Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Tim Moungey » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:05 pm

Legal Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction using a fan-base provided mod. Wolverine Studios does not officially include real team or player names in the product and assumes no responsibility for what happens to the game or computer as a result of the mod. Plus the usual coincidental no relation to actual people, etc.

It's bad enough when your last name is Gum. It's even worse when your parents, in a fit of insanity brought on by virtue of you being their first (and only, as it would turn out) child decide to get really cute and name you after a product. Thus, my official legal name is yes, Zebra Gum. I'll spare you the endless train of unfunny jokes this has caused all my life. Oh, you're too young to remember the gum I'm talking about? Here's a picture:

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In a way, I suppose it wasn't all horrible. I mean, at least people always remember who I am. Sometimes I've even gotten dates just because girls thought a guy with a weird name would be so cool and wacky (Spoiler alert: I was neither. I also got very few second dates.)

I won't bore you with my history. You don't care. All you want to know is why the hell the Washington Wizards, after a confusing offseason that saw them acquire Austin Rivers and Dwight Howard to an already dysfunctional team, hired a flipping zebra as the GM. All I can say is *shrug*. At least Gilbert Arenas isn't showing off his gun collection anymore.

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There's my picture, in case you're interested. Probably not.

Our first order of business is to figure out where we're going to scout. A quick glance at the international prospects on the radar shows...

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Okay, so there's a butt ton of regions we can skip.

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If I didn't see an international prospect from that region, no need to have a look.

So our owner is really, really hungry to win even though we've been a mid-tier squad that flames out early in the playoffs, if we even make it at all.

Oh and that $123.7 million player budget? We're over it by about $12 million - largely because of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, and Ian Mahinmi, the last of whom is somehow making $15 million+ a year to sit on the bench in street clothes and pick his nose.

John Wall? Great
Bradley Beal? Overpaid and I suspect overrated
Otto Porter? Way overpaid
Markieff Morris? It's a bad sign he's considered a starter.
Dwight Howard? Very reasonable flier contract, but he's 33.

I don't care about the bench. You don't either.

First things first - find a damned big man.

Sorry we like our chances of making a run this season and aren't willing to give up a key player without getting someone better in return.
Sorry we like our chances of making a run this season and aren't willing to give up a key player without getting someone better in return.
Sorry we like our chances of making a run this season and aren't willing to give up a key player without getting someone better in return.
Sorry we like our chances of making a run this season and aren't willing to give up a key player without getting someone better in return.
Sorry we like our chances of making a run this season and aren't willing to give up a key player without getting someone better in return.
Sorry we like our chances of making a run this season and aren't willing to give up a key player without getting someone better in return.
Sorry we like our chances of making a run this season and aren't willing to give up a key player without getting someone better in return.
Sorry we like our chances of making a run this season and aren't willing to give up a key player without getting someone better in return.

Hey, Miami, you're not contending for a title any time soon, so get off your damn high and mighty horse.

Phoenix is even being jerky about not wanting to take on Ian's contract even though I'm offering to take 36 year old Tyson Chandler off their hands and give them a reasonable prospect in Thomas Bryant.

Finally, however, we locate a deal. Two, in fact.

Memphis Grizzlies receive
Markieff Morris
Thomas Bryant

Washington Wizards receive
JaMychal Green

Jackson Ayorinde's Wizards Take
When you have an owner and a fanbase both deluded with fever dreams that John Wall is an MVP candidate and the Wizards a contender, you're forced to make moves to be win-now. Green represents a huge upgrade on the boards that was sorely needed and some more defensive toughness. An expiring contract, as everyone is in this trade, so he can be a one shot improvement who goes somewhere else this summer. If Washington was forced to rely on Dwight Howard for all their rebounding this season, they were going to be in deep trouble. Now they get a hybrid forward who also creates some spacing.

Ayorinde's Grizzlies Take
As much as we've all admired the blue collar Grit N Grind mid-tier team for years, this is the season they drop off. Bryant has some upside to be an okay rotational player, but probably won't see it with the Grizzlies unless they like enough of a look to retain him. The one Morris twin is a 3 forced into being a 4 in Washington. Both will come off the pine for Memphis, so the question is why do this deal? Because it opens up the starting spot at PF for Jaren Jackson, Jr, the prized rookie who has superstar potential writ large. And that's pretty much it.

Winner: Washington
Fill a huge need, shed a little cap this season? That's winning trading right there. The Wizards still aren't a contender, but they just dramatically improved their playoff prospects with this trade.

Philadelphia 76ers receive
Otto Porter
Jody Meeks
Washington Wizards 2020 2nd round pick

Washington Wizards receive
Robert Covington
Wilson Chandler
Philadelphia 76ers 2019 1st round pick
Philadelphia 76ers 2019 2nd round pick
Philadelphia 76ers 2020 2nd round pick

Ayorinde's Wizards Take
With John Wall due to jump from $19 million to $37.8 million in salary next year, and with the ownership's demands, it was clear one of Porter or Bradley Beal needed to find a new home. The Georgetown alum was the obvious choice and he's split into Covington, a 28 year old 3&D player locked up through his prime years at a reasonable contract, and Chandler, a 31 year old $12.8 million expiring contract who fits the rough 3&D outline, though without ball-stealing talent. If you'll notice, the Wizards have made moves to improve their defense and are signaling that Wall/Beal/D12 will be their Big 3 on offense. It's a smart play, and in this case, one that's dramatically improved the team depth. The picks will likely be late, but it's assets accumulation for a possible move later in the season.

Ayorinde's 76ers Take
The City of Brotherly Love has so many picks due to The Process they could afford to send out late value ones for an upgrade to the starting lineup. Porter is just 25 and while he's not worth $26 million and counting the next 3 years, he has a solid all-around skillset that can function in a glue role as the starting 3. The Sixers can also afford that swollen contract - Jerryd Bayless ($8.5 million) and J.J. Redick (12.25 million) and some other smaller expirings mean no budgetary issues in Philly.

