NBA Scouting Reports (Part 1)
Happy Halloween! As you can see from the picture to the left (brilliantly edited by SA Forums goon "softbomb"), we at PW love the holiday. Almost as much as taking in a Photoshopped picture and a quick line about it, then neglecting to mention at all in the article below!
With the NBA season starting today the PW staff thought it'd be a good time to... well... write about the NBA. Twice! Welcome to our first set of NBA scouting reports (co-written by none other than Emilio "BIZORT" Escobar), where the only thing better than actual knowledge is a passing knowledge of a player's physical deformities! Ready to learn about crooked eyes and receding hairlines? Keep reading!
The Cleveland Cavaliers
General: After losing an exciting seven-game series to the Detroit Pistons last season, the Cavs have only one hope: that Larry Hughes’ dead brother will return to Cleveland as a ghost and lead the team to a championship, much like Kadeem Hardison’s character in the 1997 Wayans brothers film “The Sixth Man”. This, of course, is one of many creative strategies the Cavaliers have employed on their way to winning a title, including giving Eric Snow a pair of old sneakers someone found hanging from a telephone pole, and paying Christopher Lloyd to swoop in on a fiber line and harass players on opposing teams.
Key Additions: This season the Cavs added a half-mouse-half-man in David Wesley and a seven-foot pile of acne scars and body hair in Scot Pollard. This will add to their famous “spooky secondary”, which includes a man with a shrunken head totem in place of a real head and whatever the fuck this thing is. While none of them are particularly talented, the Cavs have a master plan in place: tell me you wouldn’t stop to wipe your hands on your shorts if you accidentally touched one of these guys on defense.
Secret Weapon: In a name, Lebron James. James has been the Cavs’ unsung hero for a long time – this could be the season he steals some of the spotlight his team has kept from him for so long. Coming into his sixth year in the NBA, can he show he has the drive and work ethic to walk among titans like Ira Newble and Anderson Varejao? Only time will tell.
Weaknesses: Like every other flaxen-haired dillweed with a funny accent and an even funnier name, Zydrunas Ilgauskas (also known as “Big Z” and “Who gave Barney Rubble a contract”) is an average scorer, but a sub par rebounder and defender. The problem is that, as a center, his whole job revolves around stopping the other team from scoring, not standing there and looking dumb while the entire state of Ohio mutters “mother fucker”. To put this in other words: Scot Pollard was a huge defensive upgrade at center for the Cavs. As a long-time Pacers fan I know Pollard. I know his defensive resume consists entirely of “renders Shaq ineffective from the three-point line”, and I know the very thought of rebounding makes every whitehead on his face explode in a thick stream of pinkish-white terror. I’ve long thought that Scoty-boy would be the type to bring a gun to the locker room and start shooting his teammates. If that happens, hopefully he’ll break a few of Ilgauskas’ ribs in the process. At least then he’d be forced to put his arms up.
The Houston Rockets
General: Using an age-old strategy by having two really good players and a bunch of retards who are either white or think that streetball is the same as professional basketball, the Rockets haven't achieved a lot. With Yao Ming, the 7'5 NBA center/poet, and Tracy McGrady, the guy you constantly see on your television set telling you that impossible is nothing, the Rockets are trying to climb back up the NBA ladder. Upon trading for McGrady a little over two years ago, Houston was crowned as the next great NBA dynasty. Nowadays, more people go to Texans games and I can't even name five guys on their team.
How to beat them: Invite McGrady over to your house and have him sleep on your couch. While this would be just fine for any of us this somehow this makes Tracy's back explode into a million pieces, with each piece finding someone else to blame for it. Once McGrady is eliminated, you must concentrate on stopping Ryan Bowen. Good luck with that.
