Taking on all comers

Reading this specific blog entry … precipitated the following thought:

If you could construct your ideal 12-man team of current NBA players, who would you select?


Hmmmmmmm …

From that many possibilities, there would be some exceptionally difficult choices to make … and a lot of supremely talented and valuable players left out in the cold.

Regardless … according to these eyes,

these are the Dirtiest Dozen, in the NBA today:

[listed by position & role]

PG – Lebron James … far and away his best and most natural position
G/F – Dwyane Wade … the best, taking it to the rack, in the half-court
G/F – Kobe Bryant … Samarai Warrior
PF – Kevin Garnett … Rebounding & Energy are thy true names
C – Greg Oden [my, oh, my] … that’s right, before he’s played a game 

Key Bench Subs
PG – Deron Williams … well-balanced in every respect
G/F – Manu Ginobili … the best 6th Man in existence
PF/C – Tim Duncan … the best combo Big in existence

PG – Steve Nash … still the best facilitaor in the business, bar none
G/F – Tracy McGrady … multi-purpose player
PF/C – Amare Stoudemire … multi-purpose player
PF/C – Rasheed Wallace … multi-purpose player

Coach – Philip Patrick Jackson Riley … ‘The Sacred Winner Hoops Within’

“Train them … Excite them … and, Turn them Loose … “


There you go!

Now … Which 12 players would you choose for your team?

[PLEASE NOTE: Who you choose, in what positions & roles, and who you leave out, says a lot about your unique vision of the game.]

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53 Responses to “Taking on all comers”

  1. Dan H Says:

    Haven’t commented before, but here goes.

    PG – Chris Paul
    G/F – Kobe Bryant
    G/F – Lebron James
    PF – Amare Stoudemire
    C – Dwight Howard

    Key Bench Subs
    PG – Jose Calderon – I know, I know, homer… but he is the ideal backup point guard type – mistake free good shooting percent…
    G/F – Dwayne Wade
    PF/C – Tim Duncan – would’ve started him but felt Amare fits with Paul better

    PG – Deron Williams – strong defensive PG still with offensive skills
    G/F – Shane Battier – defensive shut down when needed
    PF/C – Kevin Garnett – defensive presence
    PF/C – Chris Bosh – good contrast as substitution for Dwight at centre

    Your lineup outsizes mine… oh well. I’m new at this.

  2. khandor Says:


    Thanks for your contribution and WELCOME ABOARD. 🙂

    Not to worry … each and every one of us is new when we first get started at something.

  3. khandor Says:


    re: size

    Both … women, in general, and John Wooden, specifically, have been telling all who would listen for generations that this specific aspect of ‘the game’ has almost always been grossly over-rated, as a matter of importance in anything related to performance.

    It’s Quickness [or, in some cases, the decided lackthereof, the better … 8) ], relative to a specific Opponent, at the position played, which is the most important attribute for a REAL playa.

    Try to remember that … re: physical, mental & emotional acuity … on the court or elsewhere. 🙂

  4. Brandon Hoffman Says:




    D. Williams

  5. Jaceman Says:


    PG- LeBron James
    SG- Kobe Bryant
    SF- Rashard Lewis (that’s right, 3pt specialist)
    PF- Kevin Garnett
    C- Tim Duncan

    Key bench players:
    Deron Williams
    Tracy McGrady
    Shawn Marion

    Reserves (though I’d play these guys pretty regularly too):
    Amare Stoudemire
    Dwight Howard
    Chris Paul

    Ironically I posted about this a while ago, sort of, so explanations are there.

  6. Matt Says:

    PG – Paul, Nash, Williams
    SG Bryant, Ginobili
    SF – James, Anthony
    PF – Bosh, Stoudemire, Garnett
    C – Howard, Duncan, Brand

  7. Dave Says:

    Khandor, I really like your team, I’m claiming it as my own!

    I only need 8 guys so I’ll take those first 8. I have one change and that’s to swap Manu Ginobili for Paul Pierce. I’ll keep Deron ahead of Manu, but that would be just as interesting swapping Pierce for Deron instead.