Winner: Even
This is a good trade for both teams that allows each one to accomplish their goals without giving up the farm. It's nice to see these kinds of deals in the NBA.

After those moves, our cap number down is down to $127 million. So close to breaking even. But I'm not willing to do more until later in the year.

New Starting Lineup
PG John Wall
SG Bradley Beal
SF Robert Covington
PF JaMychal Green
CE Dwight Howard

Ironically, our season opener is at home against Philadelphia... and though I won't do this for every game...

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Oh so ugly, but oh so beautiful to curb-stomp those smug bastards after everyone was so high and mighty on them in the preseason run-ups.

Unfortunately, we're then shocked by Blake Griffin's Pistons the next game by 6, as John Wall's icy streak to start the year continues - 3 of 13, 1 of 7 from behind the arc. Foul trouble costs us in our first road game, dropping an 8 point decision in Denver. Screw that 40-24 home cooking FTA disparity. LeBron does LeBron things to us in LA as we're smoked by 20, and of course we're not in the Warriors' class. Yet another loss, as we can't make anything in Sacramento of all places.

It tallies up to a 1-5 October - 5 straight losses after that initial sweet win. My only consolation is that Philadelphia struggled relative to expectations - they went 3-4 the first month.
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Tim Moungey » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:04 pm

Where to start with that first month? How about John Wall shooting 32.3%, 24.8% from 3 point range on 10.8 FGA, 4.2 F3A. But the truth is, every one of our primary shot-takers is shooting below 43%. And post depth is a major issue, so I sign Walter Tavares off the street. He immediately becomes our second string center over Jason Smith. We'd cough up $20 million to fire Scotty Brooks, who I also think is a major problem. But we'll wait and see how things develop first.

We drop a clunker to the Suns before John Wall finally wakes up for 42 points, 11 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal... and we still only beat the equally terrible Cavaliers by 10. Dwight Howard put up an ugly shooting night for his 10 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal in that game. Next game we beat the under-performing 2-6 Raptors on the road, thanks to John Wall's 21 points and 13 assists, Bradley Beal's 29 points, 2 blocks, and 3 steals, and a 13-13 double-double by newcomer Walter Tavares off the bench, as Brooks fights to keep his job.

As goes John Wall (31 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals), so we go, apparently, out-pointing Dallas 96-83 to make it 3 in a row. JaMychal Green exploded for 21 points and 9 rebounds, too, in that win. We host the Lakers next up and I'm expecting the streak to end, but JaMychal Green rips off his second straight amazing game with 27 points against the King and Superman is reborn against his old team - 29 points, 19 rebounds, 4 blocks, and a steal for Dwight Howard as we stun the Purple and Gold by a single layup.

Afterwards, people are raving about how we've gone from a 1-5 start to 4-1 since, and how the Wizards might have found their magic. All five starters are averaging 11.8 points or more and JaMychal Green in particular is having a career year - 14.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 1.2 blocks as our co-#3 option alongside D12.

24 points, 15 rebounds for Dwight Howard, 17 and 15 in points and assists for John Wall, 18 points and 10 rebounds by JaMychal Green, and 22 points out of Bradley Beal to humiliate the Hawks 112-94. We're back to .500, and then go over, nipping the Kings by 5. Our bench mob showed up for that one - 12 points in 9 minutes by Kelly Oubre Jr and a surprising 11 points, 5 rebounds from Jason Smith. On the topline, it's all John Wall - 26 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, a block, and 3 steals.

The long homestand is over and we go south to cool off the Heat by 14 behind Bradley Beal's 32 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, a block, and 2 steals, and Dwight Howard's 15/19/3 blocks line. The on the turnaround, we sweep the Heat on Bradley Beal's 29 points, 4 blocks, and 2 steals, Robert Covington's 21 points and 4 steals, and 19/15 and 11/10 double-doubles out of Dwight Howard and JaMychal Green respectively. We're officially the hottest team in the NBA.

Then the win streak stops at 8 as the still-disappointing Raptors rip us pretty soundly in Toronto. Dwight Howard fouled out after just 18 minutes of court time and that was pretty much the difference. Clearly the frontcourt is going to be our top priority this offseason, though I'm still thinking I'd like to bring back JaMychal Green. Always tough to play on back-to-back nights, and Giannis Antetokounmpo's Bucks bounce us in Milwaukee, Greek Freak gashing us for a 34/11/10 triple-double. Ouch.

We snap back with a big 9 point road win in Charlotte, the Hornets our main rivals for the Southeast lead. John WAll appears for the first time in a while with a near-triple double of 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists, Bradley Beal goes off for 30 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals, and Big Walter puts up 14 points, 7 boards off the bench.

Bradley Beal with another 30+ point game, John Wall again studly with 19/14/7 and 4 steals, and Dwight Howard rolls with 25 points and 17 rebounds in a pulverizing of Portland. All five starters scored 11 or more points in that one, arguably our most complete win to date. Not going to talk about the next game - how we pissed away a lead and lost by 1 on the road to Minnesota, where Jimmy Butler is still playing.

Just for the fun of it, I call up the Timberwolves, who are 7-14 by the way, about acquiring Jimmy B. Their response, "Sorry, we like our chances this season..." and I'm just sitting there like "Um... what?" *shrug*

Bad turns to worse as the 76ers squash us in Philly. Not even close.

Still, we're at the top of the Southeast at 11-10 by half a game come December 1st, thanks to a 6 game swoon by the Charlotte Hornets. All told, we put together a 10-5 November, though things got real dicey after that 8 win streak. Obviously we're still not anywhere near the DEEP PLAYOFF RUN the owner wants, but it's hard to figure out where to make the adjustments to fulfill his demands.
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Tim Moungey » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:53 am

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Quick snapshot of the East. Most surprising thing besides the Raptors' continued malaise? The Pacers absolutely crushing the Central. Indiana's success has been built on the two-headed star play of Victor Oladipo and Tyreke Evans - to say nothing of a league-best +6.7 REB differential.

