Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day Predictions

We're one month into the season now, which gives us enough to make some educated guesses!

MVP: LeBron James (Runnerup: Kobe)
DPY: Dwight Howard
MIP: Devin Harris (Runnerup: Thaddeus Young/Wilson Chandler)
6TH: Lamar Odom
ROY: Derrick Rose (Wouldn't mind if Mayo was co-winner)
COY: Phil Jackson (Last time was 72-10 season)
EOY: Danny Ferry (Mo trade, West re-sign, plus whatever he does at deadline)

C Dwight Howard
F Kevin Garnett
F LeBron James
G Dwyane Wade
G Allen Iverson
C Chris Bosh
F Paul Pierce
F Danny Granger
G Joe Johnson
G Devin Harris
F Elton Brand
G Vince Carter

Notable Snub: Caron Butler (kept Washington above .500 last year but they are dead last this year)

C Yao Ming
F Tim Duncan
F Carmelo Anthony
G Kobe Bryant
G Chris Paul
C Amare Stoudemire
F Carlos Boozer
F Dirk Nowitzki
G Steve Nash
G Brandon Roy
F Pau Gasol
G Deron Williams (or Tony Parker, whomever recovers from injury sooner)

Notable Snub: Shaquille O'Neal (Over guys like T-Mac, Billups, Jax, and Big Al... his resurgence is a big story but I doubt coaches keep Nash off and Suns don't really warrant 3 stars)

Of course, this is all pending whether or not China screws everything up and votes Yi Jianlian into the starting lineup. One would hope that the olympics in China causes some of their votes to go to some of the worthy talent they saw.

All-NBA First
C Howard
F Garnett
F James
G Wade
G Bryant

All-NBA Second
C Yao
F Bosh
F Stoudemire
G Paul
G Iverson

All-NBA Third
C Shaq
F Boozer
F Duncan
G Roy
G Johnson

G Snub: Steve Nash, Deron Williams (injury), Tony Parker (injury)
F Snub: Nowitzki, Pierce
C Snub: Gasol (Could make team, depends on how voters want to handle Gasol/Duncan/Shaq for last two spots... Shaq is the only true C but voting is flexible)

Last night Magic Johnson was shamelessly self promoting himself with Stuart Scott and when he was forced to actually talk about basketball, he mentioned that the NBA is the most talented it's been in over 10 years. Taking a look at all the snubbed talent, I agree. We've got at least 5 legit MVP candidates (LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Paul, Howard) and a number of great players who are starting to decline but for now they are still among the elite (KG, AI, Duncan, Nash, Dirk, even Shaq). Along with all the all-stars still in their primes (Gasol, Boozer, Bosh, Amare, Deron, Parker, Yao, West, Melo, anyone else I didn't get to) it's an exciting time to be a basketball fan.

What do you guys think?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Truer words were never spoken.

NdaZone4 wroteon Nov 22 2008 12:02 PM
2K insider please stop. You have become the worst thing to ever happen to nba 2k and most people agree on this. You have no clue about what your doing and thats a fact. I rather have default ratings and just missing players added to the game so that I dont have to tone down every player you touch.

2k Insider: Worst feature ever in NBA 2K

Download the latest update from the 2K Insider!

Where else can you get Dwyane Wade with a 97 block rating?

Yes, I really am the first person in the history of the universe to type that sentence. (And you're not. Be jealous.)

Real 2K Insider: History made daily.

Edit: Ok not to be an annoying grammar nazi but damn.

Steve Nash
Nash's numbers are down across the board this season.
Nash's amazing run being the top point guard in the league has come to an end.

Um. You mean "as"?

As if the math/logic weren't bad enough.


So I figure nows as good a time as any to edit the Knicks since they just made all their trades. And I'm checking out Zach Randolph, who the Insider listed in his "Biggest Movers" section. Let me share these head scratchers with you. As someone whose watched every Knick game this season, to say I disagree with his evaluation would be an understatement.

Overall 86 (from 84)
Worth noting Randolph was an 83 at default so he's jumped up 3 points since the game's release. Let's check out his "substantial improvement", shall we?

Close 95 (from 94)
That gives him the same rating as Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, 1 point higher than Yao Ming, 3 points higher than Dwight Howard. In case you didn't know, Randolph is shooting a measley 43% from the field. That's poor for a guard, much less a power forward. Here's a nifty chart to show just how off-base that rating is.

Close Shot% (via
Garnett 68% (95 close)
Duncan 62% (95 close
Randolph 53% (95 close)
Yao 52% (94 close)
Howard 53% (92 close)

If Z-Bo is a 95, I guess KG/TD should be 105.

Note that Close% does not include dunks or tips. Let's toss those in since Close rating affects them too.

Inside% (Close/Dunk/Tip via 82games)
Garnett 68%
Duncan 64%
Randolph 53%
Yao 58%
Howard 66%

Randolph has yet to dunk this year and only did it 4 times all of last season. To give you an idea of how bad that is, Howard dunked nearly 4 times PER GAME last season.

The Insider used this season's data and saw fit to not just leave him a 94 (rather than lowering him), but to actually RAISE HIM A POINT.

Med 81 (from 78)
Randolph is approx. 33-83 from mid-range this season (39%). Let's go back to another chart, listing PF mid-range shots.

Nowitzki: 47% (88)
Randolph: 39% (81)
Garnett: 44% (80)
Gasol: 43% (78)
Amare: 48% (77)

If anyone can find any defensible logic for this guy, please, step up to the plate.

What's most comical is that Amare actually shot 48% from mid-range LAST SEASON as well, and over half his shots are jumpers. To put in perspective how embarrassingly bad that is, the Insider gave a 76 MR to Luc Mbah a Moute. This man is on the 2K Sports payroll and you are all paying his salary. Especially when you defend junk like this.

3PT 77 (up from 76)
Randolph was a 69 at default. He's shooting 29% from deep and has never shot 30% in his entire career. A 77 is only 6 points worse than Dirk, for those keeping score at home.

Randolph season: 7-24 (.292) (11gms)
Randolph career: 60-223 (.269) (8 seasons, 467 games)

Dirk season: 13-32 (.406) (13gms)
Dirk career: 1032-2718 (.380) (11 seasons, 771 games)

Dirk has averaged 1.33 threes per game in his career.
Zach has avreaged 0.12 threes per game in his career.

Again, if any of my detractors can explain this one, feel free.

76 steal (from 65)
Congratulations Insider. I would have thought it to be humanly impossible for someone to think Zach Randolph would ever deserve an above average steal rating. Thanks for defying the odds and making world history.

It's pretty clear to see you have no concept of "pace", something we'll have to illustrate now as it's used later. Randolph is averaging 1.2 spg, up from last seasons 0.9. I'm not exactly sure a 0.3 point improvement deserves an 11 point boost to begin with, but that's not the point. The Knicks are a high tempo team. High tempo = more possessions. That's more opportunities for points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

Back in the early days of basketball, there was no shot clock. Forget players averaging 30 points, that's what TEAMS averaged. There was no urgency to take a shot, in fact the point was to get the highest percentage shot possible in order to not waste the possession. This made basketball a very boring sport to watch. Enter the shot clock. This nifty contraption increased statistics across the board because it forced teams to play at a faster pace.

10 rebounds is not impressive if there are 1000 missed shots in a game, but if there were only 10 missed shots all game, that's godly. Player A grabbed only 1% of the game's rebounds, while player B grabbed 100%. Context, context, context.

It should be common sense that the Knicks and other high tempo teams (pre 08 Suns, Warriors, Nuggets, etc) all put up inflated stats because they have more possessions per game than the other teams in the league due entirely to the speed they play the game at.

So when I saw that Randolph was only getting a steal on 1.6% of possessions (barely up from 1.4% last season), it didn't surprise me in the slightest.

Here's another chart, I know you guys are loving them.

2008 Steal% (Rating)
Kevin Garnett: 2.3 (79)
Josh Smith: 2.3 (78)
ZBO 2009: 1.6 (76)
Joakim Noah 2.0 (74)
Chris Duhon: 1.6 (70)
Marcus Camby: 1.5 (69)
Zach Randolph: 1.4 (65)

Guess whose breaking the pattern? Thanks for not understanding a basic concept 2K Insider.

94 Offensive Rebound (from 80)
This one could very well be the worst. Apply the same pace factors as before. Randolph is averaging 3.7 ORB, but in such a high tempo offense, that's nothing. If he were truly a 94 he'd be averaging well over 4 under such circumstances.

What's most maddening is that Z-Bo's ORBs tie into his poor shooting percentage, as more often than not he is grabbing his own missed shot, rather than boxing out during a teammates' missed shot.

Z-Bo is grabbing only 10.5% of his team's missed shots when he's on the floor. To give you an idea of how overrated that is, here's Jeff Foster.

Foster ORB%
2006: 16.9
2007: 16.4 (led league)
2008: 15.9 (led league)

Randolph is not even within 5% of last season's league leader yet he is only 5 rating points away. Foster isn't matching his previous numbers right now but he is still grabbing 11.5%, a full point better than Randolph. Randolph only grabbed 9% last season, just in case you were wondering. His 10.0 career% does not exactly compare favorably to Foster's 15.0. The difference between Foster and Randolph is literally the difference between ZBo and Nate Robinson (or the difference between Nate Robinson and nothing at all). And yet, ZBo is 5 points from the top.

Who are the leaders in this category this season?

Offensive Rebound Pct (as per
1. Andris Biedrins-GSW 15.9
2. Erick Dampier-DAL 15.1
3. Dwight Howard-ORL 14.7
4. Jason Thompson-SAC 14.1
5. Carlos Boozer-UTA 13.2
6. Emeka Okafor-CHA 13.2
7. Andrew Bynum-LAL 13.1
8. Andrew Bogut-MIL 12.5
9. Samuel Dalembert-PHI 12.4
10. Luc Mbah a Moute-MIL 12.3
11. Shaquille O'Neal-PHO 11.5
12. Paul Millsap-UTA 11.3
13. Joel Przybilla-POR 11.3
14. Shawn Marion-MIA 11.1
15. Drew Gooden-CHI 11.0
16. Kendrick Perkins-BOS 10.6
17. Zach Randolph-NYK 10.5
18. Tim Duncan-SAS 10.5
19. Jermaine O'Neal-TOR 10.2
20. Tyrus Thomas-CHI 10.0

Randolph is 5 points away from the max rating yet he is only 17th in the league in OffReb%. There are 8 players in the league grabbing a full 2% more. And that's only among qualifiers, as you'll note Foster is absent.

