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HR SIM LEAGUE: MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
Mod over at reddit.com/r/NOLAPelicans
Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Come at me Skip!!!!
HR Sim League Orlando Magic
PG: Luke Ridnour, Delonte West, Greg Minor
SG: Andre Iguodala, Mickael Pietrus
SF: Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Boris Diaw
PF: Charlie Villanueva, Ian Mahinimi, Amir Johnson
C: Eddy Curry, Mamadou Ndiaye, Adam Parada
Kerry Champion: Good morning everyone, and I'd like to be the first one to welcome you back, to the best show on simEspn Television: ESPN First Take. I am here to bring you the stars of the Show, Skip Bayless and Steven A. Smith. Today we will have a variety of topics, but mostly we will be discussing the Eastern Conference team, their end to the season and the start of a brand new NBA season. We even have a special guest appearance for you as well. So without further delay I give you a very excited Skip Bayless who can hardly hold back his grin and Stephen A. Smith.
Skip Bayless: Good morning everyone. Let me say first, I am honored to be back here with you Stephen A. Smith, a man who like to call himself Stephen Nasmith, my always valiant adversary who graciously falls in battle often versus yours truly. And you, the lovely Kerry Champion who gets the daunting task to try and moderate the two of us. To the fans of the show, I'm dearly sorry it's taken this long to get back on air. Both Stephen A. Smith and I fought hard to get back, and we're back and back for good. With that being said, NO ONE IS SAFE. I have a whole lot to say about recent moves by the Magic, the Celtics, Cavs and the Milwakee Bucks; and some moves NOT made by a few other franchises.
Stephen A. Smith: Stephen Nay-Smith? Well, I guess we all know that you didn't take up a career in comedy during the hiatus. Yes, indeed. It truly is great to be back. I can't wait to get back to talking simNBA Basketball, a sport I hold near and dear to my heart.
Let's lead right off with the biggest story of the post season: Hornets putting the "N.O." in NO SHOW. That's right, Skip. The season's biggest story. An unimaginably efficiently shooting team. The league's most historic run since the redraft. Sitting at home during the NBA Finals. Highly disappointing for a team everyone gave the title to 2 weeks into the season. Well, them or the Bucks in the beginning of the season... but don't get me started on the Bucks and their epic fail job.
Skip Bayless: Shall I? Shall I tempt you Stephen A? It has been a while. I've been waiting oh so long to hear one of your tirades.
Stephen A. Smith: We are talking post-season, here; so I'm turning over a new leaf these days and staying on topic. Bucks season went down hill the minute they sold the farm for the loony bin. Yeah, Sheed and Latrell, I'm talking about you.
Skip Bayless: Well didn't take long to flip that leaf right back over. What were you saying about off-topic, again?
Stephen A. Smith: So, aaaaanyway. The NO Hornets no show'd the Finals. But I must give props where props are due. The Philadelphia Sixers took it to them. They also really took it to the Lakers in what I'd like to call one of the most memorable Finals in the history of the NBA. Instant Classic (especially game seven). Unfortunately for them, they fell 1 point short. Imagine making 2 more of those free throws, boys... ANYWAY, Camby AKA Blockasaurus Rex is just unreal. So is his contract, but right now... he's deserving every single cent. Antawn Jamison is the best 3 in the league. Billups continues along the path to being a premier point guard in this league. His team will be great for years and Philly has alot to be proud of.
Stephen A. Smith: Have anything you'd like to add before moving on to offseason moves, Skip?
Skip Bayless: Have you met me? Of course I have something to say. First of all, the Stephen Naismith was a compliment, after James Naismith, just a guy who invented basketball. Apparently you must have bumped your head during the off season and it shows. I want to clear something up Stephen A..
Stephen A. Smith: Go ahead Skip.
Skip Bayless: Did you just say Antwan Jamsion is the best 3 in the league?
Stephen A. Smith: Yeah So ?
Skip Bayless:WHAT?! Stephen A. Smith, calling a man, who can't play one side of the ball the best player at his position is ASININE ASITEN ASIELEVIN ASI TWELVE. Now don't get me wrong, I think Jamison may be one of the best pure scorers in the league and is a matchup nightmare, but to me you have to be able to defend to be in the upper tier of players.