Out West, 4 of the 5 Pacific teams have won over 56% of their games in the first two months (Sacramento is of course the sad sack bottom dwellers). New Orleans, San Antonio, and Houston have all won two-thirds or more of their games in the Southwest. Which leaves the Northwest as the West's worst. - only 12-8 Oklahoma City is over .500.

It also turns out we have a team identity. A snippet from a profile on us:

"The Wizards have cultivated a team that will force you into bad shots. They're #2 in OPP FG% (42) and #3 in OPP 3P% (32.6). Washington's biggest problem? Their own 41.1% FG conversion rate ranks 27th and is preventing this mid-tier squad from truly dominating. John Wall (41%) and Robert Covington (37.3%) are particularly poor, and Walter Tavares (37.2%) has percentages no big man should ever produce."

Trade time!

Brooklyn Nets receive
Jason Smith
Chasson Randle
Philadelphia 76ers 2019 2nd round pick
Philadelphia 76ers 2020 2nd round pick

Washington Wizards receive
Ed Davis

Ayorinde's Wizards Take
Washington has suffered from horrible overall 2P FG%. Enter Ed, who is averaging a double-double with nearly a block and a steal for the Nets, and has a career 56.3% FG shooting rate. The 29 year old is a quality rebounder who plays hard-nosed defense to boot and has always been one of the most underrated players in the league. It's a case of expirings again, and while the 2nds certainly would have helped the Wizards' precarious financial situation, the improvement is worth the upgrade in their chronically weakest areas.

Ayorinde's Nets Take
Brooklyn was never going to get anywhere this season. Neither Smith nor Randle (expirings both) are going to contribute, so this was a trade purely to get 2nd round picks, which are more useful for a rebuilding team.

Winner: Washington
Ed Davis is going to mean far more to the Wizards this year than anything the Nets will likely get out of those 2nd round selections and that's enough to tip it in favor of the nation's capital in this minor swap.

Mr. Ed gets the start against Detroit and though limited to 18 minutes for foul trouble, we pulverize the Pistons behind John Wall's 24 points, 16 assists, 5 blocks, and 7 steals. Wall's hurt for a week, which really sucks. Also helping were Bradley Beal (24 points), Robert Covington (18 points, 10 rebounds), Walter Tavares (10 points, 8 boards, 2 blocks off the bench), and Kelly Oubre Jr (10 bench points). Coming back next game is Dwight Howard from his own dinged injury, but no John Wall means Utah stifles us, and we drop the next one on the road to Portland, too. Wall is just too critical to our success, as we swoon back down to .500. Then under it, as we lose in Phoenix a couple nights later.

John Wall's return means a team-carrying 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals, and 12 points off the bench in an away upset against the Clippers. Dwight Howard is out this one, too, as he keeps getting hurt. Good thing I grabbed Davis. Even more so next game, as Ed Davis punishes his old team for 10 points, 15 boards in support of John Wall's 24 points and 10 assists, JaMychal Green's 21 points, 10 boards, and bench scoring of 12 and 16 respective points by Wilson Chandler and Walter Tavares in a rout of the Nets. Back in the over .500 column.

Then Davis is hurt, so Big Walt has to start. For those of you keeping track at home, that's two of my pickups that have started now at center. No problem vs Memphis though, John Wall netting 30 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals, with JaMychal Green scoring 22 with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks, and Jeff Green of all people adding 14 bench points in a surprisingly easy win.

The Clippers avenge the earlier loss, but Dwight Howard comes back to post 15 and 10 alongside John Wall's 35 points, 9 assists, and 4 steals in a tougher than expected home win over the Cavaliers. Then we blow a 13 point lead in the 4th quarter and drop one to the Pelicans, which irritates me. But the Nets are always fun because Dwight Howard rampages for 22 points and 17 rebounds and John Wall scores 26, with all our starting five at 10+ points in a Brooklyn beatdown.

Teamwork again wins - all five starters score 13+ in a Magic mauling, keyed by 22 points and 6 assists for Robert Covington, 23 points by Bradley Beal, and 13/12 and 16/11 double-doubles for Dwight Howard and John Wall. We give it a game effort, only losing by 9, but no one's beating the Celtics in Boston. Wilson Chandler is in the lineup the next two weeks because Robert Covington went down with injury.

Our defense stonewalls the Hawks in Atlanta, holding them to 29.2% shooting en route to a 94-81 win. Bradley Beal scores 23 and John Wall grabs 13 points and 14 assists. Then John Wall grounds the Rockets with 39 points, 8 assists, 3 blocks, and 3 steals, supplanted by Dwight Howard's 15 points and 17 boards, our second straight game holding an opponent below 90 points at 86.

I (expletive) hate when we lose to bad teams at home, and sure enough, a shocking 2 point loss to the Bulls to close out the calendar year.

Still, at 20-17, we had another winning month, and we're now 3.5 games in front in the Southeast. We're also one of just 5 teams in the East over .500. In the west we'd be percentage points behind the 19-16 Lakers for the #7 seed. So in either conference, we'd be a playoff team - pretty impressive, I'd say, considering I didn't think this team looked that good on paper when I started.
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby C-Bailey24 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:32 pm

Finally an upgrade to Grunfeld :)
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Tim Moungey » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:54 am

C-Bailey24 wrote:Finally an upgrade to Grunfeld :)


:D Is that really hard to do, though? Honestly, it still feels as if we're stuck in no man's land.

