12 assists and was supported by Kareem Rush in building a double digit lead during the second quarter. Rush finished with 12 points, scoring 8 straight points in a span of 1:33 during the second quarter. Rush scored a three on the left wing of the STAPLES Centre court. When Bryant stole the ball, he fed Rush with a pass to score the lay up. On the follwoing play, Rush missed a jumper at the top of the key but got the ball on the right sideline to sink another three pointer to put LA ahead by 8 with half a minute reamining in the first half.

"This was very disappointing because we were actually winning for two and a half quarters," Kobe said, "I know our team hasn't been very consistent. We beat the Spurs and they're a top team but we lost to the Raptors and Celtics and both these teams aren't very much better than us."

Rudy Tomjanovic who has grown increasingly critical of his star player's teammates shouted at his bench during the final quarter and ecommented at the end of the game to a sideline reporter, "I wish I had some better players."

General Manager Will Sit released a statement: "We have the best possible team we can get and this is the team you will work with. If not you will be sacked."

NOTES

F Karl Malone passed another physical and should make his debut on New years Day against the Dallas Mavericks; the team he played his first Lakers game against last season... During the third quarter Bryant was slapped with a warning from the referee for walking up to a fan during a timeout and confronting him... Juan Dixon energised the homecrowd with a dunk, the 6'3" PG stole the ball and raced downcourt to throw it down...

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Postby Fresh8 on Mon Dec 20, 2004 12:01 am

NBA DECEMBER ROUNDUP

Dec 31
NBA.com


DECEMBER PLAYERS OF THE MONTH

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Antoine Walker averaged 27.4 ppg, 11.3 rpg and 4.4 apg for December but his Hawks went through another tough month to finish the month on a 2-5 record for the month and 4-7 for the season. Despite his team's horrible performance, Walker has been praised for keeping his head high despite losses and staying at second on the point per game statistical list and amongst the top rebounders in the league.

"Antoine's work ethic has improved throughout the season as he continues to feel the need to try to improve his own style of play, all the while trying to improve his teammate's play," an unnamed Eastern Conference coach stated. Teammate Al Harrington also congratulated his teammate saying, "He's (Walker) taken a much more clever approach during games and has a much better shot selection than recent years."

Walker is currently shooting at 51% from the field and 35% from the three point line as compared to last season's 42% and 27%.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant has however been the talk of the League after the second month of NBA play as the 8th year guard was simply amazing in five December games as he led the team back into contention for a possible playoff spot. The shooting guard played on Jordan-esque stats of 38.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 8.4 rpg and 4.2 spg. Unfortunately for the Lakers, Bryant was the only force for the team as his teammates struggled for much of the games played and it showed when the Lakers failed to win games when Bryant got ‘cold.’

Bryant is 1st in the NBA in scoring (32.8 ppg), 1st amongst guards for rebounding (8.0 rpg) and 4th in the NBA for assists (8.1 apg) and 1st in steals (4.17 spg). More importantly, he is shooting over 50% on a consistent basis from the field and the Lakers have a 5-8 record instead of a 2-5 record at the end of November.

OTHER CANDIDATES: Kenyon Martin, DEN Shaquille O’neal, MIA Kevin Garnett, MIN Jason Kidd, NJ Baron Davis, NO Cuttino Mobley, ORL Allen Iverson, PHI Jalen Rose, TOR LeBron James, CLE Dirk Nowitzki, DAL Elton Brand, LAC

GOTMILK? ROOKIES OF THE MONTH

Bulls Guard Ben Gordon edged out big men Dwight Howard and Emeka Okafor for the award as he averaged 18.5 ppg, 5 rpg and 3 apg in a month which saw his team go 2-6. The Bulls who are on a 4 game losing streak, look up to Gordon for help every night as he is slowly taking over the reins of the team from Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler. Dallas’ Devin Harris once again won the award for the second time this season with averages of 12 ppg and 6 apg. His game has slowly improved throughout the season as he grows more comfortable with the Maverick’s gameplan.

POWER RANKINGS

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Postby Fresh8 on Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:34 pm

LAKERS START NEW YEAR VICTORIOUS

Los Angeles Lakers 102 @ Dallas Mavericks 98

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ABOVE: Kobe Bryant (8) scored 40 points but missed a late free throw to allow the Mavs a chance to catch up

Jan 2, Dallas - Kobe Bryant had a New Years resolution. For the Lakers to sneak into the playoffs. The following week will either make or break that dream. Los Angeles ushered in the new year with a four point triumph over the 9-4 Dallas Mavericks and faces 4 more games within the following 7 days.

