The All-Time NBA Team

Let’s suppose for one second that the plot of Space Jam could come true. A race of super basketball playing aliens has come down from the heavens and challenged us earthlings to a game of hoops. Thanks to their advanced technology, they allow humans to pick a team of NBA superstars in their primes. This includes players living or dead, active or retired. Placed in charge of creating this uber-team, here is what we came up with for the 12-man roster.

STARTING LINEUP

PG- Magic Johnson: The NBA’s all-time leader in assists per game with 11.19, Johnson was the obvious pick because of his amazing versatility. He could famously play all five positions on the floor, and do so fairly well. How many 6’8 point guards do you see today?

SG- Michael Jordan: The easiest pick on the roster. Jordan is hands down, the greatest player in NBA history. The league’s all-time leader in Player Efficiency Rating, Jordan averaged a whopping 30.1 points per game for his career. Led the NBA in win shares nine times.

SF- Larry Bird: One of the greatest shooters ever, Bird really could lead a team on both ends of the floor. He finished in the top 10 in Defensive Rating five times in his 13 year NBA career, and led the league in Defensive Win Shares four times. Oh, and he was an offensive guru who could score from just about anywhere on the floor.

PF- Karl Malone: Durability is the main reason Malone gets the start. He’s fourth all-time in games played with 1476, and he played in all 82 contests an amazing 10 times. Malone has made (and taken) more free throws than anyone in the history of the NBA, and has pulled down the most defensive boards as well.

C- Wilt Chamberlain: One of the most gifted players ever, in terms of both offense and defense. Was a member of the All-NBA team nine times, and a member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team twice. Oh, and he once scored 100 points in a game. That helps too.

BENCH

6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (C)

7. Moses Malone (F)

8. John Stockton (PG)

9. John Havlicek (G/F)

10. Kobe Bryant (G)

11. Jerry West (PG)

12. Tim Duncan (PF)

HEAD COACH: Phil Jackson

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Mock Draft 2.0

With our first extremely early mock draft nearly a full month old, it’s time to update where each player stands. Without further ado, here is The Technical Foul’s Mock Draft 2.0! As always, the draft order is determined by the current NBA standings, in reverse order.

1. New Jersey NetsJohn Wall (PG, Kentucky)– I know they already have Devin Harris, but Wall is far and away the top player on the board.

2. Minnesota TimberwolvesXavier Henry (SG, Kansas)– Super Frosh Henry keeps climbing draft boards. The Wolves need a two-guard more than another young big.

3. Golden State WarriorsDerrick Favors (PF, Georgia Tech)– Another freshman that will certainly go in the top three.

4. Philadelphia 76’ers Ed Davis (PF, North Carolina)– Very raw but very talented. One drawback is that he only plays 15.6 minutes per game at UNC.

5. Indiana PacersWillie Warren (PG, Oklahoma)–  Big (6’4) for a point guard, Warren is an offensive wizard who often lacks on the defensive end.

6. Washington WizardsWesley Johnson (SF, Syracuse)– Transfer from Iowa State is an athletic scorer.

7. Detroit PistonsCole Aldrich (C, Kansas)– The best true center on the board, Aldrich has been a force to be reckoned with in the paint for the Jayhawks.

8. New York KnicksPatrick Patterson (PF, Kentucky)– The 6’8 Patterson probably has the most NBA ready body in the draft.

9. Milwaukee BucksEvan Turner (SG, Ohio State)– Replaces another Buckeye, Michael Redd, in Milwaukee.

10. Sacramento KingsAl-Farouq Aminu (SF, Wake Forest)– Kings would be thrilled to take this freakish athlete with the tenth pick.

11. Charlotte BobcatsDonatas Motiejunas (SF, Lithuania)– Seven footer with inside game who can also step back and knock down a three.

12. Chicago Bulls- John Henson (PF, North Carolina)– Like Davis, his lack of minutes is hurting his draft stock.

13. Los Angeles ClippersDevin Ebanks (SF, West Virginia)– Extremely skilled swingman will help the Clips offense.

14. Toronto RaptorsSolomon Alabi (C, Florida State)– 7’1 center could help offset the potential loss of Chris Bosh.

15. New Orleans Hornets Elias Harris (SF, Gonzaga)– Quick player who loves to run and can rebound with the best of them.

16. Memphis GrizzliesGreg Monroe (PF, Georgetown)– 6’11 forward has talent and power.

17. Utah JazzAvery Bradley (SG, Texas)– Young and skilled. Will compliment Deron Williams in the backcourt.

18. Miami HeatTerrico White (SG, Mississippi)– White can help offset some offense with the Heat potentially losing D-Wade.