****

Of interest as we open January - Golden State is 34-3 and LeBron's Lakers are the #7 seed, with Phoenix somehow the 8 seed in the West at an even .500. Charlotte is 4th in our division at 13-23, the freefall continuing because Kemba Walker is averaging 24.4 points... and the Hornets' next two guys are 10 PPG dudes, and one of them, Marvin Williams, is still out with a broken foot. Small wonder our next challengers are the 16-20 Atlanta Hawks.

Dwight Howard beats up the Knicks in the paint for 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 blocks! while JaMychal Green adds 11 and 14 with 3 steals and John Wall scores 21... and we barely beat the Knicks, 91-90. I'm not happy about how we're suddenly playing to the level of our terrible opponents. Kristaps Porzingis didn't even play. So naturally, I'm not surprised when Memphis skunks us on their court, though that's atone for the very next night. John Wall tees off for 34 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks next to Dwight Howard's 10 points and 14 boards in beating the Buc- wait, where's Greek Freak?!. As it turns out, we dodged by him a single day with a wrist injury. And still only won by 5.

All five starters score 13+ points in an uninspiring 8 point win over the Utah Jazz. At least Robert Covington is back in the lineup. I chalk it up to our longest rest period of the season and resulting rust. But I'm still not happy with how we're playing. And then I pull off a move that has everyone talking for days.

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Stephen A. Smith almost has a coronary on national television. Nate Silver's team at 538 rushes to do a statistical analysis of this blockbuster. Orlando Magic fans are about to riot when news of D12's return breaks, especially since it cost them Mo Bamba, a promising and popular rookie. I can't stop grinning.

Ayorinde's Wizards Take
This is the kind of ballsy move that defines a GM's career for better or worse, and it's only Zebra Gum's first season. The implications of this trade are massive, starting with 33 year old Dwight Howard turning into 20 year old rookie Mohamed Bamba, who is an already elite defender and shotblocker, but was stuck behind Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic in the Magic Kingdom. Here, he steps in as the new starting center and anchor of the Wizards' defense. Austin Rivers proved in a few starts (including an infamous 0 of 10 night) that he doesn't deserve to be in the same locker room as John Wall, and his replacement as Wall's backup, D.J. Augustin, is a 31 year old serviceable backup. The downgrade from the scoring, sniping Bradley Beal who was a pretty good defender to Evan Fournier, who is a lesser scorer and worse in every way will be significant. The one caveat: In the nation's capital, Fournier will move to the 2, which might well prove a better fit for his length and size. This was also a long-term financial move, shedding Beal's massive and climbing contract for Fournier's flat-rate $17 million a year and getting the team's current salary commitments below the limits set by the owner. The Wizards are now paying out $111 million+ in salary.

Ayorinde's Magic Take
For all the furor, let's keep in mind that Bradley Beal is a legitimate two-way talent with deadly 3 point shooting and a younger, vastly superior upgrade to the Frenchman Fournier. Orlando desperately needed an elite sidekick to Nikola Vucevic because Fournier wasn't cutting it at under 12 points a game. Beal should transform back into the 20+ PPG scorer he was the last two seasons (18.6 at the time of the deal). Austin Rivers, for all his flaws, is a slight upgrade over Augustin off the bench and a legitimate combo guard. For all the hubub over Howard's return to Orlando, he'll come off the bench. At 33 years old, that's a wise decision, because it preserves his health and should make him still a quality player next year. It'd be an easy team pickup of the option, too - especially if Vucevic walks. D12 will keep the scoring party going and gives the Magic an elite rebounder at both ends - which they lacked because Bamba's not ready. Also keep in mind - even though they're 17-25, the East is so terrible this year that a 40% win mark has the Magic sitting with the 8 seed, and acquiring this ready-now talent solidifies their playoff standing.

Winner: Orlando
As much as there's the worry that Bamba will blossom into a star, he still has quite a ways to go as a rebounder and scorer. It's uncertain how the Wizards' scoring calculus (already heavily dependent on John Wall) will change with the subtraction of Beal, while this opens up the door for the Magic to charge up the woebegone East standings and possibly get themselves a date that doesn't include a first round date with Boston or Indiana - surefire one and done recipes.

Ironically, we play the Magic the very next game, just like our headline-grabbing Porter trade on season's eve.

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(Expletive) Yeah!

Our defenses smothers Brooklyn the very next night of our B2B home stand, John Wall uncorking 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists, with JaMychal Green chipping in 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Kelly Oubre Jr adding 13 points off the bench. But then we lose by 10 to the Bucks a couple nights later, because Greek Freak is around for this one.

Evan Fournier puts on a Beal impersonation with 27 points and Mohamed Bamba puts on a defensive clinic of 15 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks, as we take the buzz out of the Hornets, 115-89. Our defense has been phenomenal since the trade, even though it was 3 super awful teams we trounced. Worth noting: We were playing down to the level of bad teams before the deal, so I'll take these routs and playing Milwaukee somewhat close. Beautiful 28 points, 11 assists, 2 blocks, and 7 steals by John Wall in an okay road win over the Pistons. Robert Covington scores 27 and D.J. Augustin adds in 13 points and 5 assists off the bench.

It's hard to imagine a 108-102 road win as being nondescript, but that's what we got in Dallas. Great defensive game by John Wall with 19 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 4 steals and Evan Fournier scored 22, but it wasn't one for highlight reels. Rough 7 point road loss to the Thunder in a nasty 80-87 drop, but at least we're playing competitively against elite teams. Far less forgivable - a 77-93 stinkfest in Atlanta, our first Southeast loss of the season. Oklahoma City continues to have our number, topping us by 11 on our turf to end the month.

