Group 2 teams are the next six teams I believe are most likely to make the playoffs. End up in a weak division (one without a Group 1 team) and one of these teams will be very likely to take a division title. However, these six teams could also miss the playoffs depending on the toughness of their division draw. If the conferences and divisions have an equal mix of the four groups, then these are the six I expect to see in the playoffs with the Group 1 teams.
Teams are posted from 24-1, so order within the group is not important unless noted.
23) natenoy - Ben Wallace, Tim Duncan, Shawn Kemp, Dana Barros, Chris Mullin, Kirk Hinrich, Chuck Person
In a $52million draft Garnett should go before Big Ben and Duncan, so rounds one and two were a misplay. This team will have 75%+ ast% on the floor and its 600 RL threes should translate to over 800 in the sim. However, 100D versions of Kemp and Duncan don’t offer enough boards or efg%, so the 3-headed 100D dream will not happen. Kemp will have to log some 92% eff minutes at SF and rebounding at the guard positions is nonexistent. Team will have enough balance to compete, but is outside of the truly elite group.
22) chris_snid - Jerry Lucas, Bill Walton, Manu Ginobili, Terrell Brandon, Andrei Kirilenko, Mitch Richmond, A.C. Green
Hard to pick against the defending champs, but the Mitch Richmond pick is a head-scratcher. Mitch’s best long-range version comes with too much usage and too many missed shots, so I’ll be interested to see which one is used. This team has about 30 minutes a game of being almost unbeatable, unfortunately we play 48. The talent mix is great, but what happens for the minutes that this group cannot provide is the issue that I think keeps this team out of Group 1.
20) scudmissle - Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Pau Gasol, Troy Murphy, Joakim Noah, Maurice Cheeks, J.R. Smith
A very interesting mix, most of these players do one or two things really great but also have major deficiencies. This team does a good job of addressing one player’s weakness with another’s strengths, but I think this team is a little short of threes from the top usage guys and may not have the premium number of assists required to run the most efficient uptempo. In the right division this team will be in the top-2, but I also see the potential for some matchup issues that could push this team to the 4/5/6 line.
15) 98average (1) - Magic Johnson, Brent Barry, Patrick Ewing, Dan Roundfield, PJ Brown, Rick Barry, Jeff Ruland
This team does not quite have the balance of the other 98average team, and for some reason I just don’t like the “feel” of this squad. Magic will run a good uptempo show and the range is there, but I’m not sold on what Brown or Ruland bring to the table other than just adequate rebounding and the ability to go 2 for 3 from the field each game. This team should still have a winning record, but I think a division title is out of reach unless it’s this team and five teams from the bottom Groups in the same division.
13) dh555 - David Robinson, Marcus Camby, Clyde Drexler, Marques Johnson, Charlie Ward, A. Mourning, J. Tinsley
The lack of a perimeter game keeps this team out of the top Group. Solid D, solid rebounding, adequate assists, high efg% on the interior, but a little light on mid-range and very deficient from the arc. I think the usage mix is also titled a little too heavy to the inside, most opponents will be able to set at -2 or -3 and reduce some of this team’s efg advantage. Still a good team, but this team will not match up well with some of the elite teams.
7) ncih (2) - Kevin Durant, Buck Williams, Swen Nater, Rajon Rondo, Nick Anderson, Omer Asik, Eddie House
There is only room for six teams in Group 1 and this one just missed the cut. I think this team is a little light on assists and I personally have had both Rondo and Anderson and been disappointed with the drop-offs from RL production in the sim. Durant will keep this team in games and the boards are there for when Durant misses, in the right division this team will be near the top, but should be a safe bet for the playoffs regardless of randomness.