"It's a hard schedule ahead," Coach Rudy Tomjanovic said, "We're lucky three of those four games are at home but they are all against good ball clubs." Los Angeles will face the 7-5 Cleveland Caviliers tonight, the 8-4 Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. On Thursday, the league's most highly anticipated game will pit Shaq and Kobe against eachother; Shaq's Heat are 6-5. The 7-7 Phoenix Suns will then face the Lakers on Saturday in a game which will determine whether the Lakers can grab second place in the Pacific Division.

Kobe Bryant is optimistic about the rest of the season, "The League scheduled the games pretty badly this year but we have to play to it. We have most of the rest of our season these next few weeks and that means our home run really started tonight." He then guaranteed a Playoff appearance by his team, "We (Lakers) will make it. No worries because I'm not going to be satisfied even if I get the MVP trophy."

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals to lead the Lakers to victory over Dirk Nowitzki's Mavs. Kobe was most valuable to his team as Lamar Odom went down to a back injury which has sidelined him for two weeks. Bryant recieved help from his teammates as the bench steeped up which included the stellar inside play of Kwame Brown in the fourth quarter. Brown scored 16 points on 8-8 shooting.

Dirk Nowitzki, who struugled because of fatigue scored 30 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. He shot 12-17 from the field and helped get his team close to Los Angeles in the final two minutes of the game. Rookie Devin Harris scored 16 points and Maquis Daniels contributed 23 points to support their German teammate but lack of support from the bench clearly set the Mavs back from their winning ways. Jason Terry was a clear example missing all nine (9) of his field goal attempts, finishing with 0.

With Los Angeles and Dallas' score locked at 96 all, Kobe Bryant came back onto the court off the bench after Lamar Odom exited the court. Bryant who had scored 18 points in the third quarter had already missed his previous five shot attempts but that didn't discourage him from driving into the paint to draw a foul off Nowitzki and complete the three point play. Dallas went back down the other end and let Daniels score off an off-balance jumpshot.

Bryant dribbled downcourt and was fouled on a fadeaway attempt by Nowitzki with 0:42 left in the game. With the lakers up by 1, Bryant made the first shot but missed the second, giving Dallas a chance to tie it up. Jerry Stackhouse who came off the bench to score 9, misfired after being tightly guarded by Caron Butler and Bryant grabbed the rebound. Bryant assisted a Kwame Brown dunk and the game was sealed when Bryant stole the ball off Harris at midcourt to run out the game clock.

"It was a great game by our team but Kobe was clutch again. As usual," Don Nelson said. Avery Johnson who is set to take over as Dallas' coach next season also commented, "The Lakers will be hyped about this win because they beat us who are atop our own division. I wouldn't rule out a first round match-up between us (Dallas and Lakers)."

Lamar Odom was diagnosed with a back spasm after the game and is out injured during the most important part of the Lakers' season. Karl Malone said, "Now that I am back we lose Lamar. He is important to us and to lose him at this time, it's not very encouraging."

NOTES

F Karl Malone dressed for the game but didn't play... The Lakers have been told by General Manager Will Sit not to drop a game in the next week because if they do they risk missing the playoffs which means getting traded... Odom's injury is the fourth to hit the Lakers this season... Kobe Bryant is leading the NBA in All-star voting for guards with 825, 683 votes, the guard coming second to him is Steve Francis of Orlando with 816, 295 vote. Kevin Garnett is first amongst all players with 837, 126 votes... The Lakers January schedule doesn't get easier as they play the 10-3 Kings in two weeks and follows with 7-4 Denver three days later....

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Postby Fresh8 on Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:51 pm

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MID-SEASON SPECIAL - MOST VALUABLE PLAYER CANDIDATES

Jan 2, Steve Kerr

It's that time of the year again, as most of the NBA is at halfway with some teams catching up on lost time because of the damn schedule. And it's a great time because we have now seen which players are doing what for their teams, hence giving us the chance to analyse who is in the running for the NBA's MVP award for 2004-05.

Here is a list of the seven most deserving players for the award. Enjoy.


