The Hunted and The Hunters
2001... Young Bill Krieger
Well, well, well...
ten games down, fifteen to go. Or, put another way, we've
burnt 40% of the regular season. Seems to me, at this
point, that we've got three different classes of teams:
hunted, hunter, and comatose.
Made-up quote of the
okay... I'll give you Jason Terry back"
- Don Fenton, owner
West Chicago CleavageBeaters
Three teams have
separated from the pack: Napa Valley, Capital City, and
West Chicago. Nap-uh and Cap-uh have a whopping 3 game
lead over a 3-team pack in the East, and the morphing
CleavageBeaters have a 2 game lead in the West.
Now, please put your
"this is an outrage" pens down! I know, I
know... these leading teams just happen to be run by
three of the least bearable owners in the NIBL. Aside,
from that I wonder aloud (further irritating my wife),
"will these early leads hold up?" Hmmm... let's
Eric finds himself
with the NIBL's best team. With a backcourt of Kidd
(36 npg... nibls per game, that is) and McGrady (43
npg), it's no wonder. The Whiners, however, are more
than their two superstars. When starting Andre Miller
(32 npg) and Ron Mercer (30 npg), Napa fields a
lineup that has four (yes, that's four) players
grabbing more than 30 nibls. Napa's bench is even
deep with Predrag Stojo at the ready in case of
slippage in the starting lineup. In short, Eric is
awesome. Then exactly how did the doof score 276
nibls this week and lose to Joliet?
Ah, Cap City! If
Napa is rock solid, Cap is jello gelatin. Gary Payton
(40 npg) is a rock star, but after that the Tool is a
crap shoot. Paul Pierce (33 npg) is Cap City's second
best performer on a Celtic team that is in chaos.
Cap's second round pick, Eddie Jones (29 npg), is a
disappointment, and Jermaine O'Neal (28 npg) and
Juwan Howard (26 npg) round out the shaky starters
for the Tool.
I'll hand it to
The Fentons, this is the youngest, most exciting team
in the NIBL. Kobe (41 npg), Nowitzki (32 npg), Baron
Davis (29 npg), and Jason Terry (32 npg) are awesome
and all under the age of 18! Well, they're young in
any case. West Chicago is sort of the NIBL's version
of the Clippers, but he's winning! So, will it last?
Well, I think even Don expects to come back to earth
a bit, but the West is the weak sister this year and
even if he slips a bit, Don has to be caught by two
teams to miss the playoffs. This doesn't seem likely.
It's cool to have a
lead, but it's an awfully long race when the pack is
breathing down your neck all the way. If you can call
three games behind, breathing down your neck.
From the Wall Street
Journal this week:
If you can see
her all the time, you really have those wonderful
- Jackie Hibbard, on
her dog Itchy...
she freeze-dried the
dog after it died and placed it on her bedroom floor.
This is my favorite
group... sort of like the misfit toys in Rudolph the
Red-Nosed Reindeer. There's something not quite right
with each and every one of these teams. Let's get right
to my favorite "hunter" team:
As fresh and young
as West Chicago's bright stars are, Aruba's team is
god-awful old and stale. Duncan, Rose, Van Exel and
f'ing fossil Sam Cassell lead one of the most boring
starting lineups in the NIBL. Did I mention
god-awful? The Thong are nowhere near 300 nibls a
game as a team and are a long-shot to make the
playoffs. In fact, a loss last week to Elk Grove
probably would have pushed Aruba into the comatose
The rest of the
hunters, like the Thong, are a quirky lot.
In his 4th season,
Tommy continues to be snakebit. Vegas again leads the
league in losses by 10 nibls or less. Vegas has
impressive scoring totals based primarily on his stud
forwards, Garnett (41 npg) and Antoine Walker (37
npg). The rest of the Vermin are a motley crew: Theo,
Spree, and Tim Hardaway. One of these guys is
probably going to have to improve for Vegas to move
up. Oh yeah, hey Tommy... you've got Spree and Timmy
Hardaway... why don't you pickup Chris Mullen and
complete the Run TMC trilogy?
