Here are the results for the second round of the ‘non All Star’ League Pass All Stars tournament. For more on the selection process view the original post here, and the first round here. To vote, contact us on Twitter @IGoHardNow & @BrandonBombay or email atBrandonBombay@IGoHardNow.com
The League Pass landscape has gone through some major alterations in the past few weeks. Monta got moved from a League Pass staple team, to form a backcourt in Milwaukee with Brandon Jennings instantly earning the Bucks a League Pass Darlings label. JaVale McGee’s mom’s son got shipped out to Denver and seems to have his act together. Teams entering ‘tank mode’ have shut down a lot of starters with legit, and faux, ailments. Steph Curry hasn’t seen action since 2010 which has meant the emergence of Klay Thompson (note: I was calling Thompson ‘the next Reggie Miller, but with a pretty jumper as far back as January). Isaiah Thomas has been playing out of his mind in Sacto, and Tyreke Evans just seems out of his mind. The biggest stories are the Cavs shutting down Irving, and the cataclysmic rise of ‘The Manimal’ Kenneth Faried. Players, like their teams, have been playing above their pay grade, or plummeting and losing valuable League Pass favor. With the season winding down, it’ll be interesting to see how this shakes up…
2002 Los Angeles Clippers
1 – Kyrie Irving vs. 5 – Greg Monroe: The Pistons have looked solid down the stretch, and this is thanks in part to the stellar play of Greg Monroe. Even though he’s been sitting, we still give the nod to Irving here, as Cleveland looks to make addition through subtraction (subtracting wins, to add lottery balls).
2 – Tyreke Evans vs. 6 – Isaiah Thomas: Early in the season I picked The Kings to be one of the top three must-see League Pass darlings with Evans, Cousins, and Jimmer (!). This team has been all around disappointed, from a play, and entertainment standpoint. It’s been the play of the last pick in the draft, Thomas, that’s made them worth watching. Isaiah advances past a lethargic Evans.
2010 Oklahoma City Thunder
1 – Monta Ellis vs. 4 – JaVale McGee: Part of the two biggest trades over the deadline – from a League Pass view at least. JaVale looks to finally be putting it together in Denver, and has passed the mantle of ‘craziest nut in the League’ to Andrew Bynum. The Bucks are amidst a late-season push to make the playoffs, but looks like they will fall short. Monta-Jennings has been fun to watch, and if the Bucks keep this core together they will be in the running for League Pass team of the year in 2013. Monta speeds past a sensible McGee.
2 – Steph Curry vs. 3 – Brandon Jennings: I originally put Steph in the same division as Monta because I wanted them to meet for a shot at the Final Four. Brandon-Ellis moves past an incapacitated Curry and will meet his backcourt mate in the next round.
2005 Phoenix Suns
1 – Ricky Rubio vs. 4 – Paul George: “Ricky, Ricky, Ricky, can’t you see, sometimes your moves just hypnotize me…” Check out this lengthy, but great piece on Ricky over at Grantland. We have been robbed of League Pass greatness. Look for the 2012/13 ‘Wolves to threaten to enter the echelon of all-time League Pass great teams (if they can find a wing). Actually, Paul George would be perfect, I’ll spare you the Bill Simmons farcical trade scenario though. Even in a wheelchair, Ricky moves past George and his Tron suit.
7 – Kenneth Faried vs. 6 – Ivan Johnson: Ivan Johnson has been suspended to conduct detrimental to the team. My guess is he threatened to stab someone over a game of dice. Most likely, it was far less cliché, and he threatened someone over something menial like ‘hot tub time’. Faried is a damn beast! Although I don’t like the ‘Manimal’ moniker, the guy is literally an animal. Had he been playing at this clip all year he wouldn’t be relegated at the 7 spot. A healthy and surging Faried versus a half-season missed Rubio is the matchup to watch next round.
2007 Golden State Warriors
1 – John Wall vs. 4 – Paul Milsap: Ship out McGee and sit Blatche and suddenly the dysfunctional Bullets look mildly functional. Wall’s picked up his game of late, and while Milsap maintains his steady play for Utah, who the hell watches Utah? Quick rant: Matt Harpring has to be one of the most annoying color guys in the L. Actually, Hapring’s ineptitude behind the mic irk me so I’m going to disqualify Milsap. Wall moves on via DQ.
2 – Jamal Crawford vs. 6 – Jrue Holiday: Two two-guards who started out playing too good, and have since have not played too good. Both teams shot out the gates playing at an incredible clip, and entertaining the League Pass Legion, but now both are unwatchable. Was going to advance Holiday, but Crawford could not understand as he believes he is always the best – the man has no conscience. Crawford moves on as Holiday eventually concedes.