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Sunday April 22, 2007 9:23 am

Dropping Dimes One-On-One Tourney: Round 1, Games 1 and 2

DescriptionThe fantasy basketball season has wrapped up and the real playoffs have started. That is enough to satisfy any NBA hoophead, but playoff pool action is not nearly as prevalent as regular season play. Furthermore, although the all-star game offers fifteen minutes of spotlight every year to the three-point shooting contest, and while the dunk contest has offered some drama over the years, the festivities always fall short of the hype. After all, the skills challenge gets props for being the only event that can attract the biggest stars (Lebron, Kobe, Nash and Chris Paul this year), but it hardly satisfies our appetites for seeing the best go against the best.

NBA players would never agree to a one-on-one tournament; the risk of injury and loss of pride would be too great. That does not prevent us from talking about it though. It would be the coolest event ever. If only we could rewind the clock and have the likes of Magic and Michael settle things on the court for real. This brings us to our latest Dropping Dimes feature, designed to bridge the gap between the end of this season and the end of the dogs of summer!

The idea takes me back to grade school and the days of the playground debates, where theoretical match-ups between comic book heroes would be discussed ad nauseum. So although fantasy hoops has given way to the baseball season and the NFL draft, it doesn’t mean us basketball fans cannot make up some fun for ourselves.

32 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. In other words, when Shaq makes his appearance here, assume we are talking about a healthy Shaq today, not the best Shaq has ever been, or an injured Shaq.

It’s about time we here at Dropping Dimes offer a feature where reader input drives the content. So my request is simple. Suppose these players play each other in a game of one-on-one: games to 11, two points for a three-pointer, and 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. I am sure Dennis, Sarge and Ron will give me their “10 cents” on the topic when their schedule permits. Of course, if everyone is feeling shy, I will just call it as I would see it! You have one week to vote, then the results will be published and a new pair of match-ups will be announced. So check bach here every Sunday!

All pairings were picked randomly out of a hat…although I could not have asked for better match-ups than the ones listed below. Let’s get it started!

DescriptionGame 1: Kobe Bryant vs. Lebron James

If players were to be designated seeds for this tourney a la March Madness, then both Lebron and Kobe would be top seeds. In fact, this pairing would likely be a popular choice for our “finals.” Alas, the powers-that-be want us to start off with a bang, and so Kobe and ‘Bron need to go head-to-head right away.

Lebron’s final numbers add up to a successful season. Some fantasy owners out there were probably burned a bit by his slow start and his failure to reach that “next level” in fantasy superstardom. Perhaps it was a bit unfair to expect him to average 30+ points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for a whole year, but this is a talent that only comes around once in a long while. Still, I owned Lebron in my main league and he led my team to a 3-18 record in FT%.

With the arrival of Lebron, Wade and company, some might be sleeping on Kobe. That would be a treacherous mistake. He bounced back very well from off-season surgery, and single-handedly won head-to-head matchups for fantasy owners when he was on his streak of 40+ point games. Whether wearing #8 or #24, some have commented Kobe’s vast array of skills make him a very dangerous opponent here.

So…what say you? Does the King trump the Black Mamba?

DescriptionGame 2: Gilbert Arenas vs. Allen Iverson

Hopefully Gilbert’s late-season injury, and the many hearts of fantasy owners that broke as a result, will not sway anybody’s opinion on this match-up the wrong way. Now a savvy veteran, Iverson still has a nose for the bucket, while Agent Zero could easily plant himself behind the arc, and shoot his way into the next round. Pretty crazy that Arenas vs. Iverson is actually the undercard this week.

Hopefully there are a few of you out there checking in on us even as your fantasy trophy is being engraved and the cash is being forked over by your poor loser opponents. So please tell us you think these one-on-one battles would turn out!

See you next week. Peace.

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Comments:

We had a slight problem with posting comments yesterday, but that issue has been resolved. Sorry for that, but hope you come back and give us your thoughts on these match-ups!

