Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dream Team (but for real)

Edit: Okay, from now on, any direct responses to an original post needs to be done as a comment . . this got WAY too long. I moved all our other stuff to the comments section for this post.

So I was sitting in Biochemistry this morning, intently not paying attention to a word my professor was saying. Mostly because I didn’t care but also partly because even if I did care, which I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able understand a word he was saying anyway. See my professor is what I like to call a ‘can’t say his name professor’. You know, that professor from some distant land whose name has way to many consonants and not enough vowels to balance it out so that you have no hope of even guessing what it could sound like. These guys are always the same, brilliant at their subject, hates teaching kids and only does it because the University makes them, and of course very boring, spectacularly boring. My guy could have called the last three minutes of the Memphis-Kansas Championship game and made it sound bor..actually let’s not talk about that game. Basically, I have one these professors, and he must have just gotten here because whenever he loses patience with us he starts explaining stuff to us in Chinese….or Japanese…or Vietnamese…I don’t really know, I’d have to ask Charlie. Anyway today I had no hope, as soon as he began talking in what I assumed was English (everything he says sounds the same), my mind gave up and drifted out the grimy window. They really got clean that thing. It is disgusting.

Well what should I do with this essentially free hour and half coming up where I will be completely zoned out, checking my watch every ten minutes only to find that it has only been two? I couldn’t just sit there anymore, so I did the only logical thing: I decided to build the ultimate basketball team. We all do this, and we all fight with our friends about it (Except Scoop, I can't see him having any), but unfortunately it always ends the same way: Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Howard. So I decided what if you had to build a team with legitimate parameters, a team that you might actually have a chance of manufacturing in the league. So I went with these basic rules: you only get one star, so only one of those aforementioned players and have to build around him or her (we’re not sexist here) with one second tier star (Joe Johnson, Derrick Rose, Gasol..etc), one veteran ( a legitimate washed up veteran, I don’t want to hear Durant is veteran), and two role players.

First things first, you have to go shopping for your star. We know the usual suspects here: Lebron, Dirk, Kobe, Wade, Carmelo, Roy ( I put him here, he’s amazing)….Well I decided pretty quick there are only four worth building around: Kobe, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Lebron. Of these four, Paul is my favorite (PG!) and Lebron is my least favorite. I know Lebron is probably the chic pick here, but I hate Lebron’s game, its ugly, its brutal, its not that skillful, and its just, well, brutal (to watch too). So after some serious research consisting of watching Sportscenter and a couple of youtube clips, I decided to go with Lebron. I know, I know, but there was just no way around it. He is a monster, a genetic freak. If TMZ reported tomorrow that Lebron was made in a lab, I think I would believe it. I don’t like comparing people to Jordan because no one really comes close…but…… Lebron is kind of close. He is the only player I’ve seen since MJ that can totally dominate a game and impose his will on everybody else on the court, not just the last 5 min, but the whole game, like the Celtics game yesterday. Lebron got mad. Cavs came back. I guess I’ll take him.

So building around Lebron. First of all, I would stop messing around with point guards. Lebron can run the one; I’d want him to initiate the offense and let the rest of team play off him. I think the key to a good Lebron team is speed, athleticism, and good shooting to space the floor, giving Lebron open lanes and less help D to hinder him and his ugly crashes to the basket. I would have three perimeter players (including LBJ), a 4 that can step out and hit outside jumpshots, and a big, physical center. So for my second teir star, I would take Amare Stoudemire. He is big enough to be a force on the inside if he wants to be and athletic enough to run up and down the floor in a fast paced flow. Also in a half court setting, he can knock down perimeter jumpers to open up the floor, not to mention rebound and give Lebron a legitimate threat to create shots for.

