Playoff Seeds

 
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: Playoff Seeds

Seeds are as in the NBA. The three division winners and best 2nd placer are seeded 1-4.

WEST
1. Las Vegas
2. Barcelona
3. Winona
4. Santa Barbara
5. Oregon
6. San Juan

Bemidji, Fullerton, Los Angeles and Tahiti are on the bubble. Those teams are asked to submit a writeup solely discussing why they beat the other three.

So we know two western matchups:
San Juan @ Winona
Oregon @ Santa Barbara

Let the game planning begin.

EAST
1. Harlem
2. Antarctica
3. Washington
4. Sweden
5. New York
6. Buffalo

Berlin, Hiroshima, Manila and Seoul are on the bubble. Those teams are asked to submit writeups exclusively discussing why they beat the other three.

Eastern matchups:
Buffalo @ Washington
New York @ Sweden

Best of luck to everybody.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:35 pm    Post subject:

Judge 1

WEST:

1. Winona: This team is extremely athletic and from his writeup, he clearly intends to use that to his advantage. He's got the offense (LBJ, Manu, etc) and defense (Harper, McMillan, Thurmond). The thing that separates him from Las Vegas is the interior defense of Thurmond, toughness of Oakley, and perimeter defense (Harper, McMillan). Also, this team has so many options in the clutch (LeBron, Manu, D-Will). The only guy on this team who I think of as "unclutch" is Peja, but according to the writeup, he won't be in the game during the last 5 minutes.

2. Las Vegas: A close second. Another athletic team, that also has a lot of great scorers. A lot of perimeter and post scoring options. His defense is pretty solid with KG and Yao. However, in a close game, KG and Yao have a reputation of being soft, as does Pau Gasol. Steve Francis, although a great scorer, is not as good a defender, and on a team full of superstars, he is too ball controlling.

3. Barcelona: This team has great defense with Hakeem down low and Alvin at the top. Great offense with Hakeem shaking in the post. Penny and Shaq were pretty good, so imagine Penny with Hakeem and a shooter like Drazen. He's also got two more scoring options down low in Kemp and JO.

4. Santa Barbara: Great perimeter scoring with West and Havlicek, and interior with Worthy. Interior defense is good with Smith down low. In the clutch, they can go to "Mr. Clutch" or "Big Game James". Their biggest weakness is the defense at the 4. Against teams with potent low post threats at the 4 and 5 (Barcelona, Las Vegas, Winoa, and Oregon), this could be a big problem.

5. Oregon: I'm a fan of interior scoring, and this team has that with Bill Walton and Karl Malone. Also great defense with Cheeks, and the two big guys, but they don't have good defenders to guard the 2 or 3. But the offense is very complete with King and Thompson in the starting lineup, and then shooters like Westphal and Curry coming off the bench. And they've got the hustle guy in Kurt Rambis.

6. San Juan: The Admiral provides interior scoring and defense. Good perimeter defense with Billups, Moncrief Bowen. Billups, Moncrief, and Houston also provide scoring threats, and shooters include Billups, Mullin, Bowen, and LaFrentz. This team is pretty good in the clutch with Billups being able to post up, Bowen playing defense, and Robinson.

EAST:

1. Harlem: MJ + TD is ridiculous. The offense (Hill, Richardson, Q. Richardson, Miles) is crazy, as is the defense (MJ, TD, Harper, etc). Also a closing lineup of Harper/MJ/Hill/Horry/Duncan is incredibly clutch on both ends of the floor. His writeup indicates that if it was a <24 seconds on defense, he would switch in Sampson, which strengthens the defense. Great depth too.

2. Antartica: I love the inside-out game with Kareem/Brand down low, Isiah slashing, and Reggie shooting. However, the main thing that keeps them from the #1 seed is defense. Kareem is a very good defender, as is Zeke, and Dandridge and Pressey are not to be taken lightly, but that just doesn't compare with Harper, MJ, Duncan, and Sampson IMO. Also, they are not as deep (Tony Allen vs. Harper, Harpring vs. Richardson/Miles, Tarpley vs. Horry).