Only two of those players have a higher rating than Randolph, Biedrins and Dampier, both 99). Dwight Howard is tied with ZBo at 94. That's the top 3 in the ****ing league right there. Boozer, who is actually averaging 4 ORB despite playing for a team ranked 23rd in pace, is measley 84.

The 2K Insider is paid to know this stuff and actually evaluate players like I am. He is pushed on us like he knows more than the so-called common fan, and that's what makes him more qualified to do this than a so-called "Outsider". I will continue to stand by my assertation that any defense of his so-called ability falls somewhere between cronyism and sheer ignorance. It's one thing for an employee with an agenda on the company payroll (like a forum administrator) to fully support blindness. It's quite another thing for a human being with the luxury of eyes and ears.

The Knick trades we've all been waiting for.

Zach Randolph traded by the Knicks: The moment I've been waiting for since draft night 2007.

Tim Thomas returns to NY: A moment I've been dreading my entire life.

This pretty much sums up my feeling on the two trades the Knicks made today. Jamal Crawford is heading to Golden State for Al Harrington. Al already hated being forced into an Antoine Walker offensive role, so I can't imagine him liking Mike D'Antoni's system all that much better. Proximity to roots in Jersey as well as escape from Nellie the bitter coach will probably ease the burden. I'm sure D'Antoni has big things in store for Al, as he's been waiting for a PF with a legit deep stroke (sorry Zach, 29% 3pt shooting does not qualify) ever since he lost Tim Thomas. Who coinkydinkly is coming in from LALA land.

Crawford heads to Golden State where he could really thrive. If there's any team Crawford could succeed as a PG, it's this one. He might even remind some of B-Diddy with his handle, flashyness, and penchant for bombing away from long range. Just don't expect any AK47 jams. When Monta comes back this team is scary deep and could even be better than the 06 team (Maggette is much better right now than J-Rich was that year coming off knee surgery).

I've hated Randolph's game since Isiah foolishly traded for him. I've said it before and I'll say it again - the Knicks would have been infinitely better off keeping Channing Frye. Frye makes 3 million, and the Blazers paid Steve Francis to go away. Randolph was making 14 million per with 48 mil due to him over 4 years. Walsh dumped Randolph for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas, two veterans who shouldn't be starting at this point and are only here so their contracts expire sooner (I suppose they are much better than the Darko/Marko package from the summer). Since Ariza was also traded for Francis, the Knicks essentially lost Ariza/Frye for absolutely nothing but 2010 cap room. Just another reason why Isiah is the worst GM we've seen in a long time.

While the Clippers are gambling picking up Randolph's huge deal, he is a major upgrade from Tim Thomas. The Clippers now have a legit front line with Randolph/Kaman up front and Camby backing up both off the bench. And Z-Bo should help take the pressure off Al Thornton (or at least take his shots away). They also dumped Cat Mobley which is addition by subtraction since he was just stealing minutes from rookie Eric Gordon. Maybe the deal gets Ricky D going too since he's the starter now.

In summary, the Clippers and Warriors made improvements that should be reflected in both real life and the video game world. As for the Knicks, Donnie Walsh must have gotten scared that the team was actually going to finish above .500. The pieces they picked up could excel in the system and make the fall a little softer, but at this point we're running out of reasons to actually use the Knicks in the VG world. Crawford was just replaced with a shorter Q-Rich and Harrington's 3pt shooting isn't going to replace Randolph's post ability. 2010 can't come soon enough for Knick fans.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

4.0 Reboot + Progress

2k Sports finally finished adding all the missing players (aside from Rob Kurz) so I'm starting from scratch for the final time. Here's the latest progress.

*NOTE: Accessory lovers will be happy to know each of these players has been updated. Shoes I haven't focused on because players change shoes every game. Most teams alternate between black and white for road and home. (And honestly, the options are a bit limiting this year).

88 - Elton Brand (PF/C)
84 - Andre Iguodala (SG/SF)
82 - Andre Miller (PG)
82 - Thaddeus Young (SF/PF)
81 - Samuel Dalembert (C)
78 - Willie Green (SG)
76 - Louis Williams (PG/SG)
75 – Marreese Speights (C)
74 - Reggie Evans (PF/C)
73 – Kareem Rush (SF/SG)
73 - Theo Ratliff (C)
72 – Donyell Marshall (PF)
72 - Royal Ivey (PG/SG)
70 – Jason Smith (C/PF)

89 - Brandon Roy (SG/SF)
84 - LaMarcus Aldridge (PF/C)
83 – Greg Oden (C)
82 – Rudy Fernandez (SG)
81 - Travis Outlaw (SF/PF)
78 – Steve Blake (PG)
78 - Channing Frye (PF/C)
77 - Martell Webster (SF)
77 - Joel Przybilla (C)
76 – Ike Diogu (PF/C)
75 - Sergio Rodriguez (PG)
75 – Jerryd Bayless (PG/SG)
74 – Nicolas Batum (SF)
71 - Raef LaFrentz (C/PF)
69 - Shavlik Randolph (PF/C)

99 - Kevin Garnett (PF/C)
91 - Paul Pierce (SF)
85 - Ray Allen (SG)
83 - Rajon Rondo (PG)
79 - Kendrick Perkins (C)
79 - Leon Powe (PF)
78 - Tony Allen (SG/SF)
78 - Sam Cassell (PG)
77 - Eddie House (PG)
74 – Gabe Pruitt (PG/SG)
73 – Glen Davis (C)
72 - Patrick O’Bryant (C)
72 – Bill Walker (SF)
69 – J.R. Giddens (SG)
67 - Brian Scalabrine (PF)

84 – O.J. Mayo (SG)
83 - Rudy Gay (SF/PF)
78 – Marc Gasol (C)
78 – Darrell Arthur (PF/C)
78 - Kyle Lowry (PG)
76 – Michael Conley (PG)
76 - Hakim Warrick (PF)
76 - Marko Jaric (SG/SF)
73 - Quinton Ross (SF/SG)
73 – Javaris Crittenton (SG/PG)
73 - Antoine Walker (PF)
71 – Darko Milicic (C)
71 - Greg Buckner (SF)
70 – Hamed Haddadi (C) (ONLINE DOWNLOAD)

92 - Joe Johnson (SG/SF)
89 - Josh Smith (PF)
84 - Al Horford (C/PF)
83 - Mike Bibby (PG)
81 - Marvin Williams (SF/PF)
78 - Flip Murray (SG/PG)
76 – Maurice Evans (SF/SG)
75 – Speedy Claxton (PG)
74 - Zaza Pachulia (C)
72 – Acie Law (PG)
69 – Solomon Jones (PF/C)
69 – Thomas Gardner (SG) (CREATED PLAYER)
68 – Mario West (SG)
67 – Othello Hunter (PF) (CREATED PLAYER)
66 – Randolph Morris (C) (ONLINE DOWNLOAD)

84 – Jamal Crawford (SG/SF)
83 - Zach Randolph (C/PF)
83 – Nate Robinson (PG)
80 - Stephon Marbury (PG/SG)
79 – David Lee (PF/C)
78 – Chris Duhon (PG/SG)
78 – Wilson Chandler (PF/SF)
75 – Quentin Richardson (SF)
74 – Eddy Curry (C)
74 – Anthony Roberson (SG) (ONLINE DOWNLOAD)
73 – Danilo Gallinari (SF/PF)
70 – Jared Jeffries (C/PF)
70 - Malik Rose (PF/C)
70 - Mardy Collins (SF/SG)
66 - Jerome James (C)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great Bleh News

I have no idea how I did this but I somehow saved the default roster over my file. (This is why I write stuff down). Needless to say this will delay the release of my next roster. (Which I suppose will be 4.0 because...) the one positive is I get to use the 2k Sports update which has some players added rather than going with CAPs.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The 2K Insider commited credibility suicide.

I am shocked and apalled by the ratings released in today's roster update.

O.J. Mayo - 86 overall
Derrick Rose - 85 overall
Rudy Fernandez - 85 overall
Nate Robinson - 85 overall

PER ain't perfect, but it'll do here.

23.8 Fernandez
20.3 Robinson
17.3 Rose
16.5 Mayo

Fernandez and Robinson are both off to hot starts, but come on, it's a wee bit early for that kind of rating. Robinson is the top rated player on the Knicks for crying out loud.

Rose and Mayo meanwhile, get real, they are rookies playing 38 minutes per game and not even putting up all-star numbers. Rose is averaging 17/5/5 and Mayo is averaging 21/5/2

To illustrate how overrated they are, here are their comparables sorted by PER.

20.7 Devin Harris (86 overall)
20.4 T.J. Ford (84 overall)
19.7 Ramon Sessions (78 overall)
18.9 Mike Bibby (84 overall)
18.2 Jameer Nelson (80 overall)
18.0 Andre Miller (81 overall)
17.3 Derrick Rose (85 overall)

22.8 Ben Gordon (83 overall)
19.3 Kevin Martin (86 overall)
18.7 Jamal Crawford (84 overall)
17.6 Michael Redd (86 overall)
17.2 Kevin Durant (82 overall)
16.7 Jason Terry (84 overall)
16.5 O.J. Mayo (86 overall)
16.4 Jason Richardson (83 overall)
16.2 Mike Miller (81 overall)

It should be fairly obvious that both players are overrated when compared to their veteran peers. Let's analyze each player and look for which specific ratings are the culprits.

O.J. Mayo
Overall 86 (+3)
Med 88 (+3)
3pt 87 (+4)
Handle 88 (+5)
Pass 67 (-4)
Speed 87 (+4)
OffAwr 85 (+8)
Quickness 89 (+3)

Mayo is averaging 19.0 points p36m and 2.2 assists p36m. I have no idea how this befits an 85 offensive awareness. That is Zach Randolph type selfishness. How can a guard that averages 2 assists playing that many minutes really be that offensively aware?

