With the hiatus upon us, let’s create two teams, picking them schoolyard style from the Indiana Pacers roster, to face off with each other in a pickup game!
With the Indiana Pacers season on hold due to the NBA’s currently suspended status, it’s a fun time to get weird with NBA content.
I wanted to ponder the idea of the Pacers getting together to play somewhat organized basketball again, perhaps a hopeful look-ahead to what is to come in the next few months?
Schoolyard style, let’s pick Pacers one by one and see what the teams end up looking like with a 3-on-3 game in mind, with a bench of three substitutes as well for a total of 12 players.
Team Turner will select first, given his senior status on the team.
- Myles Turner selects Victor Oladipo
- Domantas Sabonis selects T.J. Warren
Turner, of course, has to go with Oladipo, the team’s best player when healthy. In a scrimmage setting, too, Oladipo is talented all-around and extremely useful.
Sabonis has to choose between Warren and Malcolm Brogdon, and if we’re talking 3-on-3, Warren is probably more useful. Brogdon is a great shooter when he can sort of fall into the background of a 5-on-5 game and get a sneaky open look, but he won’t be as advantaged in that regard in this 3-on-3 situation.
- Myles Turner selects Malcolm Brogdon
- Domantas Sabonis selects Jeremy Lamb
Turner has it easy since Sabonis selected Warren. Brogdon is the next best player on the board, and a great ball handler. While he may not get as many quality shots up as he does during a game, he can still facilitate and keep the ball from being turned over.
Sabonis can go with Jeremy Lamb, Doug McDermott, or Justin Holiday. Jeremy Lamb is a starter caliber player and, while you could argue for the shooting of McDermott and the defense of Holiday, Lamb is probably the safer bet.
- Myles Turner selects Doug McDermott
- Domantas Sabonis selects Justin Holiday
This is a tough choice. Both of these players are more than 40 percent accurate beyond the arc this season. McDermott is the better shooter by a slight margin, but his defense is suspect. Holiday can do it all, and has incredible defensive awareness.
It’s essentially a coin flip, and both of these picks are really good at third overall to start crafting each team’s pool of reserves.
- Myles Turner slecets JaKarr Sampson
- Domantas Sabonis selects Aaron Holiday
JaKarr brings some defensive upside to Turner’s team with his fourth pick.
Sabonis brings in good ball-handling in his second hunt.
- Myles Turner selects T.J. McConnell
- Domantas Sabonis selects Goga Bitadze
T.J. McConnell might struggle quite a bit in a half-court game, but if nothing else his energy will be felt when he’s on the floor and hopefully draw more out of his teammates.
Sabonis can give himself some rest with Bitadze, who has the potential to absolutely dominate anytime Turner comes off the floor.
- Myles Turner
- Victor Oladipo
- Malcolm Brogdon
- Doug McDermott
- JaKarr Sampson
- T.J. McConnell
- Domantas Sabonis
- T.J. Warren
- Jeremy Lamb
- Justin Holiday
- Aaron Holiday
- Goga Bitadze
So, which team wins?
If you ask me, Turner probably edges this one out, with a much stronger team in the first three than Sabonis’s team.
That said, the strategy of picking Goga with the final pick gives Sabonis’s team some size to lean on, and might prevent Turner from being able to rest in important times during the game.
If you look at Sabonis’s team, he has a more talented team on both ends of the court. Sabonis, Warren, Lamb, and Holiday all have some semblance of offense and each of them can defend quite well.
Turner’s team has questionable defense in McDermott, Sampson, and McConnell.
It probably depends on how quickly the starting three can get out for Turner.
Who do you think would win? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!
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