Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Tim Moungey » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:04 am

The Wizards managed to fend off the Bucks and the Raptors pulled off an upset of the ages in knocking out top seed Indiana in the first round. Now they match up in the second, where Washington will again have HCA due to the higher seed.

Point Guard
John Wall vs Kyle Lowry
Wall continues his awful shooting (37.5%, 23.6% from 3) in the postseason, but his volume stats are so incredible - 19.2 points, 13.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds, 2, steals, 1.3 blocks - that his inefficiency doesn't matter all that much. Lowry is shooting a humdrum 42.1% overall, but boasts a killer 40.5% shooting from 3 point range in the first round. 11.5 points, 7.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds and a steal, he's foul-prone, which projects as a terrible matchup against a point guard who is the alpha and omega shot-taker for his squad, as opposed to the first round, where Victor Oladipo was Indiana's alpha, Tyreke Evans the Pacers' #2 option.

Advantage: Wizards

Shooting Guard
Ricky Rubio vs Danny Green
It was jaw-dropping seeing Rubio average 5.5 boards in the first round, to say nothing of his 16 points on 54.1% shooting and 1.2 steals. On the downside, he shot just 29.6% from 3 point range and a had an A/TO ratio below 1. Still, he quietly stepped offensively against Milwaukee. Remember when Green was a star player for the San Antonio Spurs? That's not the case any more - he's aged badly and now would be a reserve on most teams. There's still some defense there from the 31 year old, and he's still got the stroke from 3 (43.8% on 2.3 attempts/game), but he doesn't assert himself and also found himself in foul trouble against Oladipo in Round 1 - averaging under 20 minutes a game.

Advantage: Wizards

Small Forward
Evan Fournier vs Kawhi Leonard
You have to feel bad for Fournier. He got demolished by Khris Middleton in the first round and now faces another incredible player in Leonard. Lost in the shuffle was Fournier's 15.3 points on 44.7% shooting and 40% from downtown. It's going to be another painful series for him, as Kawhi averaged 35.6 points! (56.3%, 46.6% from 3 point range), 8.3 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 1.4 steals as the Wall-style runner of the offense, particularly after Lowry got in foul trouble. If Toronto wants to win, they'll need Kawhi to carry them again (49.5 NET, 33.2 PER) and he's got the favorable matchup to do just that.

Advantage: Raptors

Power Forward
JaMychal Green vs Serge Ibaka
Bad shooting series for Washington's Green in the first round - 39% and a hideous 20.5% behind the arc on 6.5 attempts. But he still averaged 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds while battling the Greek Freak. His competition gets much easier this go-round. Ibaka is not even close to $21 million+ a year worthy and is vastly overrated in terms of his skillset. A decent player, but one who won't light the world on fire - 50.9% for 10.9 points and 4.6 rebounds. Although they each have different strengths, this matchup looks pretty even on paper.

Advantage: Draw

Center
Mohamed Bamba vs Jonas Valanciunas
Want to know how valuable the rookie was for Washington the first round? He had a +23.2 NET, and the next best Wizards starter was Wall with -4.6. While the 8.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and a block on 66.7% shooting don't look sexy, if he can stay on the court, he'll have a major impact on this series. Jonas V was the #2 leading scorer at 15.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, and a block per game, but shot a mediocre 43.1%. He's foul-prone, but that won't matter against Bamba. Solid all-around player with no weaknesses outside of the fouling propensity and tendency to shoot from 3 when he shouldn't (4.1 attempts from downtown). This one will be very interesting to watch.

Advantage: Draw

Bench
Robert Covington may well be the best player on this team who doesn't get recognition league-wide. 54.2% shooting, 57.6% from 3 point range for 13.2 points in the first round, and he played shutdown defense - just 0.6 PA/SF. That translated into a team-high 25.3 PER, ahead of even Wall's 22.1. D.J. Augustin averaged 6.3 points, and Ed Davis did the dirty work down low with 5.3 points and 5.5 rebounds. C.J. Miles was a surprise volume gunner off the bench as he averaged 8.3 points, but he'll need to dramatically improve on his first round 29.4% and 29.8% from 3. Also had a quality 0.7 steals. Pascal Siakam put up 6 points and 4.6 boards and is a quality reserve. Delon Wright protects the ball and plays tough defense, but can't pass or look for his own shot.