Bboosting up Mayo's 3pt rating is difficult to understand. Yes, he was shooting 42%. But after going 1-6 in his last game that drops him back down to 39%. Shooting percentages are much too fickle early on and it was not reasonable to expect him to continue shooting such a high percentage. So now he is overrated until he changes it back, if he ever gets around to it. I don't expect that he will since he cant keep spending the same time each week on the same players and he just gave Mayo an overhaul, so it looks like Mayo's 3pt rating will be higher than it should be for the foreseeable future.

Not helping matters is Mayo remains a bit overrated defensively. He didn't touch any defensive ratings and I don't expect him to, as I doubt the 2k Insider has much grasp of anything defensively aside from blocked shots (and even then he has a limited grasp which has been pointed out in various examples).

Now regarding my end, I gave Mayo an 81 last week after a tirade in which I compared him to a young Cuttino Mobley. Mayo then proceeded to shut me up by averaging 26.5 ppg over his last four games. So as a reasonable person, I'll take that and raise his rating. I've now got him at an 84 which I think is pretty fair. An 86 is really pushing it.

Derrick Rose
+5 Close
+4 Med
+2 3pt
+13 FT
+4 Layup (now 99)
+3 Dunk (now 92... how many dunks does he have on the year? Three?)
+2 Handle
+2 Speed
+9 Stamina (now 99. When are they gonna do that to CHRIS PAUL?)
+7 OffAwr (an 89 for a rookie PG that averages 17 pts and 5 asts. 8 year pro 20/6 Tony Parker is a 91 if you were wondering).
+2 Vert (now 98)
+3 Quick (now 98)

Nothing too outrageous to focus on, my notes pretty much sum it up, moving along to the next one.

Nate Robinson
+7 Overall
+1 Med
+7 3pt
+6 Pass
+14 Steal
+19 OffReb
+14 DefReb

+2 Speed
+10 OffAwr
+6 Str (84!)
+1 Vert (99)
+2 Quick (99)
+7 Hustle (99)

Let me say this now: I love Nate Robinson. He's become my favorite player on the Knicks, he's a legitimate scorer in this league, and he's actually a legit point guard now.

That said, he is not a better rebounder than Jason Kidd. Nate is not rebounding any better than he has been his entire career. Why fix what ain't broken? An 82 offensive rebound rating is atrocious, he is overrated by like 15 points now.

What I don't understand is if you're overrating him because of his height, why the hell does Yao Ming have such high rebound ratings every year? Shouldn't he be in the 70s reboundingwise if that's your logic?

Rudy Fernandez
+7 Overall
+14 Close
+4 Med
+6 3pt
+3 Layup
+10 Dunk
+4 Handle
+4 Steal
+8 DefAwr
+9 OffAwr
+10 Str
+5 Vert
+7 Quick

Here's Rudy's shot chart (going by 82games)

61% 3pt
27% Mid
8% Close
2% Dunk
1% Tip

As you can see, most of Rudy's shots are threes (nearly two thirds!) and he's shot a ridiculous 46% on a high volume of shots. I ain't disputing his 3pt rating though.

Rudy is 16-33 from the field on non-3pters. That's 48% on approx 3 shots per game. How the hell does 16-33 translate to a 14 point jump in Close shot and a 4 point jump in Mid shot? Rudy has better shot ratings than Kobe ****ing Bryant. Don't get me started on Tracy McGrady (who btw, Rudy has the same dunk rating as now). Okay, maybe I should get started...

Close/Med/3pt for SGs
Rudy 93/87/90 = 270
Johnson 92/89/88 = 269
Nash = 84/91/93 = 268
Kobe = 93/87/86 = 266
Gordon 86/89/89 = 264
Richardson 85/85/93 = 263
LeBron 96/85/79 = 260
Redd 88/85/86 = 259
Mayo 83/88/87 = 258
Roy 89/86/75 = 250
McGrady 92/78/78 = 248
Iguodala 87/81/77 = 245

I could seriously go on another 20 players, but I've got a blog to write.

What do all those players have in common? They are STARTERS, unlike Rudy.

Oh, and then there's the matter of his defense. He was given +8 to DefAwr, meanwhile opposing SGs have absolutely torched him for the following numbers.

.608 eFG%
23.7 Pp48m
22.6 PER

Wow, obviously this is a guy who knows what he's doing on defense. Nevermind that every credible pre-NBA scouting report out there says the guy is a poor defender, albeit one with potential to one day be good enough to deserve a 78.

So congratulations 2K Sports. You hired someone who never heard of balance, nor does he know anything about the nature of sample size. We are left wondering if these non-stars will be lowered in the future, or whether we are going to have to suffer through getting spanked by them online because they shot the ball well the first three weeks of the season.

Either that, or you actually believe the guy has done his job. All four of these players are very popular and you probably think it will keep the fans happy. Maybe it will. But then again, since I have the top downloaded/highest rated file on 2K Share, PROBABLYYYYY NOTTTTT. It's a shame we don't have the option of rating the 2K Insider's files so 2K can actually see what we think. But then, have they ever actually cared what we think in the first place?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Review of Official 2K Update 11/11/08

This is a draft I was working on, the 2K Insider actually posted another update since then, I wasn't finished, but might as well post it as the same stuff applies to the new roster.

Unfortunately, is a jerk and realy the ratings and tendencies. I learned from my mistake in the newer post.

The 2K Insider finally got around to some "Big Movers" of his own. Rashidi breaks down the changes made in the past week.

Marc Gasol

Overall 79 (from 71) Shot Tendency 73 (from 63)
Close 88 (from 84) Close Tendency 83 (from 75)
Med 73 Med Tendency 44
3pt 60 3pt Tendency 4
FT 72
Layup 63 Drive Tendency 22
Dunk 65 Dunk Tendency 45
Handle 65 Back To Basket 60
Pass 57 Triple Threat 20
PostOff 79 (from 76) Fadeaway 50
PostDef 74 (from 68) Hook Shot 60
Block 78 (from 60) Putback 58
Steal 53 Flashy Pass 8
RebOff 81 (from 70) Foul 74
RebDef 82 (from 78) Pass Intercept 8
Speed 57 On Ball Steal 8
Stam 80 Contest Shots 58
Dur 80
DefAwr 72 (from 62)
OffAwr 74 (from 68)
Potential 59
Strength 77
Vertical 55
Off Dribble 65
In Traffic 83 (from 79)
Quickness 56
Hustle 63
Hands 81 (from 73)
Ball Defense 56
Standing Dunk 75

Gasol has been a nice surprise in Memphis, averaging 10/9 with a block. I don't have too many problems with this one other than the inflated block rating and some expected general laziness (Why not improve his steal rating? Why have a center averaging 10 points and 1 assist with such a high OffAwr? etc)

Michael Conley

Overall 72 (from 77) Shot Tendency 65
Close 80 (from 83) Close Tendency 27
Med 77 Med Tendency 58
3pt 72 (from 76) 3pt Tendency 36
FT 73
Layup 86 Drive Tendency 60
Dunk 59 Dunk Tendency 0
Handle 93 Back To Basket 0
Pass 72 (from 80) Triple Threat 84
PostOff 50 Fadeaway 45
PostDef 54 Hook Shot 0
Block 51 Putback 2
Steal 70 Flashy Pass 86
RebOff 56 Foul 25
RebDef 61 Pass Intercept 81
Speed 95 On Ball Steal 83
Stam 95 Contest Shot 2
Dur 80
DefAwr 70
OffAwr 67 (from 78)
Potential 86
Strength 75
Vertical 96
Off Dribble 83
In Traffic 81
Quickness 97
Hustle 86
Hands 87
Ball Defense 80
Standing Dunk 50

I'm sorry but this one is just stupid. Conley's assist rate has gone slightly UP yet the 2K Insider gives him a worse pass rating than Nate Robinson.
This is about as reactionary as it gets.

Conley is now rated...
4 points worse than backup Kyle Lowry
3 points worse than Quinton Ross
1 point worse than Darrell Arthur
1 point worse than Antoine Walker
1 point better than Hamed Haddadi

And that's just the Grizzlies.

72 ovr PGs = Mike Taylor, Speedy Claxton, Jose Barea, Sean Singletary, C.J. Watson, and Sergio Rodriguez.

He is the 79th ranked PG. Bravo 2K Insider, bravo.

Joe Johnson

Overall 92 (from 89) Shot Tendency 92
Close 92 (from 86) Close Tendency 55
Med 89 (from 85) Med Tendency 76
3pt 88 (from 85) 3pt Tendency 73
FT 83
Layup 85 Drive Tendency 55
Dunk 76 Dunk Tendency 55
Handle 85 Back To Basket 50
Pass 78 Triple Threat 80
PostOff 76 Fadeaway 75
PostDef 70 Hook Shot 50
Block 53 Putback 16
Steal 81 (from 64) Flashy Pass 24
RebOff 63 Foul 18
RebDef 64 Pass Intercept 20
Speed 85 On Ball Steal 26
Stam 95 Contest Shot 8
Dur 95
DefAwr 82 (from 78)
OffAwr 93
Potential 83
Strength 71
Vertical 80
Off Dribble 87
In Traffic 83
Quickness 86
Hustle 71
Hands 87
Ball Defense 83 (from 78)
Standing Dunk 50

The steals crack me up. Doesn't this dude have any idea what a small sample size is?

Johnson Steal%
2005: 1.2
2006: 1.6
2007: 1.4
2008: 1.3
2009: 2.0 (5 games)

It's so obvious Johnson has not improved in this department. Andre Miller had a 1.8 steal% last year and he's a 72. Seriously, of all the ratings to jump by SEVENTEEN POINTS he picks the least likely to stick????

Wilson Chandler

Overall 77 (from 71) Shot Tendency 62
Close 86 Close Tendency 54
Med 76 (from 71) Med Tendency 57
3pt 70 3pt Tendency 24
FT 63
Layup 80 Drive Tendency 39
Dunk 94 Dunk Tendency 77
Handle 72 Back To Basket 58
Pass 61 Triple Threat 70
PostOff 67 Fadeaway 60
PostDef 68 Hook Shot 50
Block 62 Putback 59
Steal 71 (from 62) Flashy Pass 14
RebOff 84 (from 74) Foul 64
RebDef 73 Pass Intercept 20
Speed 78 On Ball Steal 28
Stam 90 Contest Shot 68
Dur 80
DefAwr 78 (from 64)
OffAwr 71 (from 66)
Potential 64
Strength 82
Vertical 95
Off Dribble 76
In Traffic 85
Quickness 80
Hustle 68
Hands 72
Ball Defense 66
Standing Dunk 75

1. Chandler has started the last two games at PF and has mostly played there even when coming off the bench. Yet he remains a SF.
2. 78 Defensive Awareness? OMG. I've watched every Knick game, the kid is 20, he doesn't have great awareness. He's got a high foul rate and doesn't get many stops.
3. It'd be great if Chandler actually deserved that OffReb boost. Unfortunately, with an offreb rate of 6.9% (up from last year's 6.1%) he very obviously did not.