The veteran is trickier. However I would rather have younger athletic bigs and wily perimeter shooter and scorer, so in the vein of spacing the floor and eliciting transition play, I would take Ray Allen. He is a big wing, who is still a knockdown shooter. A guy that you absolutely cannot leave. Also if necessary you can run the offense through him, just setting him screens, so Lebron can take some possessions off. He is also a clutch-shooter which can relieve a lot of stress from my prized player and keep him from an emotional breakdown.

Now I need two role players to surround my core of Ray Allen, Lebron, and Amare, and this part is tricky because what exactly is a role player? I don’t know exactly, but I’m going to go with someone who has never been in an all-star game. I wanted to go Reshard Lewis here, but I think he was in one a couple of years ago, so I will go with Trevor Ariza. Another big, athletic wing, who can run the floor, play defense, and stretch defenses with his shooting. I know his shot is more erratic than say Lewis’, but he is still a viable threat from beyond the arc. As for the other spot (okay I’m cheating here but…..) a healthy Greg Oden. He is the perfect complement for this team. A big, physical, athletic center who, admittingly is made of glass, but can still be a dominant presence that can block shots, get rebounds, and finish dunks. Lebron could drive and just throw the ball somewhere around the rim, and Oden could finish it. Additionally Oden can get offensive boards and give it back to Lebron, and the last thing any defense wants to see is an angry Lebron because he missed his first shot.

So my team would be Lebron running the offense, Ariza and Allen on the wings, Amare the scoring post, and Oden the physical, shot-blocker. This team would be smooth on offense and athletic enough to run up and down all game creating fast-break havoc. You could argue that Amare really isn’t a traditional post scorer but more of a finisher, but if the situation arose where this squad needed two points; I would call timeout (obviously I would be the coach) and go to the ultimate play: Lebron post up, essentially unstoppable. Also this team would clearly be at a disadvantage defense quickness wise, but its length and athleticism would make up for it. Quick guards like Derrick Rose and CP3 would probably be able to penetrate but between Ariza, LBJ, Amare, and Oden there is a ton of shot-blocking and shot-altering talent which would make any shot in the paint difficult.

Note to NBA GM’s: if you are reading this, immediately put this team together and give me credit.

Note to people who got through this whole thing: This was long as hell and there is no way I’m proofreading it (Fred), so forget about the errors and soak in the underlying genius.


  1. I'll give you that team and I'll raise you this team (with your rules):

    PG: Deron Williams - 2nd tier star, biggest, most physical PG in the game, can score from anywhere on the court, quick as hell and incredible decision making capability, can make unreal plays with his passing. Most players in the NBA agree that he is the most difficult PG in the league to guard because of his size.

    SG: Shane Battier - Role player, big perimeter guy, solid shooter, can defend anything from a PG to a PF, mad hustle, mad intangibles, high basketball IQ.

    SF: Kevin Durant - Hardest guy to guard in the NBA, yes even harder than Lebron because he can drain 3s all day. Lebron is obviously better going at full speed in the open court, but KD has Bron beat in halfcourt offense, where he is the deadliest scorer in the game. Superior rebounder for his position. Also, he'd play with a chip on his shoulder after being passed up for Lebron by his buddy Sunny.

    PF: Tim Duncan - Veteran, one of the smartest post defenders ever, crafty in the low post, still a rebounding machine. Money in the bank (pun intended) from 14 feet out. Very smart player.

    C: Joakim Noah - Role player, unbelievable rebounder, limitless energy, one of the best post defenders in the league, solid shot blocker, hustle guy, can run the court like a gazelle and finish alley-oops with authority.

    To be honest, I would have picked Lebron too, but I'll let you have him, plus he wouldn't work too well with my other 4 guys, since Lebron is an average 3 point shooter, and there would only be 2 shooters on that squad. Plus, Duncan isn't exactly as mobile as Amare, so the whole transition game would be messed up. However, Duncan is capable from midrange, similar Amare, less athletic, but far superior defensively.

