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Monday May 5, 2008 10:18 am

Dropping Dimes Two-on-Two Tourney: Round 1, Games 7 and 8

Joe J and Steve Nash

The Fig Cap: Hey, where are you watching the second round?



Man, do I have some big shoes to fill or what?  Pinch-hitting for Alvin today, I get to break down what could be two of the best match-ups we’ve seen thus far. 

While we get to see who won last week’s battles, this week brings us a few big-named bigs against two big-named guards as well as a match-up that features the recently crowned Rookie of the Year facing a former two-time MVP.  While you will likely be able guess at least two of the eight from these clues alone, let’s check out the rest of the field.

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 5:

Since Al knew that he’d be sitting a play out, he and Will Shu were kind enough to share their thoughts on this one. 

Alvin: Love the first game this week…If Crash and Roy played Yao and Parker seven times, conceivably it could be 4-3 either way… Parke is lightning quick, Yao would control the boards.  Crash and Roy make it a great game, but I think they fall short

Will: Yao’s length and size in addition to Parker’s speed and inside finishing ability shut down Wallace and Roy

As many times as Yao has ruined a season of head-to-head fantasy hoops for your’s truly, I must rely on the premonition that all players are fully healthy.  This one would definitely be a tough one to wager on, and could be as fun to watch as any given the possibility for someone to actually run under Yao’s legs, but I can’t deny the fact that both Parker and Ming can hit short jumpers and have incredible finishing ability - even if Ming’s is a little shaky for a guy his size.

I’d love to see how many blocks Crash Wallace could pull out in this one, but this one is unanimous: Winner: Tony Parker and Yao Ming

Round 1, Game 6:

Alvin: Odom has the point forward skills and Jamison has the three-point shot.  McGrady would be brilliant, but that leaves Bibby guarding a skilled big man…

Will: The second matchup is unbalanced because of Bibby.  He can’t guard either opponent, giving Odom and Jamison easy layups.

I can’t argue here.  In fact, both Odom and Jamison are versatile enough to cause a lot of mis-matches in this format, making it very intriguing for the next round.  Bibby is easily the weakest link here.  Goodbye.  Winner: Lamar Odom and Antawn Jamison

Now on to this week’s games…

Round 1, Game 7: Elton Brand and Amare Stoudemire vs. Baron Davis and T.J. Ford
Personally, I would love to watch this one go down in real life given the size differential.  Baron’s coming off of an 82-game season, and has a solid partner in Ford.  Brand, on the other hand, didn’t get to see much action this season and is paired with one of the more dominating bigs in the league.  Can Davis and Ford keep the big guys away from the hoop?  Can Brand and Amare defend the quickness and shooting ability?

Round 1, Game 8: Kevin Durant and Joe Johnson vs. Luol Deng and Steve Nash
The current rookie of the year gets paired up with a guy who was lights out in the first round of the post-season.  These two could put up points by the truckload.  However, Nash is the only pure distributor in the matchup and gets partnered up with one of the better small forwards in the league - one with a solid presence inside that could more than body up on KD. 

What do you all think?  Let’s hear it in the comments.  Tell all your friends!

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Comments:

These are two INSANE matchups.

In Game 7 it would be great to see if B. Diddy and Ford (though I’m sure Baron, like me, would rather have Calderon) could run around Amare and Elton Brand—two of the more versatile and quick power forwards in the league. If Brand is playing at his best and Amare gets going I think this one goes to the big guys though the two point guards could take it if the outside shots started falling. Unfortunately for BAron and TJ, Brand and Amare are very quick and could probably keep up with them for the most part even if the little guys try to beat them off the dribble. Brand and Amare take it: YOU CAN’T TEACH SIZE.

Game 8 might come down to whether or not Luol Deng can shut down KD. I think that Joe Johnson is going to offensively dominate NAsh and at least keep him honest on defense. Nash isn’t the scorer he once was and I think Johnson can stop him if he has to drive. I don’t see Nash’s jumpers falling at the rate he needs. Plus, NAsh isn;t the type of defensive force necessary to stop Joe Johnson. Meanwhile, Deng is going to be a tough matchup for Durant. Deng CAN BE a lockdown defender and he would definetely muscle up on the weaker Durant. I think in the end though, the pure scoring abilities of Johnson and Durant will overcome the repeated alley-oops from NAsh to Deng.


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