3. Washington: I'm sure you saw Shaq in 99-00, and there's no doubt that he'll hold down the paint on both ends. Wade, even without the free throws, is incredibly quick and willing to take contact. And they've got shooters like Rice, Kukoc, Redd and Russell. The biggest weakness is depth at center: What happens if Shaq gets into foul trouble? Ronny is ok, but undersized, and he is also known to get into foul trouble. But I like Buck Williams and Mahorn, and one of them could probably step into the 5 spot if needed. I like his clutch lineup, unless the other team decides to go to a Hack-A-Shaq.

4. Sweden: Magic running the break with T-Mac, Iggy, Deng, and a shooter like Schrempf or Rose, with Sheed trailing is a pretty crazy sight. Rodman and Camby are great rebounders who would get this break started. The biggest weaknesses are perimeter defense and inside scoring. Magic was ok, but not a good on-ball defender, and would have a tough time against these quicker guards (Isiah, CP3, TP, etc). T-Mac is not a good defender, and neither is Iggy. Luol Deng and Threatt are solid defenders, but other than that, opposing guards wouldn't face too much resistance. Their interior defense is pretty good, but scoring is not. Rasheed himself has admitted that he drifts away from the block too much, and Camby does not have a very good low post game either.

5. Manila: Very good interior defense and scoring with McHale and Mourning, and then Chambers and Willis. I like that this is a half-court team, and TP can run the one man fast break as he does with the Spurs. TP and Mitch provide slashers, and Raja is a good defender with a nice shot. However, Parker does not have the outside shot to keep defenses honest, which could be a problem, especially since Zo is not known as a great passer. This team is good at a lot of things, but they are just not up to that level that other teams ahead of them are. It's like they are 2nd-tier at everything.

6. Buffalo: Great defense with Rondo stealing, Pippen and Posey locking down, and Ewing and Grant down low. I also like the spark that JJ brings off the bench, and the shooting of Barry and Posey. The main problem with this team is the the lack of a superstar. None of these guys would step and take it hard to the hole to get FTs and end a drought. And their most clutch player is Barry, which is nothing compared to other teams with guys like MJ, Wade, Kobe, Reggie, etc.

Judge 2

West
1 Las Vegas - Excellent starting five with an excellent bench
2 Winona - Same as Las Vegas but weaker backcourt drop them to 2
3 Barcelona - A very good starting five with an excellent bench but possible rotation problems at guard move them down
4 Santa Barbara - PF problems and a relatively weaker bench compared with the top three
5 San Juan - Not enough legends to compete with the top 4
6 Fullerton - Lack of height and defense make them a borderline 6th seed

East
1 Harlem - Easily the best team in the league
2 Washington - Easily the 2nd best team in the league
3 Antarctica - Doesn't have enough to beat the top 2
4 Hiroshima - Questios on how KB24 and AI will share the ball will drop them down to 4
5 New York - With two disappearing players at crunch time (Webber and Jones) makes their work hard.
6 Sweden - No excellent outside shooting and excellent low post scorer make them vulnerable

Judge 3

West
1- Las Vegas - Division Winner

One thing you can bet on, this team will make you pay. They've got great shooting at every position and even coming off the bench. And KG and Yao are making you look over shoulder twice as you attack the lane.

Baron and Yao is an interesting mix. I see Yao winded trying to keep up with him. But you've got superb depth on this team, so you can spell him quite a bit with Pau and Okafor at C. Some good use of the bench here could keep Yao from sucking wind (Teams may still run on this squad as much as they can when Yao's in the game). A lot of finesse in the post. A strong team may take away the power game. Combine a good defender on Baron and some strength in the post and a team could keep these guys out of the paint. If you can't go one-on-one defensively against Yao or Pau in the post, you are going to hurt. Double down and pay the price.