    It's not exactly a run-and-gun powerhouse offensive team, this is solid fundamental pick and roll basketball team, with Durant, Williams, and Duncan as the primary scorers. Duncan can still put up a 20-10 game anytime, but he's asked to be more of a rebounder, screener, and defender for this squad. All 5 of these guys are pretty big for their position with the exception of Noah, who is an average sized center, but makes up for it with athleticism, and they can all rebound and play defense.

    Baskets will be absurdly hard to come by against these guys, ridiculous length on the wings with Battier and Durant, and extreme interior defense in the post with Duncan and Noah. This team can wear you down with its huge size, rebounding, and physical play. However, the best quality of this team is that every player with the exception of Noah is incredibly intelligent, and plays the game with a very high basketball IQ. Can't say the same for Ariza, Oden, or Amare . . . especially Amare.

    I'd like to see these 2 teams play, I'm going to make it happen on NBA 2k10, I'll let you know who wins. Best out of 7.

  2. moved from ross's original post:

    I would have to disagree with both of you. First of all, I find it hard to believe that Deron Williams and Amare would be "2nd" tier stars. Williams is by far the best player on Utah which happens to be fighting for the 2nd spot in the west....therefore not a 2nd tier player. Same with Amare, a player who can drop 20-40 pts and +10 rebounds any given night. Come on if Dirk is considered top tier, then so should Amare. So the new parameters mean that any team can have two superstar, franchise players.

    SF - Lebron James. You have to pick Lebron and I agree with sunny here. He is absolutely dominating. Can take over a game at any time and the example against the Celtics was perfect. They were down 20+ points and then Lebron gets mad. Enough said in that they probably would have won the game apart from that rare mental mistake from Lebron. If you look at his stats, it is ridiculous. Apart from the offensive part of his game, the defensive help that he provides on the weak side is ridiculous. He'll go 27 pts, 12 rbs, 8 assists, 3 blocked shots on an almost regular day basis. I don't think there has been a player with his freakish athletic abilities that can play defense like he does along with dominating a game offensively. From what I have watched of Jordan, he couldn't block shots as spectacularly as Lebron (but I do believe that MJ was the best player to play the game and anyone who gets two three-peats and could have won 8 in a row if he hadn't switched the baseball deserves that title). Also, Lebron can play all positions so when the team wants to run quickly and smaller, he could be the 4 or 5, but can also play the point or shooting guard when necessary. Finally, there is no way Durant can defend Lebron but Lebron can do a better job on Durant than the other way around. Lebron is so strong and quicker than Durant even tho he does have those very long arms and quick release...just realistically Lebron could take it to Durant almost every time I believe.

  3. ross's post cont.

    PF - Dirk Nowitzki. Okay...I hate Dirk. He is the most awkward big man. I am from Houston and the mav's are just the dirtiest players who should not win games. However, Dirk is a stat machine. He is a 7 ft 3pt shooter who has the most insane step back one footed jump shot which I swear to god almost always goes in. He can drive well and also play defense. He would be a major component to any team but definitely can be considered the best power forward in the game right now. The fact that he can play offensively and defensively is why he is better than Amare as much as I hate him.

    PG - Russell Westbrook. He has the potential to become one of the best pt guards in the league. He is definitely a role player on the Thunder right now with Durantula and Jeff Green being their major players. However, he is able to run the offensive and give Durant a lot of wide open shots. Not only does he have the ability to pass the ball, but have you seen how athletic this kid is? Not to mention that he is a pretty solid scoring point guard who in the next season or two could possible score and pass as much as Williams and Paul (The two best pg in the game... CHARLIE. How could you say 2nd tier.....).

    C - Andre Jordan. Okay, I know that this is a pretty random pick for center however if you ever do feel like watching the Clippers, look at this guy. First of all he is HUGE. Secondly he is athletic as hell and can play defense well. He would be like a better Tyson Chandler or Emeka Okafor as in he can rebound and defend but isn't the greatest scorer like Howard. This guy is a monster player though. With his size and athletic ability, he is one of the few centers who can match up with Howard, Perkins, and Bynum (three of the best centers in the game - not including Yao with the three because he is injured right now). He is definitely better than Oden and continually improves in his game each season. Imagine the twin towers of Nowitzki and Jordan - two 7+ footers.

