NBA All-Star basketball game: USA vs. International
NBA All-Star weekend needs to be tweaked a bit. We need a true NBA All-Star game to replace the up and down, fast pace, no defense, game we have now. The rest of the all-star weekends festivities can just be played out like normal, but what better way to cap off the weekend with a true hard nose basketball game? Instead of watching the East versus West showdown and the final score being 168-165, a better matchup would be America born all-stars versus the best of the NBA International players.
Here is why this works:
You know the rest of the world has caught up to the USA in hoops, and the foreign NBA players would be out to prove it. The NBA players would not want to lose and hear whispers of how they’re not the best anymore. With so much success lately with the Olympics, we could see a better version of this every year instead of every four-years. Also, you could still get the fans involved by having them vote and figuring a way in which NBA head coaches get half the vote and the fans split up the other half. They’re smart enough over at the NBA, they could figure this out and make it work.
Here is the projective lineups for both teams: (Best five players not based on their natural position)
*Fan vote could determine this as well
Point Guard: Chris Paul
Shooting Guard: James Harden
Small Forward: LeBron James
Power Forward: Kevin Durant
Center: Anthony Davis
Stephen Curry, John Wall, Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, LaMarcus Aldridge
There are plenty of players left off that could make the team. Leaving it up to a fan vote seems logical, but it’s safe to say that the majority of these players would be on the roster.
Seeing all these great players on the same team would be great. Usually you don’t have every great player playing in the Olympics and this would be a great scene for fans to see the best USA players all on one team. The lineups you could run would be endless and who would want to see lineups where you had LeBron, Melo, Durant, Curry and Harden all on the floor at the same time?
Or imagine a lineup of Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant and LeBron James? Which leads us to the International squad.
Point Guard: Tony Parker
Shooting Guard: Goran Dragic
Small Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki
Center: Marc Gasol
Luol Deng, Pau Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Andrew Bogut, Nene, Ricky Rubio, Manu Ginobili, Nicolas Batum, Andrew Wiggins, Al Horford
While the International team wouldn’t have the same glitz and glamour of names that the USA team does, this is a very solid squad that has a ton of length. The one spot that could hurt the International team might be three-point shooting. The Internationals have very few guys that could really make the defense pay for sagging and doubling.
However, with players like Wiggins, the Greek Freak, Deng and Batum, they certainly could matchup with the athleticism the USA team has to offer from the wing spot.
The International team would probably dump it down low a lot and force the USA team to either play big or beat up on some of their smaller wing players on the block.
Although this will be contradicting my point of a well-played game not in the mid to high 100’s, this game has all the makings of another 140-138 type game. One difference I think you’ll see though, and that’s defense being played. It’s tough to keep a two talented teams stacked to under 110 points anyways right? Hey it’s an all-star game they’re suppose to score. With so many talented players on the court, it’s hard to see any stretches of putrid ball, or scoring droughts as well.
This is really anyone’s guess. It seems like a team that has Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and so on, wouldn’t lose to anyone. But the a team made up of prideful International players would certainly bring it their all. If I had to make a prediction, I see the USA winning, but it would come down to the last couple minutes of the game.
USA 130 International: 127