Writer’s note: This is the fourth and final piece in a four-part series on the expansion and addition of two new NBA teams: the Montreal Expos and the St. Louis Spirits, thanks to NBA 2K18’s MyLeague. The main focus is on the team I decided to go with, the Montreal Expos. I’m covering the year from the beginning of the 2017-18 season to just after free agency in the 2018 offseason. The majority of the season is simmed, games against top-tier teams are played and I’ll play one playoff game each round if the Expos make it through.
Now into the final weeks of the season, the Montreal Expos looked to hold their spot in fourth in the Eastern Conference and clinch their first playoff berth in franchise history. After several trades on deadline day and ups and downs to this point, the team looked poised to make some noise and potentially break some hearts on their way to their first run at the NBA Finals. Management was also looking at the upcoming NBA Draft and free agency in earnest as they wanted to improve the roster and make the team a powerhouse in the East.
March 4, 2018 – Week 1
(33-30) Montreal Expos Vs. Golden State Warriors (47-18)
101 – 111
Durant, Curry, Thompson Too Much For Expos To Handle
A close game in the first half turned into a runaway win for the Golden State Warriors thanks to strong performances from their superstars. The first half of the game was owned by Klay Thompson who came out red hot and was not only hitting his shots, but was also aggressive in getting to the basket. Thompson finished the first half with 16 points on 5-9 shooting from the field including two from beyond the arc. Kyle O’Quinn used his size and strength to his advantage, bullying the Warriors in the paint. O’Quinn finished the first half with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Golden State took a 54-50 lead into the half, and despite being outscored in the third quarter, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry took over in the fourth quarter to secure the win for the Warriors. The best player for the Expos on the night was arguably Kyle O’Quinn, who finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block. Jordan Player of the Game went to Stephen Curry, who finished with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals. Kevin Durant finished with 26 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 1 block. Klay Thompson finished with 23 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
March 22, 2018 – Week 3
(38-34) Montreal Expos Vs. Houston Rockets (55-18)
102 – 124
Houston Shows The Expos Why They’re The Best Team In The NBA With Easy Win
In a game that didn’t give much to write home about, Houston controlled the game from start to finish. The 10-point deficit that Montreal fell victim to going into the second quarter proved to be too much to come back from, as an explosive fourth quarter from the Rockets crushed any chances the Expos felt they may have had. Jamal Crawford was the workhorse for the Expos, scoring 16 points in 21 minutes while adding 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. James Harden put up 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, but Jordan Player of the Game honors went to Chris Paul who commanded the Houston offense flawlessly and led all scorers with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 1 steal.
- March 2: 94-88 vs Lakers (W)
- March 6: 82-80 vs Knicks (L)
- March 8: 97-95 vs Wizards (W)
- March 9: 92-110 vs Celtics (L)
- March 13: 105-106 vs Kings (W)
- March 15: 110-100 vs Cavaliers (L)
- March 17: 93-83 vs Hawks (W)
- March 18: 102-104 vs Timberwolves (W)
- March 20: 98-120 vs Pistons (W)
- March 23: 112-124 vs Bulls (W)
- March 25: 84-105 vs Pacers (W)
- March 28: 135-71 vs Wizards (L)
- March 30: 112-104 vs Mavericks (W)
- April 1: 91-96 vs Heat (L)
- April 3: 89-103 vs Suns (L)
- April 4: 74-97 vs Knicks (W)
- April 6: 103-109 vs Hawks (L)
- April 9: 129-125 vs Heat (L, OT)
- April 11: 115-97 vs Bucks (W)
End Of Season Awards And All-NBA Teams
Here are the winners of the NBA Awards for the season and the All-NBA teams:
Rookie of the Year:
Sixth Man of the Year:
Defensive Player of the Year
Most Improved Player:
Coach of the Year:
All-NBA 1st, 2nd, 3rd Team(s):
All-Defensive 1st, 2nd Team(s):
All-Rookie 1st, 2nd Team(s):
Mission Accomplished: Expos Make the Playoffs In Year One
After an emotional and memorable first NBA season, the Montreal Expos managed to make the NBA Playoffs! Despite the excitement by the team, there was no time to celebrate as it was time to get into the second season. Up first: a matchup against the fifth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers.
April 13, 2018 – NBA Playoffs Round 1, Game 1
(41-41) Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Montreal Expos (43-39)
101 – 83
76ers Prove To Be Too Much For Expos In Game 1
Maybe it was the glitz and glam of the second season, or maybe the anxiety of playing at another level; whatever it may have been, the Montreal Expos came out flat and didn’t look like the fourth seed that they played hard to keep as the 76ers came out and took it to them from the opening jump. Philadelphia came out with a different dynamic and started T.J. McConnell at point guard and Markelle Fultz at shooting guard. The matchups seemed to throw Montreal off as they couldn’t adjust to what the 76ers were throwing at them. Up 54-47 at halftime, Philadelphia came out in the second half and shut down the Expos defensively while scoring almost at will on the offensive end. The Expos were led by Jamal Crawford who had 14 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, while the 76ers were led by T.J. McConnell who finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. Philadelphia also got a strong performance from Joel Embiid, who was dominant on the boards and in the paint. Embiid finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block.
