After a long break, the TDS Fantasy Tournament is back with the Semifinal Round! This matchup puts the 3rd seeded Bro-Force against the
should be 1st 2nd seeded Manziel's Magic Markers.
Max's team is one of the more conventional teams in this tournament consisting of a point guard in Jeremy Lin , a shooting guard in BJ Young, and a big man in Donatas Motiejunas. Expect Max's team to rely on Jeremy Lin drives, the pick and roll, and Donatas' post up game. The Magic Markers are one of the less traditional teams. They're led by star shooting guard James Harden, around him however are forward Omri Casspi and center Marcus Camby. Expect James Harden to carry the full load of the offense on his shoulders in this matchup against the Bro-Force. Here's what Max and OJ have to say about the matchup:
WAIT! Read this before you just vote for James Harden. I know exactly what you're thinking, but don't pull the trigger. How is any 3 on 3 team going to stop James Harden?
I will do everything possible to shave Harden's beard and mohawk the morning of the tournament and hope he suffers from a Sampson-induced ailment. I'll also painstakingly explain to you how some 2004 Detroit Pistons style teamwork and a healthy dose of grit can power Linsanity, D-Mo and the guy who doesn't answer my tweets, B.J. Young, to victory.
- There's no way Marcus Camby can last a full 3 on 3 game. He averaged 10 non-consecutive minutes on the court last year. How many water bottles and towels is each team allowed?
- Casspi -- I'm a big fan. But we're far removed from the 2010 Casspi who showed versatility. We're now at the version who is a spot up shooter and not a particularly good one (.329% on 1.8 3PA in 11.7 m -- Gross).
- In 3 v 3 there's more space. While James Harden can euro-step from the free throw line to the Rockets Team Store there's many spots on the floor he's not a great shooter from.
- We will always force Harden left. He shoots 28% from left-midrange, 17% on left-corner threes, 32% on left-elbow threes.
- We will not let them iso Harden on a side by himself. D-Mo will always drop to the lane to challenge a drive and let Camby do whatever the hell he wants from mid-range, hopefully shoot.
- On offense we will pick and roll all day. Harden is a notoriously weak pick and roll defender. There's no chance he gives it his all on defense when he's carrying the offensive load like a KFC Doubledown carries calories.
- On a Harden-Camby pick and roll D-Mo always drops. Always.
- We will always force Harden left. D-Mo will always be in the lane or dropping. We will force Marcus Camby to play offense.
- Added to all of this is Harden's propensity to play hero ball. The moment Harden realizes he has to do all the work we're looking at a flurry of pull up three pointers. That's exactly what we want.
- Lin will always pick and roll. Allowing him to break free of Harden and leaving D-Mo to beat Camby to the basket. That's a high percentage pick and roll.
- Also, I underestimated B.J. Young. Bro came in at 478 on ESPN's 500 best players list. That's above Robert Covington. So don't sleep on him. If only he'd answer my Tweets asking him to describe his game in a single sentence.
At the end of the day, this is a nail biter. Not because Lin- D-Mo - Young are anywhere as good as Harden is, but because we're the plucky group of fighters who know we're getting a participation trophy and a trip to Godfather's pizza even if we lose. So we might as well win.
I'm not the least bit scared of the Broforce, they're just a minor bump in the road that we'll drive over on our way to a championship. With that said, let's dive into the matchup.
I'm going with a video game plan for this matchup. The offense will start and end with James Harden. Nobody on his team can guard him, Jeremy Lin is undersized and has his share of suspect defensive plays, BJ Young is BJ Young, and Donatas is as much of a paint presence as I am on defense. We're going to isolate James Harden every play and let him drive and make plays. If D-Mo helps too much, Camby is a pass away from a layup. If BJ leaves Casspi, James can make the pass for the 3. It's so simple and easy that I don't even have to explain it any more, so let's move on to the defense.
Max's offense will consist of 2 players, Jeremy Lin and Donatas Motieujunas. They'll run the pick and roll together, Donatas will attempt to post up Marcus Camby, and Jeremy will isolate and try to drive by my defenders. You're probably thinking "But BJ Young is on the team too!". Well, if you've ever gone to a public gym and selected your team draft style, when that last pick comes around there's always the one eleven year old who thinks he can play with the adults. That eleven year old is BJ Young. He's going to run around in meaningless circles with his youthful energy, he'll shoot and miss (something I hope he does a lot of), and will give great high fives to his teammates when they do well. That's all he's good for.
Now that that's out of the way, let's focus on players who actually matter. James Harden will be tasked with guarding the fan favorite Jeremy Lin. In 161 isolation opportunities last year Jeremy Lin only averaged .68 Points Per Possession on 33%. That's good for 170th in the league. On those 161 attempts, only 25 were 3 pointers. Although James Harden isn't a good defender, he should be fine against the isolation. His size will let him play an extra step off of Lin taking away his drive, which is Lin's bread and butter on isolations while still being able to guard the rare 3.
The pick and roll worries me since both Jeremy and Donatas are very good, ranking in the top 80 as a roll man and top 40 as a ball handler. That's as good of a combination as you can get, but Marcus Camby and James Harden can bother them. James Harden will be able to abuse a turnover prone Lin on the pick and roll with his knack for getting steals while Camby's size should bother Donatas. So much that Camby only allowed .8 points per possession against Pick and Roll Roll-men. With that said, the Lin-Motiejunas pick and roll should give my team some trouble, but not as much as Max will make it seem.
Lastly, Camby is a great post defender. His opponents shot 20% from the post against him last year, which equates to .4 points per possession. Add that to the fact that Camby is as big and strong as Donatas, this should be an easy matchup for the Magic Markers.
Unless the Broforce consistently run the pick and roll, mark this down as an easy win on defense for the Magic Markers.
The Magic Markers dominate the Broforce and have a deserved night of partying afterwards.
Who do you think should win this matchup? Vote in the voting box below, the results will be posted later. Thank you again for reading The Dream Shake during the offseason.