Note: since there is no basketball, and we were supposed to have games, we will imagine there were games. With the help of AccuScore, Strat-o-Matic and Basketball Prospectus, we can imagine an NBA season even if there is not one actually going on. So with that, we begin to imagine the 2011-12 season.
The Magic are rolling. Or at least they would be.
The Pacers, still trying to build off their first Playoff appearance in five years, were certainly game to take on the Magic. It was a tight game throughout, no lead in the fourth quarter was larger than three points. Orlando knows how to close ... most of the time.
Hedo Turkoglu started a 10-0 run to close the game and net a 113-101 win at Conseco Fieldhouse. Turkoglu had only eight points, but had nine rebounds. Jason Richardson scored 24 points to lead the team. And Dwight Howard recovered from "spraining his ankle" (why else would he play only 11 minutes?) against the Hawks on Sunday to score 22 points and grab 14 rebounds.
AccuScore was not as kind to the Magic. While Orlando is on a six-game winning streak in the Strat-O-Matic simulation, the team fell to 3-5 with an 88-85 loss at Indiana. Turnovers were the problem there (and also in my NBA2K12 Association... but that is neither here nor there).
Of course, these simulated games provide both the best and worst of what we could have expected this far in the season.
One thing that should not be questioned is the overall brilliance we would have seen from Dwight Howard. In the Strat-O-Matic simulations, Howard is third in the league with 22.1 wins above replacement per 82 games. Obviously Howard is pretty irreplaceable no matter what metric you use to figure that out. Kevin Durant figures to be the favorite for MVP with a 28.1 WARP for the 4-4 Thunder.
Not much more needs to be said. The players are officially filing their anti-trust lawsuit in federal courts throughout the nation -- specifically in Minneapolis and Oakland -- and getting the ball rolling on the next phase of this whole labor mess.
Just think... tonight we were supposed to see Heat-Celtics in Miami before Boston came to Orlando on Thursday. Oh well.