Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"My Planet Defending NBA Team" by CBoh

Bob Ryan and more recently Bill Simmons have a fun gimmick, where they imagine a scenario in which elite, athletic aliens come down from space and challenge earth to a game of basketball for world domination. The way they do it is to build a team of the great basketball players of all time to defend our planet.

I am going to steal this gimmick, but use only current players. This is not a list of who I think are the best players currently playing, but my way of building the best single team to defend our planet, taking into account chemistry, team roles, and different lineups.

Pg- Chris Paul
The definition of a true point guard, in every sense of the term.  Born to lead a team. With a squad filled with so many elite, “alpha” players, Chris Paul controlling the offense like a maestro is exactly what this team needs.  One of the most respected players in the league, he has the skill set and reputation to run the offense to perfection, get everyone shots, and control the tempo of the game, however fast or slow they need to play. Defensively, he's one of the best at coming up with steals, and with this starting unit behind him, will be in a position to gamble for balls knowing who is behind him to cover him.
Sg- Paul George
With so many offensive weapons on the team, Paul George gets the starting spot at shooting guard for his defensive prowess and athletic ability.  His height and athleticism will allow the team to come out with a high-pressure defense that requires a lot of switching and athletes that can guard multiple positions. He will not be required to take on a heavy burden on offense, and this will allow him to do be unleashed defensively to do the great Paul George things he is known for.
Sf- Kevin Durant
An absolute basketball force. Offensively he is a man who was born to score the basketball. This season showed exactly what this man is capable of doing, posting almost 35-5-5 for the month of February. An unselfish player who cares more about his teammates than any superstar I can remember, and one who has an absolute disdain for losing. A perfect recipe for a player on a team when the fate of the earth depends on its winning. Defensively, he has unreal length and absurd athleticism that fits this starting lineup MO of causing complete havoc on the defensive end. 
Pf- Lebron James
Hands down the greatest player alive. If he wasn’t forced to take such an offensive burden, he could be defensive player of the year every year, and also has one of the most complete offensive games the NBA has ever seen. Unselfish to almost a fault but can take over a game better than anyone in the league. His size even allows him to slide into the power forward position.
C- Joakim Noah
In maybe an unpopular opinion, Noah gets the start over Howard or Gasol. All three bring intensity and skill defensively, but I believe Noah brings the most assets to the table and fits in best with what the starting line up in trying to accomplish.  He can be the defensive stud that anchors the absolutely menacing defensive starting unit. He can not only throw great outlet passes to start the fast break, but this season he proved more than capable of grabbing a rebound and running the fast break himself. Noah anchoring the paint allows the rest of the starters to use their length and athletic ability to absolutely wreak havoc and gamble for steals or blindside blocks, knowing that Noah is behind them for back-up.

So that’s the starting five of my planet defending line up. In my next posting, I’ll talk about my bench and overall game strategy.  The stakes are high.