The SB Nation NBA 3 on 3 Tournament gets underway with an Eastern Conference matchup of the team with the best record in the NBA last season, the Chicago Bulls, and the team with the worst winning percentage in NBA history last season, the Charlotte Bobcats. This is the East's 1 seed versus the 16 seed, and as you know, a 16 seed has never upset a 1 seed in this inaugural, hypothetical, imaginary NBA 3 on 3 tournament.
Both teams have elected to go with a traditional lineup featuring a point guard, one wing and one big in the tournament, with the Bulls putting Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah on the court to face Charlotte's Ramon Sessions, rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Byron Mullens. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they don't get quite the fortunate break Philadelphia did last spring, as the panel of experts has been instructed to evaluate this confrontation as if Derrick Rose were fully recovered from his ACL injury.
The Bobcats were terrible last season, that much is true, but two of their three players in this tournament are new to the team. Will it help?
Here's what the panel had to say:
I'm not even really sure how the Bobcats peel off one game against the Bulls. Maybe the injury bug strikes? Worked for Philadelphia in the playoffs. -- Ziller
With a healthy Rose, Chicago wins every positional matchup -- Charlotte can't even count on any mismatches. The Bulls defense will be great, but if Rose were to go cold the Bulls could struggle to score, so maybe in a given game or two the Bobcats could win. -- Perrin
Without Rose I'd give the Bobcats a few extra W's but regardless, this one's a lock for the Bulls. -- Francis
I'll give Charlotte one token win, but otherwise, it's all Bulls. -- Sherman
Chicago takes 19 out of 20, and would have had that last one as well of it wasn't for the sheer boredom it all. -- Wilco
Remember, we're letting the dice decide who actually wins these games, so although the panel thinks the Bobcats have only a
6 percent chance of advancing 6 percent chance of winning one game, which equates to about a 1 percent chance of advancing in our best two of three format, in the words of Lloyd Christmas, "So you're telling me there's a chance."
The experts think this one is going to be a Chicago blowout. What do you think?
The results will be posted later this afternoon.