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NBA 3 on 3 Basketball

Hey, 30 is the new 20! Didn't you see us old guys in the Olympics?
Hey, 30 is the new 20! Didn't you see us old guys in the Olympics?

With the news that the Olympics might soon include a 3-on-3 basketball tourney, what would be better than creating 3-on-3 teams from each NBA roster culminating in a mythical tournament? Why absolutely nothing.

Each SBNation blog covering an NBA is creating a 3-on-3 team from the current roster. Although FIBA has it's own set of 3-on-3 rules, we've decided to adjust the rules as follows: games are one 10-minute period (UNLESS a team reaches 31, in which case that team wins); 7 fouls results in the bonus situation; players can't foul out (since subs aren't allowed); and there's a 12 second shot clock.

Now that we've got your juices going, follow us after the jump to see PTR's entry for the Spurs.

Did we pick the old and decrepit Big Three as our team? You bet we did. Despite their collective age, the experience of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili would translate easily to the half-court sets of the 3-on-3 game, especially on offense. Tim's ability to hit the mid-range jumper would open up the defense under the basket, allowing Tony a free lane to the hoop. If the oppenents' defense briefly stifles the Wee Frenchman's forays into the paint, Tony would only have to dish the ball to Manu, who could nail the 3-pointer via his patented Euro-step or drive the lane with one of his typical whirling dervish finishes at the hoop. If none of the these options work, these Spurs could always revert to 4-Down. Timmeh may be slower, but he still has some of the best post footwork in the NBA, and without a big help defender, he would simply take over this slower-paced game. No other threesome in the NBA has the corporate knowledge of each others' skills like these three.

Alas, basketball consists of both offense AND defense. While still a good defender, Timmeh no longer has the foot speed to cover the perimeter. Manu is still a decent defender, but would be swallowed in the post by a big SF like LeBron or Carmelo. Tony plays defense like a PG, which means not much. Their best bet would be to play a hybrid zone, letting Timmeh just hang out in the paint. Then Manu and Tony could roam the perimeter, doing their best to contest the jumpers by the other team. Timmeh would be able to clean up some mistakes by swatting feeble shot attempts and grabbing defensive boards, but a hard-charging player with an ability to finish at the rim would give this group problems. So much like the current incarnation of the Spurs, the Big Three would have to win with superior offense. Fortunately, that is not an issue. My only regret with this exercise is the denial of Kawhi Leonard in the role of Super Sub.