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Tuesday May 20, 2008 8:27 am

Dropping Dimes Two-on-Two Tourney: Round 1, Games 11 and 12

DescriptionI come to you not even 48 hours after my beloved Cavs have been bounced from the playoffs.  Paul Pierce, well played.  Cleveland supporting cast, I wish I could stay the same. There’s a reason that LeBron James is the only Cavalier in this tournament.  All I have to say is that Danny Ferry better get to work.

With that said, last week brought us a showcase of guard talent.  This week takes a slightly different twist, bringing us a truckload of big men.  While two of them are pictured to the right, there are a few more that will deserve some consideration. 

Let’s cut to the chase and get on with this week’s match-ups.

[Note: Our numbers suggest we have quite a few lurkers checking out this tourney. Thanks for taking the time! I wish we had a poll function on here so you could quickly vote for which team you think would prevail, but unfortunately we do not. So take a minute and leave a comment! It’s very much appreciated!]

The premise: (Feel free to skip down if you have been here with us before!)

The rules are simple. 64 of today’s biggest stars, plus some fantasy forces and a few players of the “x-factor” ilk have been chosen to participate in this exercise. Assume each player is in perfect health and in peak condition, based on their current age and abilities, as well as their ability to work with a team mate. Players are teamed up randomly and each match-up is also determined randomly. Suppose these pairs of players play each other in a game of two-on-two: games to 11, two points for a three-pointer, and losers out (this is a change from last year’s one-on-one tourney where it was winners out). You can make your comment after each article, or if you like, send me an e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please vote just once for each match-up. If you are so inclined, feel free to make up an imaginary commentary of how you see the battle going down and I will try to include your input in future articles. You have one week to vote, then the results will be published and a new pair of match-ups will be announced. So check back here every week! The players will randomly get a new team mate each round.

Last year’s one-on-one champ, Kobe Bryant, has not been included in the field of 64. Due to his one-on-one prowess, it seems too likely that a Kobe-Player X team would always win. So Kobe, hit the sidelines. I’m sure if Kobe knew about this, he might be a bit miffed at the lack of an invite, but surely he has bigger fish to fry than us!

Round 1, Game 9:

Alvin: “This game would be a showcase for offensive talent, but Paul would be unstoppable. Granger on Smith would be pretty even, and there would be obvious difficulties checking ‘Melo, but Paul will carry them through, with the help of some monster blocks from J-Smoove.”

Coop: “I would take Chris Paul with pretty much anybody in this tournament unless the other team is absurd. And if that isn’t enough he has one of the more versatile young guys in the league on his side. Smith has the D and the finishing ability to do damage.”

Not that my vote would even matter in this case, but we may be looking at the winners of this entire tournament right here, folks.  While DroppingDimes didn’t exactly pick the best year to not renew their sponsorship of Paul over at Basketball-Reference.com, he’s obviously a stellar talent that is pretty much undefendable by most guards in the league.  It will be interesting to see who these two run into down the road, as it will undoubtedly be a tough team to beat.  Winner: Josh Smith and Chris Paul

Round 1, Game 10:

Alvin: “Wade and Iverson just seem too quick, too good, and they would have so much fun playing with each other, that even with a few blocks by Dalembert, they’ll find a way to put the ball in the hoop.”

Coop: “Dalambert would have to beat the small guys every time down and play some incredibly tight defense while trying desperately not to get crushed off the dribble for them to have a shot. Personally, I don’t see ALL of that happening or AI and Wade both faultering [sic], so the guards move on.”

Again, we have unanimous voting.  Typically, a big man against a guard would provide a huge mismatch.  However, Wade isn’t exactly little, and Dalembert isn’t exactly Bill Russell.  I like Deron Williams (he’s my friend on Twitter!), but he’s also getting eliminated from this tournament as well.  Winner: Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson

Now on to this week…

Round 1, Game 11: Chancey Billups and Andre Iguodala vs. Michael Redd and Al Jefferson

Again, we have two guard-types locking up with a guard and a big man. However, this big is a lot more polished than Samuel Dalembert.  The only problem you may run into is in the distributing abilities of Redd.  He doesn’t exactly rack up the dimes, but if given the space, he can nail a trey with the best of them.  Same goes for the guy on the other side of the ball in Chauncey Billups. 

Does this one turn into a three-point shootout?  Could Iguodala handle Jefferson, or at least keep him far enough away from the basket to force a jumper?  Would Iggy even get a shot off with Jefferson’s paws awaiting a rejection? 

Round 1, Game 12: Dwight Howard and Manu Ginobili vs. Jermaine O’Neal and Carlos Boozer.

So we go from a week full of guards to one full of centers?  Howard and Ginobili are two of the NBA’s best.  Jermaine O’Neal and Carlos Boozer have battled injuries in the past, but may flourish given the premise of full health. 

Ginobili is the only guy here that could knock down consistent jumpers, but Howard is easily the best on the glass as well as the defensive end.  However, O’Neal and Boozer would both own Manu in the post.  But would they be able to clear Dwight out of the block?  This one has post play written all over it, but who is the difference maker?

Let’s hear it in the comments.  Tell your friends!

Previous match-ups:
Round 1: Games 1 and 2
Round 1: Games 3 and 4
Round 1: Games 5 and 6
Round 1: Games 7 and 8
Round 1: Games 9 and 10

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