(Note: We'll continue the Prospecticon series tomorrow...)
Blazer's Edge had a question that relates to one of those silly workplace arguments my friends and I always seem to have. BE asked: What separates an NBA player from the guys who can't quite cut it? Check out their thread for the discussion.
What we wondered about in the office was what would happen if some random dude off the street was inserted in the lineup of a great team in a major sports league and got starter's playing time. Take me, for example. I was a reasonably good high school athlete. No pro prospects whatsoever, but I played varsity baseball then, and nowadays I play pickup basketball, run and do yoga regularly. I can probably break 6.3 seconds in the 40 yard dash, and I can probably break a 9 minute mile. I know, bow before my athletic prowess.
Put me at safety for the New England Patriots, and I might last three plays before getting maimed.
In baseball, our consensus is that if I were to replace the Gabe Kapler/Ben Zobrist duo in the Tampa Bay Rays' outfield -- even though I played high school ball at a high level in Northern California and probably wouldn't be tripping over myself, and assuming my shoulder has healed somewhat from years of pitching abuse -- at my absolute best they'd lose thirty-five more games and sink to the bottom of the American League. That's also assuming I hit slightly better than Garth Brooks did against spring training pitching, for a whole season, and I managed to field within the same universe as Pat Burrell. They'd be mountains better if they just DHed me.
In basketball, though, there is no strong consensus what would happen if I replaced Delonte West on the Cleveland Cavaliers. My thought on the matter is after the jump, but I'd like to read what you think would happen if some Average Joe were put on an NBA court for a full season.
If I replaced Delonte West, the Cavs would be playing 4-on-5 most of the time. Sure, I might hit a couple wide open three pointers over the course of the season in a half court set, but more realistically, the Cavs' best chance of winning would be to park me under the opposing team's basket, play a box zone on defense, and if they get a steal or other quick turnover, fire it down the court for a, hopefully, easy layup.
If the other team gets back, which it will much of the time, LeBron would be doubled Stephen Curry style, so my role would probably be to drift around the perimeter, set off ball screens for Mo Williams, and otherwise get out of everyone's way. If I'm wide open for a three, we're probably better off if I don't take it, but the shot clock is unforgiving, and I'd probably have to take a few.
At best, I guess the Cavs would win a total of 10 games this way. They'd give up 160 points per game, except on the few occasions when an opponent went ice cold from distance and LeBron couldn't be stopped. On those nights, they'd win by scores of 150-145.