2014-15 All-Western Washington NBA team

I’ve heard it from all of you, so let’s not even do the whole “Haha Dylan, the Sonics aren’t there anymore” or any different version of the joke. Let’s call this a fun, fantasy squad. A fantasy squad of players currently on NBA rosters, all who either attended high school or college in Western Washington. This fantasy roster is very doable, seeing as there’s 16 players in the league right now, so I’ll give you my starting five, seven bench players, three roster inactives, and a coaching staff.

The Starters

You can tell that these two guys out of Tacoma (Isaiah Thomas, left, and Avery Bradley) are psyched to be on this roster!

You can tell that these two guys out of Tacoma (Isaiah Thomas, left, and Avery Bradley) are psyched to be on this roster!

  • G Isaiah Thomas, fourth year out of the University of Washington
  • G Tony Wroten, third year out of the University of Washington
  • F Terrence Ross, third year out of the University of Washington
  • F Marvin Williams, 10th year out of North Carolina and Seattle Prep
  • C Spencer Hawes, eighth year out of the University of Washington

Right off the bat you know where the scoring is coming from — the backcourt. Thomas is coming off a season in which he averaged 23 points and six assists per 36 minutes in his time with the Suns and Celtics, and Wroten averaged 20 points and six assists per 36 in a 30-game, injury-shortened season with the Sixers. If Thomas and Wroten are able to drive and dish, guys like Ross and Williams will be able to shoot (with help from other shooters on the bench).

The problem with this team is going to be apparent from the outset — no depth in the frontcourt. May have to ask Spencer Hawes to play a career-high in minutes per game (his previous high was 30.9 in 2013-14 as he split time with the Cavs and the Sixers, and this past year the Clippers played him only 17.5 minutes in the regular season and a measly seven minutes per in the playoffs). Marvin Williams may also need to play close to 30 minutes a game because as you’ll see in a moment, this bench does not have many guys to spell them without going very small.

The Bench

See guys! I won't even have to put much effort in -- the roster is already coming together on it's own!

See guys! I won’t even have to put much effort in — the roster is already coming together on its own!

  • G Jamal Crawford, 15th year out of University of Michigan and Rainier Beach High School
  • G Rodney Stuckey, eighth year out of Eastern Washington and Kentwood High School
  • G Aaron Brooks, seventh year out of the University of Oregon and Franklin High School
  • F Quincy Pondexter, fifth year out of the University of Washington
  • F Martell Webster, 10th year out of Seattle Prep
  • G C.J. Wilcox, first year out of the University of Washington
  • G Justin Holiday, second year out of the University of Washington

I was tempted to insert Jamal Crawford into the starting lineup – a temptation that has surely haunted his coaches for years – but he’s proven he’s reliable coming off the bench throughout his career and his still getting it done today. But as great as Crawford is, he’s an example of the gift/curse of this team: so many guards, so few big men. Which is why I’d play a lot of three-guard and maybe even four-guard lineups, spreading the floor with shooters like Wilcox, Holiday, Brooks, and Ross. I’d also more than likely have two guys on the floor at all times who are capable of running the offense/the point i.e. Brooks, Thomas, and even Wroten.

Use In Case of Emergency

  • G Avery Bradley, 5th year out of the University of Texas and Bellarmine Prep
  • G Nate Robinson, 10th year out of the University of Washington
  • G Jason Terry, 16th year out of the University of Arizona and Franklin High School

I can very much envision a scenario where Avery Bradley is able to stay healthy, perform well in practice, and earn a chance to suit up. Nate and Jason Terry however made the squad to help team chemistry and provide veteran presents.

The Coaching Staff

  • Head Coach Quin Snyder
  • Assistant Coach Chad Forcier
  • Assistant Coach Luke Ridnour
  • Assistant Coach Bob Weiss

I was working my way through each team’s coaching staff as desperation and failure were setting in. I had worked my way through almost every NBA coaching staff without finding a coach who had attended high school or college in western Washington. I had amassed a few former Sonics players and coaches and was prepared to go down that route if need be, and then I came to the Jazz. Quin Snyder, the first-year Utah Jazz head coach, attended Mercer Island High School. He will be our head coach and he’ll be joined on the bench by Spurs assistant Chad Forcier, an alumnus of Rainier high school (south of Olympia), and former Sonics player, assistant, and head coach Bob Weiss. I’ve also convinced Luke Ridnour to retire and join the coaching staff.