Advantage: Wizards

Overall Thoughts
The series boils down to this question: Can Kawhi Leonard single-handedly beat another team yet again? We're going to say yes - the Pacers were a better team and fell victim in 7, and the Wizards look to meet the same fate unless Mohamed Bamba can stay on the court. If the rookie can do that against Jonas V, then Washington has a shot. But we just don't see it.
Projection: Raptors in 6

...Whatever. I think they're discounting our HCA and the fact that we're a better overall matchup than Indiana, who I think also made a mistake not starting Dwayne Wade on Kawhi.

Game 1
We had it. We had the bleeping game in hand, and then we completely fell apart in the 4th quarter. We held Kawhi Leonard to 23 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals, and limited Jonas Valancius to 10 points and 12 rebounds, but Kyle Lowry ripped off 21 points and 12 assists, and C.J. Miles scored 13 bench points on 50% shooting. What a waste of JaMychal Green's 29 points and 13 rebounds, Evan Fournier outscoring Kawhi with 25, and D.J. Augustin's 12 bench points. Lowry completely shut down John Wall in this one and that was the difference. Barf.
Toronto 104 Washington 98

Game 2
So there goes HCA. Now we have to fight to avoid the sweep, and I'm not sure we can contain Kawhi a second time. We can't. 30 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals. Jonas Valanciunas breaks out with 28 points and 13 rebounds. We get 15 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks from Mohamed Bamba and John Wall goes off for 43 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals, but it's just not enough, as we lose another BLEEP BLEEP game by 3 BLEEPING points. 7 frigging points separate us from 2-0 to the 0-2 hole we find ourselves in, going to Toronto.
Toronto 105 Washington 102

Game 3
Up to the Great White North we go. Toronto comes out flat and lazy, figuring they've gotten it sewn up. We seize a 23-15 1st quarter lead and never give it up. Evan Fournier scores 21, JaMychal Green puts up 20 points and 8 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio reminds us he's still got game with 24 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds to take PotG honors. Interesting statline by Kawhi Leonard: 29 points, 7 assists, 7 steals... and 7 turnovers. 19 and 10 from Jonas Valanciunas and 13 bench points by C.J. Miles, but we claw back in easily.
Washington 107 Toronto 92

Game 4
A chance to seize HCA back, but the Raptors are ready this time and blow us out. 34 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds by Kawhi. That's their only notable performance. We get a couple cheap man's double-doubles from Mohamed Bamba and JaMychal Green, and 25 from John Wall. Oh wait, Serge Ibaka got moved to the bench in favor of Greg Monroe, and promptly chewed us up for 17 points. Call us cooked.
Washington 92 Toronto 110

Philly and Boston are fighting an entertaining 2-2 series that everyone's calling the real East Conference Finals. Golden State is up 3-1 on San Antonio, and Minnesota is continuing to play shockingly brilliant basketball, fencing heavily favored New Orleans to 2-2 draw thus far.

Game 5
The energy in the locker room before this one is deflated. Felt like we lost this back in the first two games. We give it our best shot, with all five starters scoring 15 or more points, but Kawhi sinks us with 30 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals, Serge Ibaka scores 22 from the bench, and C.J. Miles adds 11. Ricky Rubio damn near got a triple-double with 15 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds, but it just wasn't enough.
Toronto 125 Washington 115

Another second round loss, in our best chance at the ECF in years.

Golden State handles the Spurs, New Orleans wins at home, and Philly pulls off a huge upset in Boston.

The Pelicans kick away the upset-minded Timberwolves, setting up the West Conference Finals Jackson Ayorinde predicted. Boston wins in Philly to set up a Game 7 that the Celtics win with ease.

If you're predicting a Golden State/Boston Finals, you'd be right. The Celtics took apart the Raptors pretty easily - 4-1 - only dropping an 8 point loss in Toronto, while Ayorinde's predictions of the Pelicans proved sagacious. New Orleans actually took the Warriors to a hard-fought 6 games.

Crown the Warriors' asses?

4-0 sweep says yes.
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Rizzo » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:06 pm

Celtics swept by the Warriors? Clearly this engine is unrealistic! They would need at least five games to beat us!
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby Tim Moungey » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:57 am

Rizzo wrote:Celtics swept by the Warriors? Clearly this engine is unrealistic! They would need at least five games to beat us!


