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Babar
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Posts: 3305


« on: Oct 20, 2010, 09:52:04 PM »

Who here follows the NBA? Chet? Trousers? There was somebody...

I'm really looking forward to the season, especially since the landscape of the league has changed so much over the summer. Let's have a little run-down of all things that have happened since LAL won the back-to-back in July.

Carlos Boozer went to Chicago and broke his pinky finger, Utah got Al Jefferson instead and now they're undefeated in the pre-season.
Chicago did get the best player in the league though, Brian Scalabrine.
Carmelo Anthony doesn't wanna be a Nugget anymore.
A really stupid rule about technical fouls was instated.
Boston Celtics felt like they weren't old enough so they got Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal, effectively making them NBA's Jurassic Park.
Utah Jazz starts using the old note logo again (way better than the mountains one)
Blake Griffin, no. 1 pick of 2009, finally gets to play after being injured all last season.
Stan Van Gundy has to start wearing collared shirts because of a new rule. R.I.P. grayscale turtlenecks Sad
The Turk Turkoglu went to the Suns, abandoning Toronto.
Chris Bosh went to the Heat, abandonig Toronto.
Toronto officially worst team in the league.
Amar'e Stoudamire went to the Knicks.
Magic Johnson sold his share in the Lakers.
Yao Ming is back but will only play 24 minutes a game.
Nobody wanted to sign Allen Iverson so he's going to China.
Kevin Durant led USA to a FIBA championship.
Lebron James went to Miami Heat.
Lebron James now most hated athlete.

and a bunch of other stuff. How are you digging the upcoming season?
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FreddyKnuckles
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 20, 2010, 10:16:04 PM »

Is there fantasy NBA?  Probably not, too many games.  That's about the only way I could get back into it.  Basketball is my favorite sport but I haven't followed the pros since the 90's and even then it wasn't that closely.
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Captain
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Posts: 507


« Reply #2 on: Oct 20, 2010, 10:26:27 PM »

I'm a Cleveland fan, so I'm a bit conflicted this season.

I'm holding out hope that the Cav's still have some talent that'll shine through (I'm really not big on mo williams) with byron scott as coach.

I hate to admit it, but Miami looks endlessly entertaining.  I've caught some of the highlight clips from preseason... wow.  Still, I'm just looking for a team to beat them (a team not named "Lakers")

I haven't watched much of the Thunder, so maybe it's time to hitch onto that bandwagon... Orlando and Miami are supposed to be developing a rivalry, correct?  That could be something to watch.

And there's always Boston... the O'Neals grab was weird.  In the end, I think it'll rest on Rondo.

So I guess that's what I'm looking forward to this season.  But I'm an Eastern Conference kind of guy, I suppose.

And there is fantasy basketball, but I never really understood any of that.
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Babar
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 20, 2010, 10:53:22 PM »

Yeah there is a fantasy league, I'd be up for if we could get a fair amount of people to join even though I've never played this sorta thing. Here's a link: http://games.espn.go.com/fba/welcome?addata=fantasymodule=nbawem_play Plus, Freddy, Utah Jazz are looking good. The west isn't as tough as the east this year so I could see them as the high 3rd seed this year.

Yikes Captain, the Cavs aren't looking good to say the least. The Miami Thrice has only played about 3 minutes together in the pre-season so we don't know what we're looking at quite yet. I think they'll probably go all the way and win the East, but when it comes to the playoffs it's a different thing all together. I'm biased but I think the Celtics could win them in a series (if they manage to be healthy). Doc Rivers knows how to keep his veteran core fit and ready when it comes to the playoffs and Boston have only gotten better since last season. Big Baby Davis looks more confident than ever, little guy Nate Robinson is looking hot as well, leading the team in points in the pre-season, Delonte West will be a great substitute for Rondo when he needs rest and then they got three (possibly even four, counting Semih Erden, we'll see when the season progresses) centers who could all be starting centers in their own right. Also, don't forget the Bulls. They have a very solid core now with Rose-Boozer-Noah as long as Boozer doesn't trip over any more duffel bags.

