Floor Burn Tournament: Round 2
And then there were 16.
After a riveting opening round which saw over 70,000 votes cast, the 32-man field has been cut in half. There were some mild surprises (Julian Wright), some convincing wins (Jason Maxiell) and some close calls (Thaddeus Young), but don’t lose interest after one round, things are only starting to heat up in Hoops Addict Floor Burn Tournament.
I want to thank all of the writers who helped promote this Tournament over the past week and the thousands of fans who have casted their votes so far. This Tournament has enjoyed success well beyond what I imagined and I want to thank all of you for being a part of that. Please keep the votes and the support coming.
The second round kicks off today and you’ll have until 12 am on Saturday to cast your vote. Make sure you vote early so you don’t miss out on your chance to have your say on who’ll advance to the quarter-finals.
Boston – Leon Powe: “He pretty much defines the term ‘undersized power forward’ but he’s never backed down from any match up. The Celtics drafted the more recognizable Glen Davis, but Powe hasn’t given up his spot in the rotation. Much like Kevin Garnett, he never takes a play off and he plays tough team defense. Powe even scored more points per game (7.9) than James Posey and Tony Allen.”
Jeff from Celtics Blog
Chicago – Andres Nocioni: “Under the tutelage of former Bulls coach Scott Skiles, Andres Nocioni developed precisely into the scrappy player other team’s fans loathed to watch. As crafty as any of his Argentine counterparts, Nocioni married his international skill set with an American penchant for grit. If floor burns are what you’re looking for, consider the man who treats his body like a hand-me-down.”
Austin Kent from Hoops Addict
Detroit – Jason Maxiell: “If you want a nice guy to go about his business like a mild mannered man you can look past Jason Maxiell. If he’s in the game for a minute or a quarter he’s making an impact. Gobbling up rebounds, throwing down massive dunks and blocking shots that send players to their knees, all with his 6’5″ frame. How can you not vote for the man who Eats Babies on a regular basis and makes no apologies for it?”
Natalie from Need 4 Sheed
Editor’s Note: Jason Maxiell is still Bizarro Superman.
Indiana – Jeff Foster: “Foster simply goes to work. Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, the consistent effort remains the same. He is the king of resuscitating possessions by scrapping his way to a rebound that is up for grabs and at least batting it out to a teammate to keep it alive for the Pacers.”
Tom from Indy Cornrows
New Jersey – Eduardo Najera: “Najera’s tough, and tenacious – and he rebounds very well for his size. I expect him to be one of the better players on the sadly lacking Nets this season.”
Don from With Malice
New York – David Lee: “His name is known around the league, but only those who have been paying attention understand the amount of blood, sweat, and… well… more sweat that Lee leaves on the court every night. The man makes every second count.”
Seth from Posting and Toasting
Philadelphia – Reggie Evans: “Reggie Evans gained mainstream attention when he grabbed Chris Kaman’s family jewels while playing for the Denver Nuggets in the 2006-07 season. Now that’s doing the dirty work. Evans is a guy who makes a living on hustle. He has very little actual basketball talent, but is always among the leaders in rebounds per minute. At times, he was the best player on the floor in the Sixers-Pistons playoff series this year. Shocking, but true. When he’s on his game, he’s a menace.”
Jon from Passion & Pride
Wild Card – Thaddeus Young: “Thaddeus Young was thrown into the fire this year when the Sixers decided to implement a more uptempo style. The rookie ended up playing the majority of his minutes at power forward. He drew some tough defensive assignments and held his own, even managing to score a decent amount of points without having a single play called for him. With a willingness to do whatever the team needs of him, the future is bright for this young forward.”
Jon from Passion & Pride
Dallas – Brandon Bass: “A brief D-Leaguer who wasn’t thought to amount to much of anything has become a pivotal part of the Mavs’ future. He’s undersized, but plays in the paint, not incredibly athletic, but outworks other guys, and plays with a huge chip on his shoulder. As Dallas moves forward in trying to eliminate their ‘finesse team’ moniker, Bass is going to be a huge part of that.”
Matt from Hardwood Paroxysm
Golden State – Ronny Turiaf: “Few players would be able to parlay a season in which they scored just 6.6 points per game and pulled down 3.9 rebounds a night into a new four-year, $17 million contract. Then again, few players alive play with the energy, heart, and determination Turiaf does. The free-spirited reserve rebounds, defends and blocks shots, but it is his relentless passion for the game that sees him outclass all other hustle players”
Trevor Smith from Hoops Addict
Los Angeles Lakers – Sasha Vujacic: “The guy is a gnat on defense, the kind of in your face guy that pisses off opposing players and fans, can get in players’ heads and cause an off night. He’s a skinny Euro, but he has developed a fearless game (fearless of shooting as well, whether he’s hot or not). The fact that Detroit and San Antonio’s coaching staff spoke highly of him says a lot.”
Kurt from Forum Blue & Gold
Minnesota – Mark Madsen: “There is no one else on the Minnesota Timberwolves (or possibly the league), with the heart, hustle, effort and determination of the Mad Dog. Granted, he may not play many minutes, but he’s the fan favorite that is always giving 110%, whether the Wolves are winning or getting blown out. And for what he lacks in skill, he compensates by being the best towel waving, fist pounding, butt slapping, exuberant 12th man I’ve ever seen.”
Dave Kelsey from TWolves Blog
New Orleans – Julian Wright: “The man is a physical freak; with a wingspan longer than you’d expect, explosive speed, and the intelligence to read opposing players and anticipate their moves, Ju-Ju has quickly become one of the Hornets’ best defenders, while simultaneously snagging steals left and right when he’s not hopping around for boards. He may not have dominated the stat sheet like other rookies last year, but he did a little of everything and was a total hustle player.”
MW from Hornets Hype
Portland – Joel Przybilla: “It’s unusual for a center to be included in a discussion of scrappy players but Joel Przybilla fits the bill. It’s not so much that he’ll dive to the ground or into the stands after the ball (at seven feet that’s a long way down) but he’s the clean-up man on defense. If you blow your assignment or rotation and your guy gets free in the paint, Przybilla will swing over and make you look brilliant with a block. He’ll throw his body around for rebounds as well. He’s not afraid to stand chest to chest with an opponent and stare them down either.”
Dave from Blazers Edge
San Antonio – Ime Udoka: “This has Bruce Bowen’s name all over it, but if I chose him, most people would likely see his name and skip right past it, so instead I’ll take Bowen’s soon-to-be predecessor and pupil, Ime Udoka. Udoka is a sparkplug. He brings a lot of energy off the bench and is all over the place on the floor. He’ll come out of nowhere, box out a power forward or center and grab a rebound. He’s no bigger than a point guard but is asked to relieve Bruce Bowen and guard much bigger scorers like Kobe Bryant and Peka Stojakovic. Look for Ime to get even more minutes next season and more chances to prove my choice right with Brent Barry and Robert Horry not coming back. “
Michael from Project Spurs
Wild Card - Shane Battier: “Not only is he a shoo-in nominee, the dude should win your tournament outright. He’s not a very good offensive player. He’s valuable because he’s a lock-down defensive player who does everything based on hustle, desire and effort. And he’s certainly not afraid of a few floor burns… or cuts/bruises to the head… or Dikembe’s elbow!”
David from The Dream Shake
Photo Credit: Icon Sports Media