Look at this proposed team below and then answer the question at the bottom of the screen.
Point Guard: Rajon Rondo, John Wall
-Obviously the strongest position for this team, I would start Rondo over Wall at this point in time, but you know if one guy is off, the other is just as good. These guys would push the pace for 48 minutes and are true floor generals. The only question is if the rest of the team could keep up with these guys. Would like to see one of these guys shoot the ball a little better from the perimeter.
Shooting Guard: Jodie Meeks, Eric Bledsoe, Keith Bogans
-The reason I start Meeks is because he is the only pure “scorer” on the team. If he can find his shot, he becomes such a weapon with the speed at the point guard spot and athleticism at the rest of the lineup. But, Bledsoe gives you a second point guard on the floor, but also a guy with a dependable shot. And Bogans would be one of the best 3rd options at this position in league history.
Small Forward: Tayshaun Prince, Kelenna Azubuike
-Prince is a world champ and an Olympian, can run the floor so well, and has a dependable shot. But his greatest trait is that he can play the 4-spot if necessary, but could also bring the ball up the floor. A lockdown defender as well. Azubuike would normally play the 2-spot, but this team is stacked there, so we move him into the 3. He has the athleticism to play the position, but rebounding becomes a concern here. Also, can Azubuike get his shot off easy against taller competition. I think he can.
Power Forward: Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson
-The real question at this position is scoring. Can either of these guys becoming serious scoring threats. Hayes likely doesn’t give you that. Patterson is still an enigma when it comes to that. The UK team is undersized here, but these guys do the little things, the intangible things that great teams have. Hayes obviously rebounds better than his size, and Patterson shoots the ball better. But, if there was a weak spot in the lineup, it would be here.
Center: Demarcus Cousins, Nazr Mohammed, Jamaal Magloire
-Cousins is the young guy here and why he gets the starting spot. Mohammed and Magloire are both productive, but are at the end of their careers. They can give you prodcutive bench minutes, especially if Cousins gets into foul trouble. But, Demarcus is your go-to scoring threat in the post. Especially with the undersized players at the power forward spot, you would need some good rebounding from the center position.
(Note: Sorry Daniel Orton and Randolph Morris, you are the odd men out of this team)
Now, the easiest way I can think about deciding if this team could make the playoffs is to look at the worst team that made the playoffs this season, which was the Chicago Bulls. Here was their starting roster:
Point Guard: Derrick Rose
Shooting Guard: Kirk Hinrich
Small Forward: Luol Deng
Power Forward: Taj Gibson
Center: Joakim Noah/Brad Miller
So, the question is: Could a UK-only team beat this team?