2- Barcelona - Divison Winner

What I like about this team is that you've got a very good two-way player in Hakeem to set the tone on both ends. You've combined that with good D at the 1, as well. To me, that will give a lot of teams fits as it addresses the two primary points of attack and penetration.

I do think Hakeem benefited from having both Cassell and Horry around him. These are two unbelievably clutch players. Sure LJ can come through with a big shot. What about Penny? Has he truly been battle tested? How about the experience to take his team to the promise land?

I like that the Nanny stopper is there as a flexible, hard-nosed defender at the 2/3 spots. I think that could come in handy. But can the coach and team leaders keep him from doing something stupid in the playoffs like claiming to be the Kobe Stopper? Little slip ups like that could light a fire under the wrong guys.

A lot of key players who never won anything. Will they fade in the clutch? What happens when I send that double on Hakeem?


3 - Santa Barbara - Division Winner

This is a crafty team with a couple of the smarter players in the league running the show. They will make you pay for mistakes and the coaching features that. Tempo will be a constant tug of war with this team when they play opponets with more dominant interiors. When tempo slows down a bit in the playoffs, they could have some issues. Even if things slow down, you need to make sure not to give them an inch in crunch time because they will likely expose it. Their guards will make opponents work on both ends. Come crunch time teams need to try to make them work from the post.


4 - Los Angeles

Some versatile players on this squad. These guys could make things tough defensively for their opponents. Coop, Maxwell, Lucas... some interesting bench role players. Good toughness all around. These guys will compete every night. While they can handle their own in the backcourt, a good low-post power team could force the guards to help or get burned. If the guards have to help, their effectiveness on their own men may be compromised.


5 - Fullerton

This team is very crafty one on one at a number of positions. Should be a lot of iso ball. People might forget how difficult some of these guys were to cover. Price is probably the right kind of guard for them. A shooter to compliment the non-stop half-court ice. Smits has his hands full against some teams. There's a lot of ways you can attack this team.

Could be a good regular season team, but fade in playoffs. Regardless, it will be a fun team to watch.


6 - Winona

LeBron, Manu and Deron will be tough down the stretch. Any team soft at the 3 will be in the hurt. And if you try to put your best defender on LBJ, Manu will somehow find his way to left handed layups.

Winona has quality D at a couple of key positions. However...Amare, Amare, Amare...how shall they exploit thee? A tough PF could cause his team big trouble. Watch out for good offensive rebounders, they will kill him. Teams also won't shy away from attacking LBJ. As incredible as he can be on offense, he's still prone to giving up some easy hoops. And I think this team needs him too much for him to not be careful about foul trouble. Amare and LBJ will give you some jawdropping blocks, but they can still softies at times on D. If you don't have a tough defender on LeBron, good luck.

EAST

1 - Harlem - Division Winner

MJ and Duncan. Duncan and MJ. Two-way MVPs with rings. What's not to like here? Plus, these guys get the love from the refs. Throw in Horry...you've got some deadly closers. In crunch time, the floor has to be spread with your planned shooters out there. Versatile Hill in the Triangle can help MJ a lot. His three range is an issue, but with so much attention to others, he'll probably be able to get to his sweet spots.

I think you can pack the paint againt this team on some of these lineups with Hill/MJ/Richardson. Defensively, this is a tough team to attack. Duncan and Sampson's length will be an issue.


2 - Washington - Division winner

MVP Shaq is a total beast. MDE, MVP, WMD...whatever. You have to game plan like crazy for MVP Shaq. And no matter what you do, you're in trouble. He will cause a lot of teams problems. The end of game offense with Wade creating, getting to the line or setting up others, this team should be very effective. Rice at his peak was a total pain. All these guys, however, will need to pass the baton as they need their touches.