Key Additions: Houston was able to acquire Shane Battier just before his hairline swallowed his forehead. Jeff Van Gundy, the Rockets' head coach and John Cazale lookalike, says that they will probably play the 6'8 Battier as their power forward, a position usually given to bigger players who can rebound and block shots. This would be troublesome until you realize that herpes-ridden Juwan Howard manned the spot last year. If you don't know a lot about Juwan then just picture an old 6'10 black guy who won't go near the basket. It doesn't help that his jump shot is uglier than Joan Rivers and his blood is almost as tainted as her cholostomy bag. Bonzi Wells is also another acquisition by the lucky Houston squad. What kind of name is Bonzi? I think this is where I'm supposed to make a dorky reference to that purple gorilla thing on the internet but I don't know what his name is and I definitely don't give a shit either. All I know is that if you say something to Bonzi Wells then you might get a basketball thrown at your face. And last and most certainly least, the Rockets have Vassilis Spanoulis, which sounds like something that comes equipped with yellow vaginal discharge rather than a good jump shot.
Go-To Guy: When he feels like it, Tracy McGrady can light anyone up. Also, whenever he feels like it, he will sit out 20 or so games at a time because his back hurts. Even though this happens at least once a year, Tracy says it's nothing to worry about. But before letting us know that we're all just paranoid of his back injury, he tells us that he only had a herniated disk in his back. So how many of you fantasy faggots took him with your first pick this year?
Defensive Plan: Place a small fake mouse on the basketball court and wait for Yao Ming to jump on the scorer's table in sheer horror. Once you've done that, you're probably in good shape. If you're lucky, McGrady may try to catch him and then hurt his poor back. If that doesn't work then contract Vassilis Spanoulis and give it to either one of them.
The New York Knicks
General: Divide team salary by wins and you’ll find the Knicks paid roughly $6 million for each of their 23 wins last season. This is a far cry from their nineties franchise, a heralded club that included Patrick Ewing and John “My other cunt is a vagina” Starks. Adjusting for inflation that Knicks club paid less than 50 cents per win, which back then was enough to attend three or four Knicks games in a row and then go to a moving picture show afterwards. It’s really too bad they don’t show old Chaplin flicks after games now, if anything to remind fans that Quentin Richardson isn’t the only person who walks like that.
Coaching Predictions: Isiah Thomas will take the reigns as president and coach of the Knicks this year. Expect Thomas, who has “I ain’t do it” stenciled on the side of his solid-gold Escalade, to fail. Expect him to fail so quickly, in fact, that the sheer velocity of his fuckups send him back in time to last year, where he will spend his time telling his ‘05-season self what a good job he’s doing. Then expect two-Isiah tandem to force a trade for Kevin Garnett, who will spend his ten-year, $8 billion dollar contract resting on the bench for a playoff series he’ll never get to anyway. Even then Stephon Marbury will complain that he has to pass to him too much.
Key Tandem: If you’re an NFL fan it’s easy to see the impact Steve “Mena Suvari” Francis and Stephon Marbury can have on a game. Just imagine the Knicks as a five-man football team and Marbury and Francis as two quarterbacks playing at the same time. Also, they’re both Jeff George. Also, they don’t “pass” so much as “throw the ball in the general direction of the rim as soon as someone hands off to them”. Finally, they don’t really “hand the ball to the running back” unless one of them passes off to Malik Rose, who couldn’t dribble effectively if someone punched all his teeth out of his mouth and stuffed the hole with hot peppers.
Possible Court Apparel: The Knicks, who already have one of the ugliest color schemes in the NBA (when the team stands in a circle and spins it often sends children in the crowd into vomiting, eye-fluttering epileptic seizures), are expected to augment their uniforms with Stephon Marbury’s $15 “Starbury” basketball sneakers this season. I know writing is all about “voice” so I want you to pretend everything after this colon is spoken like a snide valley girl: Those shoes will really tie those wonderful blue-and-orange outfits together.
The Orlando Magic
General: The Magic have a young team but they don't like to run because they have a coach who would rather run the "Princeton offense". If you don't know what this I'll explain it for you! Basically, you keep running toward the basket and hope that the defender doesn't catch on as you do it over and over during the course of an entire basketball game. Then you do this through 81 more games. Then your coach is fired and you may actually begin winning basketball games!
