Saturday, July 21, 2012

Your Mega NBA Off-season article

The Boys are back! Chris and Lee are talking Dream Team vs. the 2012 Olympic team, Jeremy Lin, and the rest of the busy NBA offseason!

Chris: Mr. Kunkel nice of you to join me this evening! There has been a ton, I mean a ton, of stuff going on. You know what this calls for? A mega-NBA offseason article of greatness!
Lee: Awesome! What’s on tap first?
Chris: Well let’s start with the original reason on why we wanted to do this-- the Olympic Team. Of course Kobe said that this year’s 2012 Olympic team is better than the original Dream Team. I disagreed, you didn’t...

Lee: My stance is this: They aren’t better, but they can beat them.  I could see either winning in a seven game series.

I also believe this team was ROBBED from true greatness by injury, the Dream Team was not. You’ve got Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwayne Wade, Derrick Rose, etc.

Chris: They absolutely were! D-Rose, Wade, Howard, Bosh, and Aldridge (who might be the most underrated player in the game)..... Hell, Rose, Wade, and Howard are hall-of-famers to be, that’s incredible.
What’s your theory on how they’d do this [beat the Dream Team]?
Lee: Match-up problems. Size is certainly a disadvantage for the ‘12 team, but they are SOOO much more athletic and I think people fail to realize that.

Chris: I’m just not sure how they would match-up, especially if the ’12 team goes with the starting five they did in their exhibition vs. Brazil with ‘Melo instead of KD starting.
Lee: But Remember, Bird was done in ‘92, Magic was coming off an off year from HIV, and Drexler/Stockten was banged up. ALSO the numbers are a bit skewed in my opinion. International ball was complete crap then. This year’s Nigeria team that barely made Olympics may have metaled in ‘92.
Chris: I’m thinking this year’s team runs out a starting five of Paul-Kobe-LeBron-‘Melo-Chandler, that’s their biggest line-up (yikes).

Lee: That’s the lineup I’d run out.

Chris: Just like vs. Brazil, a game in which they struggled in, albeit it being a pointless exhibition and all.
Charles Barkley and Larry Bird would have been too much for
this years Olympic squad, according to Chris.

Let me take a look at the match-ups real quick. The Dream Team is trotting out a starting lineup of Magic, MJ, Bird/Malone, Barkley, and Patrick Ewing. This years team would get eaten alive by the size down low. Chandler could hold his own against Ewing but after that you’ve got ‘Melo guarding either Bird (Best PF of all-time), Malone (not a slack himself) or Charles Barkley (Maybe the second best player on the team behind Jordan). In the words of Barkley himself “that’s turrible.”

The Backcourt would be much, much more fun. Paul trying to guard Magic/Stockton would be interesting… Then you have the most entertaining match-up of all time with Jordan taking on either Kobe (practically a Jordan clone) or LeBron (the most physically gifted player to ever step on a court). That’s awesome. No, it’s more than awesome. Words can’t even describe that.

Lee: I think people are under mining Kobe. It’s not like he is a scrub. Dude could have won the scoring title this year, carried an overrated LA team, and has proven he can still lock down anyone.
Chris: I feel the same way... In what world do we live in that Kobe is UNDERRATED!? But that’s just how it is.

Lee: As for the size discussion, LeBron played Center vs. Hibbert and shut him down. Love is a PERFECT international C, and Chandler locks down.

Chris: Thats Roy Hibbert though... Not Ewing or Robinson.

Lee: I thinks it’s closer than people think. With that said, advantage ‘92 team. Barkley-Ewing-Robinson is hard to overcome, but I can throw Melo-Bron-KD. Maybe the three biggest miss matches in NBA right now

Chris: I think the one advantage this U.S team would have is their pure athleticism/defense. Magic was never a good defender and Barkley was born 30 pounds overweight.
Lee: I just think this team is so much more athletic. They could wear them down. This is a bit off topic, but generally I’ll take a team of current athletes over past. This generation is just more athletic. And my ultimate question is who is guarding LBJ. Dude is just unreal.

Chris: Simmons made a good point in the book of basketball.... I think he made the cutoff of comparing current and former players at like 1980. What was the biggest difference? WE FINALLY HAD BLACK GUYS! ‘Bron is the most athletic creature to ever walk on a bball court and some of these current athletes (like Shaq, D12, etc.) would eat alive those poor 210 pound centers from back in the day.
Also random: You know what would be funny? Bird trash talking ‘Melo for an entire game. Carmelo would lose his absolute mind.

Overall though what made you change your mind? When we first started talking about this, you took this year’s team. Was it the realization of the injuries? The shit-show vs. Brazil?

Lee: I didn’t change my mind I’d still take them. I’m not judging their performance in exhibition games, only the real thing.
Chris: Oh, by "advantage Dream team" I thought you were referring to the overall game... how stupid of me. I think Dream team wins by about 8-12 with Christian Laettner scoring 32 points just because

Lee: No the only advantage for the Dream Team is down low, that’s it. And at least my college kid is decent.
Chris: I think MJ has something to say about that, but that’s why it’s a fun thing to talk about, we won’t ever know.