Defensively, this team will shut down the post. I'm pick and rolling them to death, however. Shaq will never come out and the guards aren't as slippery or quick as they will need to be. Mid-range game or odd-man attacks against Shaq will be available. A crafty guard that gets him into foul trouble could have a domino effect on the team. Try to hang tight on the shooters, sag off the penetration of DWade and good luck trying not to get killed in the post.


3 - Antarctica - Division Winner

Personally, I favor a Zeke in his championship years. He still has yet to prove he can get a team over the hump. I'd rather flash the ring than the stats.

What I do love about this team, though, is the clutch ability. You can always get a good look from Kareem in the post. But Reggie and Thomas are guys who refuse to lose. I love that. I think this team has guys who can impose their will on opponents and that makes the difference a lot of times between could-have, would-have and did.

I like Zeek getting into the paint and drawing fouls on opposing bigs. That would help his bigs out, too. Hey, and injury-wise ... your stars are gamers.


4 - Sweden

First off, the combo of Rodman and Magic is a potent one. Great rebounding. When this team secures boards and goes from defense to offense, look out. Still, a true big man on the other side of the ball may be able to do a lot of damage on the offensive glass even with Rodman back there. I'm not sold on the post game from this team. Rasheed often abandons the post when his team needs him there. Camby is a top-of-the-key shooter. TMac is a shooter, Rodman forget it. It's all about the Magic Man down low. And certainly you are going to feature him there a great deal, as mentioned, but how good would this team be with just one more true bigman?

Defensively, I also think this team struggles badly against teams with power in the post. Magic and TMac also could use a flexible guy like Cooper to get their back defensively. Any team with Magic is going to play to their potential and close out a lot of games when it comes to "winning time." When the playoffs come, one might wonder if this team isn't a trade or two away. Match ups will be key.


5 - Seoul

Pretty good defensive starting unit, outside of the 2-spot, that is. You've got some lock down defenders and some swat. If Howard thinks he had a lot of dunks this past season, wait until he teams up with CP3.

NVE can hit big shots when his head is in the game. Just don't drop a match on the powder keg of NVE/Artest/Ricky Davis...or boooom goes the dynamite.


6 - Buffalo

Defensive flexibility is huge. Pip is great at that and this will serve you well against many teams. I might have favored a few more minutes for Joe Johnson at 2, and a few more minutes of Pip at 3 and a few less of Barry. But it appears you will do that as a situational thing. Not sure about Ewing and his turnaround 12-footers in the post. I'd worry about teams not collapsing on him and staying with your shooters when he gets the ball. They might invite the pass into the C's or PFs on this team.

They might also attack Ewing on the other end via screen-rolls to try to pull him from the hoop. Teams with a good combo to attack via the 2/3 spots late in the game could cause problems. Pip can take one, but you may not be able to hide Barry on the other at that point.

Barry may be your go to guy late, but if he's shut down can Ewing or Grant impose their games? Will Pip pout on the bench during a late game timeout? Maybe this team rises to the occasion.

Judge 4

WEST

1. Barcelona – Hakeem can dominate inside or pull his man to the baseline, which leaves the lane for Penny to take his man off the dribble and finish or create for an army of dunkers. Alvin and Dream lock the D while pre bad back LJ, Kemp and Hardaway are quick and long.

2. Las Vegas – Very tough on the glass and deep, solid balance inside/out and offense/defense. Has the versatility to run or work the halfcourt with skilled passers. Quality bench a good weapon.

3. Oregon – Superb ball movement and spacing with great passing bigs, a deep shooter and a midrange/finisher in Skywalker. Can bring Gus off the bench to add a 2-way threat at 1.

4. Santa Barbara – West, Hondo, BGJ are a powerful trio to close. But they need boards to run and Haywood and Elmore will be shredded beef inside.

5. Winona – Great athletes, great closers. But if Williams is beat off the dribble and Nate is pulled away it’s Amare with no help underneath. Carnage.

6. Bemidji –Tiny will destroy nearly every point in the league, Wilt wins the glass against anyone. But…teams that can pull Wilt away will abuse the lack of D at both 1 and 2. Also lack closers.