Key Additions: Orlando added arguably college basketball's best shooter last year, J.J. Redick. Some people thought he wouldn't be able to compete with the athletes of the NBA. However, I attended Redick's first pro game and, not surprisingly, he couldn't get open at all against super athletes like Memphis' Tarance Kinsey. If you never heard of him then that's probably because he'll be serving lunch on the set of whatever terrible CBS show gets cancelled in a couple of months. Also, the Magic were able to snag second round pick sensation James Augustine. Is he white? Is he black? All I know is that he can't make a layup. The last addition to the roster is Keith Bogans, who is known for mostly nothing. Magic is happening.
How To Beat Them: Bring a picnic basket full of pornography to the game and leave it near the Magic bench. Once Darko finds it and locks himself in a hotel room for hours, the Magic's frontline will be depleted enough that you can attack them at will. Orlando's roster is filled with guards and not enough big men for whatever reason. The roster includes 5'10 Jameer Nelson, 6'3 Keyon Dooling, 6'2 Carlos Arroyo, and 6'0 Travis Diener. There's a good chance that you are taller than 1/4th of their roster. Oh, and don't forget to avoid tripping on Grant Hill's corpse when you dunk on one of their two big men left. That would be embarrassing!
Defensive Plan: Don't bother double-teaming Dwight Howard since this is his third year of professional basketball and he still hasn't learned a post move. Since you don't have to double-team down low then J.J. Redick won't be a problem seeing as how he's slower than Magic Johnson's immune system. After you defeat Orlando, take a trip to Disney World, Universal Studios, or the Holy Land Experience!
Prognosis: Orlando finishes near .500 yet again, something they've gotten very used to. Grant Hill evolves, develops a new bone in his foot and then breaks it. Dwight Howard tries to heal it via faith healing but God puts Dwight at the free throw line and orders him to make one before granting him this miracle. Dwight misses four free throws in a row and the Rockets win the NBA title by default.
The Denver Nuggets
General: Traditionally, NBA teams employ a very basic starting lineup of a center, two forwards and two guards. What Denver enjoys doing is starting two centers, two forwards, and one lonely guard who can't shoot from outside 15 feet from the basket. Generally, this is a major disadvantage but, somehow, Denver seems to win a few games here and there. How do they do it? From what this insider has gathered, Denver has "magical air" which saps the energy out of opposing teams. This insider is not exactly sure what is contained in this "magical air" since Nuggets brass will not inform us, thereby giving away the one advantage that comes with actually playing in Denver. But since I am a very knowledgeable NBA scout, I can come up with a few guesses.
1.) Probably oxygen. I'm not an idiot.
2.) Thermal Viscosity. It's in oil, if you didn't know.
4.) Smaller pieces of snow, which contain snowflakes. Snowflakes are like small keys because each are unique. And in pregame sports shows, keys to victory are often discussed. I can connect the dots.
5.) Perservering mediocrity that will always shine through no matter how much Tide you use, with or without bleach.
Key Additions: Did the Nuggets even add anyone? After all, why would you mess up a team that won the Northwestern Division? Being able to squeeze by teams like Portland and Utah is all you really need. Why would a team full of mediocre big men and no three-point shooters need to add anyone? Well, we heard Paul Pierce trade rumors all summer long but why would Denver make a true attempt to take their team to the next level? That adds expectations and we can't have that. As long as they wear those fashionable throwback early '90's uniforms then the fans won't.
How to beat them: Step on Camby's foot while he's running but make sure you have a lot of bandages ready for when his leg completely separates from his body when you do this. Nobody on this team can shoot a three except Anthony, who isn't that great of a shooter to begin with. But do NOT get in a shouting match with Kenyon Martin and don't call him fugazi, whatever the fuck that means. We all know what happened to Tim Thomas after he said that: he ended up with the Clippers.
Defensive Plan: You really don't have to do much. In order to beat George Karl, you have to either be a number eight seed in the playoffs or just leave everyone open outside of 15 feet. I think everyone can do that, even Isiah Thomas.
Prognosis: Denver finishes near .500 once more and still wins the division. Kenyon Martin blows out his vocal cords while dunking on a 60-year-old referee.