    SG - Now I am going to pick a player based on the fact that Sunny chose Ray Allen, Amare, and Lebron as his big three. I choose Andre Iguodala as my SG based on salaries so that this is comparable to Sunny's decisions. Amare and Lebron both make 20+ million a year and Ray Allen is probably around 8-14 (in his last year of his big contract from the supersonics) and Iguodala is comparable to that. He is one of the best defenders at his position and can score the ball. One of the most underrated players in the league. He is freakishly athletic as well and is decently sized so he can defend pretty much 1 2 3 and sometimes the 4 position if necessary or there was a defensive mix up.

    With this team you have defense in Jordan, Dirk, Lebron, Iguodala, and Westbrook. All of the players are athletic monsters who can block shots and defend the dribble. Offensively, with the exception of Jordan who will have a ton of put back dunks and alleyoops, everyone can create their own shot and create passing lanes for other players to have wide open jumpers. The three would be a little less consistent with Dirk as the best, but Lebron and Iguodala can catch fire and hit three's. This team would dominate for years because they are pretty young as well (Dirk has a couple good years left in him and he is by far the oldest player). Plus their salaries would stay under the typical salary cap. Overall, this is a team that can play exactly how you would want them to. With good unselfish basketball based upon great defense which will lead to incredible offense.

  4. Okay, Sunny was super unclear on this, so I'm going to post this CLEARLY.

    1. First Tier Stars (I'm going by a mixture of PER and Fantasy Value): Lebron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Roy

    2. Second Tier Stars: Deron Williams, Amare Stoudemire, Gerald Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, Derrick Rose, Danny Granger.

    3. You can't pick anyone from anyone else's team.

    4. Your veteran MUST have been in the league a minimum of 12 years, and cannot be a member of the first or 2nd tier players.

    5. Your role players must actually be ROLE PLAYERS on their current team. This means they cannot be in the top 3 in scoring on their own current team.

    So lets take a look at Ross's incredibly imbalanced team

    PG: Russell Westbrook

    SG: Andre Iguodala

    SF: Lebron James

    PF: Dirk Nowitzki

    C: DeAndre Jordan

    2 first tier guys, Lebron (Sunny already took Lebron, you can't have him) and Dirk, 2 borderline 2nd tier guys, Iggy and Westbrook. Westbrook, is 2nd on his team in scoring and leads his team in assists. IGUODALA LEADS HIS TEAM IN SCORING, ASSISTS, STEALS, MINUTES, AND IS 2ND IN REBOUNDING. HE IS NOT A ROLE PLAYER.

    No one on your team has played 12 years in the league. Dirk's at 11, but he's a first tier guy, so it's moot anyways. Iggy's played 5 years, Westbrook, 1, Lebron, 6, Jordan, 1

    Ross here's why Deron Williams is a 2nd tier star: He averages 18, 4, and 10. Those are not first tier numbers. Lebron averages 30, 8, and 9. THOSE are first tier numbers. Your "role player" Westbrook averages 17, 5, and 8. He's almost as good as Deron. Also, if you think Amare is on Dirk's level, we may have to reevaluate your knowledge of the NBA.

    The only real role player you have on your team is DeAndre Jordan. (His name is not Andre) You have to redo your team man. I'll even help you, let's build a team around Dwight Howard. You could have Jason Kidd as your veteran, think about how much more Howard would score if he had a real point guard putting the ball in the right spots for him? Think about it.