Danilo Gallinari (UNLISTED)

Overall 73 (from 76) Shot Tendency 67
Close 80 Close Tendency 63
Med 79 (from 83) Med Tendency 66
3pt 80 (from 81) 3pt Tendency 75
FT 83
Layup 77 Drive Tendency 61
Dunk 74 Dunk Tendency 45
Handle 77 Back To Basket 40
Pass 66 Triple Threat 65
PostOff 69 (from 73) Fadeaway 70
PostDef 61 (from 64) Hook Shot 40
Block 54 Putback 18
Steal 68 Flashy Pass 22
RebOff 62 Foul 48
RebDef 68 Pass Intercept 24
Speed 70 On Ball Steal 24
Stam 85 Contest Shot 14
Dur 80
DefAwr 60 (from 64)
OffAwr 69 (from 72)
Potential 80 (from 75)
Strength 64
Vertical 76
Off Dribble 81
In Traffic 78
Quickness 68
Hustle 64
Hands 77
Ball Defense 68
Standing Dunk 50

Gallinari was going to make it into my 3.0 changes (along with Q-Rich) but I decided to save him for 3.1. Interestingly, Gally still has a higher rating than the aforementioned Q-Rich. Also, am I missing something when the Insider raises his potential but not Chandler's from a dismal 64?

Rafer Alston

Overall 79 (from 81) Shot Tendency 76
Close 79 Close Tendency 20
Med 76 (from 80) Med Tendency 51
3pt 79 (from 84) 3pt Tendency 80
FT 72
Layup 83 Drive Tendency 53
Dunk 54 Dunk Tendency 0
Handle 99 Back To Basket 0
Pass 77 (from 80) Triple Threat 85
PostOff 50 Fadeaway 65
PostDef 50 Hook Shot 0
Block 54 Putback 6
Steal 71 (from 75) Flashy Pass 74
RebOff 58 Foul 21
RebDef 66 Pass Intercept 67
Speed 89 On Ball Steal 61
Stam 90 Contest Shot 2
Dur 75
DefAwr 78
OffAwr 77
Potential 70
Strength 58
Vertical 76
Off Dribble 82
In Traffic 75
Quickness 90
Hustle 72
Hands 84
Ball Defense 82
Standing Dunk 50

Not much to complain about here, Alston has been really bad this season. Thing is, he's been as bad as Mike Conley, yet Conley is all the way down at 72. So what spared the 29 shooting Alston? His assist rate is even lower than Conley's yet only dropped from an 80 pass to 77.

Tony Parker

Overall 90 (from 88) Shot Tendency 84
Close 99 (from 95) Close Tendency 62
Med 87 (from 81) Med Tendency 78
3pt 70 (from 64) 3pt Tendency 16
FT 71
Layup 89 Drive Tendency 79
Dunk 50 Dunk Tendency 0
Handle 96 Back To Basket 10
Pass 86 Triple Threat 95
PostOff 70 Fadeaway 70
PostDef 55 Hook Shot 10
Block 52 Putback 8
Steal 63 Flashy Pass 68
RebOff 61 Foul 12
RebDef 66 Pass Intercept 56
Speed 98 On Ball Steal 52
Stam 95 Contest Shot 2
Dur 95
DefAwr 84
OffAwr 91
Potential 79
Strength 56
Vertical 84
Off Dribble 80
In Traffic 87
Quickness 98
Hustle 79
Hands 95
Ball Defense 82
Standing Dunk 50

Amazing what a double OT game and an injured Ginobili will do for your value. Then again, I guess if they're gonna have Monta Ellis that high, Parker deserves it.

Oh yeah, that Tim Duncan whose averaging 26 ppg (one point less than Parker)? He didn't get touched. High five for consistency.

Andris Biedrins

Overall 85 (from 81) Shot Tendency 48
Close 98 (from 91) Close Tendency 72
Med 63 Med Tendency 47
3pt 50 3pt Tendency 0
FT 62
Layup 69 Drive Tendency 16
Dunk 78 Dunk Tendency 65
Handle 60 Back To Basket 50
Pass 55 Triple Threat 30
PostOff 86 Fadeaway 25
PostDef 81 (from 70) Hook Shot 50
Block 73 Putback 84
Steal 66 Flashy Pass 6
RebOff 99 (from 94) Foul 80
RebDef 94 (from 90) Pass Intercept 32
Speed 68 On Ball Steal 25
Stam 85 Contest Shot 83
Dur 80
DefAwr 83
OffAwr 63
Potential 78
Strength 81
Vertical 78
Off Dribble 65
In Traffic 89
Quickness 66
Hustle 83
Hands 70
Ball Defense 68
Standing Dunk 75

A 98 close rating for Andris Biedrins? God al****ingmighty.

Biedrins best two performances this year with both against the Grizzlies. That should tell you all you need to know about how legit his stats are. He fouled out in 2 of his 3 games against playoff teams. I love Andris, but +4 overall because he can spank the mighty Grizzlies? Really?


In the interest of sleep, here's a fast forward version of the rest of the updates I uncovered.

The 2K Insider doesn't mention it, but he also updated Joel Przybilla's block from 79 to 87. I find this interesting as Przybilla has blocked only 4 shots in 6 games.

2006: 7.1
2007: 7.6
2008: 4.0
2009: 1.8

Pryzbilla deserved an 87 in 2007, But given his drop in shot blocking in 2008 (by almost half), and that he has yet to show that was a fluke, wouldn't it have made sense to wait until he actually started producing at that level again? Right now he is a quarter of the shot blocker he was two years ago. This deserves a boost????

He did the same thing for Andrei Kirilenko, boosting his blocks from 75 to 83, and his steals from 75 to 81, though Kirilenko is at least justifiable.

Dwight Howard
+2 overall (95 from 93)
+10 block (96 from 86)
+5 steal (68 from 63)
-1 speed (69 from 70)

Anthony Roberson was added to the Knicks roster, though that the Insider has him listed at PG shows his limited grasp on the NBA.
Sun Yue was also added, hooray!
WOMG Von Wafer too.
Ian Mahinmi finally added after two years.
DeMarcus Nelson I just noticed has Howard Eisley's pic LOL

Devin Harris
+3 overall (86 from 83)
+10 DefAwr (86 from 76)

The Insider is apparently still completely unaware that Harris is under contract for FIVE YEARS, not ONE.

George Hill was updated, but I don't have his default stats handy. Basiclaly his absurdly high shot ratings were fixed.

Team Shooting Tendencies

Team shooting tendencies are found at the bottom of each coach's profiles. They have a far greater impact on how a team plays than anything else.

Let's look at 3pt TT tonight since it's fairly easy to collect data on. Below, I have 2008 season stats from basketball-reference which we can use to measure 3pt rates.

2008 Team Stats

There are two ways we can go about this. We can look for threes per game (OT discrepencies will be minimal), or we can look for the percentage of FGA that were 3PA.

26.6 Warriors
25.3 Magic
24.6 Pacers
21.7 Grizzlies
21.5 Suns

The first thing I notice is four of those five teams were among the NBA leaders in pace, with Orlando subbing for Denver. This gives us a pretty good idea of what the percentage data is going to reveal.

32.1% Magic
29.4% Warriors
28.9% Pacers
26.4% Grizzlies
26.0% Suns

Nearly a third of all shots taken by Orlando last year were of the 3pt variety. Clearly they should be among the leaders in 3pt tendency (if not the leader), right?

3PT Team Tendencies
96 Knicks
96 Suns
71 Warriors
65 Pacers

63 Thunder
60 Raptors
57 Lakers
56 Grizzlies
55 Rockets
50 Cavaliers
50 Jazz
48 Bucks
48 Bulls
47 Nets
45 Pistons
45 Mavericks
43 Heat
42 Blazers
42 Wizards
40 Hornets
40 Kings
40 Magic
36 Spurs
35 Wolves
32 Celtics
31 Bobcats
20 Hawks
16 Nuggets
11 Sixers
10 Clippers

2K has Orlando in the bottom third of the league as far as attempting threes is concerned. It doesn't get anymore backward than that.

The Suns btw, clearly do not deserve such a high tendency here as they were no longer the long bombing team of the initial Nash days (a trend that has continued even further this season). Should have been obvious that a team sporting Hill/Amare/Shaq wouldn't pump as many threes as one with Nash/JJ/Q-Rich/Marion/Barbosa or Nash/Bell/Tim Thomas/Marion/Barbosa, or that this number would have gone down just by removing D'Antoni as coach.

So let's test in game. 12 minute quarters, Hornets vs Magic on Superstar.

Scor was 50-41 Magic through the first quarter.

Howard: 14 pts (7-9 FG, 0-0 FT)
Pietrus: 13 pts (6-7 FG, 1-1 3PT, 0-0 FT)
Turkoglu: 9 pts (3-3 FG, 0-0 3PT, 3-4 FT)
Nelson: 8 pts (3-6 FG, 0-2 3PT, 0-2 FT)
Lewis: 6 pts (2-2 FG, 0-0 3PT, 2-2 FT)

Turkoglu and Lewis did not attempt a three. They attempted 6 FTs on their 5 FGs as they pounded the paint. Interestingly enough, the three players who take it to the rim least got to the line 8 more times than Howard did.

Pts from...
Paint: 36 (72%)
Line: 7 (14%)
Mid: 4 (8%)
Three: 3 (6%)

Only six percent of Orlando's points were on threes. Only 3 of their 27 FGA were threes - a mere 11% of their shots (and its not like I fouled them on any of their jumpers either).

It's not just their 3pt tendency that's a problem though. They have the highest close tendency in the league with 77, so simply raising their 3pt tendency doesn't fix things.

Tomorrow I'm going to get started on rectifying this problem and establishing a scale for the teams.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

REAL 2K INSIDER ver 3.0 - Featuring Coach Profiles!