3 game skid to close out January, but we're still 28-22, or +3 in the win differential margin, and an expanded Southeast lead to 5.5 games. One week to go until the trade deadline. Have I finished making moves or will there be another rabbit to pull out of the hat? That... will wait until next time.
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby C-Bailey24 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:00 am

Tim Moungey wrote:
C-Bailey24 wrote:Finally an upgrade to Grunfeld :)


:D Is that really hard to do, though? Honestly, it still feels as if we're stuck in no man's land.


Yea teams like the Wizards, Portland, Charlotte, etc are in no man's land as you say and that's the worse place to be. You either need to be clearly in a position to contend or at the bottom trying to draft your next franchise player.

Anyway, hopefully you keep this going as there usually aren't any interesting dynasties to read outside of the DDSCB forum. I like to see how other people are playing the game and specifically their thought process while team building which i would like to get better at and not just play the game and going through the motions so to speak. Also the reason i've yet to join an online league cause i don't wanna lag behind all the other GM's.
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Tim Moungey » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:34 pm

C-Bailey24 wrote:
Yea teams like the Wizards, Portland, Charlotte, etc are in no man's land as you say and that's the worse place to be. You either need to be clearly in a position to contend or at the bottom trying to draft your next franchise player.

Anyway, hopefully you keep this going as there usually aren't any interesting dynasties to read outside of the DDSCB forum. I like to see how other people are playing the game and specifically their thought process while team building which i would like to get better at and not just play the game and going through the motions so to speak. Also the reason i've yet to join an online league cause i don't wanna lag behind all the other GM's.


Honestly, jumping into an MP league is one of the best ways you can get better at the game. Just talking to the successful GMs and picking their brains will help you gain more knowledge. And because the sim speed is slower than single-player, you can dig deeper into the granular aspects. Like in a league I'm in that's investigating a switch from DDS3 to DDS19, a couple guys have already figured out how to de facto replicate the all 10s strategy that used to lead to imbalanced results and turned into MP leagues implementing house rule limitations to stop that exploit. (Note: In SP, I have the AI set the Depth Chart and Sub Matrix even in Global Mode).

I think Mo Bamba can be our next star player, though, and John Wall already is a star - 3.5 overall rating notwithstanding.

***
We need a scoring big man, but there's nobody out there who's a reasonable get. So we'll just roll the dice with what we have, though I put a bunch of guys on the block to see what offers come my way.

The bleeding continues with a 9 point loss at home to Toronto, but the Raptors have been hot lately. 27 points and 10 rebounds by JaMychal Green pairs with 20 and 10 from John Wall to carry us in a dull defensive win over the Magic in Orlando. Bradley Beal hasn't had the expected positive impact the Magic hoped for. Game 7 point loss to the powerhouse Pacers in Indiana without the injured Evan Fournier.

There are trades that don't involve us!

Boston Celtics receive
PG Ish Smith
Detroit Pistons 2019 2nd round pick

Detroit Pistons receive
PF Marcus Morris

What This Means For The Celtics
With Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart both battling nagging injuries, Smith comes in as an exceptional ballhandler who plays respectable defense. Won't move the needle as a passer, but doesn't need to. $6 million expiring contract.

Pistons Take
Motown's SF situation is so deplorable, Morris slots right in as a starter there, but he's also an expiring contract. This essentially means the Pistons are fighting to get into the playoffs, though they're behind the Orlando Magic.

Philadelphia 76ers receive
SG Kent Bazemore
Atlanta Hawks 2019 2nd round pick

Atlanta Hawks receive
SG Markelle Fultz
PG TJ McConnnell
SG Furkan Kormaz
C Amir Johnson

76ers Take
Bazemore is obscenely overpaid at almost $20 million, but he's a microwave scorer for the bench with strong ball skills as a passer and handler for his swing position group. Becomes the new 6th man as Philly seeks to lock in the #3 seed in the East

Hawks Take
Fultz is the sexy name here, but it's uncertain as to if he'll ever be anything more than a mid-tier rotational guy - his mental damage is just that strong. Nor will he get starter minutes on the Hawks. Everyone else here is a bench guy, broken up into much more managable dollars. Johnson was released following a later deal. And it's at this point I'm tired of going through them all, so I'll only note the major deals.

Indiana Pacers receive
C Dewayne Dedmon
Atlanta Hawks 2019 2nd pick

Atlanta Hawks receive
C Ike Anigibou
PG Darren Collinson

Milwaukee Bucks receive
SG Terrence Ross
Orlando Magic 2019 2nd round pick

Orlando Magic receive
C John Henson

Houston Rockets receive
PG JJ Barea
Dallas Mavericks 2019 2nd round pick

Dallas Mavericks receive
PF Marquese Chriss
PG Michael Carter-Williams

New Orleans Pelicans receive
PG Jeremy Lin
Atlanta Hawks 2019 2nd round pick

Atlanta Hawks receive
PG Fred Jackson
PF Cheick Diallo
SG Ian Clark
SF Wesley Johnson

Pelicans Take
What an amazing grab for New Orleans. They just shored up their weakest position by grabbing Lin, one of the best two-way point guards available. The move should make them challengers to Golden State's throne in the West and is exactly what they needed to try and face off against the Warriors.

Hawks Take
It's a struggle to see where this move makes sense for Hotlanta. Clark and Johnson were later cut so this becomes Diallo and Jackson for Lin and a 2nd round pick. Jackson does have another year on his contract and could become a respectable #2 PG, but mostly this is young prospects with low upside. Feels like they really sold low on Linsanity here.

San Antonio Spurs receive
SG Demarre Carroll

Brooklyn Nets receive
C Pau Gasol
SF Dante Cunningham

Spurs Take
Carroll is a good rebounder on the wing who can create his own shot, stepping in as a starter for a still elite team behind LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan. But Carroll's biggest value might be his $15.4 million expiring contract.

Nets Take
Ruin your finances this summer for a faded Pau? Check. There's a reason why Brooklyn has just 13 wins on the season - stupid moves like this. Maybe they're hoping for a mentor effect on Jarrett Allen, but overall, this just doesn't make any sense.

