Mar 4, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Jimmer Fredette (left) on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
This week's SB Nation network theme extravaganza is actually the first piece of a multi-week project spearheaded by the great Steve Perrin of Clips Nation. As you may know via Twitter jokes, FIBA is trying to develop three-on-three basketball as a real sport, like, in the Olympics and stuff. I know, right? The game we are all forced to play when we can only find a few other schlubs for pick-up is becoming a real thing.
While that develops, we decided to put together our own fake little 3-on-3 tournament based around current NBA rosters. Each NBA blog will be drawing up a 3-on-3 team from its roster, and a panel of superqualified judges (why yes, I am one) will determine winners, with the element of chance tossed in there. Today, all of the blogs are presenting their teams. I decided not to consult my co-pilots (because I am forgetful) or you all (because I am a jerk) and now present the Kings' three-on-three team.
Player No. 1: DeMarcus Cousins
The best player on the team gets the first nod. One of the tweaks of three-on-three is that offensive and defensive rebounding become more important -- there's no worry about getting back on defense because you're playing halfcourt, so everyone should be crashing the boards. Cousins is one of the best rebounders in the NBA. Ergo, he makes a lot of sense.
He's also quite a good scorer and a genuine champion, so ... easy choice.
Player No. 2: Tyreke Evans
I have a feeling any number of StRians would leave Tyreke off of their three-on-three team ... which is lunacy. He's proven to be the Kings' best one-on-one player, and three-on-three is a lot of one-on-one, albeit off of switches. Tyreke would be the rare player who benefits solely because he's usually facing four defenders in the plan. With more space to operate, I think Evans would do really well in this setting.
Player No. 3: Isaiah Thomas
This was a very tough pick between Isaiah, Marcus Thornton and John Salmons. Thornton is, in the vein of Tyreke, a good one-on-one player. But with Boogie and Reke on board, we needed a shooter. Isaiah's the shooter I'm more confident in, and he also runs a brilliant little pick-and-roll, which is a bread-and-butter three-on-three play. A DMC-Evans-Thornton team would be iso-iso-post-iso-post-iso, whereas a DMC-Evans-IT team will be P&R-iso-post-P&R-iso-post ... it'll be more varied and include more of a team concept. Salmons is versatile and has a pulse, and as such could also have been included.
The one danger with this team is that some clubs may have credible small forwards bigger than Evans (just like the last NBA season!), and some might even carry two big men. That's obviously a defense problem. Not a big enough one for me to include Chuck Hayes. Sorry.
I don't think this is a No. 1 seed or anything, but it's a potentially fun team with some scary opportunity to punish similar big-small-small teams. I'm looking forward to seeing how the other teams are put together.