Stephen A. Smith: Ok Skip, entertain me, who's the best 3 in the league?
Skip Bayless: LeBron James without a doubt. This is a guy who can score, pass, shoot, jump run, and defend. Even in his second year he's the best guy on the floor on most nights.
Kerry Champion: And what about the Hornets ?
Skip Bayless: I'll tread carefully because the 76ers were within a point of being the NBA Champions, but I thought this was a case of living and dying on the jumper and the 76ers got lucky that the Hornets weren't hitting on their shots. The Hornets were hot all season and shot uncharacteristically bad though that series and it showed. Even with KG exploring his options, I have the Hornets as a strong favorite to get to the Championship next year.
Kerry Champion: OK well on to our next topic and that's the off-season. All the tears have been dried up from the previous season and a glass half full of water is on all the franchise's desk. The question is who are the early preseason losers?
Skip Bayless: I'd like to preface that by saying, some teams glasses are a lot more half full than others. With that being said, this is very premature because there's still a long off-season to go, but the clearly biggest loser so far I'd have to say is the Orlando Magic. The reason i think this is the Magic GM after all the scrutiny he took for various trades finally had a really good roster. I personally was heartbroken for them when Shareef got injured in the first few weeks of the season because he was obviously the heart and soul of that team as we saw by them sputtering through the season. Stephen A. I'm going to read off a line-up to you and correct me if I'm wrong here: Eddie Curry good young center with maybe one of the best post games in the league, David West, wonderful mid-range jumper and compliment player, Shareef, who is a guy who can rebound defend and score as the leader of the team, Andre Igudola, a Defender and really nice prospect with loads of potential, and Luke Ridnour, a good player who knows how to distribute the ball.
Skip Bayless: In my opinion, all they needed was some time and they could have been a really great young team. But the GM of the Magic goes out and inexplicably trades one of their best young guys in David West. To me Stephen A. they'd have to make a major acquisition to make up for that.
Stephen A. Smith: Are you done? Can I speak?
Skip Bayless: Go ahead.
Stephen A. Smith: I don't know how you do it, Skip.
Skip Bayless: Point out the flaws in every one of your arguments? It's quite easy.
Stephen A. Smith: No, I meant fit so many words in sentences while you are kissing so many butts around the league? First Lebron James, which I can understand. I didn't want to crown him King just yet, but he's on his way. But Hornets back to the championship? Before you start crowning Eastern Conference champions, how about we wait for the Hornets to get some of their key pieces back? No Garnett? No Okur? No Mo Pete? No Championship... nay. No winning record. Being a small market, New Orleans has a LOT of sweet talking to do to resign their players. After declining Okur, even if they resign Garnett and Mo Pete to big deals, it'll leave a gaping hole at the 5. Okur did a lot more for that team than people may realize.
Skip Bayless: No respect for championship not named Boston Celtics; the true Stephen A. Smith emerges.
Stephen A. Smith: Actually, I'm not too sure about the Celtics right now. They DID bring in my boy, THE BIG SHAQCTUS. But at the price of Ostertag and Baron Davis. And there is no guarantee that Chris Webber even resigns with them. Celtics GM better invest in some knee pads... because he's going to be on his knees, begging Webber to stay.
Skip Bayless: I thought you were going a different direction with that knee pad comment, Stephen A. I'm glad you remembered we are Disney-owned and could just as easily be out of work with a comment like that.
Stephen A. Smith: Mind, out of gutter please. Anyway, I do agree with you about the Magic; I was looking forward to watching that young team with so much promise put something together. Instead, he had less patience than a high schooler and traded away one of his best pieces (on a cheap deal). I think he set himself back two seasons with his draft trading. But the departure of West could lead to a bigger role for Iguodola. So this could be a blessing in disguise.
Stephen A. Smith: Another head scratcher was the Cavaliers giving up Duncan. With cap space, they could've gone after plenty of players in the offseason since they have plenty of needs. Instead they trade Duncan for Pau Gasol and a pick that turned into Lou Williams. This isn't a bad start for the new-look Cavaliers, but it could've been new-look with Tim Duncan just as much.