There may not be a professional basketball team that plays in the Emerald City anymore, but the NBA is littered with UW alums and players who went to high school in Seattle, Tacoma, and everywhere in between.

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NBA Brothers

While I was watching an NBA game recently – I believe it was the Phoenix Suns at the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis on ESPN – a thought occurred to me, “There sure are a lot of brothers in the NBA.” When watching the Suns, it’s hard not to have this thought occur to someone, as Phoenix features the Morris twins, the Dragic brothers, and two other players with brothers in the NBA (Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee). It didn’t take long to discover there are currently eight different sets of brothers with both siblings on active NBA rosters. I will now rank them from worst to best because that’s what we do. We make lists sorted by quality.

All statistics are courtesy of ESPN.com and include games played on Sunday, January 11, 2015.

If you have any question on the meaning of any of the advanced statistics located in each brothers’ second stat box, a key with explanations is located at the bottom of the page courtesy of ESPN.com.

Honorable mentions

The Smiths (J.R. and Chris), the Antetokounmpos (Giannis and Thanasis), the Teagues (Marquis and Jeff), the Griffins (Blake and Taylor), the Pargos (Jeremy and Jannero), the Landrys (Marcus and Carl), the Thompsons (Klay and Mychel), the Currys (Steph and Seth), the Collinses (Jason and Jarron), and the Hansbroughs (Tyler and Ben).

You see, the craziest thing about there being nine sets of brothers on active NBA rosters, is that there are seven more sets in which one of the brothers is currently in the NBA and the other has either played in the NBA or is in the D-League currently. You’ll see in the coming rankings that each sibling pair is ranked based on overall contribution, and a few of these honorable mentions would probably rank pretty high if one the lesser brother was in the NBA right now. But because they aren’t, the likes of Tyler Hansbrough, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jeff Teague, Blake Griffin and more are left on the outside looking in. So without further ado…

9. The Ennises (Tyler and James)

The thing with most of these brothers is that one of them is kind of garbage. Tyler and James Ennis are WHOOPS GUESS THE ENNISES AREN’T BROTHERS. My bad, guys. MOVING ON…(and yes, I’m aware that Tyler Ennis’ brother is still in college and may someday play in the league. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now…)

8.  The Dragices (Goran and Zoran)

(From left, Goran and Zoran Dragic). MAN THESE GUYS LOOK LIKE A REAL FUN PAIR OF DUDES. Photo credit to Matt York/Associated Press.

(From left, Goran and Zoran Dragic). MAN THESE GUYS LOOK LIKE A REAL FUN PAIR OF DUDES. Photo credit to Matt York/Associated Press.

PPG RPG APG FG pct 3 pt pct FT pct
Zoran Dragic PHX 1.0 0.3 0.3 25.0% N/A 100.0%
Goran Dragic PHX 16.7 3.6 3.9 50.6% 35.4% 79.4%
AST Ratio REB Ratio TO Ratio TS% MPG PER
Zoran Dragic PHX 18.4 9.3 0.0 33.8% 2.0 7.45
Goran Dragic PHX 19.5 6.1 10.1 58.7% 33.3 17.57

This pains me because I’ve loved Goran Dragic ever since he had a spin move–>lay-up to get past Kobe in the playoffs. He subsequently left Phoenix, came back, and is now one heckuva player. Somehow, his brother has made it into the NBA. And yeah, he’s barely playing, but he is on an active roster.

7. The Millsaps (Paul and Elijah)

PPG RPG APG FG pct 3 pt pct FT pct
Paul Millsap ATL 16.9 7.9 3.1 47.5% 33.3% 72.3%
Elijah Millsap UTA 5.3 3.3 1.8 30.8% 45.5% N/A
AST Ratio REB Ratio TO Ratio TS% MPG PER
Paul Millsap ATL 15.2 13.6 11.5 55.7% 33.4 19.35
Elijah Millsap UTA 15.5 7.9 24.5 39.1% 24.3 3.68

Wait a second, Paul Millsap has a brother? And he plays in the league? As if that wasn’t enough, he’s playing for Paul’s old team, the Jazz. Oh right, Paul’s a solid player now and his Hawks are the best team in the Eastern Conference and they’re also red hot. Elijah’s barely played though, and he ain’t done a whole lot yet, so he’s dragged his brother down to No. 7.

