Imagine this, the now Olympic Gold Winning United States team against the 2007-2008 NBA Championship Celtics. What do you think would happen in a best of seven series? Would the US team blow out the Celtic in four games and win each by thirty? I don't think so. Would the Celtics take it down in a seventh game like they did against the Cavs and Hawks? I don't know about that either, the Hawks and the Cavs are definitely not the same talent wise as the Olympic Champs. What would happen? Well, first off we would probably have to clear some things up technically speaking. I'm talking about international rules vs. NBA rules. For the sake of this discussion, let us assume, because they are all in the NBA, that they would play NBA rules. Let us also say that they play three games in Boston and four games in Las Vegas, the Redeem Team's unofficial home. So, with that aside, let us get to the match ups.
Jason Kidd/Chris Paul/Deron Williams vs. Rajon Rondo/Sam I Am
This is interesting. Now Jason Kidd wasn't even taking shots in his games in the Olympics because of the talent around him. Chris Paul I think is the best of the trio (and in the NBA), and Deron Williams is as solid as point guard in the NBA as there is. But Rajon might be the quickest out of them, and I would actually rather have him on my team than Jason Kidd. But defensively Rajon is still learning, and his jump shot needs some work. Sam I Am is no slouch even at his age, but his style of play is either hit or miss and over the long run provide more inconsistency then production.
Advantage: Redeem Team
Dwight Howard vs. Perk
As much as love Perk, and he has taken big steps in his game since coming into the NBA, I would still rather have the big man in Orlando. Howard is big, and when he feels like it he can dominate a game in the paint on both sides of the court. And if the Redeems guards are penetrating at will, who better to dish it off to for a dunk then Dwight.
Advantage: Redeem Team
Lebron James/Kobe Bryant/Carmelo Anthony vs. The Truth/Jesus/The Big Ticket
Well, everyone is pretty much familiar with all the players in this match up. And immediately, you would say that a combination of Kobe and Lebron is overwhelming for anyone. Maybe, but hold on. In basketball two people can't shoot at once. And you'll see stat wise for the Redeem team that Dwayne Wade off the bench was the best scorer. Now, I truly believe that Pierce can score just as well as either Kobe or Lebron, but Ray Ray needs some help to get his shot off. The truth also showed that he can play some D. Kobe is an excellent defender as well and Lebron if he feels like plays good defense. Don't think Ray Ray might be up defensively, but hands down Ray Ray has the best outside shot. Melo can a pretty damned good scorer himself, but trust me, with Lebron and Kobe on the court, he won't be shooting too much and his skills are kind of rendered useless. And how about KG? KG is the best post player out of the bunch and has that devastating 15-18 foot jumper. O yea, and Defensive Player of the Year? KG baby.
REST OF BENCH
Dwayne Wade/Chris Bosh/Tayshaun Prince/Michael Redd/Carlos Boozer vs. James Posey/Eddie House/Leon Powe/PJ Brown/Tony Allen/Big Baby
In a seven game playoff series, you always remember the role players who pulled out gutsy performances and solidified legendary status' in your mind. People, great teams, in all of sports, have great role players. These are the guys who won't be scoring as much, they won't have many sportscenter highlights over the year, but in the end the guys off are just as important as those who start.
This is tough to judge. First off, individually talent wise it is not even close. The Redeem team simply has more of it. But guess what, you see Michael Redd and Carlos Boozer? Yeah they ain't playing that much so they are basically useless in this scenario. The real battle is with Wade and Bosh against the likes of Posey, Brown, Powe and House. They way Wade played, hes good enough to out match basically anyone the Celtcs have to offer. But we all saw how clutch Posey was, and how tough Leon Powe can be underneath the boards. Bosh is good, but kind of token if you know what I mean. Which reminds me, the Redeemers don't do much damage in the inside on the boards. Posey can play some D too. When the game really gets going, Posey could be out there a lot probably guarding Lebron or Kobe, with Pierce on whoever else is out there. Tony Allen may be out there as well. A potential five for the C's could look like KG, Pierce, Posey, Tony Allen and Rondo. Matched up against Paul, any combination of Wade, Kobe, James, Melo, and then Bosh. Pretty cool to think about. But I think Dwayne Wade proves too much here for the C's bench.
Advantage: Redeem Team
Coach K vs. Doc
Ok, there might be some serious disagreements here. But I'm with Doc. This is the NBA, where its more about managing then it is about coaching. Coach K does a great job at the college level, but in the NBA it is a different story. You might say "Hey Diesel, didn't you just see the USA win the gold." And I'll say I did, but I didn't see much ball movement. That looked a lot like playground bball to me. I could've told them to do that. They should have had a celebrity coach like Bill Murray, that would have been cool. It would've have mattered. And how about Doc. Clearly he was the better coach in the finals against the all mighty Phil Jackson and obviously can get the best out of the talent around him. I am still surprised on how he got the big three to gel so well together, which is also a compliment to the Big 3 themselves.
Advantage: The Celtics
TEAM WORK AND CHEMISTRY
Not even a discussion. The Celtics hands down. They know how to play with one another, they know their roles, who scores, who rebounds, who does this and who does that. The Redeem team is one pass, a drive to the hoop, then a dunk or a dish. It can work against Spain or Angola, but the defensive minded Celts wouldn't let that happen.
Advantage: The Celtics
How would it go down?
Damn this is hard. I really want to say the Celtics would win a seven game series 4 games to 3. But I don't know. What we do know is the Celtics dominated the NBA this year. And the US even more so the Olympic Games. But I also think that the Detroit Pistons are better than a team like Angola or Lithuania. Argentina and Spain, the teams the US beat by 20 and 11 respectively, were hands down the USA's best competition. Could the Celtics beat those teams in the same manner? I think they could. But in a series of seven games I think the team speed for the US might be overwhelming for the Celtics. Wade and Paul off the bench is just too much. We all saw Wade in these Olympics and how in 2006 he simply took over the Mavs en route to the NBA title with the Heat, who also had Antoine Walker on their team.
I hate to say it, but I think in a seven game series, my gut is saying the Redeem Team in 5.
Fuck, I really want to see this so I can be proved wrong.