Kerry Champion: Before we go over the draft winners and losers, let's get some quick thoughts on winners of the non-draft offseason in the East thus far. Stephen?
Stephen A. Smith: Winners for me are Raptors and Pistons. Most of the Raptors and Pistons victories this offseason occured in the draft; but Raptors and Pistons also create a lot of opportunities for improvement. Pistons got Chris Kaman and Steve Nash through trades. Raptors bid their adieu to Kenyon Martin to start their rebuild over right.
Kerry Champion: Skip, how about you?
Be back (tomorrow) after a word from our sponsors:
Kerry Champion: Welcome back, Skip has been chomping at the bit to respond, so we'll let him now.
Skip Bayless: Before I get to the winners, I've got to address the elephant in the league that Stephan A. Smith alluded to, and that's Tim Duncan which was probably the most controversal trade in the NBA since the redraft outside of Shaq. Common denomonator: The Lakers. In terms of value back, I don't think you can ever get equal value back for a guy like Tim Duncan unless you send a Kobe or a Garnett back, which I don't think happens because I think those teams would want a dynamic due, not make the lateral move. So in terms of what they realistically could have gotten, I think they got pretty much everything they could have IF they had to trade them.
Skip Bayless: Now my sources say that Tim Duncan was putting pressure behind the scenes to assemble a championship core and that he didn't like the backwards direction the franchise was moving in. I think the Cavs brass didn’t think they’d land a major free agent this offseason and they wanted to buy themselves more time. They got Gasol who is already a champion 7 footer who isn’t near Duncan’s talent, but is maybe a top 3 Center in the league and a top 10 pick. They had a brief run to the conference finals with Jason Williams who he’s now reunited with.
Stephen A. Smith: I can’t argue with that Skip, but I just don’t think you EVER trade a player on his level. He’s probably the best player in the NBA and you JUST DON’T TRADE A GUY LIKE THAT UNLESS HE DEMANDS IT. Point blank and that’s a fact.
Skip Bayless: I can agree with that, but if you HAD to trade them, netting Gasol and a top 10 pick isn’t a bad get.
Skip Bayless: I’m going to break this down into two categories: Winners of the contenders and winners with the rebuilders. Now regarding the winners of the offseason in regards to the contenders, I’m going to say the Milwakee Bucks.
Stephen A. Smith: WHAT?!
Skip Bayless:You heard me. Now, I give them this with a HUGE looming asterisks and that is being able to sign Gerald Wallace. With that being said, they added Tyson Chandler who is really starting to bud into a defensive anchor. When I looked through the bucks roster last season, I saw a hug lack of rebounding, and when they trade Vlade for Sheed, they only got worse in that category. Tyson will come in and average 10-14 and probably 2 blocks per game to help out the aging Brian Grant. Not only that, but the bucks really did a lot of Addition by subtraction in not resigning Rasheed Wallace and trading the untradeable asset that is Latrell Spreewell. They also resigned Gilbert Arenas which was goal #1 on their offseason. I don’t know if they’ll be as good as their start last season, but I think that was just a great run. I think who they really are is somewhere in-between the run and the slide, which is still pretty good. I don’t think they come out of the East though.
Skip Bayless: Now for the non-contenders is where it gets interesting. I have this as a tie right now, same as you between the Toronto Raptors and the Detroit Pistons. I’ll start with the Raptors who’s efforts probably won’t show up in the wins and loss column yet, but they moved Kenyon Martin for a pick and opened up a TON of cap room in a loaded FA class to a team that also did a great job in gaining talent, the Dallas Mavericks. And in doing that, they selected the guy that will be sneaky good in this league, David Lee. I think he walks into the league and averages 15-12. He’s not a great defender, but he’s got a nice mid-range jumper and is a rebounding machine, which translate well to the professional game.
Skip Bayless: I also like a lot of what the Pistons did, but they kind of fell on the wrong side of the coin by not landing a top pick. I Can’t call them the winner over the Raptors because I’m not sutre about the Nash move. I think they got great value but I’m not sure if Nash will be a long term cog, esp after hearing that Tony Parker was on the block for a sign and trade. I thought that would have been a great move. I really did love the value they got for their picks though. They really solidified their depth with Jarrett Jack and Ilysova who I think will be a sneaky good pick and with all of those outside shooters, could sneak into the starting lineup in the next 2 years with his shooting touch. He certainly needs to work on his rebounding but he can play the 3 or 4 position. If the Pistons go ahead and grab a solid player or a star in Free Agency with their open space, watch out, they could be a sneaky 8 seed.
