Well, it's finally here. The long-awaited (and I do mean LONG awaited) Final of SB Nation's NBA 3 on 3 Tournament. We started this thought experiment a little over a month ago, and now, after 30 separate meetings between fictitious 3 on 3 teams determined in part by random rolls of dice, we have finally reached the end.
From the east we have the team you think of when you think NBA threesome, the team that won the NBA title last June, the Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh are theoretically perfect for this theoretical competition, and they marched through the Eastern Conference without losing a single game. They can match up with small teams or big teams because of James' versatility, and in the final, he'll have to be big indeed.
Because their opponent in the Finals is the West Leftovers team. When I created a 16th Western Conference team from the best players available who were not chosen for their own teams, it was really just to fill out the bracket. Obviously I knew that James Harden, Zach Randolph and Pau Gasol could be pretty good -- but this good? Western Conference 3 on 3 champs good? I guess I really know how to pick 'em. Obviously these three have had a little extra (fictitious) motivation -- after being snubbed by their own teams, they have something to prove.
Let's see what our panel of experts has to say.
- Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Miami wins 16 of 20
- Andrew Sharp, SB Nation NBA -- Leftovers win 16 of 20
- Steve Perrin, SB Nation NBA, Clips Nation -- Miami wins 15 of 20
- J.R. Wilco, Pounding the Rock -- Leftovers win 13 of 20
- Adam Francis, Raptors HQ -- Miami wins 11 of 20
- Probability to win any given game -- Miami 53 percent; Leftovers 47 percent
- Probability to win series - Lakers 54.49 percent; Leftovers 45.51 percent
I'm ready to vote James Harden as tournament MVP, but Lord, a leftover team cannot win the title! LeBron and Wade are just too much, and Miami legitimately have the three best players on the court in this one, assuming Wade's healthy. -- Ziller
Well, they've made it this far... Clearly the Leftovers are working with a whole 'nother level of magic in this alternate universe. So, here in the Finals, Pau dominates Bosh, Z-BO keeps Bron in check down low (and Bron is out of sync on the perimeter), and James Harden redeems himself for the 2012 Finals. Not THAT crazy, right? Not as crazy as this team beating the Lakers? BELIEVE IN THE LEFTOVERS. -- Sharp
Let's call Wade-Harden a slight win for Miami, Bosh-Pau a slight win for the Westovers. But LeBron has a massive advantage against Z-Bo, right? He's got the size to actually hang with Zach on defense, but Randolph can't possibly check Bron when the Heat have the ball. The madness stops today. -- Perrin
There is no force that can withstand the wonder that is the West leftovers team. I will admit that at the beginning, I had denigrated the very idea of Westovers. I called them a lot of names, but It is finally clear to me that the Amalgam of Abomination cannot be stopped, Not even by the world champion three-man team that it seemed as if this tournament was created for.Sorry LeBron, Wade, and the other guy, Maybe next year. -- Wilco
This one's as close as it gets for me. The West Leftovers' size and ability to spread the floor, versus the Heat's multi-skilled threesome, equally able to go inside and out. In the end for me it's LeBron that makes the difference. He's got the size and athleticism to bother Randolph on D, and the quicks and power to go through and around him on O. The rest of the match-ups are a toss-up, but LeBron leads the Heat to the 3 on 3 title. -- Francis
The Bottom Line
OK. Maybe this tournament really has gone on a little too long. Our panel of judges is all over the map on this one. A few have simply decided to give in to the mystical power of the Leftovers, while others are sticking to the conventional wisdom. In the final analysis, Miami is a slight 53 percent favorite to win any single game, certainly the smallest advantage they've had here.
Miami needs the good rolls for really the first time in the tournament -- 53 or lower is a Heat victory, 54 or higher is a win for the Westovers.
What do you think?
The results will be posted at 5 p.m. ET.
For a complete look at the SB Nation 3 on 3 Tournament, check back with this StoryStream.