Oklahoma City Thunder receive
SG Wayne Ellington

Miami Heat receive
SG Alex Abrines

Golden State Warriors receive
SG Rodney Hood

Cleveland Cavaliers receive
PG Quinn Cook
C Jordan Bell

Warriors Take
Why is Hood a starter and Klay Thompson a super 6th man? I have no idea - there's no reason for it. Also coming off the bench - Draymond Green. It's like the Ws are trying to make it artificially more difficult.

Cavs Take
Mediocre prospects for a mediocre player on a mediocre team.

Los Angeles Clippers receive
C Robin Lopez

Chicago Bulls receive
SG Avery Bradley
C Alexis Ajinca

Los Angeles Lakers receive
C Tyson Chandler
2019 2nd round pick

Phoenix Suns receive
PF Michael Beasley

Lakers Take
Chandler may be ancient, but he's still superior to every other center on this roster. Smart pickup for LeBron James' team. Still an excellent rebounder who can play defense.

Suns Take
Michael Beasley returns to Phoenix. No one really cares.

Seeing all those moves made me hungry, soooo...

Washington Wizards receive
PG Ricky Rubio

Utah Jazz receive
Wilson Chandler
Tomas Satoransky
Philadelphia 76ers 1st round pick

Wizards Take
Interesting move by the Wizards, acquiring 28 year old Rubio, a skilled ballhandler and thief with improved shooting range. He'll shift over to SG because no one is going to dislodge John Wall. It was clear that Evan Fournier wasn't going to cut it, so Washington pays a fairly steep price for talent that might not be quite what they need.

Jazz Take
Yes, it's a late first. But it's still a first. Satoransky will get more playing time - the Wizards front office loved him, but there were limited minutes available. Dante Exum now takes over at PG, but it's hard to get too excited about that - more and more, the former highly drafted prospect looks like a bust.

Winner: Utah
I don't see this Rubio experiment working out, and the 22-31 Jazz get a first for their rebuilding project around Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

And yet, we beat the Celtics by 12 in our first post-trade game. Robert Covington scores 33 and John Wall nets 20 points, with Ricky Rubio's +12 the team high. DJ Augustin chipped in 16 off the bench. There's a couple other moves on deadline day, but I don't feel like reporting them.

The Bulls embarrass us in Chicago, but we snap back for an ugly win in New York. We shot 37.9% as a team and won because of FTs and Kelly Oubre Jr ripping off 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks off the bench.

Mohamed Bamba makes the All-Star Rookies team as a backup and records a board and 3 blocks in just 5 minutes. Sophs still won though, on Donovan Mitchell's 32 point game. John Wall nets 10 points and 3 assists in 9 minutes for the East, but they lose to The Beard's West squad.

No excuse for losing to the Cavaliers, even in Cleveland. Evan Fournier is back in the starting lineup and scores 25, but it's John Wall's near-triple double of 25 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds that takes the plaudits in a win over the Hornets.

3 point thriller win at home against Philadelphia, John Wall posting 22 points, 10 assists, and 4 steals, as we eke out the win despite being outshot 36.4% to 41.9%. Evan Fournier just misses the double-double at SF with 18 points, 9 rebounds. Vital position game against the Bucks and we destroy them, 104-83. JaMychal Green scores 22 and holds Greek Freak to a 3 of 9 night in just 22 minutes. 14 points off the bench for Robert Covington, who can't be too enthused about his demotion, but we're just trying to get wins here.

I'm not going to be mad about an 8 point loss to the Warriors to end our 3 game win streak.

35-27. We're 7 games up in the Southeast, but the Bucks are 37-24. I don't see much chance of Milwaukee catching Philadelphia, and the Celtics and Pacers are the clear class of the East this year. But who knows? Stranger things have happened. We'll see what the coming months bring.
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby frankinho » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:02 pm

Nice read. Where is this 18 NBA roster attainable? :p
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Tim Moungey » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:05 am

frankinho wrote:Nice read. Where is this 18 NBA roster attainable? :p


Thanks! Look in the DDSPB 2019 Mods forum - the NBA Mod thread there.

****

The Raptors have come a long way since their sluggish start and are just 4 games under .500 when they come to DC. They leave 5 under. Shooting efficiency continues to be a problem, even though John Wall and Robert Covington both scored 21. IMO JaMychal Green got jobbed - 13 points, 15 boards, a steal, and a block on great shooting should have earned him PotG honors over Wall. Imagine my shock when we stun Indiana by 7. I'll just post the box score for that one:

Image

Massive victory to show we can hang with the best in the East.

Even better, the Pacers do us the favor of thoroughly humiliating the Bucks the next night.

John Wall scores 38 of our 97 points and that's enough to beat the Heat by 10 in a grindfest. Jeremy Lin fouls out after just 11 minutes of play, which allows a massive 13 point upset of the Pelicans in New Orleans! Evan Fournier goes off for 37 points and Mo Bamba cobbles together a 10 point, 12 rebound, 2 steal, 1 block outing. Off the bench, D.J. Augustin scores 16 and Robert Covington chips in 11. And of course we follow that up by losing on the back end in Miami the next night, snapping our win streak at 4.

Then we lose to the suddenly 36-33 Timberwolves on our own turf. Guess they were right not to trade me Jimmy Buckets, who has somehow found co-existence with KAT. 40 wins continue to elude us, our third straight loss coming in Boston. Make that 4 Ls, as we can't reprise the Indiana miracle. From 4-0 March opening to 4-4. We've gone from lion to lamb.