1.
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KOBE BRYANT | SG | LA LAKERS | No. 8
13 GP | 13 GS | 33.4 PPG | 8.1 RPG | 7.7 APG | 4.23 SPG | .515 FG%

Let's start with the favourite to win it. He might not be the most likeable guy in the running for the NBA's MVP award but his play of recent which earned him December NBA Player of the Month honours has been intriguring. His stats are mind-bogling and its hard right now not to make comparisons and stories about the second coming of 'you know who.' If stats alone can win the MVP, this is Kobe's year.

1st in scoring, 1st in steals, 4th in assists, 1st in free throws attempted and made, 1st in field goals made, shooting over 50% for the first time ever for a season, 1st amongst all guards in rebounding and the player who is keeping the Lake Show alive and enjoyable. What more can you ask for from him? And what's more... he's guranteeing the playoffs for his 6-8 Lakers.

Word.

GM Sit's Take on Bryant: "Kobe can score from all over the court, he crashes the glass, plays and controls the passing lanes along with unlimited hustle every game he plays... Definately the player to give your franchise to."

2.
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KEVIN GARNETT | PF/SF | MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES | No. 21
16 GP | 16 GS | 20.9 PPG | 11.8 RPG | 3.7 APG | 1.56 SPG | 1.81 BPG

The kid is now a man and leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to the playoffs. Kevin Garnett's stellar play from all around the court has his team and opponents feeling the big man's presence. Garnett has been invaluable to the team's play on both ends of the floor and the reason for Minnesota's NBA leading 12-4 record is because of him alone.

Garnett is scoring efficiently with his repatoure of inside moves and mid range jumpers and shooting 51% from the field. His rebounding ranks 5th around the League and his blocking and stealing averages are part of the top ranks in both statistical categories.

Coach Flip Saunders Take on Garnett: "Kevin is a rare player and he is redefining the power forward position. About 10 years ago, the classic Power Forward was Karl Malone but now the Big Ticket has many other players behind him bringing versatility into the position's definition. He is a hall of famer and maybe this season, he will become a legend because I believe he can lead us to that trophy!"

3.
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SHAQUILLE O'NEAL | C | MIAMI HEAT | No. 32
11 GP | 11 GS | 22.6 PPG | 13.8 RPG | 2.45 BPG | 41.5 MPG

When Shaquille O'neal was in Los Angeles alongside kobe, he was always a MVP contender. This year without Kobe is no different. The Heat are only a bit over 50% but it must be noted they are one of the only teams to have played a quarter of the season. And already they are riding Shaq's back.

The 7'1" monster is coming 11th in scoring and playing the 5th most minutes per game in the NBA. However, the giant has refound his defensive game which has always been lacking in the city of angels where Shaq had defensive slumps. In Florida, Shaq is 1st in the NBA for rebounding and patrolling the paint by ranking 2nd in blocks per game.

Coach Pat Riley's Take on O'neal: "Shaq is the most dominant center in the league today. Yao Ming will take many seasons to surpass the big guy on my team and right now we will rely on Shaq as long as his body holds. He's 32 and can still ball with the best of them... Shaq is in his prime."

4.
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ANTOINE WALKER | PF | ATLANTA HAWKS | No. 8
11 GP | 11 GS | 29.1 PPG | 10.9 RPG | 4.4 APG | 1.55 SPG | 1.64 BPG | .510 FG% | .356 3PT% | 42.9 MPG

As seen in Kobe's case, stats may be able to win the MVP award. Walker has that same argument here- he is definately the best player on his squad and is relied on heavily as he plays the second most minutes a game- second only to Al Harrington who is his teammate. Walker is 2nd in the League in scoring, 9th in rebounding and his passing and defence are as good as Kevin Garnett's.

Walker's stats are great all around and his efficiency from the field and behind the three point line have greatly improved but many will ask, "What do you expect when you are on the Hawks?" The hawks are currently 4-7.

Al Harrington's Take on Walker: "Many people dismiss the fact that Antoine is a legitimate MVP because of his past. Trust me, he is a great influence on and off the court and he's improved so much this season. Many insiders also say he gets good stats on a bad team but they never think about the fact that Antoine gets his stats regardless of constant double and triple teams... He is just that good."