EAST

1. Harlem – Best starting five in the ATL. Hill an excellent facilitator as Duncan goes midpost and Jordan wing. Defensively have the swats inside to attack the ball and the passing lanes perimeter with Sugar Ray and MJ. Depth and 3 shooting are vulnerabilities.

2. Antarctica –Best spacing in the league with Kareem inside, Reggie arc, Dandridge midrange, Brand midpost and Isiah creating. Another team with vulnerable depth.

3. Sweden – Magic inside/out a brutal matchup and he optimizes TMac and Sheed. Rodman outlet to Magic a potent weapon along with bench shooting. Lack of 2-way players outside of Sheed creates a polarized lineup that can hurt the team execution on both ends.

4. Washington – Shaq and Buck are a powerful duo inside. Rice and Wade proven effective as Shaq complements. Can’t defend p/r and in real danger if Shaq has to sit.

5. New York – Passing of Payton and Webber sets up the offense. Moses one of the best rebounders ever. Defense is shutdown at the ball but vulnerable at 4. Closing a problem.

6. Manila – Excellent 2-way balance 2-5, but on a team of shooters they are heavily dependent on Parker creating for others, which isn’t his strength.
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Sky
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:40 pm    Post subject:

Teams that finished 7-10 in the seeds I will PM judges comments to you.

So what happens next?

The bubble teams 7-10 seeds submit writeups on why they beat the other 3. Judges rank the teams in order, 7 and 8 will advance to the playoffs. The bubble writeups are due Monday night at 10 pm. They are voluntary but help your cause.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:05 pm    Post subject:

i didn't get the comments.

also, thanks for changing the due date to monday
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:21 pm    Post subject:

10scott10 wrote:
i didn't get the comments.

also, thanks for changing the due date to monday

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:42 pm    Post subject:

Congrats to Cleva and coville for grabbing the top seeds.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:27 pm    Post subject:

Comments haven't been sent yet. Thank NBC for waiting 16 hours after the actual race to show the 100 final.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:04 am    Post subject:

Sky wrote:
Comments haven't been sent yet. Thank NBC for waiting 16 hours after the actual race to show the 100 final.


Not to sidetrack...but that was way lame. And man can Bolt run. Incredible.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:52 am    Post subject:

Yeah DB I was incensed by that. Final at 7:30 am our time and they don't show it until 11:30 pm. Inexcusable.

Bolt was mindblowing.

Judges comments have been sent to the bubble teams.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject:

also, i agree wiuth the outrage about olympic tape delay.

dumbest thing ever to show the most popular sports at nearly midnight.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject:

Thankfully, I've got an East Coast feed through my satellite. That at least cuts down 3 hours of the delay...and some "live" events really are live. I remember traveling through Europe during one of the Olympics years back and was just amazed at the Olympic coverage. Not sure if it's still that way, but you could watch just about anything live, it seemed.

Sky, Bolt had me thinking of the possibility of ridiculous 100 numbers. I can't believe how easy he made that look. Mindblowing is right.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject:

Sky, when will those last few seeds be awarded?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject:

As soon as I get verdicts back from DB and KobeWan. Deadline is tonight.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:39 pm    Post subject:

7-10 rankings

West
7. Los Angeles
8. Bemidji
9. Fullerton
10. Tahiti

East
7. Seoul
8. Manila
9. Berlin
10. Hiroshima - withdrew from the playoffs.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:49 pm    Post subject:

Judges comments - West

West

7. Los Angeles
See comments earlier in the thread from judge 3.


Versatile offense with shutdown defense in the backcourt. Frazier and Barkley make for an effective 1-4 scoring tandem. Problem is a slow Bob Lanier and weak defending Tawn and Chuck next to him. That pairing makes the defense vulnerable to penetrate and create inside, or when facing a high post center that can pull Lanier away from the hoop. Mo Lucas can bring the D but where are his minutes behind Barkley and Lanier? This team can put up the points, but the D has holes.