Evan Fournier's 32 points, John Wall's 21/9/3 line, Robert Covington's 20 bench points, and Mohamed Bamba's 10 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals just get us over the line in a 4 point nail-biter in San Antonio to staunch the bleeding. We take advantage of the chance to put the Nuggets under .500 on the back of John Wall's 40 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds. JaMychal Green bulls his way to 23 points and 12 boards, and Ed Davis is a bench hero with 10 points, 10 boards, and 3 blocks in a 3 point thriller.

With the Bucks losing at home to San Antonio and us taking care of business against the Knicks on John Wall's 27 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal; JaMychal Green's 24 points and 8 points; and Mohamed Bamba's finest Wizards hour - 21 points, 19 rebounds, and 4 blocks while forcing Enes Kanter into a 3 of 13 night, we're officially tied for the HCA seed!!!!

Ricky Rubio scores 29 out of nowhere, D.J. Augustin is a perfect 6/6, 3/3 for 17 bench points, and 6 of Robert Covington's 11 shots (all from 3 point range), drop in 18 of his own sub step-in scores as we edge the Spurs in the nation's capital. Bucks lose out in LA to the Clippers, and we've pulled a game ahead!

Make that 2 games as Golden State beats down Milwaukee on the continued West swing, whilst we down Detroit in Motown. 19/11 with 4 blocks for John Wall, 10/9 with 5 blocks for Mohamed Bamba, an ugly 18 and 10 for Evan Fournier, and Robert Covington lighting it up from the bench for 17. The margin's 2.5, the Bucks 0-3 after losing to the Lakers. And it takes every damn last one of John Wall's 26 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 4 blocks to nip the Hornets by a single effing point on our own court. 11 and 13 second string points respectively from Robert Covington and Kelly Oubre Jr, too.

10-4 March means we're not only up by 3 in the HCA race for the 4v5 game, but we clinched the sucky Southeast a few games ago. We're also 5 games back of the #3 seed 76ers with 6 games left to play. Very small margin there, but we've managed to at least give ourselves a faint, faint hope of being a Top 3 team in the East. 45-31 never looked so pretty.

Okay, so John Wall has been with this team his whole career. He came aboard in 2010-11. Three years of suckitude, then 2013-14 started a run of 5 straight winning seasons (bar a 41-41 record in the middle). Never reached 50 - the high was 49 a couple years ago (where they lost in the second round). 2014-15 was the second highest at 46 wins, and 1-5 during the last frame would tie that (also a second round playoff exit, as was the 44-38 campaign the year before). In fact, you have to go all the way back to the late '70s to find a 50 win Washington team, the year they lost in the Finals and failed to defend the title won by a 44-38 squad). That 1977-78 team is still the lone NBA championship in franchise history.

We'd have to go 5-1 to do it (and probably still end up with a second round loss at best), but we could be the first 50 win DC team in 40 years.

28 and 11 from John Wall, 15 and 14 bench points from D.J. Augustin and Robert Covington, and 11 bench boards by Ed Davis equals a 4 point win in Chitown. Milwaukee finally gets a road win on their West trip, dropping Denver. Charlotte does us a solid by blowing out Philly. But then the 76ers win to shut out the pipe dream, Milwaukee upsets Boston, aaaand we come out on top in Houston. Thanks, Evan Fournier (32 points), JaMychal Green (23 points, 7 rebounds), and D.J. Augustin (12 bench points).

How the (expletive) do we keep losing to sorry ass Cleveland?!?! I swear, like half their wins have come from us. Bucks handle Brooklyn easily. Lead cut to 2 games. 3 left to play. We need to win out to reach 50 now.

Ugly 3 point win vs the Hawks, but I'll take it. 24 points, 16 rebounds by JaMychal Green, 27 points, 13 assists, 3 steals by John Wall, and 12 bench points from Robert Covington. Bucks over Knicks. 2 to play.

Milwaukee keeps the pressure on by beating Orlando and of course we get ramshambeaued by Boston on our home court. Bye, bye 50 wins. 1 game lead. 1 left to play.

We promptly get our asses handed to us by the Magic, but the 76ers of all teams bail us out by shutting down the Bucks in Philly.

East Playoff Seeding
1. Indiana Pacers (62-20)
2. Boston Celtics (62-20)
3. Philadelphia 76ers (55-27)
4. Washington Wizards (48-34)
5. Milwaukee Bucks (47-35)
6. Atlanta Hawks (37-45)
7. Orlando Magic (35-47)
8. Toronto Raptors (34-48)

Gee, you think the East sucked hobbit snot this year? JHRC.

West Playoff Seeding
1. Golden State Warriors (72-10)
2. New Orleans Pelicans (56-26)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (54-28)
4. Los Angeles Lakers (54-28)
5. San Antonio Spurs (50-32)
6. Minnesota Timberwolves (46-36) (Should have traded us Jimmy, damn it)
7. Los Angeles Clippers (45-37)
8. Houston Rockets (44-38)
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Tim Moungey » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:58 pm

Point Guard
John Wall vs Eric Bledsoe
Intriguing matchup between two excellent All-Star caliber point guards who can score, run the offense, and play defense. Wall has the sexier stats (20.5 points, 8.9 assists, 1.8 steals to Bledsoe's 13.7 points, 5.1 assists, and 1.9 steals), but Bledsoe is a better defender and shooter in almost every facet of the game. His superior drive stopping ability (92.6%) will put Wall to the test, as the Wizards' franchise player is abysmal in the area between 3 feet and the perimeter line before lighting it back up behind the arc. In fact, Wall has shot just 39.1% for the season, and though the owner and fans love him, there have been quiet whispers that the Zebra GM may change Wall's stripes this summer, when the supermax contract kicks in.

Advantage: Draw

Shooting Guard
Ricky Rubio vs Terrence Ross
Neither player is going to light up the board. Ross is here to play defense and not turn the ball over, grabbing rebounds when he can. Rubio's floor general skills are frankly overrated by casual observers, but he does give the Wizards an excellent ball thief and second floor general in the lineup. Still, a look at Washington's recent form suggests he hasn't been the difference maker the team sought when they acquired him, overtaking the Bucks for the 4 seed, HCA, and just barely hanging on notwithstanding. Still, there's little doubt who the best player is in this snooze battle.