Rob Ripper Triol
is having an impressive newbie season, but he's
streaky. While the Rippers lead the league in points,
they come in bunchs. We all remember the Ripper's
record-shattering 429 nibl game, and Rob can't forget
sub-300 nibl losses to Aruba and Elk Grove. With
starters from Vancouver (Abdur-Rahim), Houston
(Francis) and the Golden State twins (Jamison and
Hughes), Rip City's "playoff teams be
damned" thesis will be put to an interesting
test this season.
Shaq (48 npg) is
NIBL MVP. McDyess (38 npg) is a monster. These guys
can cover up a lot of nibl-holes in a lineup, but
Stockton, Brandon, and Doug Christie?!? Dang, that's
a whopper of a pothole to fill. Still, with his twin
towers, Moz's Cougar can't be discounted.
First the bad
news... Mark Jackson and Ben Wallace are starters.
Ugh. The good news... Malone (38 npg), Stackhouse (40
npg) and Shawn Marion (31 npg) are all rock solid.
With a little nudge, Nantucket could be the only team
with two 40+ npg starters! Can these three drag
Nantucket's other two anchors into the playoffs?
It'll be tough.
The Scammers are
probably the weakest of the hunter teams. Vince
Carter (40 npg) rocks, but he seems a little frail
these days. Is Rasheed going to average 37 npg for
the rest of the year? Nope. Lamar Odom's 32 npg, on
the other hand, are in the bank. That's where the
happy trail ends as Sully's remaining starters are
Rod Strickland and Eldon Campbell. Yuk and yuk.
Which of these hunters
will step up? Well, the Western Conference hunters have
an easier job. First, most are only 2 games behind.
Second, they are only trailing one team, not two.
Okay, I can't resist... here's Mrs.
Hibbard's dog Itchy before and after:
Before: Itchy in life
After: Itchy freeze-dried
Memo to Manila,
Burlington, Diablo, Joliet, and WallaWalla...
wait till next year.
I hate to pile on, so
I'll make the obits short and sweet:
- Now, Diablo, I know that you're just 2 games
out of second place, but that point total does
not bode well, and last I checked, Kobe isn't
coming off injured reserve to save the
less-than-mighty Spawn this year. Early returns
are in, and I am prepared to declare the reigning
champions' Spawn 2001 season DOA. Rest in peace
- Draft strategy: pick guys who have the same
last name. This could be the most innovative
draft approach since the "guys related to
Syracuse University" strategy used in year 1
by the Shorewood Scepters. Next.
- Joliet can put four starters on the floor with
30 nibls a game: Iverson (38 npg), Mashburn (33
npg), B Grant (30 npg), and Steve Nash (32 npg).
So what's the prob? Got me. Tim loves to rack up
the fantasy points and miss the playoffs from
what I've heard.
Walla - The Bailey Boys' first round
pick, Grant Hill, is done and so's Walla. Moral
of the story: don't draft over the phone or don't
pass on Kobe.
- At least Steve is consistent. Every year: move
your team, draft first or second, lose a lot of
games, repeat. C-Web (44 npg) is his only player
averaging more than 26 nibls a game. Crikey.
Ah, the Krieger family
beats Bill Krieger... Bill Krieger beats himself"
- Young Bill Krieger
Well, let's see... we
have 3 hunted teams, 6 hunter teams, and 5 comatose.
So, in the first 10
games, 5 teams dropped out of contention. By week 20,
we'll probably whittle the horse race down to 5-6
contenders and 8-9 pretenders.
After this week,
inter-conference follies conclude, and we get down to
b'ness. As owner of a hunter team, I am heartened to know
that I will get two head-to-head meetings with each of
the hunted teams in my conference. I lost to both Eric
and Johnny Rai in the first go-round. I think I speak for
all the hunters out there... "don't count your
chickens just yet boys".
So, let me answer my
inner monologue here:
"Will these early leads
"Well, I will predict that
for 2 of the 3 leading teams, yes! I predict West
Chicago will hold fast and make the playoffs against
of the hunters in the West. I think, however, that
Cap City or Napa will stumble and be caught by one of
the mad dogs in the East. But which hunter will
succeed? Aruba? He he. Nobody beats Bill
PS - The NIBL Note
"Tag" (tm) system seems to be working well.
Thanks to all. Teams that we still need to hear from: St
Louis, West Chicago, Nantucket, Elk Grove, Joliet, Walla
and currently tagged Rip City.