5.
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TIM DUNCAN | PF/C | SAN ANTONIO SPURS | No. 21
11 GP | 11 GS | 17.6 PPG | 11.5 RPG | 2.45 BPG | .529 FG%

Tim Duncan's statistics aren't jaw dropping but everyone who watches and analyses the NBA will all acknwoledge that his value to his team is overwhelming. When Duncan was injured earlier in the season, his team lost all three of those games. Currently at 9-5, the Spurs are looking like they will make the playoffs behind Duncan's consistent play.

Leading his own team in scoring, coming 6th in rebounding and tying with with Heat center Shaquille O'neal in blocks per game, Duncan is a household name for this award every year since he entered the League.

Kevin Garnett's take on Duncan: "Timmy Duncan is a great guy to play basktball against and also to talk to. The guy is a two time champion and proven NBA MVP. I have only known him better for a little while but I admire his work ethic and part of the reason of my development has been because of him."

6.
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DIRK NOWITZKI | F/C | DALLAS MAVERICKS | No. 41
13 GP | 13 GS | 23.2 PPG | 8.2 RPG | 1.85 BPG | .544 FG% | .386 3PT% | .926 FT%

Everyone knows who Dirk Nowitzki is. He's a German scoring machine. The 7 footer with a soft touch has also improved his defensive play including his blocking ability which shows from being more aggresive on court. But his strength remains on offence where he is shooting very efficiently and ranks 9th in the NBA for scoring per game.

His team leads their division 9-4 thanks to his consistent effort on the offensive end. Nowitzki should truly be credited for keeping the Mavs at the top of the League Standings despite the departure of a great teammate in Steve Nash, whom he was sad to see leave but got over it to post great stats for the first half of this season.

Don Nelson's Take on Nowitzki: "I remember when we (Dallas) were trying to trade for Shaq and when the lakers said they would only deal for Dirk I knew I hade to say no. When people ask why I would always say, "Shaq is a great player but Dirk is our future. Why get Shaq for two or three years when you have Dirk for the next ten?"

7.
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LeBRON JAMES | SF/G | CLEVELAND CAVILIERS| No. 23
12 GP | 12 GS | 23.5 PPG | 7.3 RPG | 5.7 APG | 2.00 SPG

Lebron is our wildcard entry but he's no slouch either. The super soph is putting up enough points to rank 7th in the League and his steals per game are ranked 11th. His rebounding skill is only surpassed by Kobe Bryant and his incredible vision on-court is still surprising to most basketball fans.

Lebron is the real deal and his Cavs may only be at 7-5 but remember that he gets nearly no help from his 'teammates' and his only good sidekick ditched him for Utah. Bron's shooting percentage at 46% will need to improve but once he learns how to shoot better, Lebron James might truly be known as 'The King.'

Magic Johnson's Take on James: "Lebron is a very special player. Maybe much more special than Kobe. I see that he has a blend of my, Michael (Jordan) and John Stockton's games in him and he has the skills to become something great."

Honourable Mention:

- Jalen Rose, TOR
- Paul Pierce, BOS
- Antawn Jamison, WAS
- Kenyon Martin, DEN
- Damon Stoudamire, POR
- Zach Rudolph, POR
- Yao Ming, HOU
- Ron Artest, IND
- Andrei Kirilenko, UTH
- Stephon Marbury, NY
- Grant Hill, ORL
- Steve Nash, PHO
Last edited by Fresh8 on Wed Dec 22, 2004 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fresh8 on Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:59 am

Give us some feedback fellas...

those MPV candidates half werre picked by me and some were by the game... i've gotten all the guys who have appeared on the MVP list and some are like Stevie, Cat and Hill... so its pretty stuffed!
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Postby Matthew on Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:52 am

Antoine walker a mvp candidate? God dizamn! looking at the stats kobe is far and away the best, but you gotta get them into the playoffs man. Looking to make anymore deals?
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Awesome.

Postby spiderxx7 on Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:59 am

Amazing recap of MVP Candidates! :applaud:
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Postby Fresh8 on Wed Dec 22, 2004 11:37 am

Thnaks guys.. i put ni pictures just then to make it a bit more interesting... I'm not sure if I'm gonna make any more trades.. im pretty happy with the team. And as far as making the playoffs... it all depends on the next few games! And we dont have Odom for them....
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Postby trubucksfan on Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:33 pm

yeah very nice mvp article very in depth with all the stats and long analysis! great stuff.
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