19. Oklahoma City ThunderCraig Brackins (PF, Iowa State)–  Down in every major statistical category from a year ago, probably should have gone pro last season.

20. Houston RocketsJan Vesely (C, Czech Republic)– Another foreign big man thriving in Houston.

21. Portland TrailblazersDeMarcus Cousins (PF, Kentucky)– Has been impressive in the shadow of Wall and Patterson.

22. Phoenix SunsPaul George (SF, Fresno State)– Think Wilson Chandler with a better outside shot.

23. Denver NuggetsJarvis Varnado (PF, Mississippi State)– Tremendous shot blocker.

24. San Antonio SpursStanley Robinson (SF, Connecticut)– Lanky body, great wingspan. A great value pick for the Spurs.

25. Atlanta Hawks- Malcolm Lee (PG, UCLA)– Raw talent but still very young.

26. Dallas MavericksKyle Singler (SF, Duke)– A Mike Dunleavy Jr. type of player.

27. Orlando MagicJeff Taylor (SF, Vanderbilt)– Needs to improve his outside game to rise on the board.

28. Boston CelticsJordan Hamilton (SF, Texas)– Uber-Athlete is like Rashard Lewis but shorter.

29. Cleveland CavaliersJaJuan Johnson (PF, Purdue)– One of the best athletes in the draft.

30. Los Angeles LakersDexter Pittman (C, Texas)– Solid backup for Bynum/Gasol.

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The Top 5 NCAA Basketball Games of the Decade

This decade has seen it’s fair share of historic college basketball games. While Louisville-Memphis from the 2005 Conference USA title game, Illinois-Arizona from the ’05 Elite Eight, and Syracuse-Kansas in the 2003 championship game were all outstanding games in their own right, they couldn’t quite crack our top five. Without further ado, here are the top five college basketball games of the decade:

5. Michigan State 94, Kentucky 88 (2OT)– Patrick Sparks’ three with mere seconds to go hit the rim four separate times before falling through the cylander to tie this elite eight game from 2005. State’s tough defense prevented Kentucky from even getting off a shot at the end of overtime, and they coolly handled the Cats in the second extra frame.

4. George Mason 86, UConn 84 (OT)– This 2006 Elite Eight game saw 11-seed George Mason shock top seed Connecticut en route to the school’s first Final Four appearance. The selection committee was roundly criticized for including the Patriots in the field as an at-large bid, especially by CBS analyst Billy Packer. But GMU battled back from a nine-point halftime deficit to tie up the Huskies and force overtime. Denham Brown’s final shot attempt rimmed out in OT, sending George Mason to the Final Four.

3. Duke 98, Maryland 96 (OT)– A regular season game on the list? Well, in this Instant Classic, Jason Williams led the Blue Devils back from 10 points down in the final minute to shock Maryland back in 2000-01. The Terps led 90-80 with :54 left before Williams went to work, scoring eight points in the next 13 seconds. Two Nate James free throws tied the game and forced OT, where the Blue Devils held on. What a comeback.

2. Syracuse 127, UConn 117 (6OT)– One of the most thrilling games of all time took place in the 2009 Big East tournament. Eric Devendorf’s 28-foot heave as time expired swished through the nets, but a lengthy review dissallowed the goal. Each subsequent overtime had tremendous buzzer beating attempts, but the game just kept going. An Andy Rautins 3-pointer at the start of the sixth overtime game the ‘Cuse it’s first lead since regulation, and the Orange held on for the 10-point win in six overtimes.

1. Kansas 75, Memphis 68 (OT)– The 2008 National Championship game tops the six OT thriller simply because it was the NCAA title game. Kansas trailed by nine with 2:12 to go, but Memphis simply could not hit it’s free throws. Mario Chalmers’ 3-point heave with 2.1 ticks remaining tied the game, and the Jayhawks pulled away from an exhausted Tigers team in the extra frame for their first National Championship since Danny Manning’s tenure in Lawrence.

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Boston Celtics All-Decade Dissapointment Team

Continuing our (along with everyone else’s) retrospective look at the past decade, let’s take a look at some of the moves my beloved Boston Celtics have made with our Boston Celtics All-Decade Dissapointment Team. Now, for those of you with extremely poor memory, the Celtics weren’t always the juggernaut they are now. In fact, before the 2007 title team, the C’s had been one of the laughingstock franchises of the NBA for quite sometime, having completely lost everything that made those dynasty teams of the NBA’s early days, right up through the mid-1980’s so impressive.

