Friday, May 24, 2013

Why is the East so bad? Let's fix this.

We were going to write something about Game 1 of the Pacers-Heat Eastern Conference Finals. We really were. It was a weird game. Paul George's emergence at the end, Paul George's disappearance at the very end, Lebron, the curiously quiet Miami crowd, Frank Vogel's coaching - there is plenty to talk about. But for those of us (me) who are not excited about a Miami repeat, the game served as yet another reminder of how easily the Heat may just walk through the East.  They played a team with a sub-.500 record in the first round.  They played a team missing 3 starters in the second round. And now they face an Indiana team that won't be able to play much better than they did in Game 1 (Indiana got a lot of free throws, shot, and held Miami to a miserable 3 point percentage - those are three tough things to keep up).  Look Miami is a great team. In the regular season they made a run at being historically great.  But the talk of "fo' fo' fo'" - that Miami would sweep all three Eastern Conference series 4-0 - is a red flag regardless of how good the team is.  The Eastern Conference just is not as good as the Western Conference (2 teams with 50+ wins this year to 5 in the West; 7 teams with 40+ wins to the West's 10).

Our mission, should we choose to accept it (I do), is to provide a variety of options David Stern and the NBA may use to realign the powers in the Eastern Conference (aka make it has hard as possible for the Heat to achieve a three-peat...a Heat-peat, if you will).  We welcome your comments, critiques, and suggestions.

This should be our goal. Metaphorically. Actually watch this 4 more times
and watch Jimmy Butler's leg. Lebron clearly exaggerates his fall, but
Butler definitely at least moves his leg towards Lebron. Which makes me laugh.
Option 1: Swap Memphis and Milwaukee

I'm leading with this because, if we're honest, moving Memphis to the Eastern Conference is really the best place to start. "But Jack," you say, "Then we're going to miss out on a decade's worth of Clippers-Grizzlies match ups in the playoffs as the 4 and 5 seed!" You're right. And I'm sorry about that. But the good news is, you won't have to watch Monta Ellis ever play in the playoffs again! I'll take that trade off.  Anyway, with Conley, Gasol, Randolph, Allen, Pondexter, and Bayless, and without Rudy Gay, Memphis will be a very solid to very good team for the next couple years.  If they add a shooter, they'll be even better.  They have size and defenders, and I would love to see them lose to Miami in six games in the Conference Finals.

Option 2: Change the Charlotte mascot back to the Hornets.

Done. Next.

Option 3: Allow Sam Presti to make all draft day decisions for the Wizards. 

I considered adding something here about who got to make draft decisions for the Heat, but then I realized they have 0 picks in this year's draft. Anyway, the Wizards' 3rd overall selection in this draft may be their most important pick in the last 5 years (which is saying something, as they have scooped up Wall and Beal in that time).  The right guy makes this team a top 6 team in the conference, potentially good enough to snag the 4 or 5 seed (which would see them match up with the Heat in the second round).  And I'd rather see a team that can score take on the Heat. Oh and also I want the Wizards to host the Heat so I can go see that.

Option 4: Relocate Toronto to Seattle; Move Memphis to the East.

Again, the Memphis move just makes sense. Why Toronto? They have a (potentially) talented young core, but could use a new start and a fan-base that will get overly excited about it.  It can do wonders for young talent, just ask Golden State.

Option 5: Make David Stern force Amare Stoudemire and Gerald Wallace into retirement so their salaries can be used to pay productive basketball players who are younger than 37.

Yup, that was a shot at about a dozen different people.  The Knicks and Nets for spending absurd amounts of money on those two, Amare for his inability to set foot on a court, Wallace for not actually being that good (although he is absolutely dominant in NBA 2K13, one reason I stopped playing that video game), the Knicks for having an average age of 51 (just kidding, but they do have an average age of 29.5, which is ridiculous, and only have two players under the age of 26), and maybe even David Stern for not actually having the power to do something like this.

Option 6: Allow Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez to play for the Atlanta Hawks.

Tony G's dunks through the goal posts were the best thing about being a Chiefs fan in the 2000s. Wait...the best thing about being a Kansas City sports fan.  And I desperately want to say that these three may finally lift the Hawks out of that "limbo" spot of the 5-7 seed in the East...but then again they've made their own little limbo spot behind the 49ers in the NFL, so this may not work.

Option 7: Force Stephen Curry to play for the Hornets at gunpoint.

Or, force Golden State to use their draft pick on Jake Cohen, officially making them Davidson's NBA team, and in the process causing some other prospect to fall to another Eastern Conference team.  This would be a good plan if GSW had a first round pick this year. They dont.

Option 8: Bank on Lebron Le-stabbing another city in the back and jetting MIA after 2014. 

Bank on D-Wade to then release a statement about how his plan to get Lebron to win championships for him worked perfectly, and them promptly retire. Bank on Pat Riley stepping down, and Erik Spoelstra thinking he's the league's best coach and wanting to take on the Sacramento Experiment (they've changed their name by this point). Bank on the new Heat management being convinced they can build around Chris Bosh.

Wow I hate on the Heat a lot.

Option 9: The blockbuster deal: Relocate Toronto to SEA; Relocate Milwaukee to Kansas City; Place both those teams in the West; Move Memphis and Minnesota over to the East. 

Toronto and Milwaukee are basically the only two Eastern Conference teams you could move at this point that are both (a) bad and (b) in cities that wouldn't absolutely riot if you took their team (unless you think people aren't that attached to Brooklyn yet, which may or may not be the case).  Seattle and Kansas City are likely the only destinations that could support NBA franchises (definitely in Seattle's case, and Kansas City has long been a basketball town, though in recent years/decades this has been rather college oriented), although I'd consider Austin (but we have enough teams from Texas) and a couple other places.  Memphis needs to be in the East, we've covered that.  Minnesota could be young and exciting. They could be next year's Golden State, or perhaps more accurately they could be similar to our predictions for next year's Wizards. Provided they can stay moderately healthy.  As a part of this deal, you could also force Minnesota to hire Phoenix's training staff.

Pick your option David Stern.  For reference, I was at least somewhat serious about options 1, 2, 4, 8, and 9. What did I miss?


  1. The NBA has a tradition of trading superstars for nothing to make teams interesting. For example, Kareem Abdul Jabbar from the Bucks to the Lakers for... who-was-it? Or Wilt Chamberlain from the Warriors to the 76ers for who-were-they? and then later Chamberlain to the Lakers for a few more anonymous wonders? Earl the Pearl Monroe from the Bullets to the Knicks for whats-his-name? The list is endless of superstars traded for wannabe's. So, just trade Curry to the Hornets for the Warriors' three favorite Hornets and bingo-you've got parity :-) Memo to the Hornets- Curry's best sidekick, Jason Richards, may also be available- see

  2. P.S. Love that picture of Mr. James sliding down the court.Big hit in Cleveland too, I bet!