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!
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Let me know on the blog what needs to be changed for version 3.1!
BIGGEST MOVERS IN 3.0
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).
3.0 PRIMARY POSITION CHANGES
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
ON THE RISE...
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.
DROPPING LIKE FLIES...
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
2006: 26.67 (All-Star, All-NBA 2nd Team)
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
2004: 16.6 (15.2 CLE, 17.2 BOS)
2006: 17.0 (17.0 BOS, 17.0 MIN)
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.