Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jon v. Sean v. Steve: NBA Draftapalooza

Here at TW42M, we love to get into pointless, arbitrary, hypothetical arguments that we can’t prove one way or another. So, here is a ten-round draft of all current NBA players (meaning that players who are currently hurt like Tony Parker, Derrick Rose, and Rajon Rondo aren’t eligible). The draft went in a snake fashion with Jon taking Lebron and me taking Durant. These teams are going to actually play together (well not actually but you know what I mean), so this isn’t simply a fantasy team or the Kings. Chemistry matters. Age and contracts don’t: this team is playing this season and this season only.

Rounds 1-3
Jon: LeBron (1), Sean: Durant (2), Steve: Chris Paul (3), Steve: Tim Duncan (4), Sean: Kobe (5), Jon: D-Wade (6), Jon: Dwight Howard (7), Sean: Melo (8), Steve: James Harden (9)

Rounds 4-6
Steve: Paul George (10), Sean: Marc Gasol (11) Jon: Russell Westbrook (12), Jon: Steph Curry (13), Sean: Kyrizzle (14), Steve: Blake Griffin (15), Steve: Tyson Chandler (16), Sean: Dirk Nowitzki (17), Jon: Al Horford (18)

Rounds 7-10
Jon: LaMarcus Aldridge (19), Sean: Joshua Smits (20), Steve: Brook Lopez (21), Steve: 22. Jrue Holiday (22), Sean: Ty Lawson (23), Jon: Joakim Noah (24), Jon: Luol Deng (25), Sean: Andre Iguodala (26), Steve: Paul Pierce (27), Steve: Joe Johnson (28), Sean: Z-Booooooooooo (29), Jon: KG (30)

Steve’s Starting 5: Chris Paul, James Harden, Paul George, Blake Griffin, Tim Duncan
Sixth Man: Joe Johnson
Team Strength: Size down low
Team Weakness: Perimeter defense

Jon’s Starting 5: Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard
Sixth man: Russell Westbrook (and LaMarcus Aldridge can spell KG if needed)
Strength: Defense and post play
Weakness: Not a ton of outside shooting

Sean’s Starting 5: Kyrie Irving, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Marc Gasol
Sixth man:  Dirk Nowitzki (with Andre Iguodala or Josh Smith spelling Anthony and Durant depending on matchups)
Strength: Have the three leading scorers in the league
Weakness: Starters’ defense, and there is only one basketball per game

Best Pick:

Jon: Russell Westbrook at 12 (although Jon plans on using him as a 6th man instead of Curry which I’m guessing wouldn’t have happened if Curry hadn’t just dropped 54 at MSG).

Steve: Paul Pierce at 27. Steve was obviously going to pick his boy at some point, but to get a guy who can still score 20 points a game in the second to last round is impressive. Pierce as the leading scorer for a second unit would be awesome. I hope he does this at the end of his career.

Sean: Z-Bo at 29. Randolph leads the league in rebounding and is a matchup nightmare. I can also pair him with Gasol and get their chemistry. Z-Bo will have a huge chip on his shoulder and score against any big guy.

Worst Pick:

Jon: LaMarcus Aldridge doesn’t necessarily bring the size or specific skill set of a role player. Unlike someone like Horford who can defend or Deng and Noah who can also defend and pass, Aldridge is sort of a big guy who gets the ball a lot.

Steve: Duncan/Paul George (4 and 10). Neither one of these guys were really going to be taken in the first ten picks so for that reason alone, they weren’t particularly valuable picks.

Sean: Ty Lawson at 23. There is a scarcity of elite point guards with three top dudes out and Deron Williams dead, but Lawson at 23 is a reach for a point guard, especially one who can’t shoot or defend particularly well.

Who Would Win?

Steve v. Jon: Steve doesn’t have the defense to stop Jon’s team which has LeBron. Really that’s all the analysis you need. Lopez, Johnson, Pierce, and Griffin aren’t exactly great defenders and Tyson Chandler can only erase so many mistakes. Jon in 6.

Steve v. Sean: Steve’s team is just a little bit better than mine. He’s got the ability to penetrate with CP3 and Harden which hurts against a team that is playing Durant and Melo as their forwards. I just have too many chuckers that can shoot me out of a game. Steve in 7.

Sean v. Jon: Jon has LeBron, and as much as Durant and Melo can get at him, it might feel good for a little but it ain’t enough. A front line of KG/Howard seems like it’d be awesome on paper, but both guys have slipped a ton. LeBron and Noah can make up for it on the glass, but they will get beat up by Smith’s athleticism and Z-Bo’s moves/swag. Doesn’t matter, LeBron could have Drew Gooden, Boobie Gibson, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas and still beat anyone. Jon in 5.  

Scattered thoughts:
The first round was very standard, LeBron and KD are obviously 1-2, and it is 'take someone other than Paul' with Tony Parker (world’s best PG) hurt.

Steve’s second round pick of Duncan might have been a bit of a reach but Steve obviously wasn’t taking Kobe or Wade and interior defense is, you know, an important part of the sport.

Jon took Dwight Howard 7th overall which seems pretty high considering all the negative things we’ve read about Dwight this season. When asked why, Muchin said, “because if he doesn't have to cover for everyone constantly, I think he can still be a great defensive player.”

Confession: picking Melo in the third round was out of fear that he’d drop further and further and I couldn’t take that.

Picks 15-21 were all flawed big men with some really really good parts. This is basically the NBA for big men now and why Dwight Howard is still the best center in the league in my book. In my mind, Griffin, Chandler, Nowitzki, Horford, Smith, and Brook Lopez are all interchangeable. I’d also include Joakim Noah at 24, Z-Bo at 29, and KG at 30. They will all give you between 15-20 points but can’t be your #1 guy.

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