:D Yeah, I honestly thought it'd be a 5 game series, but the closest the C's got was a second half rally that ended in a 4 point loss in Game 4. Everything else was Golden State cruising.

***

So we have some tough choices ahead of us.

Image

Players Under Contract Next Season
John Wall - Start of Supermax
Evan Fournier - $17 million next year, then $17 million PO which he'll doubtless pick up
Robert Covington - $11.3/$12.1/$12.9
D.J. Augustin - $7.25 expiring
Mohamed Bamba - Just picked up his 3rd year option
Ian Mahinmi - $15.4 expiring, and can't wait to dump that
Troy Brown Jr - $3.2 expiring

That's 7 players. If we let everyone walk, we'll have close to $20 million in cap. I'm frankly kind of tempted to do that, but I also want to explore options for blowing this team up and rebuilding around Mohamed Bamba.

Draft Lottery
#7 Charlotte jumps, as does #5 Chicago. Brooklyn falls from 2nd to 6th and the world breathes a sigh of relief as Boston falls from 1st to 5th under the first year of the new rules. Da Bulls end up #4, so it's one spot up, the Knicks slide up to #3, the Hornets leap from #7 to #2, and Atlanta goes from #3 to #1 and has #10 to boot.

That means two teams in our division have 3 Top 10 picks, including 2 of the top 3. Granted, the Southeast needs it - we were the worst division in the NBA by far last season, but man... I just hope this draft class isn't worth it.

Awards
MVP: Kevin Durant - Golden State Warriors
DPOTY: Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans
6th Man of the Year: Darren Collison - Atlanta Hawks (I think Robert Covington got shafted here)
ROTY: Wendell Carter Jr - Chicago Bulls
COTY: Steve Kerr - Golden State Warriors

All-NBA 1st Team
PG Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder
SG James Harden - Houston Rockets
SF Kawhi Leonard - Toronto Raptors
PF Kevin Durant - Golden State Warriors
CE Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans

All-NBA 2nd Team
PG Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
SG Devin Booker - Phoenix Suns
SF Gordon Hayward - Boston Celtics
PF LeBron James - Los Angeles Lakers
CE Karl-Anthony Towns - Minnesota Timberwolves

All-NBA 3rd Team
PG Kyrie Irving - Boston Celtics
SG DeMar DeRozan - San Antonio Spurs
SF Khris Middleton - Milwaukee Bucks
PF Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks
CE Nikola Jokic - Denver Nuggets

All-Defense 1st Team
PG Ben Simmons - Philadelphia 76ers
SG Jrue Holiday - New Orleans Pelicans
SF Kawhi Leonard - Toronto Raptors
PF Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks
CE Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans

All-Defense 2nd Team
PG Lonzo Ball - Los Angeles Lakers
SG Donavan Mitchell - Utah Jazz
SF Paul George - Oklahoma City Thunder
PF Kevin Durant - Golden State Warriors
CE Joel Embiid - Philadelphia 76ers

All-Rookie 1st Team
PG Trae Young - Atlanta Hawks
SG Hamidou Diallo - Oklahoma City Thunder
SF Luka Doncic - Dallas Mavericks
PF Jaren Jackson Jr - Memphis Grizzlies
CE Wendell Carter Jr - Chicago Bulls

All-Rookie 2nd Team
PG Elie Okobo - Phoenix Suns
SG Josh Okogie - Minnesota Timberwolves
SF Dzanan Musa - San Antonio Spurs
PF Marvin Bagley III - Sacramento Kings
CE Mohamed Bamba - Washington Wizards

Notable Retirements
Derrick Rose
Dirk Nowitzki
Tony Parker
Joe Johnson
Jamal Crawford
Tyson Chandler
Nene (I'm surprised he was still in the league to be honest)

The Kings fired their entire coaching staff.

Seeing an opportunity....

Washington Wizards trade
John Wall
Walter Tavares
Kelly Oubre, Jr

Sacramento Kings trade
Marvin Bagley III
Willie Cauley-Stein

Wizards Take
And with one bold move, the shape of the nation's capital completely changed. This is really about MB3 for Wall, because while WCS is a talented defender and ballthief and potential RFA, the Wizards want to reserve the PF starting spot for the still raw, but high upside Bagley to be the scoring and rebounding powerhouse with range next to Mohamed Bamba. Bagley won't ever be more than mediocre defensively, but he could be an incredible point producer who combines with Bamba to own the glass at both ends, and is already accomplished on the offensive end. More importantly, Washington gets out from under Wall's supermax contract before it begins and will now become major free agency players.