Real 2K Insider ver 3.0 has been uploaded to 2K Share for XBox 360!

Updated Coach Profiles (Team Sliders) for all 30 NBA teams!
Updated ratings for players featured in the Biggest Movers section of the blog!
Accurate rosters and rotations for all 30 NBA teams!
Every missing player on an NBA roster has been added to the game!
Accurate contracts for most NBA players!

Search by Gamertag: Real 2K Insider
Search by Content: Real 2K Insider

Let me know on the blog what needs to be changed for version 3.1!


Players who have changes in overall rating due to position changes will no longer be included. David Lee last week got a -2 when I switched him to C from PF, and really, it doesn't make sense to list him again now that I've yo-yoed on that (Randolph is officially the starting center as Lee backs up both spots off the bench). It doesn't make sense to list players who haven't actually improved/regressed (unless there is a substantial rating change attached to their position change, which shouldn't be too common).

Luc Mbah a Moute: PF/SF
Greg Buckner: SF/SG
Maurice Evans: SF/SG
Wilson Chandler: PF/SF
David Lee: PF/C
Zach Randolph: C/PF
Malik Rose: C/PF
Allen Iverson: PG/SG


Ramon Sessions (+1)

Even though Skiles is reluctant to start him, Sessions has shown he is the top PG in Milwaukee at that last year was no fluke. I watched him take Chris Duhon off the dribble consistently. His defense isn't great, but neither is Luke Ridnour's. I understand Sessions being part of the 2nd unit as they don't have anyone else who can create shots, but if Sessions continues to play at a high level there is no way Skiles is going to be able to keep him out of the lineup.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (+5)

Prince M&M has been a welcome surprise in Milwaukee, as he is outplaying lottery pick Joe Alexander despite being drafted in the second round. Scott Skiles loves his defense and effort, which has made him Charlie Villanueva's primary backup (instead of Malik Allen, thank god).

He doesn't have the greatest upside, but he should be able to stick in the league a long time as a role player.

Darrell Arthur (+3)

Arthur has been a rebound machine and is starting over Hakim Warrick. Arthur carries a 14.55 PER despite a .370 FG% - suggesting he'd be an average player if he experiences even a minor improvement in this area.

Marc Gasol (+6)

Gasol is the starting center in Memphis and there is absolutely no reason he should be rated lower than Darko Milicic. He is a much better rebounder and shot blocker than 2k gave him credit for.

Marvin Williams (+1)

Marvin is 4-7 from 3pt range this season after going 1-10 all of last year. It was reported he'd improved his stroke and this confirms it.


Elton Brand (-2)

Brand is not looking like the 20/10 player the Sixers were (perhaps naively) expecting when they traded away most of their assests and shelled out an 80 million dollar contract.

Brand is an undersized power forward, and because he plays further below the rim, his decline will begin earlier than a bigger player (like a Duncan or Garnett). He is also coming off a ruptured achilles injury that caused him to miss an entire season. Brand has never been a great athlete, and I don't think a serious foot injury right before your 30s is all that easy to ignore (but then, I'm not a desperate Philadelphia fan either).

Brand PER by season
2003: 21.09
2004: 23.32
2005: 22.51
2006: 26.67 (All-Star, All-NBA 2nd Team)
2007: 23.17
2008: 17.72 (8 games)
2009: 14.20 (6 games)

Brand was not quite himself after returning from injury last season, which natural to expect. However, he is struggling to even replicate his declined production now. His PER right now is 9 points worse than his last healthy season, and a whopping 12.5 points worse than his best season.

Brand has struggled offensively with the Sixers. This isn't entirely his fault. Orlando doubled Brand at the catch rather than letting him operate in the post. Brand was only able to get 8 shots in that game. Philadelphia is one of the worst shooting teams in the league and unless they can make substantial improvement teams will continue to employ this strategy with success against the Sixers. The part that is Brand's fault is his injury has robbed him of some quickness and explosiveness. He is struggling to finish shots down low are before he'd even catch the ball. He is shooting only 46% from the field despite being 50% for his career.

Another scary statistic is Brand's blocked shots. From 2003 to 2006 Brand was blocking over 2 shots per game, but so far this year he has only blocked 3 in 6 games. After blocking 4-5% of all shots through his prime, Brand is down to 1.4% right now, a rating that would net him around a 59-60 block - and is also traceable to his achilles injury robbing him of some lift.

The one thing Brand has done well is rebound. Brand's rebounds have declined every year since 2003, but he is currently boarding at a rate comparable to his Bulls days. However, this could be an early fluke as the Sixers haven't played the greatest rebounding teams so far. Still, at least there is one positive to take out of Brand's season so far, and it will be interesting to see if he can maintain it to offset his decline in the other areas.

Ricky Davis (-2)

Ricky has had a horrible start to the season. After getting a rep as a stat padder on bad teams, he was surprisingly quiet for the 15 win Heat last season, and wasn't even able to get off the bench much in Baron Davis' absense. We need to look at Ricky's past production to look for any outliers for what we can expect for the rest of the season.

Points per 36 mins
1999: 13.5
2000: 14.3
2001: 16.5
2002: 17.7
2003: 18.7
2004: 16.6 (15.2 CLE, 17.2 BOS)
2005: 17.5
2006: 17.0 (17.0 BOS, 17.0 MIN)
2007: 16.4
2008: 13.7
2009: 6.1

Ricky's first three years (age 19-21) he played sparingly as he was raw, traded twice, stuck behind vets on playoff teams, and injured.

He was traded to Cleveland where he got PT, developed into a competent sixth man, and became "the man" on a team that with Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Carlos Boozer, and Dajuan Wagner (one can only wonder how many they'd have actually won if Booze or Z got more touches). Cleveland drafted LeBron which spelled the end for Ricky and he was traded to Boston. He was the #2 option behind Pierce, and the team lost in the first round twice (Davis has a 10.2 PER in 11 playoff games). He was traded to Minnesota where he was the #2 guy behind Kevin Garnett and ultimately could not will the team to the playoffs.

At age 28 he returned to Miami where he was thought to be a 3rd cog for Shaq and Wade. He ultimately fizzled and had a career worst 12.0 PER. Not exactly the note he wanted to enter free agency on. He signed with the Clippers for a bargain contract but has been a bust so far. Ricky has an unthinkably bad 1.6 PER through six games.

Yes, you read that correctly, Ricky Davis has a 1.6 PER. The league average PER is 15.0.

Ricky is 29 years old, and has averaged 31 mpg through his career, an unusally high number for a player with a career 15.1 PER. As a player who relies so much on his athletic talents (and has logged so many minutes), Ricky isn't expected to age very well once he gets into his 30s. But for him to fall apart completely at age 29? I don't think there is anyone who could have predicted this.

The NBA is a league where veterans are consistent. It's not like baseball where a player can hit .314 with 44 home runs (an MVP caliber season), and then follow it up with .275 and 19 homers (a slightly above average season). (Shoutouts to whomever can name this player). Players don't go from MVP to average in one NBA season. Likewise, average players don't become D-Leaguers overnight. However I do think we have to consider that Davis' 2007 decline was real (or that he just doesn't care about basketball anymore).

Jason Hart (-1)

Hart has played terribly thus far and has actually fallen out of the rotation in favor of 2008 #55 draft pick Mike Taylor. He is shooting .308 from the field after shooting .322 last year. Last year I considered a fluke for Hart since he didn't get much PT, but if he doesn't get it turned around fast that won't be the case for long.

O.J. Mayo (-1)

Mayo is off to a good start in the league, and some fans are clamoring for his rating to go up. But make no mistake, he is a total hog. 71 pass rating is just a bit steep for a high usage guard averaging only 1.8 assists in 39 minutes per game. Scoringwise, 17 ppg is pretty good for a rookie, but then, most rookies don't average 39 minutes per game. Mayo's selfishness should remind us of last year's Rookie of the Year, Kevin Durant. Durant averaged 20 ppg last year, but he also did so in 5 fewer minutes per game than Mayo. Mayo was actually being touted as a combo guard, but it is clear that isn't the case... which makes him an undersized SG putting up worse scoring numbers than Ben Gordon. At 6'4", what exactly seperates him from a young Cuttino Mobley?


Josh Smith (ATL)

Smith will miss 2-4 weeks with an ankle sprain. Zaza Pachulia replaced him in the starting lineup, with Al Horford sliding over to cover Smith's PF.

Kirk Hinrich (CHI)

Captain Kirk will be out for approximately three months with "a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb." Ouch. He will be missed. Ben Gordon has replaced him thus far, and Larry Hughes can be expected to pick up some minutes upon his return from injury.

Steven Hunter (DEN)

Hunter is having knee surgery that could potentially end his career. It goes without saying that his odds of getting on the court this season appear to be dim.

Steven Hill (OKC)

Size-starved Oklahoma brought in Hill as most of their centers are on the shelf. His signing should hopefully start a movement that leads to Memphis and Oklahoma swapping franchise names.

Tony Parker (SA)

Parker will miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained ankle that could be devastating to the Spurs' season. He was averaging 27.4 ppg and 5.8 apg to make up for Ginobiii's production. Rookie PG George Hill will start in Parker's absence.

Adrian Griffin (FA)

Griffin was named an assistant coach in Milwaukee (under his former Bulls coach Scott Skiles), effectively retiring him. He spent time as a defensive role player in Boston, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Seattle; he ends his career with averages of 4.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, and 1.4 apg.

Antonio McDyess (FA)

As expected, Denver negotiated a buyout with McDyess and he remains likely to return to the Pistons after a 30-day mandatory waiting period.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

NBA RECAP 11/9/08

Sunday night's NBA recap was written by former professional basketball player Drew Woods.


Chris Bosh (TOR) - 30 points, 15 rebounds
Andrea Bargnani (TOR) - 18 points (3-5 3PT)

Jason Richardson (CHA) - 12 points (5-15 FG)
Gerald Wallace (CHA) - 6 points (2-11 FG)

Chris Bosh posted a solid double double with 30 and 15 and became only the second player to reach the 7,000 point mark in Toronto. Bargnani came off the bench to chip in 18. The Bobcats top two scorers were held to 18 points combined. Charlotte was led by backup PG D.J. Augustin's 14 points.