Here is Dennis Velasco’s email to me on the subject.

Dr. A this is one hell of an idea.  Here’s my $0.10 on the matchups:

Believe me, I’m not the biggest fan of Kobe and I love Bron Bron (not on the man-crush level like Sarge), but I have to go with the player formerly known as KB8.

As a scorer, I don’t think there is any doubt that Bryant is more polished than James… part of that is naturally because of sheer experience and the ability to take the game winning shot and converting under pressure.

Plain and simple, KB24 has more notches on his belt and is more versatile and tenacious of a scorer.  Sorry, LeBron, maybe the game comes too easily to you, but I just don’t see that fire in your eyes
to dominate a game night in and night out like Kobe does.  Bryant has that assassin look Michael Jordan had back in the day.

And on the other side of the coin, who has made it the All NBA Defensive team multiple times?  Nuff said.

As for the other matchup… I just absolutely love Agent Zero and will go with, partly because of age, but you can’t take any props away from AI.

While I see Kobe and LeBron as different types of players, I thinkArenas and Iverson are essentially the same - undersized scorers, streaky shooters, unflappable penetrators, and enigmatic personalities.

So why give the edge to Gil Zero?  I think he’s crazier and would take this contest totally as fun.  And you know what they say about crazy people… watch out for them because you never know what they’re going
to do… like one-handed treys or something.

Can’t wait to see the next pair of matchups.

Have to go with Kobe in the first match-up. He would just make more shots than Lebron. He’s better offensively, better at creating his own shot, leading to better looks, and more makes.

The second one is a “pick em”, but I’ll go with AI and the craftiness that always comes with experience.  AI over Nut Job by a nose….

I’m trying to instigate a blog war, I told ProFantasySports that I wouldn’t check their site anymore. I told them since Dropping Dimes won the experts league, they were obviously a lot smarter.

Off to the side, stirring the pot…It’s a good place to be!

Whaddup, hoop fans. Sarge sent me this email.

Al, I didn’t forget about your piece.  But to everyone’s surprise, I TOO will go with Kobe in that tournament.  n fact, I have a hard time not taking him over anyone in the league if it were a one-on-one game.  His only ssue is his inability to get his team involved.  Yea, five assists a game is fine, but it’s not like he’s setting his eam up – he just gets lucky when Brian Cook hits a jump shot.

I love LeBron as much as the next guy…ok, probably more – but I gotta go with Kobe here.

Let me reiterate how much I like this idea, Al.

Sarge


Thanks, Sarge. Wow, Kobe definitely seems like the clear-cut fave. Feel free to pipe up about Arenas vs Iverson if you have time.

4:20, as for D winning the experts’ league, we are all happy about him keeping the title in-house. Not quite as happy as if we had won it ourselves, but happy all the same.

btw, congrats on winning the league we were all in. Don’t wanna talk about it cuz that’s the 1st rule! :p, but yo, you guys beat me good in that one.

peace.

Sorry for the erased letters in transferring you post, Sarge. I can attest that you are pretty hooked on phonics in general!

Ugh, that’s be YOUR post. We need to get an edit button on here!

I SECOND THE EDIT BUTTON!

Just kidding on blog war, I love those sites too!

I hope that next year’s Experts league gets a little more coverage. It’s fun watching the Big Dogs square-off.  If it’s possible to link the league to a column like Buser does, then we could watch the squaring offage!

Hey, if Dennis can use “goodly”, I can use “offage” dammit.

One of the things that was brought up in our internal year-end review was that we could have covered our league more. It was great for draft results and team breakdowns. The issue was because we have other features and because there are only four of us who writewhen we can, a regular weekly update was not realistic.

I didn’t look too hard on whether I could set up a link to a private Yahoo league. But once next season rolls around, we’ll see how we can blog it better. Maybe D can writea first person account cuz he’ll be defending the title!

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