Kings Take
That's so Sacramento! Desperation is in the air. It's been 12 seasons since the Kings were last in the playoffs, and they'll do anything just to finally see the postseason again. Wall isn't worth north of $30 million a season due to his toxic shooting outside the restricted area, but he's an exciting player who is a triple-double threat every game and at 29, he still has some prime years left. He can also mentor De'Aaron Fox. Problem being? Those are the Kings' two best players and Sactown's starting big men are now 38 old year Zach "Z-Boobs" Randolph and Kostas Koufos. That's not a good look by any stretch of the imagination. Nor will they have the money to get better players. And they don't have their first round pick. Tavares and Oubre Jr are both impending free agents, and who knows what the front office will do with those two admittedly underrated players.

Winner: Washington
Stinky cologne indeed, Sacramento. A nonsensical move that keeps the Kings the laughingstock of the league. Meanwhile, the Wizards just solved a lot of headaches, gave themselves another core young piece and starting frontcourt of the future, and the financial freedom to turn this into a series of retooling rather than rebuilding moves.

Aww yeah.

I convince the owner to accept the playoffs and promise that we'll be right around the salary cap. Even with the Top 10 pick influx, I'm still seeing the Southeast and the East as a whole weak enough that we can still sneak in the postseason - especially if Mo Bamba and Marvin Bagley III develop over the summer. He's not happy that I went way over the coaching budget to sign Earl Watson to a 5 year contract at $5.3 million a year to be the 1st assistant, but he's a former NBA point guard and at 40, has room to grow into the head coaching role. Already an excellent teacher, FWIW.

Initial Mock Draft Impressions
As I'm reading the national mocks, I'm really impressed by Ole Miss PG Ryan Vidoni. 23 year old senior who has star potential at first blush. He's mocked to go #3 to the Knicks. I'm also intrigued by 19 year old Gale Miner, a 6'6, 213 lbs wing out of Purdue who used to play the backcourt before a growth spurt moved him to the 3. I'm not too impressed by #1 projected pick Steve Richmond, 22 years old from Syracuse. 7'0, 278 is too big in today's NBA and he looks like a stat stuffer. Hilton Agyar (22, 6'5, 200) projected #2 out of tiny Saint Peter's, looks like an undersized 3 who needs to show he has the ball handling skills to play the 2. If he can, very intriguing two-way player with stellar efficiency. But that's still a big question.

Lots of small SGs in this class. PG class looks terrible after Vidoni, except for Parker Campbell, mocked #11 to the Heat and the third PG. 21 year old USC kid who has good size at 6'3, 156. I'll work him out to see for sure what I'm getting. Definitely looks like my target if I can somehow move up from #22, where there's a lot of pretty decent looking bigs and not much else. Class is *really* deep in bigs who will have at least rotational careers it looks like. All the more reason for Atlanta to find a running mate to Trae Young at #1, then think about a big at #10. If I'm the Hawks, I'd grab Miner or *maybe* Agyar at #1 without workouts.

I actually end up scouting a lot of different positions, then receive this notice of the free agency primer right before we head into the draft:

Image

TOP FA TARGET FOUND Y'ALL!!!!!

Post Workout Notes
I've changed my mind. Steve Richmond is the consensus best player in this class. He looks absolutely amazing - total stud city. What luck for Atlanta! After that, the class out of who I've worked out looks like a mixed bag, but I've identified what appears to be a major steal at #22 - the player originally projected to go #28. It's a big man, but one who I think would allow us to let Willie Cauley-Stein go with no regrets.

Draft
1. C Steve Richmond - Syracuse - Atlanta Hawks
Absolutely amazing player. Franchise star writ large on him. I'm mad he's in our division. Things just got a lot tougher for us.

2. PG Ryan Vidoni - Charlotte Hornets
I cooled on him some after workouts - not a great passer from the looks of it, but still the best point guard in the weak as hell crop. I think they're prepared to let Kemba Walker uh, walk. Hopefully to us.

