NBA All-Star Weekend 3 v. 3 Tournament

No East vs West this year. Check out Upper Gulph as we split the All-Star rosters into threes.

Roo set the stakes last night, and the draft has taken place. Here’s the list of who took who, and why. Keep in mind, here are the ‘Captains’ followed by the 16 other All-Stars. The ‘Captains’ were chosen because of how many votes they received. Howard was #1, and Melo was #8, so we inverted the order for the draft:

1. Melo
2. CP3
3. D-Wade
4. KD
5. LeBron
6. D-Rose
7. Kobe
8. Dwight Howard
All Stars: Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, Blake Griffin, Andrew Bynum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, Roy Hibbert
Jalbs: If I’m Melo, then I’m taking a point guard who can penetrate the lane and kick it out to me, while also not requiring the ball to be an effective playmaker. That eliminates Russ and to a lesser extent D-Will, leaving me with Nash and Rondo. As a Celtics fan this pains me, but Nash is putting up video-game numbers at the PG position this season, shooting 54% from the field – 7th in the league and first among guards – and leads the league in assists per game. It’s a no-brainer. Melo takes Nash.
Frank: As CP3, I’m looking for some paint presence to complement me on the perimeter. Since the draft rules prohibit me from drafting a teammate, a-la NHL, that leaves Blake out of the equation. And while Dirk is fun to watch in the high post, he’s too much of a playmaker to be on a team with me. I’m going with K-Love as my front court man because you can’t go wrong with 14 rebounds per game.
Jake:  With D-Wade, you have one of the most athletic PG/SG players in the history of the game: A fantastic scorer with a nose for the ball and a clutch presence. Wade is already an established team leader and one of the best athletes in the game, so what better way to compliment great athleticism than to add more athleticism? Griffin is the go-to here for Wade. Not only does this team become the instant must-watch, but with an open court 3-3 format, these two are gonna punish the slower big men with the pick and roll: Lob City all over again for Blake. Griffin gives Wade the interior rebounding presence on the defensive end as well, allowing Wade to be aggressive with the guards he plays against. Also I speak in the third person.