6. The Holidays (Jrue and Justin)

In the dying stages of the 2012-13 season, Jrue, left, and Justin Holiday had the opportunity to play together on the Philadelphia 76ers. Photo credit to Michael Perez/AP.

In the dying stages of the 2012-13 season, Jrue, left, and Justin Holiday had the opportunity to play together on the Philadelphia 76ers. Photo credit to Michael Perez/AP.

PPG RPG APG FG pct 3 pt pct FT pct
Jrue Holiday NOP 15.5 3.5 7.3 44.4% 37.0% 85.1%
Justin Holiday GSW 4.9 1.1 0.8 46.7% 41.7% 75.0%
AST Ratio REB Ratio TO Ratio TS% MPG PER
Jrue Holiday NOP 29.6 5.8 9.5 52.0% 34.2 18.78
Justin Holiday GSW 14.5 5.6 10.9 59.1% 10.5 15.10

This may be the only brother duo who are both playing above-average basketball this season. Justin went to UW, which I obviously love, but he’s gotten a chance to use his shooting prowess to contribute to the Warriors’ early season success this year. His brother Jrue is having arguably the best season of his career and has been teamed up with MVP-candidate Anthony Davis as the New Orleans Hornets’ best players.

5. The Plumlees (Mason and Miles)

Once teammates at Duke, Mason, left, and Miles Plumlee are now making a mark in the NBA playing on opposite coasts. Photo credit to Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America.

Once teammates at Duke, Mason, left, and Miles Plumlee are now making a mark in the NBA playing on opposite coasts. Photo credit to Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America.

PPG RPG APG FG pct 3 pt pct FT pct
Miles Plumlee PHX 4.8 5.6 0.7 55.3% N/A 53.1%
Mason Plumlee BRK 9.8 6.9 0.9 56.9% N/A 48.2%
AST Ratio REB Ratio TO Ratio TS% MPG PER
Miles Plumlee PHX 11.0 15.0 16.0 55.8% 20.7 12.95
Mason Plumlee BRK 8.4 17.5 11.4 56.4% 22.2 19.89

The damn Plumlees. They feel endless, don’t they? And of course Marshall is still at Duke, but I don’t think he’ll be playing in the Association. Miles has seen his PER drop slightly from last year but he’s still cleaning the defensive glass pretty well and his suns may end up making the playoffs in the always difficult Western Conference. Miles’ brother Mason has been the best player on a Brooklyn Nets team that is the currently 2nd in the Atlantic Division and could also end up in the playoffs.

4. The Zellers (Cody and Tyler)

Cody Zeller, left, is seen here defending his brother Tyler in an April 2014 game. Though Tyler is no longer with the Cavaliers, both players still have significant potential in the NBA. Photo credit to Mark Duncan/AP.

Cody Zeller, left, is seen here defending his brother Tyler in an April 2014 game. Though Tyler is no longer with the Cavaliers, both players still have significant potential in the NBA. Photo credit to Mark Duncan/AP.

PPG RPG APG FG pct 3 pt pct FT pct
Cody Zeller CHA 7.9 5.2 1.2 47.5% N/A 76.3%
Tyler Zeller BOS 9.6 5.2 1.3 60.8% N/A 85.7%
AST Ratio REB Ratio TO Ratio TS% MPG PER
Cody Zeller CHA 12.4 12.7 12.1 54.7% 23.5 13.69
Tyler Zeller BOS 14.0 14.6 8.8 66.2% 19.9 20.60

Of all of our brother pairs, these two may have the most potential. Cody is getting a chance at legit minutes in Charlotte for a Hornets team that may sneak into the playoffs. Now that he’s out of Cleveland, Tyler is working to establish himself as part of Boston’s core for the future and with a third straight year of increased PER, he may be doing just that.