Advantage: Washington

Small Forward
Evan Fournier vs Khris Middleton
A matchup of #2 scorers. The big difference here - Middleton can play some defense and is adept at stealing the ball. Fournier can only score. This is going to be a rough matchup for the Wizards.

Advantage: Milwaukee

Power Forward
JaMychal Green vs Giannis Anteotokounmpo
Green had the best season of his career, but he's also up against the best player in the NBA (Sorry, LeBron). It'll be Robert Covington in Game 1, and the 3 & D player who can steal will be a good matchup potentially while Green recovers from a knee injury. The obvious advantage here is to the Bucks, but it'll be closer than you might think - Green and Covington have been surprising keys this season.

Advantage: Milwaukee

Center
Mohamed Bamba vs Brook Lopez
Remember when the better Lopez brother was a star? Well, 30 has not been kind to him. He can still score and D up, but he's not going to grab many rebounds, and his defense is going to be a waste against the rookie whose rebounding, shotblocking, and defense are already stellar. The kid just needs time to grow into his scoring potential and he'll become a franchise cornerstone. Bamba isn't going to put up the points, but he's going to be absolutely vital if the Wizards want to to walk out winners.

Advantage: Wizards

Bench
Robert Covington is one of the most impactful 6th men in the league, and Ed Davis and Walter Tavares are solid rotation pieces. Ditto Kelly Oubre Jr. Known to surprise on occasion is D.J. Augustin. On the flip side, only Ersan Illyasova is noteworthy on Milwaukee's subs. This is a very top-heavy Bucks squad, and an injury to one of their starters would be absolutely devastating.

Advantage: Wizards

Overall Thoughts
The longer this series goes on, the longer the Wizards have a shot at winning. That's how precarious Milwaukee's situation is. They've got the best starting lineup thanks to two star players, one of whom is an MVP candidate. In a short series, it's the Bucks every time. But home court advantage should be just enough to give the Wizards the edge.
Washington in 7

I think that's about right - a short series probably sees us swept or out in 5. Long series, we take it.

Game 1
Things went as expected. Khris Middleton blew up the no-defense Evan Fournier for 38 points and Greek Freak trashed us for 29 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 steals! But no one else did anything and despite coughing up 23 turnovers for a -10 possession differential, Robert Covington scorched for 34 points and 8 rebounds, Ricky Rubio demanded respect on his name with 18 points and 11 rebounds (yes, rebounds), and John Wall did his thing with 19 points, 13 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. A shocking 45 point 4th quarter roars us back from a huge deficit to pull away for the critical opening victory as we ride the enthusiasm of the home crowd.
Milwaukee 102 Washington 117

Game 2
I still can't believe we lost this game in OT. Just look at this box score.

Image

Suffice to say I'm pretty pissed about this loss.

Game 3
We've thrown away home court advantage and now have to try and rally in the Bradley Center. As it turns out, we're the only team that failed to defend homecourt in the East. 21 points, 14 assists, and 8 rebounds from John Wall aren't even close to enough when Giannis is rampaging for 31 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals, and Ersan Illayova contributes 14 points, 7 boards off the bench in an ugly defense fest.
Washington 83 Milwaukee 99

Game 4
It's the rare game Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn't flirt with a triple-double, but he hangs 31 points and 17 rebounds on us anyway, with 5 blocks to boot. Khris Middleton continues to torment with 23 points and 5 steals, but 22 points from Ricky Rubio and John Wall's 17 points and 10 assists, plus just enough help from everyone else gets us over the line *just* enough to walk out with HCA once more in our back pocket.
Washington 94 Milwaukee 91

Boston swept Orlando and Golden State did the same to Houston (no challenge this year!). The biggest surprises - Kawhi Leonard waking up and leading Toronto to a 2-2 dogfight with Indiana in the East, and the Minnesota Timberwolves so unified they've got Russell Westbrook's Thunder on the 1-3 ropes.

Game 5
For once, a drama free game goes our way. They score the opening bucket, and then we control it going away thanks to John Wall's 25 points, 14 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals and Robert Covington and Jeff Green of all people scoring 14 and 11 off the bench respectively. Yes, Giannis put up 24/11/7/2/3 and Khris Middleton netted 23 points and 8 rebounds, but our bench play was just far too superior in this vital win.
Milwaukee 100 Washington 113

The 76ers showed Atlanta the door, and I'm surprised the Hawks even got one win. New Orleans, Jackson Ayorinde's favorite to challenge Golden State, shoved aside the Clippers in 5, and Minnesota completes the shocker by upsetting the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Okay, I guess you chuckleheads were right not to trade me Jimmy Butler after all.

Game 6
Getting in the passing game is Khris Middleton with 22 points, 10 assists, and 3 steals - what an amazing series he's had. Giannis Antetokounmpo does his thing with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Ersan Illyasova and Christian Wood combine for 22 points off the bench. But it's not enough as Evan Furnier gets God damned sick and tired of being picked on all series and blows up for 33 points and 7 rebounds to earn PotG honors. John Wall scores 21 with 16 assists, and 3 bench players break double digit points: D.J. Augustin (10) Ed Davis (12 in stepping for Mohamed Bamba, who fouled out in 18 minutes), and of course, Robert Covington (14).
Washington 109 Milwaukee 99

We're on to the second round, boys!!!!

The King James era is over as the eternally great San Antonio Spurs dismiss the Lakers in 6. Toronto fights for a Game 7, and 8 beats 1, 121-105 in Indiana!!! HOLY (EXPLETIVE)!!!!!! Kawhi Leonard with 38 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists.

What a playoffs already!
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