May 15, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard Paul George (left) and small forward Danny Granger (right) celebrate their 78-85 win over the Miami Heat in game two of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Many thanks for the input in the comments and on Twitter and Facebook regarding SB Nation's NBA 3 on 3 contest as we try to field the most competitive 3 on 3 team comprised of current Indiana Pacers. The SBNBA crew decided this would be an interesting look at each team when considering FIBA's push to make 3 on 3 an Olympic-worthy event by 2016.
Why not? Seems like it would also make a sweet All-Star weekend addition to spice things up with a nice pot o' cash for the winners. As for the FIBA-style tournament, consider these rules.
- Games are one 10 minute period -- team ahead at the end of 10 minutes wins, unless a team reaches 31, in which case that team wins.
- Points are scored in 2's and 3's.
- 7 fouls results in the bonus situation.
- You can't foul out.
- 12 second shot clock.
OK, and now for your Indiana Pacers squad. My initial thoughts were to keep the team as versatile as possible. There will be some stacked 3 on 3 competition that won't rely on size, so Paul George
and Danny Granger
are key players to make sure the team has length and flexibility to score from the outside and defend a variety of different styles of play.
Now, my head told me to add George Hill
to the mix as another speedy player which would allow the 3P's to spread the floor and attack while also adding his sneaky long arms to the defensive side of the ball. But let's face it. Against, bigger more athletic trios the Pacers are simply going to need an X-factor. The idea was gnawing at me and then a few comments pushed me in that direction.
completes the squad, giving the 3P's a swing-for-the-fences option with a game born ready for the playground flavor of the 3-on-3 game. He can muscle smaller guards and hold his ground against bigger trios. Plus, if things start going bad for the 3P's, Granger can always give him the nod to start verbally digging into the opponents which could generate a reaction worthy of disqualification to help the Pacers advance.
So I present to you the high-risk/high-reward Pacers 3 on 3 team of Danny Granger, Paul George and Lance Stephenson. I'm happy to take the risk on this trio getting hot and running teams off the floor.