The radio keeps advertising that NBA 3X (I guess that sounded cooler than the traditional NBA 3-on-3) is coming soon (meet NBA star Joel Anthony!!) and it got me thinking, if you were going to have a NBA 3X with actually NBA players (complete with NBA Jam sound-effects and announcing!!), which 3 Raptors would you want for your team?
So 3 guys, no bench.
For me, the first two picks are super obvious, Kyle Lowry and Andrea Bargnani. Lowry can do it all and Barg's would be a match-up nightmare for some teams and can hold his own in 1v1 defence.
But the 3rd spot is a bit more difficult. Demar Derozan would clearly be in the mix, but what about Jonas Valanciunas? Linas Kleiza? Landry Fields? Terrence Ross? Amir? Ed? Jose?
Of that group I would be tempted to pick Kleiza or Fields, as they would be good complementary players to Lowry and Bargnani. The 3rd guy needs to play D against some premiere players (LBJ, Kobe, etc) as Lowry would play the smallest guard (Wade and Nash on the Heat and Lakers) while Barg's gets the big man (Bosh and Gasol or Howard?). Because of that defensive assignment, perhaps Fields is the best choice, as he would be better 1v1 against guys like that than LK, who is really better against small 4's than fast 2's and 3's.
For the rest of the league, here are my 3X picks:
Atlanta: Lou Williams, Josh Smith, Al Horford
Boston: Rondo, Pierce, Garnett
Charlotte: Kemba Walker, Ben Gordon, MKG
Chicago: D-Rose, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson
Cleveland: Kyrie, Tristan Thompson, Varejao
Dallas: OJ Mayo, Marion, Dirk
Denver: Lawson, Iggy, Faried
Detroit: Stuckey, Prince, Monroe
GSW: Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes (shoot shoot and shoot some more)
Houston: Lin, Kevin Martin, Lamb (small but killer shooting!)
Indiana: George, Granger, West
LAC: Paul, Billups, Griffin (might have put Odom over Billups, but after last year's debacle, can't demote Mr. Big shot)
LAL: Nash, Kobe, Gasol (better passer and more versatile)
Memphis: Gay, Randolph, Gasol
Miami: Wade, LBJ, Bosh
Mil: Jennings, Ellis, Ilyasova
Minn: Rubio, Brandon Roy, Kevin Love
Brooklyn: Deron, Joe Johnson, K-Hump
NOH: Greivis Vasquez, Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis
NYK: Shumpert, Melo, Amare
OKC: Westbrook, Durant, Ibaka (sorry Harden!)
Orl: Affalo, Redick, Harrington
Philly: Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Bynum
Pho: Dragic, Beasley, Gortat (Scola, Dudley and Frye were all options too)
Portlant: Lillard, Batum, Aldridge
Sac: Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, D Cousins
SA: Parker, Ginobli, Duncan
Utah: Mo Williams, Paul Milsap, Derrick Favors
Wash: Wall, Beal, Nene