It'll be interesting if last year's darlings OKC manage to live up to the hype this season. I think second-to-last year's darlings Portland Trail Blazers might even have a better season than OKC, the hyperbole around them isn't as much and they have a great team.
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Captain
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 20, 2010, 11:06:26 PM »

With Miami, it's not even so much about having the 3 out on the floor at the same time... it's just, how often are all 3 of them going to have an off night, y'know?  All of them are just so mesmerizing, you're bound to get a show every game.  And I really don't buy the "what about the chemistry?" theory.  I don't see that core imploding.  That said, they're hardly a lock.

Chicago, while I like the strides they've made... I don't think they can compete in a best-of-seven series in the East.  There are too many big, skilled centers.  I don't see Noah being able to handle an O'Neal or a Howard.  But, I could be wrong.

I had totally forgotten about Portland!  I really want to see them do well this season, too.  But that's just not smart money.

By the way, how far do we expect Atlanta to tumble?  I mean, they haven't seen that much personnel change (am I forgetting something?), but I see them as a decidedly mid-tier team.

P.S. - Freddy, you should probably get into the NBA, fantasy basketball or no.  It's pretty fascinating to watch.  And we have a thread and everything!
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Babar
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 20, 2010, 11:48:18 PM »

These guys never won a title:


and these guys never won a title:


Not saying that the Heat won't win a title in the next seven years. They'll get at least a couple, I reckon. But a team only has to lose one playoff series to be out of the race and the East has plenty of talent to knock them out somewhere along the way. I'm just being devil's advocate, I don't really dislike the team and I look forward watching them but they are miles away from being unbeatable. It's the Lakers who I most certainly do not want to win the title. If the Finals would turn out to be Thunder vs. Heat it'd be really fun while Lakers vs. Celtics would be dramatic as hell.

Well, I think Noah could handle Big Z or Bosh. He's a really skilled defender and if Howard won't get a defender of the year threepeat I think Noah will win it.

Atlanta? I know next to nothing about them which I guess means they got nothing going for them. Aren't the Raptors the most obvious "worst team in the league" though, Bobcats maybe? Regarding sleepers, the Wizards are my candidate for an unexpected playoff seed. Go Wizards!



edit: btw, anybody know who was the small forward in that superstar Lakers team with Malone and Payton? Robert Horry? Rick Fox? I didn't even know about that team until a few days ago. Blew my mind.
« Last Edit: Oct 20, 2010, 11:57:06 PM by Babar » Logged

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FreddyKnuckles
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 21, 2010, 12:07:12 AM »

The only thing I know about the current nba is that the wizards suck
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DanielBurns11
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Posts: 1322


« Reply #7 on: Oct 21, 2010, 01:00:45 AM »

Was totally fucking disheartened with the NBA since the Sonics (my favorite team since forever, along with the Jordan era Bulls) moves and were totally purged of all talent that's not named Kevin Durant. Although the wounds aren't nearly healed, I think I'm ready to get into it again. Go Thunder!
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dumbfish
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 21, 2010, 01:37:41 AM »

Lakers fan, so I'm happy there's someone else to attract the attention a threepeat candidate would normally get.
That 2004 team played Fisher-Payton-Kobe-Malone-Shaq at crunch time. Don't know if they started games that way.  Lakers fans are always going to look back and wonder whether a healthy Malone would have put them over the top against the Pistons, just as Celtics fans will remember Perk's injury this year (and conveniently forget Bynum's inury). This year's Celts remind me of those Lakers. If a team of old dudes breaks down after six months of basketball, that's not bad luck, that's physics.
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Babar
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 21, 2010, 02:12:45 AM »

They didn't have Payton play point guard? Interesting. But yeah, it's a fingers-crossed situation regarding the health of the Celtics and I see the similarity with the 2004 Lakers. Rondo being the Kobe of the team. But it's not like the Lakers are young hot prospects, Fisher-Bryant-Odom-Gasol-Artest are all 30+, Bynum being the only young guy with lots of minutes. I think we can both agree that Boston and LA possess the best benches in the league. I can see Glen Davis and Lamar Odom fighting for the 6th man award (Odom probably getting it since he's been long due (hell, David might even win a Most Improved, I have real good feeling about him (Kevin Love is also a improved-candidate))).

