TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 21: Jeremy Lamb #1 of the Houston Rockets poses for a portrait during the 2012 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot at the MSG Training Center on August 21, 2012 in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
You probably didn't see this, but FIBA is considering making three-on-three basketball an Olympic sport.
How crazy is that? And by crazy, I mean, uh, FREAKING AWESOME. It'd be the closest thing to a real-life version of NBA Jam, minus the sky-high dunks and basketballs that can spontaneously catch fire (which would actually serve as a nice incentive to get Kevin Martin to pass the ball more). Maybe take the trampolines from Slamball and see what Kevin Durant can do?
No, no, we're getting away from the point. Three-on-three in the 2016 Olympics. It's possible, and it got all of us in the SBNation basketball network thinking: What if individual NBA teams formed squads of their own? Let's have some fun and do our best to take three Rockets and form what will no doubt be a very, very average (at best) team.
Rules? Yes, there are rules. Here they are:
Twos and threes (even though FIBA apparently wants to make their tournament ones and twos)
Games are 1 10 minute period -- team ahead at the end of 10 minutes wins;
UNLESS a team reaches 31, in which case that team wins (FIBA rules state 21, but that with 1 and 2 pointers);
7 fouls results in the bonus situation;
You can't foul out (since we didn't allow subs);
12 second shot clock.
Here are your feasible Rocket options:
1) Kevin Martin
2) Jeremy Lin
3) Jeremy Lamb
4) Royce White
8) Omer Asik
10) Carlos Delfino
11) Terrence Jones
Okay, so let's go through the list. Number one: You have to put Lin on this team. We've reached that point as a franchise. Jeremy Lin is our must-start.
Next up: We need a big man. To me, it comes down to Donuts or Omer Asik. Motiejunas provides more flexibility, but Asik is the better rebounder and defender. At the same time, three-on-three, from my perspective, caters more to high-scoring teams than defensive teams, especially in the half court. So Motiejunas it is.
Now, where do we go from here? Do we play small ball/scoring ball with Kevin Martin or Jeremy Lamb, or do we add some versatility and throw Chandler Parsons, Royce White or Terrence Jones into the mix?
My vote is Lamb. I'm halfway surprising myself for not picking Martin, but Lamb brings better exterior defense to the table than does Martin. He's also better in a three-on-three setting where his athleticism could play a big role in a scoring situation. Leaving White off the list might be a head-scratcher, but this team needs a bit more consistency shooting the ball and without a fastbreak to run, White loses a bit of value.
Terrence Jones actually came the closest to supplanting Lamb, but I couldn't pass on the more consistent scorer, despite Jones' versatility. Can't blame you if you go with Jones, White or Martin. There's a good case for each of them.
What do you think? Who makes your three-on-three team?