With 3 on 3 basketball rumored to become an official Olympic sport in 2016 each SB Nation team blog is picking players for a mythical 3 on 3 tournament. SBNation/NBA will run a tournament, starting with a selection show where the teams are seeded. A panel of six judges will then determine the winner of each matchup, winner moves on, loser is out. BUT, to add an element of chance (as there would be in a single elimination tournament) only the odds of winning will be determined by the judges -- the actual winner will be based on a roll of a die. If all six judges pick one team, no need to roll. But if the vote is 5 to 1, the underdog still has a 1 in 6 chance of pulling the upset.
In this week's edition of SB Nation Basketball's collective posts, we were interested in how teams would matchup if they were to play FIBA-style 3 v 3 games. The only differences are that these hypothetical games would be halfcourt and instead of the FIBA rules of shots worth one point and two points if they're behind the arc, scoring is normal NBA style. Games consist of one 10-minute period, no fouling out, a 12-second shot clock and seven total fouls results in bonus situations. First team to 31 or the team ahead at the end of 10 minutes wins.
Frankly, in a league that now has multiple "Big 3's" and the Bobcats are one of, if not the, youngest NBA teams, this is a fun but somewhat sadly hilarious exercise. I mean, in our division alone, Hot Hot Hoops has Miami putting out LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh; Peachtree Hoops picked Atlanta using Josh Smith, John Jenkins and Al Horford; Bullets Forever selected John Wall, Nene Hilario and Trevor Ariza for Washington; and Orlando Pinstriped Post chose Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo and Gustavo Ayon for the Magic. But maybe with some crazy lineup we can shake it up and beat some teams besides Orlando!
It's a tricky situation the Bobcats are in with this. In this type of game with only halfcourt play, there will be no transition offense or defense. The floor will be much more spaced, too. But with a shortened shot clock, there won't be as much time for post play.
Are my picks on the team who I think are the best players on the team? No, not at all. But I do think they're probably best at playing in this type of game together. Maybe.
At this point in their games, I think Sessions has the edge over Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon. Gordon has the best jump shooting of the three, but Sessions' uptick in FG% at the rim (60.9 percent, compared to Gordon's 50 percent and Walker's 49.4 percent) is a major advantage to me as is his ability to get there for attempts at the hoop. Gordon's candidacy here also takes a hit because he is an underwhelming passer. Walker is a major step up from him in this regard, and Sessions even more so. Walker has the best defense of the three, due to quicker feet which definitely helps in isolation situations (0.67 points per play allowed, per MySynergySports.com), which would probably be common in the 3 on 3 game style. Synergy also indicates Walekr is better at defending the pick and roll than the others, allowing only .75 PPP, placing him in the top 76 players at defending ball handlers on the pick and roll. Meanwhile, Sessions is merely a mediocre and subpar defender. Regardless, I can't say Walker's defensive advantages outweigh Sessions' offensive ones. I'll take Sessions.
This team will need perimeter defense and I can pick no one better than Kidd-Gilchrist for this. I'm worried about his offense in this situation, but perhaps more space to operate mitigates those concerns. He can defend anywhere on the court from the rim to halfcourt and at nearly any position and can finish at the hoop, so I'll take him. I'm also tempted to take Jeffery Taylor, who could add some shooting range and defense. Reggie Williams is intriguing too, because of his offensive versatility and shooting ability, though his defense would put a lot of pressure on the interior D.
So now this team needs scoring. Byron Mullens can do that! I really like this idea because he can take a defender out of the paint, opening even more space for Sessions and Kidd-Gilchrist. Defensively, we might be looking at an improved Byron Mullens but his most concerning defensive problem (defending in the post) is not as much an issue here because of the shorter shot clock anyway. The pick and pops or pick and rolls he could run with Sessions would contribute a fair amount of scoring, I would hope. Biyombo's lack of offense would be an issue for me, so despite his clear defensive proficiency, I think I'd have to pass on him. The lack of transition game hurts his ability to contribute points as well.
My other team ideas would be Sessions/Williams/Biyombo or Sessions/Taylor/Mullens.
I might just be crazy.
Who's on your team?