  8. cp3 Says:

    that is the WORST “ideal” lineup ever… u cannot possibly pick grandpa nash over whippersnapper paul, considering that cp3 is better then him and plays… u know… defense

  9. Jed Says:

    PG – Deron Williams
    SG – Kobe Bryant
    SF – LeBron James
    PF – Kevin Garnett
    C – Andrew Bynum

    PG – Chris Paul
    PF/C – Tim Duncan
    PF – Chris Bosh

    SG – Wade
    SF – Carmelo Anthony
    C – Dwight Howard
    PF – Dirk Nowitziki

  10. khandor Says:

    Brandon, Jaceman, Matt and Jed,

    Those are each interesting line-ups you’ve chosen.

    From my perspective, it’s always interesting to see where others would actually place their emphasis, if given free reign to select exactly whom they’d want to have most on their own team from a specified pool of players … e.g. shooters, scorers, rebounders, defenders, facilitators, bigs, guards, centers, forwards, pg’s, combo’s, Big guards, Small guards, Wings, Power Bigs, Quick Bigs, specialists, multi-dimensionals, enforces, glue guys, starters, bench, reserves, superstars, systems/styles of play, veterans, young’ns, etc.

  11. khandor Says:


    I think you might know already … without me having to tell you … that I thought long & hard on the decision to leave PP out of the mix completely.

    At his size, and with his skill set … in my book, he’s a walking, talking mis-match – at more than one spot, which I love – whose overall versatility is priceless, at the highest level of competition.

    Still … went with Manu & T-Mac, in the end, over Pierce because of their uniqueness as elite level players … one a squad with Lebron, who I could always use to fulfil Pierce’s role, if needed, with the plethora of other top notch ball-handlers/facilitators on this team already, i.e. see Steve Nash, as the ALL-OFFENSE, 3rd-string PG … i.e. Manu is the ULTIMATE PEST, who can also play at an exceptionally high level in almost every phase of the game [there is really no other player quite like him in the world today] ability to; T-Mac is a PG at-heart, like Lebron, and the 2nd best multi-dimensional player in the world today who can conceivably be used at any of the 5 positions on the court, at any given point in time, due to his unique set of skills, physical gifts, at his size, and with his level of athleticism.


    I invite others to keep their own line-up choices coming, as well as any other relevant comments on the selections I’ve made.

    Good stuff, so far, all around.

  12. khandor Says:


    ‘Grandpa’ is my 3rd string PG and, as such, is being selected for his maximum ONE-WAY capablity, coming off the bench, in an emergency situation.

    If I’m going to have to sub for Lebron or D-Will, at any point … and, I decide NOT to slide either T-Mac or Kobe into that specific spot … then THE guy I want on my team, from an OFFENSIVE perspective only – cause I’ve got legit defense on this squad, in spades, from the other 4 positions on the floor – is Captain Planet, first & foremost.

    As a SUPREMO facilitator … he is also one of the best William Tells in the world today, nailing 3’s at a deadly high percentage, from the PG-position, without being a high volume shooter.

    In the history of the game … this has always been a rare combination.

    Chris Paul … whose game I R.E.S.P.E.C.T. immensely … simply does not provide THIS type of marksmanship for his team …

    and, ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL, I will always choose the Point Guard with a few more inches on his frame, in comparison to one who is shorter in height than 6 feet 3 inches and, therefore, a defensive liability, on the block, in a simple post-up situation versus an opponent’s Bigger PG, e.g. necessitating a Double Team on a basic UCLA-cut.

    No disrespect to your namesake but … he loses out to Stevie Nash, if I’m picking specific subs to come off the bench for my Team in an emergency scenario.


    FWIW … IMO, the real choice as far as Chris Paul goes is still whether or not he is a better all-round basketball player, at the PG spot, than is Deron Williams.

    If you think he is … then you take CP3 as your back-up PG, subbing for Lebron.

    If you think he isn’t … then you take D-Williams in this role.