3. The Morrises (Marcus and Markieff)

From left, Marcus and Markieff Morris. The deep shooting big men are part of a talented roster in Phoenix. Photo credit to USA Today.

From left, Marcus and Markieff Morris. The deep shooting big men are part of a talented roster in Phoenix. Photo credit to USA Today.

PPG RPG APG FG pct 3 pt pct FT pct
Marcus Morris PHX 9.8 3.8 1.5 45.3% 39.6% 65.1%
Markieff Morris PHX 15.1 5.9 2.1 48.2% 31.7% 81.0%
AST Ratio REB Ratio TO Ratio TS% MPG PER
Marcus Morris PHX 12.8 9.0 7.5 54.4% 23.5 13.72
Markieff Morris PHX 11.6 10.7 10.9 54.6% 30.6 16.77

Though they finish third on this list, Marcus and Markieff are second among identical twins. They’re also unique in their roles as 3-point shooting big men. Both could use some more development in the discipline department, though I’ll be the first to admit I may have Marcus mixed up with Markieff or vice versa. (Just checked the boxscore of the game I had in mind and guess what — they both got T’d up). Their Phoenix Suns squad is nothing if not unique and these two are front and center.

2. The Lopezes (Brook and Robin)

Brook Lopez, left, is defended by his brother Robin in a March 12, 2013 game. Robin has since departed New Orleans, but he and his brother make up the best pair of twins in the NBA today.

Brook Lopez, left, is defended by his brother Robin in a March 12, 2013 game. Robin has since departed New Orleans, but he and his brother make up the best pair of twins in the NBA today.

PPG RPG APG FG pct 3 pt pct FT pct
Brook Lopez BRK 14.8 6.4 0.6 50.0% N/A 81.8%
Robin Lopez POR 9.6 7.2 1.2 50.5% N/A 80.4%
AST Ratio REB Ratio TO Ratio TS% MPG PER
Brook Lopez BRK 3.5 13.8 10.9 54.1% 26.4 19.23
Robin Lopez POR 10.5 13.9 12.6 54.3% 27.8 15.89

The twin seven-foot centers from Stanford, the Lopez brothers are in their sixth year in the league now and are one of only three brother pairs in the NBA of which both brothers have above-average PERs. However, Robin will be out for another month or so with a broken hand suffered in mid-December, so it is up to Brook to carry the load — something he has done well so far this season as one of the Nets’ best players.

1. The Gasols (Pau and Marc)

Prior to their game on December 19, 2014 in Memphis, Marc, left, and Pau had a chance to pose together for a photo op. The Gasol brothers are the best pair of brothers in the Association today. Photo credit to Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images.

Prior to their game on December 19, 2014 in Memphis, Marc, left, and Pau had a chance to pose together for a photo op. The Gasol brothers are the best pair of brothers in the Association today. Photo credit to Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images.

PPG RPG APG FG pct 3 pt pct FT pct
Pau Gasol CHI 18.7 11.3 2.7 48.1% N/A 82.7%
Marc Gasol MEM 19.5 8.1 3.6 50.0% N/A 80.3%
AST Ratio REB Ratio TO Ratio TS% MPG PER
Pau Gasol CHI 3.1 17.8 9.6 54.2% 34.8 22.39
Marc Gasol MEM 15.5 13.5 10.7 56.8% 34.5 22.50

The Gasol brothers — two seven-foot tall Spaniards. Pau, a former third overall pick who is now 34, and Marc, who was taken in the late 2nd round in 2007 and is now 29. Back in February 2008, Pau was sent to Los Angeles by the Memphis Grizzlies in what is arguably the worst trade in NBA history. However, Marc has developed into one of the premier centers in the NBA, earning an All-Star selection and Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13. Moreover, both players are part of teams that are among the class of the league at the moment. Because of all this, Pau and Marc Gasol are the best pair of brothers in the NBA today.

