Sports arguments are awesome. I live to debate anything related to sports with my friends. Usually, we all formulate some pretty good arguments. The winner of these arguments is never really clear, but there is definitely someone with a slight edge. Maybe they had more facts. Maybe they had more relevant facts. Maybe they just screamed at a much higher volume until the other person just caved. Whatever the case may be, arguments usually have winners.
All of that being said, the Smokehouse gang is about to dive into a debate that really may not have a winner: who is on your all-time 3 on 3 team?
This question doesn’t have a clear answer at all. There are multiple combinations that would be absolutely horrifying in a 3 on 3 game environment. This isn’t to say there aren’t wrong answers. Obviously, there are poor ways to go about forming this 3 man squad. You should not combine Ish Smith, Dion Waiters, and Paul Zipser. Ish and Paul are not near good enough rebounders to go get all the bricks Dion will be tossing up, but Dion Waiters is a good centerpiece. (Obviously)
The players you pick depend on what kind of game you want to play. In a 3 on 3 scenario, there’s a lot of room to play with. My style would absolutely utilize that space with a dominant big to hold down the middle. It would be someone that could own the low post and bully other bigs, but also run out of the pick and roll. I’m taking Shaquille O’Neal back in his Lakers days for this. This gives me the chance to run some pick and roll or maybe post up with Shaq and dump it into the Big Diesel. This either leaves another big man vulnerable to Shaq’s terror, or opens up some wide open jumpers.
Next, I’m going to need someone to orchestrate the pick and roll with Shaq. I want a player that is an amazing passer, and some length and height couldn’t hurt. I don’t want a liability shooting the rock because Shaq is going to draw a lot of attention. I also want this guy to be able to take over the game himself and lockdown on the perimeter. I’m going with LeBron James to orchestrate my offense. He is basically a point guard and an absolute all-time passer. His size and length will overwhelm opposing point guards and he can see over them on offense. Now the one problem is that LeBron is not viewed as a great shooter. However, in the years that LeBron had someone other than Larry Hughes starting with him, he has been a very solid shooter. In fact, in his 4 years and his second stint with the Cavs, the King is a 36% shooter from 3. I’m confident LeBron can knock down some open j’s to be the perfect fit to run my team.
Now that my pick and roll is solidified, the last spot needs to be able to defend and score, whether that is off the dribble or spotting up. I have enough size with LeBron and Shaq, so I can pick a guard here. Why not go with the best player of all time? Michael Jordan it is. In Jordan, I get a scorer on all levels. Someone that can spread the floor to give the 2 man game some room. Someone that can run the pick and roll himself, while LeBron steps out to spread the floor. And someone that can take over the game with plenty of room to isolate.
With a team of Shaq, LeBron, and MJ, I get a team that can score on every single level and is built to play in space. Obviously every 3 on 3 team is going to be insane, but sign me up for LeBron-Shaq pick and rolls with a backup plan of an MJ isolation.