    Steve Nash is completely out of the equation … due to his lacklustre individual defense … for the back-up PG position. 🙂

  13. DJ Says:

    PG Deron Williams
    SG Kobe Bryant
    SF Tracy McGrady
    PF Lamar Odom
    C Tim Duncan
    6th Carmelo Anthony
    7th Michael Redd
    8th Ron Artest
    9th Stephen Jackson
    10th Carlos Boozer
    11th Rasheed Wallace
    12th Francisco Garcia

  14. DJ Says:

    that guy who put shane battier on is an idiot. shane is the most overrated player in the NBA who’s been living off of his reputation which he gained in college. he plays huge minutes and puts up minimal numbers. don’t tell me he’s such a great defender when he has limited hops and is a step slow. he is a decent player, but his defense is overrated and is supplemented by the fact that he uses illegal face-guarding. in any pickup game he’s toast because he’s too slow and too reluctant to take shots, and in the NBA he is just a limited role player. his jumper isn’t even that good, and he has no handles or passing skills–check the stats.

  15. metanoia29 Says:

    So it’s my first time to comment on anything here in wordpress and let us see how I do measure up to you guys. But first of all congratulations on being featured on Balls Don’t Lie. Hehehehe.


    PG – Chris Paul. He deserves that being voted second in the MVP race. Plus his efforts to revitalize the Hornets and put it back to the map really puts him at par with the other PG greats in the NBA. Heck, Dallas could not even provide competition for him.

    SG – Kobe Bryant. The MVP at long last. Plus, many could attest he is the fiercest competitor in the planet. Yeah, he could not win a title yet without Shaq but give it to him for his explosiveness anytime within the game. Give him the correct pieces and he’ll give a championship or two. Agent Zero, Lebron and Wade had even attest that without his last minute heroics USA would have gotten silver instead of gold.

    SF – Lebron James. Tim Duncan was right when he said that NBA would be Lebron’s in a few years time. He is indeed the future.

    PF – Chris Bosh. One of the most underrated players today. The way he just came out during the Olympics must be a consideration to the fact that he could fit in with the big guns (kobe, lebron, wade and cp) while bringing on his game.

    C – Dwight Howard. The Superman. He is big and just way to powerful for some that he is better than the Shaq Circa Magic Time. And with that he could just adapt with the game and would just compliment whoever his teammates are.

    Key Bench..

    G – Wade. The World’s Favorite HighFlyer. The way he could still be as deadly and as explosive even as he comes off the bench would really strike fear to this team’s opponents.

    G/F – Manu Ginobli. Apparently NBA’s best Sixth Man over the years. When’s he is healthy he would torch any team that’s in there.

    C – Pau Gasol. Yup, he sux big time against the Celtics during that run. But as a back up player he’d probably confound the defense with his 7’0 towering height or would just step back and hit those midranges.


    PG – Allen Iverson. Man he has the NBA’s best cross over!

    SG/SF – Tracy Mcgrady. Remember how Houston stole a win over the Spurs with just 39 seconds on the line?

    PF/C – Greg Oden. Yep, he would put Portland on the PlayOffs this year. No doubt on that.

    PF/C – Andrew Bynum. Amidst that injury, he became a beast last season. Let’s see if he could deliver still.

  16. Brandon Hoffman Says:


    Paul: Best point guard in the game.
    Kobe: Best shooting guard in the game.
    LeBron: Best small forward.
    KG: DPOY. Isn’t concerned about offensive touches. Defensive quarterback.
    Duncan: Isn’t a center, but can play the position better than Howard or Ming.

    Paul, Kobe, and LeBron proved that they can play well with another in the Olympics. KG and Duncan are the two best frontcourt players in the world. Neither KG or Duncan is concerned with offensive touches on their respective teams, and both players serve as the defensive anchors of their squads.