Jamal Crawford (NYK) 32 points (5-7 3PT)
Zach Randolph (NYK) 25 points, 14 rebounds
Carlos Boozer (UTA) 19 points, 17 rebounds

Ronnie Price (UTA) 7 points, 5 assists

Surprise!!! The Knicks are 4-2. Even bigger surprise. The Knicks and D'Antoni used DEFENSE in the second half to get their first quality win of the season. Utah turnovers keyed the second half charge for the Knicks as the Jazz stumbled for the first time this year.


Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) 33 points 7 rebounds
Gerald Green (DAL) 13 points 12 rebounds
Baron Davis (LAC) 22 points 10 assists

Jason Terry (DAL) 8 points (3-15 FG)

The Clips got their first win of the season on the shoulders of their star Baron Davis. Their bench led by Eric Gordon's 10 points outscored the Mavs bench 34-22. Marcus Camby had a solid performance netting 9 points and 14 rebounds.


Ray Allen (BOS) 17 points 8 rebounds
Tony Allen (BOS) 23 points 5 rebounds
Tayshaun Prince (DET) 23 points 8 rebounds

Paul Pierce (BOS) 7 points (3-10 FG)
Richard Hamilton (DET) 3 points (0-8 FG)
Rasheed Wallace (DET) 10 points (4-17 FG)

The Celtics bench scored 43 points to help knock off the Pistons who are 0-2 since the trade. Did Joe Dumars actually think this would make them contenders? Even if Iverson plays well, they will be fighting for the 7 or 8 spot in the East.


Joe Johnson (ATL) 25 points (3-6 3PT)
Al Horford (ATL) 8 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks
Kevin Durant (OKC) 20 points

Jeff Green (OKC) 8 points (3-12 FG)

The Hawks remain undefeated even without lock down defender Josh Smith. Atlanta continues to build upon the success of last year and I predict they can secure one of the top four seeds in the East.


Carmelo Anthony (DEN) 24 points 8 rebounds
Nene (DEN) 18 points 12 rebounds
Chauncey Billups (DEN) 16 points 10 assists 6 rebounds
O.J. Mayo (MEM) 31 points 8 rebounds

Rudy Gay (MEM) 16 points (4-17 FG)

O.J. Mayo scored 26 points in the first half. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, he cooled off and Rudy Gay never got on in the second half. Denver is expected to buyout McDyess' contract on Monday so look for him to resign with the Pistons. Melo also missed two dunks that will likely make it into this years bloopers DVD.


Andres Biedrins (GS) - 16 points 18 reboundsKevin Martin (SAC) - 27 points in only 30 minutes of action

Monta Ellis - Yeah I know he didn't play. But who else can I blame their below par performance on.

The Kings have a good nucleus of young talent. Brad Miller and Spencer Hawes both chipped in with double doubles. Kevin Martin aggravated his injured ankle but it isn't serious. The Kings have won three straight.


Pau Gasol (LAL) 20 points 15 rebounds
Aaron Brooks (HOU) 20 points off the bench

Tracy McGrady (HOU) 8 points
Ron Artest (HOU) 3 points

Kobe put up 23 points (yawn). The Lakers held the Rockets to only 34 second half points. T-Mac and Ron Artest combined to shoot 3-22. Lakers are the deepest team in the NBA.

Another Iverson trade tidbit

I almost forgot about this.

In the 2K Insider's infinite wisdom, he actually gave Allen Iverson a no-trade clause.

Let him know at

Saturday, November 8, 2008

NBA RECAP 11/8/08


Vince Carter (NJN) 31 points (11-22 FG, 3-7 3PT, 6-7 FT)
Troy Murphy (IND) 17 points, 10 rebounds (4-7 3PT)
Keyon Dooling (NJN) 17 points, 4 assists (Started in Harris' absence)
T.J. Ford (IND) 13 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists
Jeff Foster (IND) 12 points, 13 rebounds

Bobby Simmons (NJN) 6 points, 2 rebounds (1-5 FG)
Yi Jianlian (NJN) 2 points, 11 rebounds (1-10 FG)

Harris sat out this one with an ankle injury, so Vince was left to fend for himself. Yi Jianlian is starting to remind me of a skinny Troy Murphy. Danny Granger had 23 points on a poor shooting night but the rest of his teammates provided enough firepower to deliver the victory. New Jersey only scored 27 points in the second half


Dwight Howard (ORL) 31 points, 16 rebounds, 3 blocks (11-13 FG, 9-14 FT)
Nick Young (WAS) 20 points (8-12 FG)

Wizards starters: All five combined for 9 rebounds. Dwight Howard alone had 16.
Rashard Lewis (ORL) 5 points, 7 rebounds (2-11 FG, 0-5 3PT)

It should be pretty clear that the Wizards are not going to survive without Arenas like they did last season. Haywood was a bigger part of that than people are willing to admit.


Dwyane Wade (MIA) 30 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 blocks (9-20 FG, 12-15 FT)
Chris Paul (NOH) 21 points, 13 assists, 4 steals (4-9 FG, 12-14 FT)
David West (NOH) 21 points, 9 rebounds (Welcome to the NBA Mr. Beasley)
Chris Quinn (MIA) 14 points, 2 assists (4-7 3PT)

Michael Beasley (MIA) 10 points, 4 rebounds (4-13 FG)

CP3 had his sixth consecutive 20/10 game to start the season, breaking Oscar Robertson's NBA record, in case you needed even more evidence that his MVP caliber season was for real. Speaking of MVP caliber, Wade would be heading there if his team had more talent.


LeBron James (CLE) 41 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists (13-29 FG, 4-7 3PT, 11-13 FT)
Ben Gordon (CHI) 29 points (10-19 FG, 8-9 FT)

Ben Gordon got the start as it was revealed Kirk Hinrich will miss the next three months due to thumb surgery. This is huge news for the Bulls for a variety of reasons.

Gordon is a much better fit next to Derrick Rose as he is more comfortable playing off the ball than Hinrich. And really, it's about time Gordon got to start after being the sixth man his entire Chicago career. The guy has something to prove regarding his next contract so they might as well just reap the benefits.

However, Hinrich was logging all the backup PG minutes and suddenly the Bulls are without a backup to their rookie PG for 3 months. My guess is they could stand pat and just let Larry Hughes fill that role when he returns in about a week. But this is also Larry Hughes we're talking about. Can't the team just go out and get an actual backup? The Bulls do have an open roster spot, so my guess is they'll bring in a serviceable vet like Eddie Gill in the meantime.

Oh, and LeBron scored 41 tonight. *Shrug* The LeBroniers are off to a 5-2 start, so maybe their underachieving regular season days are over.

SUNS 104, BUCKS 96

Shaquille O'Neal (PHX) 29 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists (12-16 FG, 5-9 FT)
Amare Stoudemire (PHX) 24 points, 5 rebounds (3-8 FG, 18-20 FT)
Ramon Sessions (MIL) 23 points, 6 assists (6-15 FG, 10-14 FT)

Luke Ridnour (MIL) 6 points, 7 assists (3-12 FG)
Charlie Villanueva (MIL) 0 points, 3 rebounds, 3 turnovers, (0-3 FG, 9 mins)

Looks like giving Shaq periodic rest is a smashingly good idea. In other news, Scott Skiles really hates Charlie Villanueva. One of my friends used to chill with him so pleaseeeee trade him to NY. While you're at it, send us Ramon Sessions too since it's so obvious you hate him too Skiles. Malik Rose + Mardy Collins would probably be enough for you (sadly).


Al Jefferson (MIN) 27 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks (10-23 FG, 7-8 FT)
LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) 24 points, 13 rebounds (7 off), 3 blocks
Brandon Roy (POR) 24 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists

Kevin Love (MIN) 2 points, 7 rebounds (0-7 FG, 2-4 FT)

Guess which matchup LaMarcus Aldridge "Loves"?

Friday, November 7, 2008

NBA RECAP 11/7/08

As you guys are gonna find out, there were a lot of foul calls tonight.


Chris Paul (NOH) 20 points, 10 assists, 6 steals
Peja Stojakovic (NOH) 20 points (6-12 3PT)
Felton/Richardson (CHA) 40 points (59 mins)
D.J. Augustin (CHA) 11 points, 4 assists (20 mins)

David West (NOH) 11 points, 5 rebounds, 6 fouls (40 mins)
Jared Dudley (CHA) 0 points, 1 rebound (0-5 FG, 16 mins)

Charlotte went on a 14-2 run in the 4th quarter with an Augustin-Carroll-Morrison lineup. David West failed to capitalize against the Bobcats frontcourt.


Caron Butler (WAS) 30 points, 7 rebounds (11-24 FG, 7-11 FT)
Antawn Jamison (WAS) 24 points, 12 rebounds (11-21 FG, 2-7 3PT)
Zach Randolph (NYK) 22 points, 13 rebounds (8-16 FG, 1-2 3PT, 5-7 FT)
JaVale McGee (WAS) 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks (5-8 FG)
Chris Duhon (NYK) 6 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, 0 turnovers (2-5 3PT)
Juan Dixon (WAS) 5 points, 11 assists, 1 turnover

Knicks interior defense - once again failed to block a shot.

Wilson Chandler is the new starting PF in NY! He finished with 17 pts and 4 rebs. David Lee came off the bench and played all the backup PF and C minutes, which kept Malik Rose off the court. Dixon, Young, and McGee played heavy minutes compared to starters Daniels, Stevenson, and Thomas, so there could be a lineup change or two down the line.


Chris Bosh (TOR) 26 points, 8 rebounds
Mike Bibby (ATL) 19 points, 12 assists
Evans/Murray (ATL) 31 points (5-8 3PT, 46 mins)

Josh Smith (ATL) 6 points (11 mins) Suffered ankle injury that will keep him out 2-4 weeks

Vintage Bibby tonight. Lots of Bosh and not much else for Toronto. J-Smoove's injury is only 2-4 weeks, but for a team with no frontcourt depth, they could be under .500 by the time he comes back, which would be devastating for a team off to it's best start in over a decade. Atlanta could run small with Marvin at the four and Evans at the three, or run big with Horford at the four and Pachulia at the five.