Stephen A. Smith: Are you saying the Detroit Pistons are going from the worst record to a playoff team? Or are you hedging your bets again and adding a huge ‘IF’ in there?
Skip Bayless: It’s a big If. The East got a whole lot better though and was already a gauntlet. These up and coming teams will have to earn their spot and a bad run can knock you out. It’s going to be whoever can adjust to their new players the fastest that will be the ones earning one of those late playoff spots. I could see the Knicks dropping down a few spots after losing Jefferson, but it all depends on FA, which is why this discussion is a bit premature.
Kerry Champion: Well everyone welcome here to the discussion, Charles Barkley. How are you doing today Charles?
Last edited by BallSoHard; 04-10-2013 at 01:21 PM.
Charles Barkley: Thank you for having me on. I need to break away every now and then from those idiot co-hosts of mine on TNT. Those guys are turrible. So we are talking a little sports today huh? I was too busy being a bigger deal than the two of you that I missed the beginning of the show. So what are the main topics today? I can spend some time on my one true love, golf. As you know the Masters are this weekend and for some reason I didn't get the Par 3 Challenge invite this year.
Stephen A. Smith: Charles...
Charles Barkley:...or maybe we can talk opening week of baseball. Those Red Sox are looking good.
Skip Bayless: Charles...
Charles Barkley: Did I mention how stupid Shaq is? Have you ever seen him actually get in the Buick?
Skip Bayless: FOCUS!!! SIM LEAGUE!!!
Charles Barkley: How have we gotten this far in a simNBA discussion about the Eastern Conference without at least mentioning my old team the Houston Rockets. The dozens of moves made by the Magic and the huge mistake made by the Cavs have largely been drowned out by the sound of the Rocket's GM's own voice. This guy gets eliminated in the first round of the playoffs and his mouth starts writing checks to bank accounts he doesn't even know how to access. That's turrible. He got Manu back from injury at the end of the season so of course I am buying this guy as a viable Eastern Conference Champion without any other proof. That's what he wants us to think. He's that good. I'm in. Moving on to the rest of the pack in the East, the Hornets were incredible last year until they were manhandled by the Sixers. I see the two swapping places next year, but that assessment is largely because of how many guys didn't offer to resign. Enjoying a rare early vacation could have been the reason they didn't talk to their agents ahead of time. I anticipate they will be much in demand come Free Agency Day 2. That is if they get that far. As far as the bucks go, I didn't get the daily update on their roster, so I honestly have no idea what is going on with their team. They had a HUGE win though trading for center great Pavel Podkolzine. The Knicks may have taken a step back, may have not. I guess we'll see in a few weeks. The Raptors did have a solid draft even though they spent most of the week leading up drinking away their sorrows from missing Chris Paul. I've heard that Chris has filed for restraining orders on Raptors and Pistons for the same reason. Pistons won't be as bad, but I won't know much about that team until they spend that cap money. Did I already mention Pavel Podkolzine? In some alternate sim universe, Shaq is still old and playing ball. Good thing the Celtics have him. A Shaq/Webber could be a stout front court. I see a lot of WNBA scores in Boston this year. Cavs traded the MVP, Bulls traded up and then took the wrong guy, and the Bucks traded for an STD. It has been a crazy off-season thus far. By the way, I am happy to have my mom on today. She is a huge fan of the show. Not your show, my show.
Last edited by TrayWithAnA; 04-10-2013 at 04:32 PM.
Gerald Wallace - Kevin Martin - Yao Ming - Luke Ridnour - Ersan Ilyasova
Chris Wilcox - Drew Gooden - Jason Smith - Sasha Vujacic - Steve Novac - Brian Grant
2005 Results - 38-44 - 9th in the Eastern Conference, 7th in the Central Division
2006 Results - 48-34 - 5th in the Eastern Conference, 4th in the Central Division
Skip Bayless: Ooooookay... Thanks for coming on the show, Charles. I think you know where the door is...