8. Bemidji

Attack Tiny on the defensive end. Break them down here, and this team really has to scramble defensively. Shotblocking will help, but players can't outrun the ball. So, while there will be swat, there will also be some open looks. Teams that make the extra pass will cause problems. I see a lot of zone for this team, an effective zone...but come playoff time, when teams can game plan for it, will it hold up?

Clever/interesting choice of years for Wilt. Team dominance vs. individual dominance. In the end, this may be the determining factor on whether this team succeeds or fails.


Tiny has unmatched speed to create on offense and Wilt dominates inside defensively, also have all-D 1st team Nance, D 2nd in Riordan and a good defender in Marion. Chamberlain wasn’t a big scorer in 72-73 but he was a great passer and rebounder and hit 73% of his shots. If teams converge on Archibald then Wilt can distribute from the high post to quick finishers in Marion and dunk champ Nance. Riordan has passing skills as well. Archibald is very vulnerable to post up. Riordan 2nd team all-D but lacks speed. However D at 3 and 4 is fast and can swat.

9. Fullerton

See comments earlier in the thread from judge 3.


McGinnis at 4 and Issel at 5 in an all-time league on a team looking to run? Not going to work. Too small inside to board, outlet and run. The offense works in terms of a great shooter and passer at 1 and the score/finish 3 in Nique. Problem is the undersized bigs are up against the best bigs of all time, inside scoring will be tough, rebounds even tougher. Defensively this team has no shotblocking at all and a slow point. Any dribble penetration and it’s over.

10. Tahiti

They can board, they can try to get out on the break, but this team will probably struggle to impose itself offensively. I think they will have trouble collapsing the opponents D. There's not a lot of need to double anyone.


New plan to grind it out requires an inside scorer. McAdoo is not a great back to the basket player, he’s a face up shooter, the best shooting big of all time. Forcing him to the low block underutilizes his best talent. Plan to start Fox at 2 exposes his lack of speed. A talented team of shooters with an underrated point and a brilliant anchor, but there’s no balance. Several shooters but no inside scorer. A great shooting big but poor team speed to finish inside. A block machine at the hoop but slow D at the wings will struggle to funnel. Too much focus on stats, the pieces don’t fit together or complement one another.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject:

Judges comments - East

7. Seoul
See comments earlier in the thread from judge 3.


Focus on current players creates an edge in athleticism. Lockdown defense with Artest, Ben and Howard on the frontline. Concern is where the points come from. No elite scorers, volume shooters in Stack and Artest. Closing a real concern also with terrible ft shooters in Ben and Howard. Athleticism and CP3-Howard gets them to the playoffs.

8. Manila

I think this team struggles against talent at the PG, whether that is a stronger PG or an aggressive one, when Parker is up against it defensively, his offense often struggles. Blaylock won't releive much pressure. Big true centers will also be able to overpower Zo. I like him as a flyswatter, but I do think he will be under attack at times. Lengthy defenders could actually give this team some difficulty in the post.


Go to inside scorer in McHale, versatile 2-way center in Zo, toughness in Marques and Rock, speed with a finals MVP trophy in Parker. Great spacing with McHale low, Zo high, Marques midrange, Richmond deep and Parker creating off the dribble. Bench has defense and power. Physical halfcourt team. Solid 2-way players 2-5 but all of them need a point to set them up and Parker is not a great distributor.

9. Berlin
This team struggles to impose its will on opponents. Very solid players across the board, but it's missing guys that you absolutely have to game-plan for.


Toughness everywhere, but not much size or speed. Unseld and Cowens are slow, undersized and lack athleticism. DJ is physical, tough, smart, great D but no speed to create on offense. Drexler and Arenas can be scoring machines but neither has a dynamic inside scorer to take the heat off them as defenders will have 3-5 inches and hops on the bigs. No one commands a double on this team.
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