PG- Joe Forte: After a solid two-year career at the University of North Carolina, Forte was selected by Boston with the 21st overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. The 2001 ACC Player of the Year struggled mightily trying to make the switch from his natural two-guard position to the point guard spot, and his NBA career quickly became something of a joke. He scored only six points in eight games with the C’s during his rookie campaign and was traded to Seattle as part of the Vin Baker trade in 2002. Probably best known for the Scooby-Doo shirt he wore on the sideline during a playoff game, Forte washed out of the league in a hurry and is currently playing overseas. He was the easy choice for this honor simply because the Celts passed up Tony Parker and Gilbert Arenas to take him.

SG– Kedrick Brown: Another horrendous first round pick in that 2001 NBA Draft, Brown was taken 11th overall by Boston out of Okaloosa-Walton Community College. Brown played a little over two seasons in green before being shipped to Cleveland as part of the Ricky Davis trade in 2003. Brown averaged a meager 3.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in his four year NBA career. He is currently playing professionally in Turkey.

SF- Gerald Green: I know, I know, Green isn’t really a small forward. But with Paul Pierce taking up just about all of the playing time at the three, there really aren’t too many options. Taken 18th overall in 2005, Green was an athletic freak, but couldn’t really do anything else at all. He won the Dunk Contest in 2007, but never produced much during actual NBA contests. Green was eventually shipped to Minnesota as part of the Kevin Garnett to Boston trade, and is currently playing in Russia.

PF- Vin Baker: Just typing that name brings back dozens of horrible memories. While his numbers weren’t all that bad, his contract situation was a joke. Problems with alcoholism derailed his career, and he essentially cost the Celtics almost $100 million to play in just 89 games over two seasons in Boston.

C- Mark Blount: A seven-footer who couldn’t rebound and really didn’t care. The straw that broke the camel’s back came in a 2001 game against Golden State in which Blount registered eight points, five fouls, and no boards in 22 minutes. If you’re seven feet tall, rebounding is basically what it all boils down to. A center with no rebounds, especially in the NBA, is just pathetic. Blount may be the captain of this miserable squad.

Coach- Rick Pitino: Larry Bird isn’t walking through that door. While Pitino was ousted by 2001, he is still the only true choice for this spot because of the combination of arrogance and incompetence that he possessed. It all went downhill after Pitino and the Celtics lost out on the Tim Duncan sweepstakes in 1997. Pitino’s woeful tenure was truly one for the ages.

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NCAA All-Decade Team

Now that the new year is just about here and the decade is winding to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the best players in college basketball during that time. In the past ten years we’ve seen both four year standouts and one and done studs. Who will make the list? Who will be left off? Here are our picks for the NCAA All-Decade Team. Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments section.

STARTING FIVE

PG- Jason Williams (Duke)– Williams was about as good a point guard as there was in college basketball this decade. Who can forget the Williams-led Duke comeback at Maryland when the Blue Devils trailed by 10 with a little less than one minute remaining? Williams, the 2001 Naismith Award winner, gets the nod to start over Texas star TJ Ford because unlike Ford’s Longhorns, J-Will’s Devils won an NCAA Championship.

SG- Juan Dixon (Maryland)- The one and only player in NCAA history with 2,000 points, 300 steals, and 200 3-pointers, Dixon was the undisputed leader on a very talented Terrapin squad that finally overcame Duke in 2002 to win an NCAA title. Despite starting his career in the last decade, Dixon starts for the team because of his clutch play on both offense and defense.

SF- Adam Morrison (Gonzaga)- The former Bulldog and nasty moustache afficionado was one of, if not the, best college players in the country during his time at Gonzaga from 2003-2006. Remember his heated showdown with Duke star JJ Redick for the NCAA scoring title and the National Player of the Year award? While his NBA career has been virtually non-existant, his college career will forever live in history.

PF- Tyler Hansbrough (UNC)– An All-American for all four years at North Carolina. Great numbers. A national championship. Psycho T definitely deserves to start for the All-Decade team. Hansbrough’s talent was outmatched only by his desire to succeed. And succeed he did, as evidenced by UNC’s 2009 NCAA Championship.

C- Joakim Noah (Florida)- The superstar center was undoubtedly part of some great teams in Gainseville, but he gets the nod in the middle because of his leadership and his play in big games. Noah, a two-time champion at Florida, essentially took over the 2006 championship game. A big man with unmatched enthusiasm for the game, Noah was an all around force for the Gators from 2004-07.