Roo: Well this is way harder than I had anticipated. KD doesn’t really have any glaring weakness; he’s got height, he can shoot from anywhere, and he isn’t afraid to drive either. I really wanted to go Bynum at first to get a body down low, but I don’t think that having a center is going to be crucial in this tournament. With his inability to pick Russell later on I think that KD needs to take a strong point guard here and goes with Deron Williams. He’s probably one of the most underrated point guards in the game and the ability to drive is integral on a wide open court like this.
Jalbs: Receding hairlines unite! Bron-Bron still has his pick of most of the top players in the league, and with his skill set, he can choose anyone from a point to a center to David Stern and he’ll still be a mismatch in this tournament. With that in mind, King James is probably in ‘best player available’ draft mode. I’m really torn here. On one hand, I can take high-scoring Russ Westbrook. On the other, I can take breakout star Lamarcus Aldridge and start him at center/forward/big man. At this point, there are more quality guards available than there are athletic big men, leading me to choose Aldridge. I’ll wait it out and take a guard in the final round.
Frank: Okay I’m going to switch it up. I know I bashed Dirk before because I didn’t want him to clash with a point guard, but I feel like the energy that Derrick and Dirk would bring to a 3v3 game would be hard to stop. Here, you have two guys who can shoot from almost anywhere on the court. Either teammate can drive to the hoop, and both can receive a kick-out for the long ball. Nowitzki it is.
Jake: OK so I’m Kobe. I want the ball, my team should give it to me, and, truth be told, all I do is take good shots. I’m clutch, I have a solid work ethic, I’m a champion and a leader, me me me me. I need a glue guy here, so I’m taking Iguodala. I’m gonna run the point and take all the shots, so I just need a guy who I can pass to and get the ball back immediately. Iguo is that dude, and he’s a great defender and can board up with bigger guys. He’s got above average vision too, which is a plus because, well, I’m Kobe. I’m, I mean, my team, is gonna win this thing.
Roo: DOUBLE DWIGHT PICK! I understand his plight. He can’t put on the ball on the ground and he can’t create for himself outside of the post. He relies on other people to get him the ball, but with the other team being able to send double teams at him I think his team, regardless of whose on it has a solid chance to win the whole thing. In no particular order, Dwight has to go with Russell Westbrook and and Paul Pierce. Russell is the perfect point guard for this team with his decent jump shooting ability and his explosive drives. He’s the perfect 3v3 point guard, period. Paul Pierce then closes out the team nicely with his pick and pop ability and excellent movement off the ball. He also won’t give up any baskets on defense, with can’t be overlooked in short games like these. And probably most importantly, neither of these guys are going to clog up the paint, giving Dwight the space he needs to wreck faces down low.
Jake: Its your boy Kobe again, and my already stacked team, which includes me, is about to get better. Need another team guy, a guy who’s gonna subscribe to the Kobe system. That man is Chris Bosh. I’ve been watching this guy play with some scrubs in Miami and this guy knows his place and does his job. Perfect, because I need a rebounder to pass the ball to Iguo, who passes to me for the shot. He’s got that perfect 3-3 game because he’s big, but he’s got an outside jumper and moves well for his size. Just looking at my team right now, oh man, my jaw is protruding so hard thinking about it.
Frank: Just in case the Double-D combo had too much energy, Rose goes with someone who can hold down the middle. Oh yeah, and he’s the second 7-footer on the team. Ladies and gentlemen: Andrew Bynum. Sure, his lack of agility isn’t exactly desirable in a 3’s game, but with Dirk and Derrick running all over the place, Bynum should be good for double digit rebounds.
Jalbs: Team LeBronDridge needs a ball-handler, and there are two left on the board, Rondo and Tony Parker. I originally was going to take Parker with this pick, but I feel that Rondo is better at getting into the lane and kicking the ball out. With two guys who excel at the mid-range game, Rondo is a nice complementary piece. Team LeBron might be the best defensive team in the tournament, given Rondo’s on-ball skills. The only concern is facing a team with a true center, as Aldridge might not be up to task.
Roo: As incredible as KD is at absolutely everything, he’s just a little too skinny to body up the big men down low, especially since I don’t think there’s a way to win this thing without going through team Dwight. This leaves me stuck between the only two big men left on the board, Hibbert and Marc Gasol. I think if I’m KD I need to go Hibbert here. First off, he’s not Spanish, which is great, and secondly, he is way more athletic, meaning he can guard people outside the post, which I don’t think Marc can manage that well. Team KD to the ‘ship!
Jake: Team Wade-Griffin is in need of some solid defensive help. In the 3-3 format we’re in need of a lanky, perimeter guy to defend the Lebron, Melo types. Luol is perfect here, and he’s got an offensive game to go along with a tenacious attitude on the boards. This guy is really developing into the kind of NBA talent people thought he’d be when he was at Duke. Great character guy too, so he’d really gonna fit in with team Wade. We’re gonna kill it on the chemistry end, and our competitiveness is only enhanced with a guy like Deng. Wade has spoken.
Frank: So I kind of screwed myself as Chris Paul here; I’m left with either Tony Parker or Marc Gasol. Process of elimination, I’m not about to share the point position, so I’m picking up Gasol. This really hurts my ability to spread out on the court, but, again, two big men is always a challenge for a defense. I’m feeling a little high-low post action, with KLove up near the elbow.
Jalbs: Welp, this did not go as planned. When I took Nash, I was not expecting to be saddled with a second point guard. But with the final pick in the Inaugural UGS NBA All-Star 3 v. 3 Tournament, Team Melo snags Tony Parker. I’ll be honest, this is the worst team of the eight. We can’t rebound, we can’t play defense, and we can’t even post up someone taller than 6’8’. We’re going to get bounced in the first round by Team Howard, and it won’t be close. Our only hope is if we just jack threes from beginning to end, but even with three good shooters, we’re in trouble. Where’s Tyson Chandler when you need him?

Next post…Who wins the damn thing?

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