  5. Don't fear, I'm back to restore order.

    First Charlie, sneaky move, sneaking Timmy in there under the veteran label. C'mon now, your washed up veteran cannot still be a current all-star, but i'll give it you, Duncan is obviously not the player he once was and is definitely showing his age. However, he is still one of the top 5 low post players in the league and clearly the Spurs' franchise player, not credentials for a washed up-vet. Williams is legit, but I would have Lebron or Ariza guarding him so it won't matter that he's big, in fact my team's length should neutralize him slightly and result in smaller windows and fewer passing lanes. Can't argue with battier (silent Duke shout-out charlie, you biased blue-devil). I was actually thinking battier when i decided i'd rather have Ariza's athleticism, but its a trade off i'm willing to live with. And Ross is right Lebron can guard Durant better than Durant can guard Lebron and overall you're team would have some defensive woes because there is no actual shot-blocker (noah isn't big enough or athletic enough to be considered one). But Duncan would be matchup nightmare, he would get both my posts in foul trouble.

    As for Ross, c'mon now, Stoudemire is not a franchise player or a tier one superstar (and Dirk is a vastly more complete player than stoudemire in skill and understanding the game, which may be the most important part for a franchise type player). A tier 1 player is vital to its team's basketball health, Amare isnt even the most important player on his team (that would be Nash), plus, we saw just a couple of years ago when stoudemire went down that the Suns can replace him and be fine. He 's good player, who has great potential (like you said he can put 30 and 10 on any night), but his time is running out to cash that in into true franchise stud status. You can only trade on potential for so long. Same thing for Deron Williams, as of now you don't build around him, he's just a real nice piece.

    Your team has two legitimate franchise cornerstones Lebron and Dirk (who is scary good, people forget, that elbow jumper is true under any condition), but you can't have both, pick one.

    I was actually thinking about DeAndre Jordan, but I decided he's too erratic, he jumps at everything and is a little too sluggish for me (but i have to admit, i havent watched him play that much), but I'd go with someone like Camby over him even Lemarcus Aldridge who'd bring in a nice offensive game, but he doesn't rebound like he should. And you can't consider salaries. All you have to know about salaries is that Tracy Mcgrady and Jermaine O'neal are two of the top three paid players in the league..salaries don't reflect anything except who was good five years ago. Also your guys wouldn't stay under the cap. Lebron and Dirk would both be max guys (i think 16 mil) and Iggy is getting 12 right now. Westbrook will be looking to cash in on his quality play and Deandre, well he's a throw in. Point is the cap is only projected to be 53 million next year, you couldn't have any other players around them.
    As for the not picking players on other teams, i don't really care about that that much, you can pick Lebron and build your own squad around him. Having said all that your team is solid though (if it were allowed), four athletes around of those athletes being Lebron. But if I could pick another superstar to go with Lebron, I think I would pick Howard, or carmelo, pair LBJ with a dominant scorer.

  6. Wow this is unbelieveable. Do EITHER or you watch NBA basketball. All I am going to say is that sunny did not make any of his rules clear. Tim Duncan is not a role player so charlie you must have been out of your mind when you decided on that one. If Ray Allen is a "ROLE PLAYER" then I'm actually named John and not Ross. Finally, based on the teams everyone else made is what I chose my players on because of how ridiculously stacked with top players they are. DERON WILLIAMS IS A TOP TIER PLAYER. HOW COULD HE NOT BE CONSIDERED A TOP PLAYER. SOMEONE WHO SCORES 20+ and dishes out 10+ assists? PLUS being a huge point guard who is extremely strong and dominating. That is ridiculous. Secondly, Camby is old, and LeMarcus Aldridge is a 2nd tier star player not a role player.

  7. omg ross . . . you still haven't read anything we wrote. Tim Duncan is my VETERAN. Ray Allen is Sunny's VETERAN. DERON WILLIAMS AVERAGES 18 POINTS, NOT 20+. Read what we posted before you post.

  8. Yea, John. And please stop shouting via the written word, this is a civilized discussion of irrational possibilities.