I got lots of love for the Payton-Kemp era Supersonics. I know the '97 roster pretty much by heart by playing too much NBA Live '97. Detlef Schrempf was a hell of a shooter, Vin Baker in the key, and they had now-coach Nate McMillan off the bench. I remember Eric Snow wasn't even in the 15-player roster and you had to put him manually on the bench, apparently EA Sports didn't think much of him. Damn good team... in the game... never saw a single real-life game with them of course.
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DanielBurns11
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 21, 2010, 02:34:30 AM »

They didn't have Payton play point guard? Interesting. But yeah, it's a fingers-crossed situation regarding the health of the Celtics and I see the similarity with the 2004 Lakers. Rondo being the Kobe of the team. But it's not like the Lakers are young hot prospects, Fisher-Bryant-Odom-Gasol-Artest are all 30+, Bynum being the only young guy with lots of minutes. I think we can both agree that Boston and LA possess the best benches in the league. I can see Glen Davis and Lamar Odom fighting for the 6th man award (Odom probably getting it since he's been long due (hell, David might even win a Most Improved, I have real good feeling about him (Kevin Love is also a improved-candidate))).

I got lots of love for the Payton-Kemp era Supersonics. I know the '97 roster pretty much by heart by playing too much NBA Live '97. Detlef Schrempf was a hell of a shooter, Vin Baker in the key, and they had now-coach Nate McMillan off the bench. I remember Eric Snow wasn't even in the 15-player roster and you had to put him manually on the bench, apparently EA Sports didn't think much of him. Damn good team... in the game... never saw a single real-life game with them of course.

Payton played the point sometimes, but when Kobe was in with him, Kobe would often bring the ball up court.

Payton/Kemp era Sonics (along with Michael Jordan of course) are the reason I have any interest in basketball whatsoever. They didn't have Kemp and Vin Baker on the roster at the same time though, if they did I must've missed it. I thought he came there as a result of Kemp's departure.
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Ignatius
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 21, 2010, 03:52:51 AM »

I agree with dumbfish here. I'm pretty amazed that the Celtics were able to glue themselves together two years in a row to make those runs deep into the playoffs. They're not under any obligation to give their offseason pickups significant minutes, but I'm really skeptical that the O'Neals & Delonte will contribute positively to that team. I see them slipping to fourth in the East and get knocked out in the first or second round. Nate Robinson caught fire in the playoffs last season, but he's likely to find himself as a reserve after a full season of his trying bullshit. Dude is kind of an asshole.

The idea of a second unit featuring Nate Robinson & Delonte West at 1 & 2, and the O'Neals up front is extremely amusing to me. I guess we'll have to wait for Kendrick Perkins to come back to see that, though.

I expect the Heat to win 60 in the regular season and wither against their first real challenge in the playoffs. Wade and Eddie House can't win a series all by themselves, and few others on that team have shown me much. 2007 was a long time ago for LeBron. But I am a hater. And Ray Allen and KG didn't start winning playoff games until they were no longer the number one dude on their respective teams, so there's hope for LBJ and Bosh yet.

The Lakers still look like the best team in the league, I guess!

Babar I challenge your claims regarding the West's inferiority! The Heat are much improved but they're essentially replacing the Cavs as the conference's best team. Every playoff team in the West won at least 50 games last year, with 3 good teams losing their top player to injuries for significant stretches of the season (and the Blazers missing much more than that).

Who wants to do playoff predictions just for fun? I've got:

Eastern Conference
1. Miami Heat
2. Bulls
3. Magic
4. Celtics
5. Hawks
6. Bucks
7. Pacers
8. Knicks

West
1. Lakers
2. Blazers
3. OKC
4. Nuggets
5. Spurs
6. Mavs
7. Grizzlies
8. Jazz

Lakers vs. Magic in the Finals, Lakers win.
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Babar
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 21, 2010, 04:48:06 AM »

The idea of a second unit featuring Nate Robinson & Delonte West at 1 & 2, and the O'Neals up front is extremely amusing to me. I guess we'll have to wait for Kendrick Perkins to come back to see that, though.