- April 15, Game 2: 108-95 vs 76ers (L)
- April 17, Game 3: 84-111 vs 76ers (L)
- April 19, Game 4: 109-93 vs 76ers (W)
- April 21, Game 5: 82-68 vs 76ers (L)
Montreal Expos Eliminated In 5 Games
Despite getting a win at home in Game 4, the Montreal Expos were eliminated by the Philadelphia 76ers in 5 games. The Expos will look to strengthen their team in the offseason through the NBA Draft and free agency. Philadelphia moves on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in Round 2.
Golden State Warriors Repeat As NBA Champions
The Golden State Warriors repeated as NBA Champions after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-3 in the NBA Finals. Finals MVP Honors went to Steph Curry, who finished the series with averages (per game) of 27.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 51.8 percent from the field.
The Offseason: Trying To Improve Through The Draft And Free Agency
With the playoffs finally over and the time to improve the team now here, building on last season’s performance and improving to become a formidable team was at the top of the list for management. Each segment of the offseason process was followed with great attention so that all areas would be covered in the process of going from a building/rebuilding franchise to a contender as quickly as possible.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Draft Lottery Results
Montreal Expos Make Trades In Attempt To Improve Roster
July 13, 2018
The Montreal Expos made a few trades during the day. The first was with the Memphis Grizzlies, looking to acquire a power forward that could contribute offensively as well as defensively.
Montreal Expos receive:
Memphis Grizzlies receive:
The second trade seemed to be a move to get rid of some salary while getting some value in return.
Montreal Expos receive:
Toronto Raptors receive:
During NBA Draft, Montreal Expos Make Unexpected Trade Move
July 17, 2018
In a move where the impact might not be seen for a couple of seasons, and while still mulling their own pick at number 21, the Montreal Expos made a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to secure the number 22 pick. The Expos really liked a player that they didn’t want to let get away.
Montreal Expos receive:
New Orleans Pelicans receive:
2018 NBA Draft Results
Montreal Expos Sign Both First-Round Draft Picks
July 18, 2018
The Montreal Expos decided to go ahead and sign their two first-round draft picks to rookie contracts today. 21st overall pick Vince Edwards signed a 2yr/$3.30M tender. 22nd overall pick Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk signed a 2yr/$3.17M tender.
Montreal Expos Potentially Land Big Superstar
July 21, 2018
In a move that has the league wires buzzing and the fans in Montreal excited, word has come out that superstar Paul George has agreed to a 4-year, $115.51M deal to sign with the Expos. The deal is reportedly a 3-year deal with a team option for the 4th year. Stay tuned as more details arise.
Montreal Expos Officially Sign Paul George
July 24, 2018
In a move that will surely help in taking the team one step closer to being contenders in the next season or two, the Montreal Expos officially announced the signing of four-time NBA All-Star Paul George. George put pen to paper, signing a 3-year, $88.98M contract. The Expos hold a team option for year 4 where, if exercised, will mean a fourth-year salary of $26.53M. When asked about his new starting small forward, Head Coach Jake Thomas stated that he was “elated that the Expos went out and got a superstar talent to help bolster the team.” It’ll be interesting to see what kind of dynamic PG-13 brings to his new team.
Jordan Bell Extends With Expos
July 30, 2018
The Montreal Expos and Jordan Bell agreed to a 4-year, $17.09M extension. The deal is a 3-year, $13.17M deal with the Expos having a team option for year 4, where Bell would be set to make $3.93M.
Expos Move Harkless; McDermott Rumors True?
August 1, 2018
A reported meeting between the Montreal Expos and free agent Doug McDermott and his representatives had sources around the league curious as to what was in the works in Montreal. Some truth was thought to be behind the McDermott rumors after Montreal made a deal with Phoenix.
Montreal Expos receive:
Phoenix Suns receive:
Rumors Confirmed; McDermott Signed
August 2, 2018
What appeared to be potential rumors and rumblings ended up being a fact, as the Montreal Expos signed free agent small forward Doug McDermott to a 4-year, $13.17M deal. The Expos hold a team option for year 4 where, if exercised, will mean McDermott earns $3.03M. This move, after trading away Maurice Harkless, looked like one where Montreal was trying to offload Harkless’ salary to add a viable scorer in McDermott to back up Paul George. The move made financial sense for the Expos who were getting McDermott for 4 years at half the salary constraints that Maurice Harkless’ contract presented to the team.
Montreal Expos Opening Day Roster Looks Set
October 15, 2018
With the 2018-19 NBA season right around the corner, here’s a look at the Montreal Expos opening day roster:
On To The Next…
After what proved to be a crazy first year in the NBA for the team, the Montreal Expos fought through adversity to make the playoffs in their first season. Despite suffering a loss at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers, the Expos took the experience and knowledge gained and will definitely have it in mind for their next playoff run. The offseason moves made by the team have left the Expos in a stronger place than they were last season. Only time will tell what great things are possible for the city of Montreal and their NBA team.
If you were to start a MyLeague with an expansion team, what team would you look to create or bring back to NBA prominence? Make sure to leave a comment and let your fellow OS community members know!