Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 by NBA Playoff Schedule 2012
With an impending lockout and the NBA's middle class in possible danger, I've decided to create a team for next year full of players that didn't make the 2011 all-star team. It's simply toying around and seeing how high-quality that middle class is, so salary will be ignored. The team will only be built for next season, not for seasons thereafter. Finally, both talent and fit will be considered.
The best player in the league who wasn't selected to be an all-star last year was Steve Nash. Nash, even at an advanced age, can still anchor a great offense if he has competent pieces to work with. I'm building around the two-time MVP.
I'd go after a rim protector to pair with Nash; it's something he never had when Phoenix was contending, and it usually cost the Suns when they faced bigger teams like San Antonio or 2006 Dallas. Dwight Howard would be my first choice, but by some voting blunder, he was an all-star last year; Tyson Chandler gets the nod.
My next two needs are an additional perimeter creator and a frontcourt scorer who can post and play pick-n-roll. Eric Gordon can pass, shoot from 3, and slash; he can play off Nash while also being able to take pressure off of him. LaMarcus Aldridge plays pick-n-roll beautifully, and this past season, he transformed into a formidable low-post scorer.
Finally, I need a premier perimeter defender. Andre Iguodala is my choice. He's arguably the best perimeter defender in the league and a great glue guy who can finish Nash's passes.
The team looks similar to the 2008 New Orleans Hornets. The Nash/Paul comparison goes without saying, and Chandler is...Chandler. Aldridge is a better version of David West; his big advantage is going into the post. The weakness of that Hornets team was on the wing, as they had poor perimeter defenders and no ball-handling to take pressure off CP3. Iggy and Gordon shore those aspects up and give the team added versatility.
Nash and Gordon can space the floor with their 3-point shooting, while Aldridge spreads the floor with his mid-range game. Iggy is at least a threat from outside, and Chandler cleans everything up inside. Aldridge is my post scorer in the half-court. Good luck stopping this team on the break.
I sacrificed better rebounding for superior defense, range, and pick-n-pop play by taking LMA over Zach Randolph. Chandler went over Andrew Bynum, Andrew Bogut, and Marcin Gortat because he's simply more proven in his role. Iggy went over Luol Deng, Rudy Gay, and Danny Granger because he's the best defender, the best defensive rebounder (which was necessary when I took LMA over Randolph), and the best passer of the four. Gordon got the nod over Monta Ellis and James Harden because he's a better defender than Ellis (especially next to Nash) and he's a better 3-point shooter than Harden (would have loved the beard though).
My second team/bench would probably be Bogut/Randolph/Deng/Harden/Wall.
The starting lineup is good enough to win a championship, especially if it gets some of the second-team guys to come off the bench.
Category Article All-Stars, LaMarcus Aldridge, NBA Middle Class, Steve Nash, Tyson Chandler
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