Now, let’s all be completely honest; If Lebron James left the Cavs this offseason and joined the Golden State Warriors, his run for G.O.A.T. is over. There wouldn’t be a single stat in the history of the NBA that could convince me that Lebron on the Warriors was better than any of the top five guys just solely based on mental ability to compete. But, for the sake of a Friday night blog, let’s assume that Lebron James is lacing up with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Darymond Green. Is there a team of current NBA players that has a shot against this starting five? Obviously, if there were to be two super teams in this NBA it would have to consist of the perfect combination of talent and willingness to win. If, in some bizarro world, Lebron did join the Warriors they would most likely lose Draymond and Klay. But in this blog, it’s those five versus the world. Who can save the human race? Let’s pick three guys at each position ranked from starter to possible players.
Point Guards :
1. Damian Lillard : Dame is the most underrated player in the NBA and should be treated as one of the top point guards in the league. I understand that there is another name most people would put in this position, but the main reason I chose Dame is because I think he is a walking scoring machine. Yes, there are many point guards in the league that have and will put up similar numbers, but if Dame had a decent team around him this man is a walking M.V.P. candidate.
2. Kyrie Irving : A lot of people would take Uncle Drew here, and realistically I don’t blame them. Kyrie has shut down Steph before and is one of the greatest lay up artists I have ever seen. Irving left the Cavs this offseason and has been lighting it up in Boston. Kyrie is a top choice for our imaginary team, but I would still try my hand with Dame.
3. Russell Westbrook : Russ is the most explosive player the NBA has seen in a long, long time. He averaged a triple double last season on his way to M.V.P. honors and is one of the NBA’s hottest ticket attractions each and every night. He is aggressive and pound for pound one of the best athletes the NBA has. The main reason I won’t choose him in this series though comes down to his inability to gauge the fact that he is on a team. Russ is an alpha dog who wants more shots a night than my dream team could offer.
Shooting Guards :
1. James Harden : I understand Harden has been a point guard these past couple seasons but James Harden is the best shooting guard the NBA has to offer. He just recorded the NBA’s first 60 point triple double this week and it looks like the path to an M.V.P. relies only on health at this point. Harden has handles, can shoot from anywhere and has finally learned that the NBA requires offense AND defense. He’s my two guard.
2. Jimmy Butler : Butler is one of the NBA’s best defenders, and he finally found a place in Minnesota where he can be himself. Jimmy’s offense has recently taken new heights as well developing a quality jump shot and a taste for blood towards the rim. Although I like him much better as a defender to Klay Thompson in our dream matchup, he still doesn’t offer the offensive ability that Harden does.
3. DeMar DeRozan – DeRozan has been one of the BNA’s quality guards for a long time and he continues to have success in Toronto, despite not ever really having a quality shot at an NBA title. DeRozan is an athletic talent that can create his own shots, but never seems to break through the barrier of just being a quality player in the east.
Small Forwards :
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo : The Greek Freak is the perfect player to combat Lebron James at the 3 position, assuming he would be the 3 and Durant the 4. Giannis is an athletic freak and has quickly become a house hold (mispronounced) name for the new NBA regime. Although he seems to still be finding his jump shot, the guy is virtually unstoppable, especially since it only takes him three steps from half court to dunk.
2. Kawhi Leonard : If Kawhi was healthy at this moment, I can almost guarantee he would be my number one choice but I’m suffering from a case of recent bias. Leonard is a catalyst for any championship team due to his amazing athletic ability. He is a walking M.V.P. candidate and is the main reason that the Spurs have been good in the post big three era. I could easily see Leonard taking over the Greek Freak here, but with his injury let’s go with healthy guys.
3. Paul George : For the third SF, there are a few guys we could place here, but I think we can all agree Paul George leads the charge. PG13 has been the standard of quality in the league for a while after coming into the NBA with not much more than great defense. Without his leg injury while playing for the USA basketball team, I envision a world where Paul George is an NBA champion. We can all dream, right?
Power Forwards :
1. Anthony Davis : For a few of these power forwards and centers, they are arguably interchangeable for the big men positions, so AD is going to be our starting four. Anthony Davis is the best big man in the NBA and I don’t really believe it’s all that close. AD can shoot the three with the best of them and is one of the top rim protectors the league currently has. We trust that AD’s long arms and athletic ability can keep with with Kevin Durant, and I think he gives us one of the best options to counteract Durant’s scoring.
2. Kristaps Porzingis : The unicorn has taken to a new level this season and has become one of the best scoring options the NBA has to offer. Kristaps would give us a good range of offense and defense depending on if Draymond or Durant took the four spot and could dominate either one under the rim.
3. Kevin Love : I understand the recent hate that Love has been getting from Cavs fans, but we quickly forget that this guy was a walking double double early in his career. Love has a great shot, and is a quality defender against other big men. He is currently hurt and on a Cavs team bleeding out, but I still believe Kevin Love would give us enough effort and could at least do his best to cover his matchup.
1. Karl-Anthony Towns : KAT is one of the more exciting young prospects in this NBA and can shoot the three as good as any big man. KAT’s development from his days at Kentucky has put him into the consistent All-Star game conversation. We’re gonna start KAT at the 5 as he offers us quality defense and another great scoring option. I’m assuming it will be Draymond he is up against, but I trust KAT against either of the Warrior’s “big men”.
2. Demarcus Cousins : Cousins was just finally finding his rhythm in the New Orleans squad when he suffered a season ending injury. Boogie is an elite talent, and could easily be our starting center if not for his injury. The guy can shoot, block, dribble and is an aggressive competitor.
3. Joel Embiid : “Trust the process” is more than a statement, it is the foundation that Joel Embiid will create his legendary career on. Embiid is a dominate big man who can handle the ball well. He shoots three’s and can defend, and could possibly be the number one center on this team if not for his recent injury woes. Soon enough though, Embiid will be an M.V.P. candidate if he stays healthy.