    Ginobili: Sixth Man of the Year. Unselfish. Clutch. Winner.
    D. Williams: 2nd best point guard in the NBA. Versatile. Better shooter than Paul.
    Bosh: Great defender. Limited offensively, but good enough to back up KG at the four.
    Carmelo: Can score inside and out. Backs up LeBron at the three spot.
    Wade: Second best SG in the game. Backs up Kobe.
    Amare: I had a hard time filling this position. I don’t know if Amare would excel as a reserve. But he’s too good to leave off my team.
    Nash: Best shooter in the world. Everyone raves about Nash’s passing. But Steve shoots over 50% from the field, despite more than a third of his field goal attempts taking place behind the arc (47%). That’s incredible. Nash shoots a higher percentage from the three-point line than most players do from within the arc.

    I went with a lot of guys that played on the ‘Redeem Team’ because I know they can play with one another and within a team concept. I know that Ginobili would fit because of his play on the Spurs and Argentinian team. And I have the upmost respect for Nash, Duncan, and KG. Amare is the wild card, but I chose him because of incredible talent. I think the best is yet to come with Stoudemire.

    Cool blog.

  17. Isaac Kim Says:

    PG: Deron Williams (Can do everything, still getting better)
    SG: Kobe Bryant
    SF: Lebron James (He can easily play point forward and have Deron play off the ball)
    PF: Dirk Nowitzki
    C: Andrew Bynum

    Dirk, granted, is not the best defensive player, but he’s not a bad rebounder, and the rest of the roster will pick up where Dirk fails (in terms of shot blocks, defensive boards). Offensively, Dirk is the player that team USA was missing: a big who can shoot. Bynum over Dwight Howard because Bynum actually has post moves, and over Oden because we haven’t seen him play.

    6th Man: Dwyane Wade (Instant energy off the bench, better than Manu)
    Key Backups: Kevin Garnett (Insert where defense necessary)
    Tracy McGrady (Shooters are key for this team)

    Reserves: Rasheed Wallace
    Chauncey Billups
    Carmelo Anthony
    Paul Pierce

  18. billy2 Says:

    PG – Damon Stoudamire
    SG – Shaun Livingston
    SF – Marc Jackson
    PF – Tony Battie
    C – Mike Ruffin

    They will all show effort and some hustle out there I think.

  19. Aaron Candee Says:

    PG: Chris Paul (From Popovich’s mouth: Chris Paul is the best decision-maker in the game today)
    SG: Ray Allen (With such a good team, I need a reliable shooter, especially with a quick release)
    SF: Lebron James (Watching him this summer made me realize just how good his defense really is)
    PF: Tim Duncan (IMO, best player post-Jordan era)
    C: Yao Ming (Injuries and Jeff Van Gundy are all that have stopped him from getting out of the first round, and with that free throw percentage and outside shot, the middle wont get clogged)

    Key Bench Subs:
    SG/SF: Manu Ginobili (as others have said, he is the best 6th man of the past 5 years)
    PG/SG: Dwane Wade (another person who deeply impressed me over the summer, and yet it was all against bad ball-handlers and bad shot-blockers)
    PF/C: Chris Bosh (I’m happy to see that most regular fans and bloggers at least give this guy the love he deserves…even if newspapers and tv commentators don’t)

    C: Marcus Camby (Since this roster is so injury-plagued, why not add another frequentee on here)
    PG: Deron Williams (I’ll submit that he does at least deserve a spot on here if I am to have 2 pure PGs)
    PF: Carlos Boozer (his rebounding power for a man of his stature is unmatched, and with a team this offensively talented, need more fundamentals…plus where would deron be without his “Mailman”?)
    SF: Peja Stojakavic (best 3 point shooter in the game and for the past 10 years…and why not have a specialist?)
    SG/SF: Kobe Bryant (I question the baggage, but stay for the talent)

  20. Jack Myhogoff Says:


    PG: Chris Paul ( Did anyone watch the Olympics?..Paul got the most time at point)
    SG: Kobe Bryant (not MJ, not Oscar Robertson. Third best all time at the position, any ?’s)
    SF: Lebron James…. I somewhat agree with him as a PG, however does he have the speed to keep up defensively iwth other top PG’s.
    PF: Tim Duncan … toughest choice of a all positions, however 4 championship rings, makes the decision easier.
    C: Dwight Howard … not a seven footer, but can out jump, and rebound them all… not needed to be a big time scorer.. more of an enforcer.