Charles Barkley: Are you asking me to leave?
Skip Bayless: No, no, no. Not at all. I just got a message from our producers that Weight Watchers is looking for a new spokesperson and figured you'd be interested.
Charles Barkley: Well I do love to eat like a man.
Skip Bayless: Thanks for stopping by, Chuck.
Stephen A. Smith: Well, that was rude.
Skip Bayless: You know what's rude, Stephen A? You, for depriving our fans of the basketball talk they deserve.
Cari Champion: Yes, let's move on to our next topic: the lottery and the draft.
Skip Bayless: Ah, the lottery. May the odds for(n)ever be in your favor.
Stephen A. Smith: Huh?
Skip Bayless: You need to get out more, Stephen A. The odds certainly weren't in the favor of a few teams.
Stephen A. Smith: You got that right. I'm talking about the Raptors and Pistons. Those same "winners" were lotto losers. Not many years when teams outside the Top 5 jump into the top 3... and this year we had THREE teams who didn't have the worst 3 records in the top 3. The Mavs jumped from #11 to #2, the Heat from #9 to #3, and the Sonics (via Magic) from #5 to #1. Incredible. You can only imagine how the Raptors and Pistons state of mind.
Skip Bayless: Drunk?
Stephen A. Smith: There were reports of a man looking like the Raptors GM streaking through Toronto screaming profanities about the Sonics' GM's mother.
Cari Champion: That we can neither confirm nor deny, so let's not get side-tracked. Remember... leaf, turned. What do you think was the best pick in the East? Overall and value?
Stephen A. Smith: Overall? I really like the Heat grabbing Bynum. They traded away Chandler, and get another rookie-deal, potential all-star center. Now for a value pick that I like for an Eastern team... I really like the Cavs picking Lou Williams and Brandon Bass with their picks, quickly filling holes for their roster. Lou Williams has the potential to start for them, assuming they aren't pursuing any 2-guards in Free Agency. Even if they do, he's a combo guard and could spot start at the 1 in a pinch or be THAT guy off the bench.
Cari Champion: Skip?
Yeah I seen the mistake. I figured you'd catch it. Looking forward the western conference edition and hear you guys debate how awesome the Mavs GM is.
He did have one hell of a draft.
Skip Bayless: Yeah, I thought the shock of the draft happened well before the draft in the fact that a lot of the teams projected to be in the top 3 weren’t. I know for a fact that both the Pistons and the Pistons were unhappy with their fortune, but we’ve already touched on them some. I’d like to bring up some other teams. I really liked the Nets sneaky good pick at 13 with Jose Calderon. Their team was void of a backcourt last year and they were very successful in terms of where we thought they’d be. With Calderon, they get a pass first point guard who can make you pay from 3 point range; making it tough to double team those two bullies of a front court.
Skip Bayless: One pick I did not really agree with is the Bulls pick of Andrew Bogut. The Bulls already have a very good front court with Nene and LeFrenz and a lot of dollars tied down in those two guys. There were a lot of other guys out there that could really have helped this team, and considering that they sold Nash for pennies on the dollar, I really thought Lou Williams would have been a great pick there.
Stephen A. Smith: Over Raymond Felton? We talked about this and BOTH had Felton rated over Williams. Are you flip flopping on national television? Kerrie, I want you to take notes on this VERY moment.
Skip Bayless: It’s more of a situational Flip Flop. I really though Lou Williams shooting and scoring ability would have been great next to LeBron who can handle the ball, pass the ball and score. The Bulls needed a guy that could spot up and shoot or possible take the reigns from LeBron when we went out for a rest.
Cari Champion: Well there you have it from the guys at First Take. There's a lot of of Eastern conference teams that really helped themselves like the Raptors, Pistons, and possibly the Celtics; and there's another set of teams who made some questionable moves that won't be able to be judged until the offseason. Thank you for joining us for First Take and stay Tuned for our Western Conference Edition!
Feel free to comment and critique!
First one back, we will do better. Sorry for the delay, work was killing me this week.
No critique. I was impressed. I thoroughly enjoyed it guys! Can't wait for the Western edition.
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