Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What the Lottery means to the Nuggets

Ever since the lottery took place last night, all I've heard is one of two things:

1) Everyone has been laughing at the Grizzlies and Celtics for blatantly tanking and then ending up with the worst possible selections. It's a little thing called the Sports Gods making sure everything balances out. It's the same powers that make a guy miss a free throw after a phantom foul call. You don't want to mess with the Sports Gods my friends, they will expose you.

2) We've been hearing the faint sobs of the Sports Guy curled up in the corner for his poor Celtics. It sounds something like this - "WAAAAAAAA! We've only had 16 titles!! We're the most successful franchise in the history of basketball!! We were in the Eastern Conference finals a few years ago!! J-Bug!!! Nothing ever goes right for us!! WAAAAAA!!" Simmons is like a drug addict that has won the lottery. His drug is complaining. Even when his hometown basketball team has won more titles than any other, his baseball team recently won the World Series and spends more on annual salary than a dozen countries GDP, and his football team is in the midst of a semi-dynasty, he still has to cry about something. When you have a reason to complain Bill, people will listen. When you're looking for a reason to complain, you're a loser. Enjoy the success your local sports teams are having and shut the hell up.

Back to the point of this post....

We've all overlooked a frightening development that happened during the Draft Lottery. Portland #1, Seattle #2? Oden and Durant are coming to the Northwest Division? The Nuggets could very well be fucked.

Our division has been the laughing stock of the NBA the last couple of seasons. Two years ago we won the division with one less win than we had this past season. For the last two years our division champ has NOT had home-court advantage in the first round. That said, the Jazz are rising quickly, the Nuggets should have a great team next season, and now you add Oden and Durant to the mix and suddenly the Northwest Division could be one of the tops in the league.... in theory.

Here are some pros and cons of this development:

Pros -

- We get to watch both Oden and Durant play a few times per year:

As basketball fans we will get to see the future of the NBA play in Denver a few times per season. It should boost ticket sales which will help Stan pay for some of that luxury tax next year. In fact, here is a list of some of the players in the Northwest Division next season; Carmelo, Kevin Durant, Boozer, Deron Williams, Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, Greg Oden, Ray Allen, Mehmet Okur, Kenyon Martin.... it's a pretty stacked division.

- They could bring in more groupies:

One thing we all learned from Biggie was that mo' money = mo' problems. What he also meant to say was that mo' money also = mo' groupies. This can't really be a bad thing. You can never have too many hot groupies to look at. Although, in the case of Oden, most of these groupies will probably be ages 45 and up... or judging by this picture, they might be ok.

- Kevin Garnett will explode like that dude on Heroes soon if he doesn't get traded:

Seriously, I'm not sure if anyone on the planet is more pissed off than Kevin Garnett right now. Actually, you could probably make that same statement nearly any day of the year and it would be true, but it's carrying a little bit more weight today. If the T-Wolves fail to make a big move to help Garnett, they have the potential to be the worst team in the division for the next 10 years. That can't make KG feel very good about his current situation and legacy.

Cons -

- If they are as good as advertised, we have to play them a few times per year:

Sure, it's all fine and dandy that we fans get to see them play a few times per season, but if they are really that good than the Nuggets have to play them that many times per year. That sucks.

- If they are as good as advertised, their teams will be much better for the next few years:

At least until their rookie deals are up. But what are the odds that either of these teams won't max out these two when the time comes. This means that the Nuggets will have to contend with Kevin Durant and Greg Oden year after year for the next 6 seasons minimum.

- If they are as good as advertised, we will have a tougher time making the playoffs:

Adding on to the last point, with the Nuggets, the Jazz, Oden, and Durant all in the same division for the next several seasons, it is going to become very hard for the Nuggets to make the playoffs year after year. That means no more sissy fights in NY that get 1/4 year suspensions, no more sitting out games with a minor ankle sprain or sore back, no more losses via half court heaves from Rasheed Wallace, it's time to tighten up the ship fellas.

You'll notice that all the cons start with the same phrase. This is because we have no idea if these two will ever actually live up to all this hype surrounding them. Sure they look like can't miss stars, but the benches of the NBA are loaded with great college players. But still, why couldn't they have ended up in the Eastern Conference or something? The West is tough enough already.