3. PG Parker Campbell - USC - New York Knicks
:eek: :eek: Wow!!! After I worked him out, he crashed down our board. Terrible overdraft. Just absolutely awful selection by New York here. Keep on losing, Knicks. There's so much better talent on the board, it's ridiculous.

4. SF Hilton Aygar - St. Peter's - Chicago Bulls
He can score and steal, but there's still some lingering questions. I'd call him BPA though, so this makes sense. Actually, I'd have been good with him going #2 as originally mocked, so this is great value.

5. PF Vince Willie - Mississippi State - Boston Celtics
Very good player from what I can remember. Looked like the best 4 available. Rich get richer.

6. PG Renaldo Jeter - Notre Dame - Brooklyn Nets
I liked him even less when I worked him out. Teams are really overdrafting point guards here and leaving a lot better talent on the board.

7. SG David Edward - Tennessee - Utah Jazz
Great steal by the Jazz here. He could very easily have gone Top 3 after Richmond. Will light up the board and can be an alpha scorer if I'm reading him right.

8. SF Gale Miner - Purdue - Detroit Pistons
My opinion of him COMPLETELY CRASHED after workouts. He looks like a really mediocre player who should be a late first round pick. Pistons gonna piston.

9. SG Martin Yeagle - Oregon - Memphis Grizzlies
If he wasn't 6'2, I'd love this selection, and be calling it a steal. But... he's 6'2 and can't play the point.

10. SG Brandon Murray - UT-Chattanooga - Atlanta Hawks
What an absolute dream of a draft for the Hawks. They get a generational talent and a good all-around wing who can play the 2 and 3. Hotlanta is dreaming of flying back up the standings. All those other teams will be regretting passing him up, I think.

11. C Dylan Newby - Providence - Miami Heat
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! He was mocked 28th and was supposed to still be there at 22!!! :( :( :( What an absolute crushing disappointment. I *love* this kid. Future starter who the mocks completely misread. Damn Heat. YOU HAVE HASSAN WHITESIDE! Y U TAKE MY GUY?!?!

12. PG Kris Cundiff - New Mexico State - Phoenix Suns
My board is completely falling apart. This kid was my backup option and I considered him the best PG non-Vidoni division. Looks like we'll be all in on the Kemba plan now. Disappointing.

In fact, out of the entire board, there's one guy left I don't actively hate.

13. SF Pat Murray - Kentucky - Denver Nuggets
I scouted him. Don't really remember anything about him, though.

14. C Jay London - Kentucky - Portland Trailblazers
Back to back Wildcats. Scouting was mixed on him. Mocked late 20s, and I wasn't impressed with his workout, though my staff swears there's more to him than meets the eye. Could end up a steal.

15. PF Chris Milton - Hawaii - San Antonio Spurs
Well, (expletive). There goes the last guy on my board. I'm probably going to trade out now.

16. PF Trey Phelan - Kansas - Orlando Magic
Tweener. Will probably be trash.

17. PG John Jensen - Valparaiso - Atlanta Hawks
Awful pick, but considering they hit a homerun with their first two selections, they can afford to swing at a rotten pitch here.

18. PG Lee Smith - St. Joseph's - Houston Rockets
Should be able to close games. Har har. Everyone sucks at this point.

19. C Larry Smith - St. Joseph's - Los Angeles Clippers
It's the L Smith brothers from St. Joe's back to back! Nice story at any rate.

20. PF Charles Davis - Kent State - Minnesota Timberwolves
At this point, it's all roster filler/bench players.

21. SG Eric Clark - Arizona - Phoenix Suns
Great hometown story and I have a sinking feeling he's going to be a steal. I almost thought about trading up for him, but didn't.

22. SF Mike Mapp - Western Kentucky - San Antonio Spurs
I traded away for their first round pick next year, betting that the aging core will finally fall apart then.

23. PF Quin Craig - Florida State - San Antonio Spurs
Everyone is depth trash by now, so I just wanted to note the B2B picks and move on. You don't really care about the rest of the 1st, and I don't either, so let's skip ahead.

Aaaand this is where I shut this one down. I need to grab the updated mod because it keeps triggering crashes, and I've already had to repeat the draft twice. Don't feel like doing it yet again.

Be back with a new dynasty soon.
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Re: Can A Zebra Save The Wizards? (First Access)

Postby zike_42 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:44 am

Man, this is really tempting me into getting back into dynasty writing again. Looks like PB2019 looks amazing.
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