BENCH

JJ Redick (Duke), Shane Battier (Duke), Emeka Okafor (Connecticut), Sean May (UNC), Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse), Kevin Durant (Texas), TJ Ford (Texas)

HEAD COACH

Roy Williams (UNC/Kansas)- Williams won a pair of National Championships with the Tar Heels this decade, and led Kansas to the National Championship game, a loss to Syracuse, in 2003. Despite having won the same number of titles as Florida coach Billy Donovan, Williams led his squads to four Final Four appearances to Donovan’s three, and has his team in position to compete year after year, despite significant annual losses to the NBA.

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Kobe or LeBron: Who You Got?

Heading into yesterday’s Christmas day battle between LeBron’s Cavaliers and Kobe’s Lakers, everyone was weighing in on who they thought was the better player: James or Bryant. David Thorpe of ESPN and Scouts Inc. even graded the players in a variety of categories such as perimeter shooting and impact in transition. Thorpe’s total tally? King James 77, the Black Mamba 75. Picking one of these tremendous talents over the other is a damn near impossible task. So instead of looking at LeBron vs. Kobe or Kobe vs. LeBron, I think we should change up how we look at this entire argument. Both are ridiculously talented players that any team in the league would be ecstatic to have. But…

If I was starting an NBA team and could pick one player to build around, it would be LeBron James, hands down. James will be 25 on December 30. He has only been in the league since 2003, and doesn’t have nearly the same amount of wear and tear on his body as Bryant. While he doesn’t yet have a championship ring, James did almost single handedly carry Cleveland to the Finals in 2006, and has put up a ridiculous 27.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.8 assists stat line for his six year career thus far. James is bigger and stronger than Bryant, and unlike the Black Mamba, he could theoretically play all five positions.

But if I needed to win one game, I’d take Kobe Bryant in a heartbeat. Bryant is a cold blooded killer, there’s no doubt about that. In a recent game against Milwaukee, Bryant missed a fallaway jumper over Charlie Bell at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. With time winding down in the extra session, Bryant got himself into position and took the exact same shot, drilling the jumper and sending LA home with a win. When Kobe went up for the dagger the second time, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that it was going in. None. LeBron doesn’t quite have that pedigree in end of game situations. At least not yet. Though James’ body doesn’t have the mileage of Kobe’s, he doesn’t have all that experience either. Bryant has been in just about every sitaution one can face in an NBA game. There’s nothing he’ll see that he hasn’t already seen before. I mean, the man’s been in the league since 1996 and has played in five NBA Finals, winning four of them. And lest you think he’s all about offense, Bryant has been named to the All-Defensive First Team a whopping seven times, and the second team twice.

So to recap, if I was starting a team and could build around one player, the choice is King James. If i needed a player to win one game, or someone to take the shot at the end of a game, that answer is the Black Mamba. While you may not agree with my picks, or David Thorpe’s, or anyone else’s for that matter, hopefully there is one thing we can agree on: There will never be another Michael Jordan. Period. So let’s stop comparing these greats to MJ. He always has and always will be in a class all his own.

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NBA 2K10 Season Simulation

With Dan Patrick’s FBCS College Football Championship simulation in mind, we decided to sim the current NBA season on 2k Sports’ NBA 2k10 for X-Box 360 to see what might be in store on the hardwood this year. Here are the results:

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1. San Antonio OVER 8. Houston

2. Denver OVER 7. Dallas

3. LA Lakers OVER 6. Sacramento

4. Phoenix OVER 5. Utah

1. San Antonio OVER 4. Phoenix

3. LA Lakers OVER 2. Denver

3. LA Lakers OVER 1. San Antonio


EASTERN CONFERENCE

1. Orlando OVER 8. Charlotte

7. Indiana OVER 2. Atlanta

6. Detroit OVER 3. Boston

4. Cleveland OVER 5. Toronto

1. Orlando OVER 4. Cleveland

7. Indiana OVER 6. Detroit

1. Orlando OVER 7. Indiana

NBA FINALS

Orlando Magic 4

Los Angeles Lakers 1

AWARDS

Playoff MVP: Dwight Howard- 26.2 ppg, 16.1 rpg, 4.1 bpg in 19 games

MVP: Tim Duncan- 18.1 ppg, 11.3 rpg

Rookie of the Year: Tyreke Evans- 14.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.7 spg

Sixth Man: Jason Richardson- 15.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg

Defensive Player of the Year: Josh Smith- 10.1 rpg, 2.4 spg

Most Improved Player: Chris Douglas-Roberts- 16.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg

Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich- Led Spurs to 56-26 record, the best in the NBA

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