Thank you for embarking on this venture with me! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

– Dylan

Advanced Stats Key:

  • TS%: True Shooting Percentage calculates what a player’s shooting percentage would be if we accounted for free throws and 3-pointers. True Shooting Percentage = (Total points x 50) divided by [(FGA + (FTA x 0.44)]
  • AST: Assist Ratio is the percentage of a player’s possessions that end in an assist. Assist Ratio = (Assists x 100) divided by [(FGA + (FTA x 0.44) + Assists + Turnovers]
  • TO: Turnover Ratio is the percentage of a player’s possessions that end in a turnover. Turnover Ratio = (Turnover x 100) divided by [(FGA + (FTA x 0.44) + Assists + Turnovers]
  • USG: Usage Rate is the number of possessions a player uses per 40 minutes. Usage Rate = {[FGA + (FT Att. x 0.44) + (Ast x 0.33) + TO] x 40 x League Pace} divided by (Minutes x Team Pace)
  • REB: Rebound Rate is the percentage of missed shots that a player rebounds. Rebound Rate = (Rebounds x Team Minutes) divided by [Player Minutes x (Team Rebounds + Opponent Rebounds)]
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RECAP: 2014 Bowl Season In Review

It all started on December 20 with the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and 36 games later, the bowl season has concluded. For the sake of this look back, I’ll be excluding the two semifinal games — the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Even without the games in Pasadena and (the New Year’s Day one in) New Orleans, there were still plenty of noteworthy performances and footballing displays.

To take y’all behind the curtain here — I was going to recap the best passing performances, rushing performances, receiving, etc. Then I was like, “Yeah, no.” Let’s just go over stuff that happened that I think was notable

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PREVIEW: 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship

There’s a first time for everything, and 2015 gives us a first of sorts in American sports. The National Championship game for the highest level of college football is a much closer approximation to what a championship game should be, thanks in part to the fact that the teams were not selected by biased voters or by computers but by a well-informed committee. This closer approximation is also due to the fact that the two final teams came from a group of four, having to win a semifinal matchup to reach their last game.

I’ll do my best to provide you with every piece of information you may want as it concerns the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship.

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2014 College Football Bowl Season Preview, Part 6 (the last one, I promise)

Six bowl games remain upon the conclusion of New Year’s Day, and only one game features ranked opponents. With four NFL playoff games taking place this weekend – and the FA Cup, obviously – four of the remaining six will take place Friday. I’m going to try and breeze through these a bit because this train is coming into the station with decidedly less fanfare, outside of the College Football Playoff of course. Oh, and I’ll be out of town over the next (almost) two days. Oh, and it has been darn difficult to look away from these fantastic bowl games today.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Houston Cougars (7-5, 5-3 in AAC) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (6-6, 4-4 in ACC)
Friday, January 2 at Noon ET/9 AM PT
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, TX).
TV: ESPN (Tom Hart, Matt Stinchcomb, and Heather Mitts)
Radio: RedVoice LLC (Brian Estridge, John Denton, Rob Best, and Landry Burdine).
Current odds: Pittsburgh by three with an over/under of 53.5.

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2014 College Football Playoff, Semifinals Preview

This is it. Long discussed all season long – and in hypotheticals for decades before – the first ever College Football Playoff has arrived. Two games played on New Year’s Day, and we’ve got everything you need to know.

2015 Rose Bowl logo

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual – Semifinal
No. 2 Oregon Ducks (12-1, 9-1 in Pac-12) vs. No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (13-0, 8-0 in ACC).
Thursday, January 1 – New Year’s Day at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA).
TV: ESPN (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox, and Tom Rinaldi).
Radio: ESPN Radio (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, and Todd McShay).
Current line, as of Wednesday Evening: Oregon by 8, with an over/under of 71.5

Series History: This will be the first ever game between Oregon and Florida State.
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2014 College Football Bowl Season Preview, Part 5

…in which we look at six games that are all matchups between ranked teams, three that will take place on New Year’s Eve, and three on New Year’s Day.

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl
No. 9 Ole Miss Rebels (9-3, 5-3 in SEC) vs. No. 6 TCU Horned Frogs (11-1, 8-1 in Big 12)
Wednesday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve at 12:30 PM ET/9:30 AM PT
Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA).
TV: ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Brock Huard, and Shannon Spake).
Radio: ESPN Radio (Dave Neal, Andre Ware, and Laura Rutledge).

Series History: This will be the seventh meeting all-time between the Rebels and Horned Frogs, with Ole Miss leading the series 5-1.

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