How's this for a weird second unit:
Nate Robinson (hyperactive little man)
Delonte West (emo kid)
Marquis Daniels (Lil Wayne lookalike)
Glen Davis (Big Baby)
Shaquille O'Neal (Kazaam)

Amusing? Yes. Good? Yes. I think that team could beat most starting line-ups in the bottom half of the league. They could even have J.O. play PF and put Baby on the 3 (Marquis is kind of a bleh player). I know I'm going out on a limb here but I honestly think so. Also, there's nothing "amazing" about Boston's deep runs in the playoffs last two years. They were the champs with the exact same core. The Lakers core is about the same age as the Celtics' when they won in 2008 so it would be like saying it would be amazing that the Lakers went to the Finals this year.

I guess overall the conferences are pretty close but I feel the East has more big guns than the West. I just don't see the Texas teams, the young prospects or the Nuggets winning the title. While I could see any of your top 4 in the East going all the way. I'll do a prediction for fun sometime before tip-off but... no Suns? I know Turkoglu isn't Stoudemire but I expect them to at least make the playoffs.
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Trousers and Pat
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 21, 2010, 05:30:44 AM »

(If I can lower the level of discourse for a minute) I think I will start following some NBA this year, but I'll need to watch a few, like, games before I can pick teams and that. What's the best place to watch this shit on the internet?
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hannah
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 21, 2010, 09:32:24 AM »

Every year I say I'm going to start following the NBA and every year I don't. Mostly I've been struggling with which team to care about. I have a long-standing Bulls antipathy because I grew up a Knicks fan, and then I gave up on the Knicks, and now I'm set to live in Chicago for the next five or so years, so...

Anyway, what T&P asked.
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Thermofusion
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 21, 2010, 09:58:58 AM »

Atlanta? I know next to nothing about them which I guess means they got nothing going for them. Aren't the Raptors the most obvious "worst team in the league" though, Bobcats maybe? Regarding sleepers, the Wizards are my candidate for an unexpected playoff seed. Go Wizards!

Man, no. Bobcats were a playoff team last year (albeit narrowly), and even though they didn't make any roster upgrades equivalent to some of the other teams in the Eastern Conference (which will dominate the NBA this season for the first time in, what, a decade?), I think they'll snag the 7th or 8th slot in the Eastern playoff race. They're not contenders by any stretch, but they're solid enough; their defense allowed the fewest points of any team in the NBA last year (Larry Brown defense for ya), they beat Cleveland handily two or three times (I was at one of those games) and just handed Miami their asses a few nights ago in a preseason match despite the Cats' star player (Gerald Wallace) sitting on the bench and LeBron ringing up 33 points. Contenders, no, but not the worst team in the league by any stretch.  Also, Atlanta is pretty good, and I really think the Southeast Division is going to be the most entertaining in the NBA this year.

As far as watching on the internet goes, most games stream free on those atdhe/justintv types o' places with varying levels of quality. I might pony up the $100 for League Pass Broadband and watch using a proxy program to avoid blackouts, as it's still unclear if I'll be able to catch Bobcats games at home this season after they switched networks. Fucking Time Warner.
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Babar
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« Reply #16 on: Oct 21, 2010, 11:48:03 AM »

Yeah, you're right. I don't know much about the Bobcats and I remember they made the playoffs now. http://atdhe.net/index.html always has all the games but with varying quality. Another way is to go on http://search.twitter.com/ and search for something like "Knicks stream HD" if you're looking for a Knicks game that's going on.
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dumbfish
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 21, 2010, 12:34:10 PM »

When I want to watch my team, I turn on the TV. They're on somewhere.
I guess that only works if you're a Lakers (or this year, Heat) fan, though.
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alex
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 21, 2010, 01:23:06 PM »

Living in the US helps, too, I'd wager.
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Babar
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« Reply #19 on: Oct 21, 2010, 05:02:00 PM »

Alright, prediction time...

