NBA Puts Together Perfect Field for HORSE

So the field for the NBA's modern H-O-R-S-E tournament has been announced. And not only did the league do a great right in bringing back this old school chestnut, they also picked one heck of a field. It came out today that Kevin Durant, O.J. Mayo, and Joe Johnson -- who was on my absolutely best-case, perfect world list for the competition -- will go head-to-head, toe-to-toe, and shot-for-shot in what's sure to be one of All-Star Weekend's most anticipated events. ↵
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↵I can't tell you how stoked I am that we're not getting a bunch of three-point shooters and goofy tricky shooters (Kevin Love, I see you!). Sure, there's no dunking allowed, but you want players who can mix athleticism with range and offensive creativity. Durant's length seems to give him some sort of advantage, though I'm not sure what. Johnson's fundamentally sound, deceptively explosive, and quietly acrobatic, which to my mind makes him the favorite. I've often thought that Johnson is Mayo's ceiling as a player, so in that respect the match-up is intriguing. And right now, Johnson's more of a complete package. ↵
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↵My colleague Chris Littmann respectfully disagrees. He thinks Mayo "will be more creative, but for no real reason other than swag," and points to the play we saw from Mayo in high school that earned him such a bad reputation. Like maybe that off-the-backboard dunk, followed by throwing the ball into the stands, that become the subject of national controversy. I'd respond that this competition is about showmanship, but also sheer competitiveness, another department in which Durant gets the edge. Still, to me, Johnson's got the most tools to work with, and could sneakily stun some people with just how nuts he can get.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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