Danny Granger (IND) 33 points, 6 rebounds (13-21 FG, 5-10 3pT)
LeBron James (CLE) 27 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 blocks
Anderson Varejao (CLE) 18 points, 8 rebounds (+18 in +/-)
Marquis Daniels (IND) 17 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists

Ben Wallace (CLE) 0 points, 1 rebound (19 mins, -17 in +/-)

I hate talking about LeBron James. He's the same story every game, putting up nearly 30/10/10 every night. The repetition gets old after awhile. Oh wait, this time he added 4 blocks to his usual line. Thanks for keeping it fresh LBJ!


Devin Harris (NJN) 38 points (9-15 FG, 20-24 FT)
Allen Iverson (DET) 24 points, 6 assists (6-12 FG, 11-13 FT)
Josh Boone (NJN) 18 points, 14 rebounds

Iverson's defense.

Wow. Raise your hand if you thought Devin Harris would be the story of the game in Iverson's debut with Detroit? His previous career high in scoring was 27 points against a soft Indiana defense. Another measurment of his explosion: Harris had scored 37 points through his first three games this year. His scoring average jumps from 12.3 to 18.8.


Paul Pierce (BOS) 18 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists

Ramon Sessions (MIL) 11 points, 0 assists, 5 turnovers (19 mins)

Milwaukee didn't have much of a chance without Michael Redd.


Dwyane Wade (MIA) 33 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals (14-25 FG, 5-6 FT)
Michael Beasley (MIA) 20 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists (5-10 FG, 10-10 FT)
Roger Mason (SAS) 18 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists (6-17 FG)

Bruce Bowen (SAS) 2 points, 2 turnovers (12 mins)
Michael Finley (SAS)

Tony Parker followed up his double nickel with an ankle injury and will miss 2-4 weeks. San Antonio should be in full blown panic mode right now. It's time for them to bench Bowen, as it's clear they can't afford to sacrifice any offense right now. Roger Mason got the start over Michael Finley and it could be permanent.

Hey Spurs fans, you know how we talk about your team being too old to be a legit contender? This is why. Parker's been overworked this year and they finally paid for it. This pretty much kills the Spurs chances of home court advantage in the playoffs, if not their playoff chances, as the November hole they're going to dig could be insurmountable in this conference. The last time the Spurs started this badly, they ended up with the #1 pick thanks to David Robinson missing the entire year with an injury. By the time Parker/Ginobili come back you almost have to wonder whether the Spurs would be better off just tanking and calling it a year.

BULLS 100, SUNS 83

Amare Stoudemire (PHX) 26 points, 7 rebounds (5-10 FG, 16-18 FT)
Ben Gordon (CHI) 23 points, 6 assists
Derrick Rose (CHI) 18 points, 6 assists (8-11 FG)
Robin Lopez (PHX) 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks (6-9 FG)
Kirk Hinrich (CHI) 5 points, 5 assists, 5 steals (16 mins)

Steve Nash (PHX) 6 points, 5 assists, 3 turnovers (2-7 FG)
Leandro Barbosa (PHX) 2 points (1-8 FG)

Shaq didn't play in the 2nd game of a back to back and while rookie Robin Lopez thrived, the rest of the team struggled. Hill got the start for Barnes whose wife is giving birth to twins. Leandro Barbosa should change his name to Dow Jones. Derrick Rose continues to impress and the Bulls should return to the playoffs this season. Aaron Gray got the start at C with Gooden moving to PF and Tyrus Thomas moving back to the bench. Hinrich also got the start over Sefolosha who didn't play until garbage time.


Kevin Durant (OKC) 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists (9-15 FG, 5-6 FT)
Jeff Green (OKC) 22 points, 5 rebounds (3-3 3PT)
Carlos Boozer (UTA) 21 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists
Demond Mason (OKC) 18 points, 5 rebounds (26 mins)
Andrei Kirilenko (UTA) 16 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks
Brevin Knight (UTA) 4 points, 11 assists, 3 steals

Chris Wilcox (OKC) 2 points, 6 rebounds, 3 turnovers (1-7 FG)

Deron who?

Kevin Martin (SAC) 26 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists
John Salmons (SAC) 23 points (9-15 FG)
Kevin Love (MIN) 20 points, 8 rebounds (6-7 FG, 8-10 FT)
Sebastian Telfair (MIN) 15 points, 7 assists, 0 turnovers
Brad Miller (SAC) 11 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks (26 mins)
Spencer Hawes (SAC) 13 points, 8 rebounds (22 mins)

Corey Brewer (MIN) 0 points, 0-5 FG

Brad Miller returned from suspension and had a double-double while starting over Hawes. They combined for 24-18-5 with 3 blocks and 10 fouls. Love and Telfair were inserted into the starting lineup and both responded well.

Baron Davis (LAC) 23 points, 8 assists
Chris Kaman (LAC) 23 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks (11-18 FG)
Ron Artest (HOU) 23 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists
Carl Landry (HOU) 20 points, 9 rebounds (7-14 FG, 6-6 FT)
Yao Ming (HOU) 16 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks

Ricky Davis (LAC) 7 points, 3 assists (3-10 FG, 27 mins)
Tracy McGrady (HOU) 2 points (0-5 FG)

Even with Baron Davis, the Clippers are a poor offensive team. He and Kaman had over half of the teams points tonight. There isn't a single player on the team you can rely on from game to game.

After being the main man in game one, T-Mac struggled badly in the second night of a back to back. While this is concerning for Houston, it's a good sign that they still convincingly won despite an 0-5 performance from him.


Carmelo Anthony (DEN) 28 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists (7-18 FG, 14-14 FT)
Jason Kidd (DAL) 22 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks (8-14 FG, 6-12 3PT)
Nene (DEN) 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks (8-12 FG, 3-4 FT)
Linas Kleiza (DEN) 14 points (5-10 FG, 15 mins)
Gerald Green (DAL) 13 points (5-9 FG, 14 mins)

Jerry Stackhouse (DAL) 2 points (1-8 FG)
Erick Dampier (DAL) 0 points, 2 rebounds, 4 fouls (9 mins)

Like Iverson, Billups second debut in Denver was overshadowed by a great game from the opposing PG. In a creepy coincidence, Kidd and Harris were the big PGs traded for each other last year. Denver overcame poor shooting by going 37-40 from the FT line.

Stephen Jackson (GSW) 27 points, 4 assists (9-21 FG, 44 mins)
Andris Biedrins (GSW) 23 points, 12 rebounds (7-13 FG, 9-10 FT)
Rudy Gay (MEM) 23 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
O.J. Mayo (MEM) 20 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists
Hakim Warrick (MEM) 19 points, 10 rebounds
Darrell Arthur (MEM) 13 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks (26 mins)
C.J. Watson (GSW) 9 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists (1-7 FG, 7-11 FT)
Anthony Randolph (GSW) 8 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block (4-8 FG, 17 mins)

Brandan Wright (GSW) 6 points, 3 blocks, but only 2 rebounds in 20 mins
(on a night the Warriors were outrebounded 55-41, they needed more with Harrington/Maggette out of the lineup.)

The winds of change are in Golden State. Watson replaced Nelson in the starting lineup. Harrington is out with a back injury/trade demand and was replaced by Wright, with Randolph moving to the reserve role. Belinelli and Marcus Williams even played an unconventional 10 mins each off the bench (for Don Nelson at least). Oh yeah, and Memphis played a good game albeit against a short handed Warriors team. Mayo and Rose are going to fight for ROY all year long. Warrick/Arthur combined for 32 points, and 22 rebounds against the skinny Wright/Randolph duo.

How YOU can be a 2K Insider

As the community here grows there is an even greater burden placed on myself.

When I get a PS3 the required time to spend editing is going to double. This is going to make it very hard to effectively market and build the site, do necessary research for editing, actually play the game, and just enjoy my life in general.

The site is going to get a visual overhaul soon, but the more willing to offer their help in this endeavor, the better.

Collecting data for tendencies is very time consuming. In the near future I am going to offer a light monetary sum to anyone willing to do this for me. I am looking for multiple DC's to speed up the process.

I'm not going to be available every night to do an NBA recap, nor can I watch every game. Additionally, while I like to consider myself very informed (and semi-articulate), I am not the most skilled writer in the world. I would also prefer to spend the bulk of my time editing the roster as the season picks up. If you're an aspiring writer/journalist (or just enjoy writing) and want a venue to post your daily thoughts on the day's NBA action, let me know.

Email your inquires to

What in the world happened to

They used to have up to date statistics and now they are just completely out of date with everything.

Sessions has played 3 games already. They still have him at zero.

They have his stats on the team's main page, but I wanted his game log.
It's not just him - it's a league-wide problem, they aren't updating player profiles. They are literally a week behind.

Also, their hotspots page (which I heavily base my tendencies on) is screwed up. Most of the team's no longer have data available, and the teams that do, like the Celtics, have each player listed multiple times.

Who is asleep at the wheel in the NBA? Did half their staff quit in favor of more profitable employers like ESPN? Right now they are unable to maintain their website quality and that is simply unacceptable for a billion dollar company with millions of fans.

Yahoo is up to date. ESPN is up to date. Basketball-Reference is up to date. What's the deal with the NBA? All of the above sites list advanced statistics for their players, the NBA is still stuck with basic statistics (which is another fault entirely).

I almost feel like 2K Sports took over mangement when they signed the agreement to get " in 2k9", because right now, the VG is more informative than the real one, which is embarrassing and problematic to say the least.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

NBA RECAP 11/6/08

Turk/Shard combined had near identical 20/8/4 games (Turk only had 3 assists), while the Sixer offense struggled again. J.J. Redick had a second straight DNP confirming he has fallen out of the rotation. He may have blown his last chance with the team. Orlando has won 3 in a row (3-2), while Philly falls to 2-4.


Hedo Turkoglu/Rashard Lewis: 40 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists
Tracy McGrady (HOU): 30 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists (11-23 FG)
LaMarcus Aldridge (POR): 27 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks (12-20 FG)
Brandon Roy (POR): 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists (6-17 FG, gave team lead late, hit game winning 30 footer in OT)
Jameer Nelson (ORL): 16 points, 9 assists
Rudy Fernandez (POR): 15 points (5-9 FG, 3-5 3PT)
Travis Outlaw (POR): 14 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks

Andre Miller (PHI): 15 points, 2 assists (7-24 FG)
Yao Ming (HOU): 13 points, 6 rebounds (4-13 FG)
Elton Brand (PHI): 6 points, 12 rebounds (3-8 FG, 35 minutes)
Chuck Hayes/Carl Landry (HOU): 6 points, 9 rebounds, 0 blocks, 0 steals, 11 fouls ( 3-7 FG, 42 minutes)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NBA RECAP 11/5/08

SUNS 113, PACERS 103

Amare Stoudemire (PHX)
49 points (17-21 FG, 15-15 FT), 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals, 2 blocks. By far, the best game Amare has ever played in his career. This is what you normally see out of him in an online game of 2K9. No doubt he was aided by the "defense" of Troy Murphy in this one.

