Locked Out League Update

Hello my fellow B-Ballers!

If you've read the recent e-mails I sent out you'll know I solved the problems with out league schedule. Please confirm that your team is scheduled for 5 bye weeks over the 19 week season.

As a side note, making 7 teams fit into a 19 week schedule was 72 flavours of hell. But it's done, and we're all good now.

The Goodfellas, 3-0

Currently leading the league with a pristine 3-0 record. The GF's are built around a devastating set of big men; Duncan, Horford, Gasol, Aldridge and Bosh, and complimented by the supreme offensive abilities of Kevin Durant (did Darrell just beat everybody at the draft in a basketball pool?). He's getting very solid production out of a pair of Indiana guards; Hill and George, and is deep enough throughout the roster that there doesn't appear to be a real weakness.

For the record, I hate you Darrell. Not just dislike, but that wake-up-in-a-cold-sweat-screaming-hatred. Just thought you should know.

ThunderBay Murderball, 2-0

LeBron, LeBron and more LeBron. Healthy doses of Carmelo Anthony (who for some reason hit the Murderball bench), Kobe Bryant (who has been nothing short of off-the-hook to start the year) and the mysteriously effective play of Anderson Vareajao (whose scoring averages are still coasting on his record huge first week game). The other unexpectedly strong contributor is Phoenix PG Goran Dragic. The team recently added one of the league's best rebounder/scorers in Zach Randolph to their bench, and outside a few weak spots (Matin Gortat I'm looking at you), have a very strong team.

Fun note about Zach 'Z-Bo' Randolph. He's a 6'9" PF in Memphis, and is widely regarded as one of the least athletic players in the NBA, and despite this he remains a very effective post player. The joke being that he can't jump over a piece of paper. Never has a player been so slow, and so rooted to the floor yet also been so effective as big Z-Bo. If you get a chance to watch a Memphis game, check out how Z-Bo handles himself without possessing a lick of jumping ability.

The Calgary Ball-Bearings, 2-0

The third undefeated team in the LOL, the BB's are built around a pair of PG's who have been very good so far. Deron Williams was picked ahead of LeBron in the draft, and so far, hasn't lived up to that lofty standard - but he has been very good and shows signs that he could be even better once the Brooklyn Nets get on a roll. The other PG who has been working hard is Jrue Holiday - and his stats at the moment are even better than Deron Williams. The BB's front court of bigs; Howard, Noah and Jefferson has been doing some heavy lifting as well (though Noah should really be moved off the bench to be more effective). Third strong PG Ray Felton has been good enough so far that he is proving more productive than some higher drafted players on the roster.

The Chumfeeders:, 1-1

Some strange coaching decisions from the Great White's subsidiary, namely that they haven't made any. The 'non displaced fracture of his tibia' Steve Nash continues to dress, as does the on-again-off-again injured Brazillian behemoth Nene (fun fact, his name is 'Nene Hilario', but he has dropped the 'Hilario' and goes with just 'Nene' - which means 'baby'. Which is IMO simply hilario!)

Having defeated the Skywalkers the Chumfeeders dropped their next game and went into a bye week,  but Week 4 has them getting pounded with the league's lowest total so far. A trade (they need one or more bigs for one or more their 7 point guards), and/or a waiver pick up (Brooks Lopez would be a nice fit), along with some actual coaching decisions will address the issues they face.

The Flatlanders, 1-2

Chris Paul has been good, but not yet transcendental for them, and while Paul Pierce has been above average, few others on the team have been. One of the big surprises has been the contributions of rookies Anthony Davis and Damian Lilliard. Davis has filled in admirably at centre, while Lilliard has been nothing short of lights out for the team at PG. The two of them should finish 1-2 in the rookie of the year race, and could form the foundation of the team in years to come. The biggest concern is that their dominant center Andrew Bynum has yet to play a game, and is already hurt badly enough that he may not return till some time in the new year. Finding a gem or two off the waiver wire, or making a big trade are probably key elements for the Flaties to survive until the playoffs.

The Crapshooters, 0-3

James Harden has been nothing short of a revelation for the team, and is currently their best player by miles. The bearded one has been a dominant force at shooting guard and should make his first team All-Star appearance this year. Dwayne Wade has also been good, but not as good as their offensively gifted power center Greg Monroe. Marc Gasol is also playing well at pivot (giving the team good flexibility to make a trade), and the teams biggest surprise (other than Harden blossoming into an offensive terror) is the play of Kemba Walker at shooting guard, and Grevis Vasquez at point guard. Both guys are playing way above expectations (in particular Vasquez has been nearly elite). The team has a number of average or below average producers (Aaron Alfalo I'm looking at you), that they have to figure out a way to bench or get rid of, but the upshot is that the team is much better than their record indicates. Look for an upswing, especially if Wade kicks his game into overdrive, and Harden stays at the same elite level he has started off at.

The SkyWalkers, 0-3

There is no mystery as to why this team has struggled so much out of the gate. Here is a list of the injured players the SkyWalkers have suffered with through the first three weeks;


Which, is to be blunt, too many injuries to field a healthy squad each week. Hence the relentless pounding that the SW's have suffered through. That said, Nowitzki is now gone and replaced by SW favourite Andrei Kirilenko, and Ginobli was waived to bring on Raptors back-up PG Jose Calderon, and Love, Rondo, Walker and Lowry are back healthy. The result? The team is scoring at a comparable rate to the league leaders - albeit during a bye week when it doesn't count. With a more or less healthy squad, the SkyWalkers hope to turn the season around.

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