The 3 vs. 14 showdown in the West features a pretty good 3 on 3 team that's probably going to get destroyed by a threesome that really has no business existing outside the Playstation realm.
If this 3 on 3 Tournament were not simply theoretical, this Los Angeles Lakers team would be the one everyone would want to see, as it would be the first time that new Lakers Steve Nash and Dwight Howard would be playing competitively with Kobe Bryant. As it happens, the on-court chemistry of these three super-mega-stars is probably the biggest unanswered question about the Lakers in the coming season, and it could conceivably be an issue in 3 on 3 as well.
The Golden State Warriors have a terrific little 3 on 3 team themselves, with arguably the two best shooters in the entire tournament on the same team (Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson), anchored in the middle by a healthy Andrew Bogut (at least he's healthy in our world). That's a great 3 on 3 team, that happened to get a terrible first round draw. Little did Mark Jackson realize that all that tanking at the end of last season would have these types of real (and by real I mean imaginary) ramifications. Karma's a bitch.
Let's see what our panel of experts has to say.
- Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Lakers win 15 of 20
- Andrew Sharp, SB Nation NBA -- Lakers win 20 of 20
- Steve Perrin, SB Nation NBA, Clips Nation -- Lakers win 14 of 20
- J.R. Wilco, Pounding the Rock -- Lakers win 17 of 20
- J.A. Sherman, Welcome to Loud City -- Lakers win 18 of 20
- Overall probabilities -- Lakers 84 percent; Warriors 16 percent
I don't think the Lakers are unbeatable solely because the Lakers have star a player who is one of the less likely players in the tournament to use his uber-talented teammates in a setting like this. In 3 on 3, it's always crunch time. And we know what happens in crunch time. All Kobe everything. -- Ziller
Yep. That Golden State trio wouldn't get a single game. -- Sharp
The Lakers are clearly better, but with shooters as flat out great as Curry and Thompson and so much space playing 3 on 3, if either or both goes off from deep Golden State has a viable avenue for winning some games here. -- Perrin
If it were a year ago and the Warriors had both Stephen Curry AND Monta Ellis in the backcourt, I might have given Golden State a puncher's chance because of either guy's ability to go on fantastic scoring runs. However, with the line-up they have now, the Lakers are simply better at every position. Nash is an older and more experienced version of Curry, Kobe is a better swing player than Klay Thompson, and Howard will manhandle Bogut on the inside. -- Sherman
The Bottom Line
Just imagining Nash, Bryant and Howard playing together is fascinating -- I can't wait until it actually happens. The overwhelming collection of talent on this Lakers 3 on 3 team (which left one of the most versatile 7 footers in the league off its 3 on 3 roster) has them at an 84 percent chance to win any one game, which makes them a virtual lock (over 93 percent) to win the series.
Still, we'll let the dice determine the actual outcome. Warriors fans will be hoping for some high roles, 85 or great.
Who do you think would win this showdown?
The results will be posted later this afternoon.
For a complete look at the SB Nation 3 on 3 Tournament, check back with this StoryStream.