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 Post subject: 1980 - Birth of a Dynasty
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 7:25 pm 
Bench Warmer

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:48 pm
Posts: 29
Starting a replay of the NBA in 1980 with myself in charge of my favorite team, the Lakers.

I know what you're thinking - the Lakers are loaded in 1980. Well, we're going to have to try to build a dynasty the hard way... from scratch... instead of just starting with the dominant Lakers team already extant in 1980, I will build the league through a creation draft to spread the talent around.

I get lucky enough to start with the #1 overall pick in the creation draft (on the downside, it means I will have a big gap between my #1 and #2 picks; the disadvantage of going first in a snake draft). Naturally, my pick is Magic Johnson. Michael Cooper goes #6 to Denver, and Kareem goes #24 to New York. Norm Nixon goes #37 to Phoenix. So much for trying to assemble any semblance of the historical Lakers. My next pick comes at #46.

My #2 pick is suggested by the Computer to be Joe Barry Carroll. Ugh. My non-plussedness notwithstanding, JBC is a good young center and provided I can find a solid rebounder to pair with him at PF, he might be worth something (not holding my breath). I look at the other centers and am tempted to consider Chocolate Thunder (Darryl Dawkins) but JBC actually has the most developed inside game around. Blech. I bite the bullet and take JBC.

The computer recommends my next selection be PG Vinnie Johnson. I already have Magic as a PG; I don't really need Vinnie. I take a hard look at the forwards (as I need a good rebounder with JBC at center) and find a solid young (20 year old) Cliff Robinson at SF. I decide to go with him.

For my 4th pick, I grab C Rich Kelley, who can rebound and leap out of the gym (I'll play him at PF).

I make a note to grab Mike Glenn (PG) with my #6 pick (since he seems to be down the board a bit and can nail open jumpers) and add SF Glenn Gondrezick (a defensive stopper type) to play SG.

Someone has already grabbed Mike Glenn by the time my pick comes back around. I add Bill Willoughby instead. The computer suggests Jerome Whitehead as by #7 pick and I concur, nabbing the PF.

I continue strengthening my backcourt at #8 and 9 with Foots Walker (great name) and SG James Wilkes (brother of Jamaal?). PF Kim Hughes and SF Joe Bryant (yes, THAT Joe Bryant) are #10 and #11. PG Kenny Natt and SF **** Miller are next. Things round out with 7-5 C James Moore and SF John Woodhouse.


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 Post subject: Re: 1980 - Birth of a Dynasty
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 7:26 pm 
Bench Warmer

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:48 pm
Posts: 29
DECEMBER 1, 1980

We received several trade offers for JBC (Joe Barry Carroll) in November. None of them are particularly intriguing to me. I do get an offer from the Bulls to trade Bill Cartwright - out for a month - for Cliff Robinson. That one IS interesting (Cartwright's a darn good player). I put it on the back burner and resolve to come back to it in a month or so once Cartwright is healthy.

Most of the bit players are begging for new contracts. Not really interested in committing at the moment to guys that haven't cracked the rotation, sorry.

Magic wins Player of the Month honors as we go 11-3 to start out the regular season. He's averaging 27.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 2.6 steals. JBC is putting up 19.2 ppg and 5.8 rpg as well as 1.2 blocks. Robinson is averaging 16.8 ppg and 7.4 rpg. Gondrezick, our defensive specialist, is averaging 2.1 steals per night and has the third-best plus-minus on the team (only Magic and Robinson are better). So far, so good.


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 Post subject: Re: 1980 - Birth of a Dynasty
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 4:51 pm 
Bench Warmer

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:48 pm
Posts: 29
JANUARY 1, 1981

At the end of December, we have 5 new trade offers sitting in my inbox... and none are particularly attractive, wanting to send me bench players for guys that are starters or heavily into my rotation. With a record of 20-9 (trailing San Antonio by 1.5 games for best overall record in the league) I'm not in any hurry to break up my core.

That said, I am interested in flipping some of my end-of-rotation (or out of rotation) players if possible. I send James Wilkes, Kim Hughes, John Woodhouse, James Moore, Kenny Natt, and **** Miller (all needed for salary match purposes) to Phoenix for an injured Alex English (out until after the all-star break with a bulging disc) and a couple of picks. Moore, Natt, and Woodhouse all get released since the Suns already have a full roster... and naturally I put in waiver claims for them and get them right back (I am reminded why the latest NBA collective bargaining agreement added the "Zydrunas Ilgauskas" provision to prevent this).

Oh, yeah, and Magic won Player of the Month again. I knew there was a reason I picked him #1 overall!


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 Post subject: Re: 1980 - Birth of a Dynasty
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 4:53 pm 
Bench Warmer

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:48 pm
Posts: 29
FEBRUARY 1, 1981

As we near the All Star Break, we're sitting on a 30-12 mark, first in the West, and just 1.5 games back of Atlanta for best record in the league.

I get three trade proposals for Rich Kelley, my starting PF. They're all for backups, so I ignore them.

Alex English's injury is now a day-to-day thing, so I roll him into the starting lineup. He bumps Glen Gondrezick from the starting SG spot. Double-G in turn bumps Bill Willoughby out of the rotation altogether. I'm anticipating a drop in scoring from Magic (27.9), Cliff Robinson (17.5) and JBC (17.1) once English is back - he shoots a lot, and there's only one ball. (Thankfully, Rich Kelley, our fifth starter, doesn't care about scoring; he's averaging 7.1 ppg on the season).

