First off, my apologies for not reporting more often on the LOL, it's hard enough as you can imagine to produce items for the FUNHL, that doing so for the weak sister league has been all but impossible.
That said, here is a long over-due update, that virtually nobody cares about!
As it stands we have three clear 'tiers' in the LOL;
1. Thunderbay Murderball (9-2)
2. The Goodfellas (9-3)
3. The Calgary Crapshooters (7-4)
Since almost the start of the year, these three teams have been absolutely killing it. Bob's Murderball team has been active in trades and on the wire in supplementing his club (sound familiar?), while the Goodfellas (Darrell's squad) has been dominant from the opening tip off with the team he essentially drafted (which sounds WAY TOO FAMILIAR!). Brian's Crapshooters have beeen a mix of both.
As it stands, I'd put my money on Darrell's team, it has a deep set of talented big men (including an age defying Tim Duncan), complimented by the league's 2nd best offensive weapon in Kevin Durant.
Bob's team has relied on incredible production from three players; Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James (now traded). With the departure of James the balance on the team has improved (at least until Rondo got hurt), with the dunking machine Blake Griffin being a strong supporting cast player.
The Crapshooters are built around emerging superstar James Harden (see the 'Fear the beard' link below), but have a solid compliment of players throughout their lineup. Bob and Darrell are the class of the league, but Brian's team is right behind them.
The Mid-range teams:
The Calgary Ball-Bearings (5-6)
Yeah, there is only one mid-range team, and they are technically below .500, welcome to life in the Locked Out League!
Built around Deron Williams (who has NOT justified being selected ahead of LeBron James), and Dwight Howard, the team is good enough to crush the weak, and lose to the strong.
The Walking Dead:
The Edmonton Flatlanders (4-8)
The Calgary Chumfeeders (3-8)
The Lethbridge Skywalkers (3-9)
Ugh. For Doug, Chris Paul has been very good, but has run into just enough health problems to prevent him from being elite, and to make Doug's hair go gray. Expected to be a lynchpin forward, Andrew Bynum has yet to play a meaningful minute for the team (or even be waived). The rest of the team is a collection of rookies (Lillard, Davis), and mid-low range guys who persistently remain inconsistent enough to elevate the team into a playoff spot.
Dan's Chumfeeders (team Point Guard) have some nice pieces (Irving, Westbrook), but on the whole have suffered by neglect from management (Nash is still on the bench, injured guys active in lineup, etc.). Which is what is REALLY SAD, the fact that this team can be so ignored, yet still handily beat the Skywalkers in both head to head games.
The Skywalkers have the league's best name, and the largest collection of injuries known to afflict a squad since the dawn of time. There are exactly three players left from the roster drafted at the start of the year, and actively replacing dead star players with living waiver wire players has created a squad almost entirely of waiver wire caliber players. Not a winning strategy.
I will say that two of my favourite weeks of basketball this year were in games against Brian's Sharpshooters. Both games were effectively tied late in the week, only for me to discover that in both weeks Brian had an advantage of man-games played over the rest of the way. Loved watching the scoreboard ticker for those games though.
Some random notes;
- Did you know that Denver Nugget Kenneth Fareid (the 'Manimal', and not coincidentally, one of my favourite players) has two Mom's?
- Here is (the otherwise MASSIVELY SUCKING) Joe Johnson making Celtics Small Forward Paul Pierce look very, very, old
- The Lakers are going to miss the playoffs. After signing Steve Nash AND Dwight Howard in the off-season. Mind you, Nash got hurt right away (bone contusion) and Howard has been fighting a shoulder injury on the court (and if you believe the rumours Kobe Bryant in the locker room), and now Pau Gasol appears to be done for the season with plantar fascitis. Expect more shameless ball-hoggery/chucking from Bryant as the season gets progressively more meaningless and Bryant looks to get his points.
- Fear the Beard.
The playoff picture for the LOL is definitely rounding into shape (the Walking Dead teams are not going to make it), and once they get going I'll do another update.