Shaquille O'Neal? (PHX)
Okay, not really. Shaq obviously took a back seat to Amare and only played 12 minutes. Nobody really played a bad game for either team. Indiana just has no chance against a team like this.


The Suns are playing defense under Terry Porter, and they are looking like the favorites to be the NBA champions in my view. They may not score as much as the past, but they are still the most efficient offensive team in the league, which we tend to forget when we talk about their "pace factor". From what I'm seeing of D'Antoni in NY, that frentic pace is not what got the Suns 60 wins a year, it was their overwhelming talent (Four all-stars with Nash/Amare/Matrix/JJ the first year, two the following year with Amare hurt, and three AS at all other times).

The Suns right now have a team akin to the 02-03 Spurs in terms of personnel.
09 Suns
C: Shaquille O'Neal (24.6 PER)
PF: Amare Stoudemire (24.8 PER)
SF: Matt Barnes (17.1 PER)
SG: Raja Bell (15.7 PER)
PG: Steve Nash (27.0 PER)
PF: Boris Diaw (15.2 PER)
SF: Grant Hill (17.9 PER)
SG: Leandro Barbosa (11.1 PER)

(Suns PER doesn't include their most recent game. And it's obviously still early so their PERs need to be taken with a grain of salt, but in looking at the 03 Spurs, you can see how things will balance out.)

03 Spurs
C: David Robinson (17.8 PER)
PF: Tim Duncan (26.9 PER)
SF: Bruce Bowen (9.1 PER)
SG: Stephen Jackson (14.5 PER)
PG: Tony Parker (16.5 PER)
PF: Malik Rose (16.1 PER)
SG: Manu Ginobili (14.7 PER)
PG: Speedy Claxton (15.9 PER)

Shaq should be about as effective as the Admiral was in his retirement year.

Amare is the leading man in the paint ala Duncan, though his team defense (something PER does not account for) is still leaps and bounds from Duncan's which is the one thing that could hold this team back from greatness.

Barnes and Bowen are the silent assassins, the offensive afterthoughts who can still nail a three but mostly do other things to help the team.

Jackson and Bell are quite similar, they are there for their defense and can contribute offensively. Jax was the primary backup at SF while the Suns have Hill off the bench.

Nash is obviously significantly better than Parker was at that age.

Barbosa and Ginobili are both 6th man of the year winners, due to their instant offense off the bench. Ginobili wasn't as good as he is today, and while Barbosa is struggling, I think it's fair to say he should at least be able to replicate the season Ginobili had as a rookie.

Malik Rose was actually good back then, though he disappointed after signing his big contract. In that respect, he has quite a bit in common with Boris Diaw. Rose wasn't as versatile as Diaw but they essentially filled the same function, backup PF/C with good defense/rebounding/passing.

Finally, Hill draws the Speedy Claxton comparison. Claxton only played 30 games that year and has missed just as many games as Grant Hill in his career, yet when he does play, he is very effective. Many fans still remember his harrassing defense on Jason Kidd in the Finals. Hill is the same player who could conceivably spend the entire year hurt and then play a huge bench role in the playoffs.

In summary, nobody has picked the Suns to win anything this year because they didn't win the first couple years, and they struggled with Shaq last year. Their run appeared to be over. But Terry Porter seems to have the Suns playing the style they need to play to win playoff basketball, and they are excelling at it. There are frankly more sexy picks out there. As just about everyone has the Lakers, Rockets, or Hornets taking it. And if we hear about a 4th team, it's the Jazz. Few people expect the Suns to have home court advantage in the first round.

Back to the recap...


Tayshuan Prince (DET)
27 points on 10-14 FG. Detroit is showing they are a pretty good team even without Billups or Iverson.

Jermaine O'Neal (TOR)
8 points and 3 rebounds. 3-10 FG, 0 assists, 3 turnovers, 0 blocks. Jermaine is really struggling out of the gate and last season may not have been an injury induced fluke.


Dwyane Wade (MIA)
29/7/6 with 5 steals and 3 blocks! Wade is back to putting up monster defensive lines and will probably be named to an all-defensive team this season.

Yakhouba Diawara (MIA)
11 points and hit 3-6 threes.

Andre Iguodala (PHI)
Has really struggled to start the year, going 1-7 tonight with 4 turnovers. He could be struggling to adapt after being the main man since the Iverson trade in 06.

KNICKS 101, Bobcats 98

Nate Robinson (NYK)
Nate scored 19 points in the second quarter and it had to feel good sticking it to his former coach Larry Brown, who would bench him anytime he displayed emotion. He scored 24 tonight on 9-12 shooting including 5-5 on threes. He also dished 5 assists.

Quentin Richardson (NYK)
Q was 1-7 tonight as it was Wilson Chandler's turn for a big night, with 18 and 7 off the bench to go with 3 blocks (which vaults him into the team lead, with 3).


Pierce (BOS)
20/9/5 for Pierce in a game that'll never be a fair fight.

Thunder Offense (OKC)
Another 37% shooting night.

HAWKS 87, Hornets 79

Marvin Williams (ATL)
Williams only scored 11 points, but he went 3-3 on threes after going 1-10 all of last year. Told you he added that shot.

Chris Paul (NOH)

Peja Stojakovic (NOH)
8 points on 3-13 FG. Probably came back from injury a little early.


LeBron James (CLE)
41/9/6. Yawn.

Ben Gordon (CHI)
31 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, hit 11-19 shots and 5-9 threes.

Daniel Gibson (CLE)
0-6 from field.

Kirk Hinrich (CHI)
0-5 from field.


Luke Ridnour (MIL)
Returned from injury and finally had a good game to hold Ramon Sessions at bay. Scored 20 points and dished 11 assists

Ramon Sessions (MIL)
Scored 22 points and dished 8 assists. Combined with Ridnour for 42 points, 19 assists, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals. This looks like the new Ford/Calderon. Milwaukee isn't going to lose many games with that kind of production from the PG spot.

Richard Jefferson (MIL)
Has struggled with his shooting to start the year, but broke out here with 32 points and 9 rebounds.

Luc Mbah a Moute (MIL)
17 and 6 off the bench. How did this guy slip to the second round???

Antonio Daniels/DeShawn Stevenson (WAS)
Combined for 1-8 shooting, and some poor defense. Michael Redd did not even play and the Wiz were burned by mediocre PGs.

SPURS 129, WOLVES 125 (2OT)

Tony Parker (SAS)
Parker had never scored 40 points in a regular season game, setting his career high against Nash in the playoffs, so for him to have a 55 point game is truly remarkable, trumps Amare's performance, and could be the greatest performance Parker ever has. 7 rebounds and 10 assists were just icing on the cake. He shot 22-36 from the field (2-3 3pt) and 9-10 from the line.

Tim Duncan (SAS)
Lost in the shuffle of TP's night was Duncan with 30 pts and 16 rebs. While both players are performing well in Ginobili's absence, that they combined for 85 points and barely beat the Timberwolves in double OT is probably not a good sign regarding their chances of winning a championship. Hard as it might be to believe, they could actually miss the playoffs if they dig themselves too deep a hole early - remember you need 50 wins minimum to even make the playoffs in the west.

Roger Mason (SAS)
Mase is doing everything he can to fill Ginobili's shoes, scoring 26 off the bench on 9-16 shooting.

Al Jefferson (MIN)
30 pts and 14 rebs to cancel out Duncan's night.

Mike Miller (MIN)
25 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, easily his best performance of the season so far. Hit 5 of 7 threes and only committed 1 TO.

Whoever was guarding Tony Parker (MIN)
I'm guessing this was Randy Foye, which would mark his 3rd consecutive appearance on this list, but he finally had a good offensive game (11 pts and 9 ast) so I want to spare him. And Sebastian Telfair had 8 pts and 10 assists in his debut off the bench, so it's tough to criticize him either. TP is just a tough matchup for Minnesota as they don't really have the tools to stop him. There is no looming shotblocker in the middle either, which makes it especially tough on the rest of the team defensively.


The Utah Jazz (UTA)
They are 4-0 without Deron Williams and are playing flawless team basketball. The quartet of Booze, Okur, AK, and Millsap combined for 69 points.

Nobody. Portland just isn't good enough on either end to matchup even with Deron Williams out.


Kevin Martin (SAC)
There's nothing like playing the Grizzlies to pad your stats (33 pts)

O.J. Mayo (MEM)
There's nothing like playing the Kings to pad your stats (28 pts)

Mike Conley (MEM)
4 pts and 6 asts as he struggles out of the gate this year.

Beno Udrih (SAC)
4 pts and 6 asts as he struggles out of the gate this year.

Brandan Wright (GSW)
Had the best game of his career with 18 pts, 13 rebs, and 3 blks off the bench. For the love of god Nellie, do not bench this kid the following game. He's an Al Harrington trade away from being the league's most improved player.

Nene (DEN)
19 pts on 6-8 FG (7-7 FT), grabbed 15 boards, and swatted 3 shots. Solid all-around performance, good to see him healthy finally.

Al Harrington (GSW)
Started at SF (Turiaf at PF) which wasn't the greatest of experiments. He picked up 4 fouls in 15 minutes. The rest of his teammates were dynamite tonight though.


Kobe Bryant (LAL)
27 pts, boring.

Andrew Bynum (LAL)
9 pts, 17 reb, 4 blks. Best game of the season for him.

Tim Thomas (LAC)
18 pts and 11 rebounds off the bench.

Chris Kaman (LAC)
6 points, 6 fouls. Did grab 11 boards but only blocked 1 shot.

Ricky Davis (LAC)
Why is he on the team? He just collecting a paycheck and getting outperformed by Mike Taylor. He's obviously not meshing with Mike Dunleavy.