East
1. Miami Heat
2. Orlando Magic
3. Boston Celtics
4. Chicago Bulls
5. New York Knicks
6. Milwaukee Bucks
7. Atlanta Hawks
8. Washington Wizards

West
1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Utah Jazz
4. Portland Trail Blazers
5. Phoenix Suns
6. Dallas Mavericks
7. San Antonio Spurs
8. Minnesota Timberwolves

Yup.
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Ignatius
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« Reply #20 on: Oct 21, 2010, 05:09:52 PM »

I think the Bobcats will have a much harder time making the playoffs this year because

1.) 12 games against the Hawks, Magic and Heat.
2.) Absolutely demoralizing first-round playoff exit - they won't have the same world-beating enthusiasm and fire they had last year, which is an absolute necessity for a team that relies on defense and little else.
3.) Teams from the other 2 EC divisions will have a much easier time grabbing playoff spots because of talent redistribution to the Southeast. Boozer != LBJ.

Babar, if you had watched the Celtics at the end of the regular season last year or the year before, you would recognize that those playoff runs were nothing short of miraculous. Veteran teams sometimes hang on to a mid-seed berth until they turn it on just before the playoffs, but they looked to be absolutely useless as late as April. This year, everyone knows what to do with Rondo, and Nate Robinson will sink the team with terrible 3 pt attempts more often than he bails them out. I think they are definitely a team that rises to the challenge, but I don't think we'll see them make it as far as the Finals this year.

I don't really understand how the Suns work any more, with or without Stoudemire. I know they were one of the best two teams in the West for much of last season, but I'm totally baffled by that roster. Besides Robin Lopez, they have absolutely no interior presence. Channing Frye is nearly a seven footer and nominally a center, but he's more of a 3 shooter than anything else. They might be good, I just don't know how they're going to match up against anyone at all.

But seriously guys how is the East scarier than the West? Boozer makes a 40 win team into a 60 win team? Then what? I think it's the Lakers, then the Heat, then everyone else. I'd take OKC or the Blazers over the Magic, Celtics, etc. Two teams in the East got better, but two also got much much worse.

hannah root for the Knicks! They are all kinds of weird and they have both Kelenna Azubuike and Danilo Gallinari in their starting five and those are fun names to say. The Bulls look pretty good but expectations are much higher than their potential, and putting up with their fans can prove obnoxious. Meanwhile obnoxious Knicks fans are like 750 miles away!

atdhe.net works for most NBA games, but it can be frustrating at times to switch feeds all the time when one gets shut down. It's too bad that Sony didn't do an NBA League Pass thing like they did with mlb.tv because then my PS3 could have basketball and Netflix and I wouldn't really need cable at all.
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Ignatius
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« Reply #21 on: Oct 21, 2010, 05:14:50 PM »

T Wolves, eh babar? I think I could see the Clippers making the surprise grab for the 8 seed (2 solid veterans, 2 potentially outstanding rookies), but probably not Minnesota.
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Babar
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« Reply #22 on: Oct 21, 2010, 06:21:44 PM »

What can I say, it's a wild card. Also notice that Denver don't even make it to the playoffs.

Are you saying the Celtics got much worse since last season along with Cavs? If so, dude, they only added players and nobody of notice left except Tony Allen. Same coach. Same starting line-up. Actually very similar to the Lakers off-season. How is that not making a team better? Are you comparing Brian Scalabrine to Lebron James?
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dumbfish
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« Reply #23 on: Oct 21, 2010, 06:28:51 PM »

Older.
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Captain
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« Reply #24 on: Oct 21, 2010, 06:34:10 PM »

This year, everyone knows what to do with Rondo

Wait, what do you do with Rondo??

While Boston is old, they're exceedingly deep.  And obviously, don't count them out... Still, I'd pick Orlando over them.

Still a lot of talk about Carmelo Anthony OR Chris Paul moving... that could mean some serious shake-ups.  Until then, that's two great players in the West that are locked up in bad situations (I mean, the Nuggets aren't awful or anything... but they've hit their ceiling, no?).  East is definitely looking hardier from my angle.
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