I absolutely love 14 game seasons. That’s enough for me to play just about every game, whereas with 29 game seasons I probably simmed more than half the season.
I actually -play- 14 game seasons, or thereabouts. I play 1 of every 4 games, and sim the rest. This way I can significant influence the outcome, but if there's any gameplay weirdness it can get normalized by the sim engine to some extent and more pressure is placed on team building and scouting. I am a gigantic nerd.
Yeah, I'm STILL pissed off about that Center fiasco. I don't think I've been that panicked in a stupid video game than when I saw my first targeted center, which I expected to go around #10 or so, come off the board at #6. I mentally executed a Long No and started frantically started trying to make a desperate trade... Getting a busy signal or whatever while the other center went #7.
After that, I started trying desperately to trade AWAY my #19 pick. It was like the entire league was laughing at me, "Didn't get that Center, huh? HAW HAW, you suck." I actually had smartass GMs offering me the #21 pick for my #19 -and- my 2nd. Bastards.
My initial assessments mostly focus on what I'm seeing as a greatly improved realism. Trade logic, sim engine, and how individual players perform in specific situations against certain gameplans or body types, etc. I'll get into that a bit more in my Roster Analysis when I get to Gallinari.
I played my first preseason game with the New and Improved, Sorta Bobcats.
They led the Pistons in Detroit by as much as 15, but did that late game spaz-out that young teams with absolutely no chemistry or experience can tend to do when faced with a bunch of wiley veterans. Lost 88-81 after coming out cold, then dominating the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
PG: Kemba Walker. High potential little guard who -could- be the long term answer. Does some impressive things driving. I've found the L2 button to make for some pretty damn good crossover and spin moves when driving, and it's improved my inside game dramatically... particularly in the area of drawing fouls. Still not -entirely- sold on his style -- I don't usually give my PG a lot of shots. Could garner a ton of interest if I float him out there for a trade.
SG: Wesley Johnson. Not sure about the kid, yet, but he put up good numbers while seeming to disappear for the entire game. The good side to that is I wasn't screaming at him in frustration, so he wasn't making stupid shots or screwing up on defense. He's a decent starter for this team, may or may not be a long-term answer.
SF: Corey Maggette. The mighty have certainly fallen. He's on his last contract year, pulling down just over ten million dollars. He's degenerated to a 71 overall, and just put up 7 points and 6 rebounds for his ten million dollar performance. Danilo is the obvious replacement. Probably going to move him before the deadline if anyone will even sniff at him for a six pack and a bag of chips. Not worried about the contract money, really -- I'm actually under the cap with all the undeveloped youth on the team, but I have no plan to keep him. Might as well see what I can get.
PF: Danilo Gallinari. As I said, I used an Untapped Potential on this kid, and he's now 24 years old sitting at around a 74 overall with an A+/98 potential. He -will- be a star in 3-5 years or so. He picked up 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Pistons. He's also the most frustrating player on the team. It's because he's a bit of a tweener. 6'10", kinda slow to be great at perimeter defense, and Villanueva spent the entire game showing why he currently has no business being a post defender. Backed him down and made him look spastic all game. One option is to try and put some bulk on the kid over the next couple offseasons. He can rain down threes when he gets hot, but gets tenative and spastic inside when challenged. Whole game, I'm yelling, "Gallinari!! FUUUUU!" Have to remember the guy's potential and develop him properly.
C: Tyrus Thomas. A more natural PF filling in the hole left by my draft fiasco. Feast or famine, wildly inconsistent player at this point. 78 overall with A- potential. Put up 32 points, 12 boards, monster defense with 2 blocks, a steal, and two or three other plays where he swatted a pass out of bounds. He'll also disappear for games at a time. I think he's a bit overpaid, but still locked into another few years at about 8 or 9 million per. 25 years old and already a decent starter.
Some Other Dudes:
Luke Ridnour: His job is to not suck when Kemba is tired. He does this job well enough.
Ersan İlyasova: We have a lot of young 6'10" dudes on this team. Another kid with a lot of potential, but a lot of work to be done.
Hasheem Thabeet: My consolation prize from free agency. 50-something overall, but with a B- potential. I'm -kind- of hesitant to waste valuable development time on this kind of player. A high-scoring big guy is absolutely vital to my game. I've got Tyrus knocking down 30-40 points playing out of position. Just think if I had Howard in there.
So, my big struggles this year are...
* Develop some team chemistry.
* Finish out Silas' contract and find a HC better with young talent.
* Figure out WTF to do with Gallinari.
* Decide what to do with Walker.
* Decide if I want to just GET a Center. Two 1sts and Kemba? Might be better for my game, but I would only shift my gaping roster hole from C to PG. Could also move other guys into more appropriate positions, but would be SOL for the next two drafts.
This crap is better than most RPGs I play.