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NBA 3 on 3 Tournament Round One -- New York Knicks Vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Next up in the first round of SB Nation's fictional NBA 3 on 3 Tournament we have the 7 vs. 10 showdowns. In the East that pits the New York Knicks against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Knicks' three highest paid and highest visibility players are Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire. (As an aside, is it not breathtaking the way the Knicks went from far under the salary cap in the summer of 2010 to once again deep into the luxury tax in less than two years? Those guys sure can spend money.) Playing a 3 on 3 Tournament with three front court players presents certain problems, though (like Carmelo as your primary ballhandler), so Stoudemire was left off the selection in favor of -- wait for it -- Iman Shumpert. What would Stat punch if that really happened? Melo could be all the offense they need, and Chandler will be a defensive force, so they definitely have a chance.

The Bucks have the opposite problem. The NBA is a superstar league, even when you're playing 5 on 5 -- a 3 on 3 tournament clearly favors the teams with the mega stars even more. The Bucks have a more balanced roster, and as such Frank Madden of Brew Hoop went in to the selection process with zero locks. In the end he picked Monta Ellis (over Brandon Jennings), Luc Mbah a Moute (over MIke Dunleavy) and Ersan Ilyasova (over Sam Dalembert). It's not a bad little team, but they'll certainly need Ellis to be a scoring machine.

Let's see what our panel of experts has to say.

  • Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Each team wins 10 of 20
  • Andrew Sharp, SB Nation NBA -- Milwaukee wins 12 of 20
  • Steve Perrin, SB Nation NBA, Clips Nation -- New York wins 12 of 20
  • J.R. Wilco, Pounding the Rock -- New York wins 13 of 20
  • CA Clark, Silver Screen and Roll -- New York wins 17 of 20
  • Overall probabilities -- New York 60 percent; Milwaukee 40 percent

Expert Comments:

You can't underestimate just how much of a wild card Monta Ellis is in a tournament like this. When he's engaged, he can be unstoppable. Short games, fewer possessions without the ball -- that should help keep him engaged. -- Ziller

Upset alert! Monta Ellis would wreak havoc from all over the court and neither Tyson nor Shump can stop him, Illyasova and Mbah Moute can take turns guarding Melo, and the Knicks don't have anyone else to pick up the slack and keep pace with Monta. Right? Picking the Knicks to win eight games feels too charitable. -- Sharp

My brain starts to go all swimmy when I think of the different lineup possibilities N.Y. would've had if they had signed Jeremy Lin. -- Wilco

3 on 3 is for players closer to the kind of game that Melo is best in the world at. With Chandler on D, this is no contest. -- Clark

The Bottom Line

Befitting a 7-10 matchup, the experts think this one will be pretty close (all except Clark that is, who seems to love him some Melo). In the final reckoning the panel places the odds at 60-40 in favor of the Knicks. A reminder also that these probabilities are for each game. Since the format of the tournament is best two out of three, the odds that an underdog will advance by winning two games are actually less than the odds that they'd win any single game. In this case the Bucks have a 40 percent chance of winning any single game,which equates to a 35.2 percent chance of advancing.

But in order for that to happen, the Bucks need a couple of dice rolls of 61 or higher.

Who do you think would win this showdown?

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.