With time running out before the trade deadline, I decide to go for broke to pick up the guy I want to have complimenting Magic... one Moses Malone (who is a beast this year). I hit up the Spurs to find out what they need. They want two starters (SF Robinson and C Kelley) as well as SG Willoughby and PF Jerome Whitby (whitby is still in my rotation and Willoughby would have been until English gets healthy). They also want SF Joe Bryant (no clue why; it's certainly not for salary match and they're plenty deep at forward).

My rotation - particularly with a foot injury to Gondrezick that's going to keep him out a month - will be paper-thin, but we'll have a terrific starting lineup. I bite my lip and go for it. San Antonio becomes incredibly deep, and I become incredibly top-heavy. It's a risk, to be sure. I elect to claim the four dudes the Spurs cast off to Waivers after the trade (Gary Marin, Bradford Eams, Rudy White, John Duren).

Four of our players - Moses, JBC, Alex English, and Magic - are named to the all-star team. For the next month (until Gondrezick returns), Foots Walker gets to play with the all-stars and I have to hope nobody gets hurt.


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 Post subject: Re: 1980 - Birth of a Dynasty
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 4:56 pm 
Bench Warmer

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:48 pm
Posts: 29
MARCH 1, 1981

We make it out of February (past the Trade Deadline) with a 40-16 record. Gondrezick's broken foot is healing nicely (and I choose to put him back in the lineup as a sixth man due to his defensive prowess and Walker's lack thereof) but we're three games back of Atlanta for the best overall record in the league.

APRIL 1, 1981

Moses picked up player of the month honors for March. Nice. We've survived minor (day-to-day) injuries to Magic, Foots, and JBC and are now 53-17... we've closed to within a game of Atlanta for the league's top record.


REGULAR SEASON END, 1980-81

We finish on a tear to post a 64-18 record (Atlanta finishes 61-21) so we'll have homecourt throughout the playoffs.

Magic picks up another Player of the Month award and is named league MVP.
Moses Malone and Magic make the all-league first team and JBC makes the all-league second team.
JBC makes the all-rookie first team and Magic makes the all-league first defensive team.

But I don't care about that kind of hardware. I want... (Gollum voice) my precious (/voice).

After a first-round bye, we get a 46-36 Mavericks squad led by Chocolate Thunder (Darryl Dawkins) himself. As I hoped, we sweep them out of the playoffs.

The 58-24 Golden State Warriors, led by Dennis Johnson and Mychal Thompson, eliminate Houston to meet us in the Western Finals.

We sweep them, too. Atlanta comes back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Chicago (I was really hoping Chicago would take them out for us). The Hawks feature Adrian Dantley, Marques Johnson, Swen Nater, Jamaal Wilkes, Mike Woodson, Calvin Murphy, and Mike Dunleavy (not a bad crew all 'round).

Home court holds solid all through the seven game series, and we come away 4-3 winners. Dantley was positively ridiculous, averaging over 30 points for the series and even posting a 43-point night. Thankfully, Moses was almost his equal, pouring in 29 ppg.

So, first season, first championship. I have a young core I like with all the key players signed through next season. We'll see what happens in the off-season - probably not much, since I'm capped out, but my finger on the trade trigger is ALWAYS itchy.


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 Post subject: Re: 1980 - Birth of a Dynasty
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 5:03 pm 
Bench Warmer

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:48 pm
Posts: 29
1981 SUMMER

To start the year, I get the message that SG Bradford Eames is retiring. He played 5 games and a total of 13 minutes with us last season, so it's not like I'm going to miss him.

My staff is still all under contract, so I'm not in any hurry to make changes.

The draft class for some reason is all fictional players (either an oddity from the particular version number I happened to be using when I ran this sim or possibly due to me having a corrupt historical file when I created the league? Oh, well, I'll just roll with it since this is just for fun anyway...)

We have the #6 (picked up in the Alex English trade), #23 (my own), and #46 (also my own) picks in the draft this season. I am able to parlay my second-round pick and a future first-round pick (1983) into the #1 overall pick from the Jazz (guess I'm not the only one that thinks this draft class isn't all that). That leaves me picking #1, #6, and #23.

I start out by picking C Scotty McKinney (wasn't he the guy from American Idol a couple of seasons ago? I'll have to ask my mother-in-law...) with the #1 overall pick. He will have a year or two to season behind Malone, but looks like a low-post defensive force who can block shots and clean the boards. I add SF David Williams, a 6-10 SF who can shoot the three, as the #6 overall pick (I would say he reminds me of Robert Horry... but since Robert Horry is probably in preschool in 1981, I'll say he reminds my future self of Big Shot Rob). With the #23 overall pick, the computer recommends I take undersized PF Roy Miller. Nonplussed by the fact he is a "project with potential" instead of a guy who can fill a need now, I take undersized SG Kristopher Brown, who can knock down the open jumper and handles the ball well. I may convert him to PG at some point.

The free agent pickings are pretty slim (as to be expected following a dispersal draft where contracts are handed out based on initial draft position, with better players getting longer contracts). I re-add Joe Bryant, along with PG Brad Holland, PF Kim Hughes, and some other assorted roster flotsam and jetsam (whom I fully intend to trade during the preseason for 2nd-round picks if I can manage it).


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