Lee: Yeah, and I just think this teams athleticism would wear them down. MJ-Kobe would be soooooo fun. And let me ask you this, whos containing Paul/D-Will? Johnny was banged up bad, and Magic plays no D. Westbrook would run circles around Johnny.
Chris: Defensively, no one, but I think it goes both ways... Paul, Williams, and Westbrook are all good defenders (especially Russ) but the smoothness of both Stocktons and Magic game are something we might not see ever again
Lee: I'll give you Stockton but Magic took a year off. A whole year! No way he could run with those guys. Just no way.

Chris: But he did!

Lee: No run with Paul/Williams/Westbrook
Chris: He was a liability defensively anyway, who cares!

Lee: It’s a tough argument, both sides have their advantages. I’m just happy they are AMERICAN.

Chris: AMEN! USA! USA! USA! You know, I was hoping you would give me some sort of segway about LBJ so I can say this about him real quick: We've seen some really, really, really, good years from him... But we ain't seen nothing yet. I’m scared for the sake of the NBA.  His career is about to be Kemp over Lister awesome, and that’s the highest amount of awesome you can have.
Lee: Yes, the Thunder may be the only team that can touch them. Ray Allen/Rashard Lewis are huge upgrades.

Chris: Thoughts on Lin? He is officially a rocket
Lee: Stupid. Just stupid for BOTH teams. Here’s why: Rockets have nothing, Lin can’t carry a team, and for that amount of $$$ it’s dumb. He won’t be worth it there. For the Knicks, dumb as well. With the talent in NY, maybe you do get a 10-15$ million PG. But here’s my biggest pet-peeve. He makes luxury tax dollars plus more in one, maybe two years in that market. Easily. The dude played for like three weeks and had the second highest selling jersey. Plus it’s not bad if he learned from kid and they didn’t waste money on the corpse that is Ray Felton.
Leave it to a James Dolan led Knicks franchise to pass up on a
young/charismatic/talented/liked point guard.

Chris: You know what’s so interesting? No one has any idea what to think about this. You have the anti Lin-to-the-Knicks people (Wilbon) and the pro Lin-to-the-Knicks guys like Simmons and Doug Gottlieb. I’ll just say this: If Ray Felton comes in within 22 pounds of his playing weight that’s already a small victory. And you know what else is funny about this? Everyone talks about Lin being so D'Antoni needed that no talks about how bad Felton has been the past year and a half! He might be even more D’Antoni needy then Lin! Bad bad bad for the Knicks.
Lee: Hahaha yeah. I found it interesting Lin said he wanted NY.
Chris: Of course he did... Better team and he would swim in the shit piles of money he’d get from marketing
Lee: Lets go best and worst off-seasons thus far.
The addition of Anthony Davis and others can
potentially make the Hornets a powerhouse down
the road, according to Chris and Lee.
I’ll start off by taking New Orleans. Love Anderson/Rivers/Davis. Resigning Gordon was huge, I think he’ll be a star someday.
Chris: You read my mind, I LOVE what New Orleans has done. Can’t argue that at all, what a young core they have.

Lee: Two years, western conference contenders potentially.

Chris: It’s a good situation for Austin Rivers especially. He can be the man there.

Lee: My worst is Dallas. No direction for their franchise, and I can’t decide if they’re a playoff team or set to be stacking up lottery picks the next three years. They’re in the middle of being bad enough to not contend/good enough not to be awful enough to get a game changer via draft (if that makes sense). See: 76ers since Iverson left.

Chris: Poor Mark Cuban, just nothing can go right. I think losing J Kidd would have been a good thing..... if they had any sort of replacement. Why aren’t they trying to be players in this Howard deal? It makes complete sense. Cuban is so paranoid about nothing going right he’s coming atSimmons for signing Elton Brand and Chris Kaaman on twitter. Anytime the words: "Signing Elton Brand" are involved you’re gonna get criticized, I think it's a new rule under the CBA.

Lee: Yeah, that’s not good. I don’t know they must not have the pieces, not a lot of youth in Dallas right now.

Chris: That’s got to be the reason. They have nothing except Dirk, and assuming he comes in in-shape and motivated he can only carry them so long.

Lee: They got their title, and have coasted since.

Chris: We talked about this the other day, but the most involuntary funny thing that happened all year is the Raptors getting stuck with a terrible Landry Fields contract to keep the Knicks away from Nash so they could get him. No Nash for Toronto, but 20 million dollars’ worth of Landry Fields!

Lee: Poor Toronto, they’ll never be good.
Finals picks right now...subject to change. Miami vs. OKC... OKC in 6.
Chris: That’s too easy Lee, I thought you were better than that! I really like LA.... They might not be able to defend, but Nash is going to improve that team drastically.

I’m not making a finals pick. It’s July. I refuse to do it. And because I’m deeming this my article, we’re finished here.

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