    P: Derron Williams ( Another guy making the NBA a team game again)
    SG: Dwayne Wade .. I hope he stays healthy this season, he looked great for team USA
    SF: Manu Ginobli…(fearless,winner, never quits…)
    PF: Kevin Garnett
    C: Yao Ming

  21. Travis Outlaw Says:

    Don’t they have the olympics for this?

    PG – Lebron James
    G/F – Kobe Bryant
    G/F – Carmelo Anthony
    PF – Kevin Garnett
    C – Tim Duncan

    Key Bench Subs
    PG – Chris Paul
    G/F – Dwyane Wade
    PF/C – Dwight Howard
    PG – Steve Nash
    G/F – Paul Pierce
    PF/C – Amare Stoudemire
    PF/C – Chris Bosh

    injured list
    – SHAQ

  22. Milton Says:


    PG – Chris Paul
    SG – Dwyane Wade
    SF – Kobe Bryant
    PF – Lebron James
    C – Kevin Garnett


    PG – Deron Williams
    G – Ray Allen
    C – Tim Duncan

  23. Mr T. Says:




    C. BOSH
    M. REED


  24. Isaac Kim Says:

    The reason I left CP3 off this list was that I don’t trust his perimeter shot, and the one thing about playing against overwhelmingly talented teams like Team USA was that you can play zones to force them to shoot, so if your point guard cant shoot, it makes it that much easier to defend against the rest of the team (Rajon Rondo anyone?). And I choose D Will over Nash because of defense. While Defense is clearly not the priority of this team, Nash is too much of a black hole on the defensive end. Everyone on this team can shoot, mainly because I think that is the thing that team USA was really lacking.

  25. 03trioka Says:

    PG – chris paul
    SG – dwyane wade
    SF – kobe bryant
    PF – lebron james
    C – kevin garnett

    deron williams
    carmelo anthony
    amare stoudemire
    chris bosh
    dwight howard
    tracy mcgrady
    brandon roy

  26. Chris Says:

    I am just utterly disgusted by this… how can you possibly leave out CP3… this conversation about him not having an outside shot doesnt even hold if you are to have wade as your starting guard… this is just horrible

  27. Steve Says:

    My Lineup:
    PG- Steve Nash- Back to back MVP? Cheaa. Cant deny his ability to make the guys around him better.
    SG- Kobe Bryant- Not a fan, but hes too talented and too good not to have here.
    SF- Lebron James- You are right about him really being a PG in a big dudes body, but gotta put him at SF.
    PF- Kevin Garnett- Defense, Teamwork, Solid all-around
    C- Dwight Howard- Dudes just a beast….
    6th Man- SG/SF-Paul Pierce- He wants to take the shot to win with 2 seconds left, clutch, thats what every team needs.
    7th- PG/SG- Dwayne Wade- Combo guard can pick up fouls on the other teams big men quickly.
    8th- SF- Michael Beasley- He really is that good, can body up with any NBA Sf.
    9th- PF/C- Tim Duncan- Hes a winner, enough said.
    10th- PG- Chauncey Billups- Revoked a promise to pay for new equipment for his HS team, GW in Denver, but still a great all around PG who WINS.
    11th- SG/SF- Brandon Roy- Good all-around talent.
    12th- SF- Jason Kapono- Bear with me now, with the guys before him on the court, how can an opposing team cover this guy at the 3 point line? And no1 can hit an open 3 like Kapono.

  28. Dan H Says:


  29. khandor Says:


    Although Battier isn’t a player I would choose for my team … it’s safe to say that he’s a solid defensive player who is capable of guarding multiple positions effectively; has a great attitude, and is considered a consumate teammate.

    In contrast to your opinion … to which you’re more than entitled to keep … IMO, in a pick-up game, he’s precisely the type of player almost all other authentic high level ballers absolutely love to have on their team.

    Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  30. khandor Says:


    Thanks for your comment, especially re: the mention by BDL.

    IMO, the fellas there do a bang-up job doing what it is they do.

  31. khandor Says:


    Thanks for thinking the blog be cool. 🙂


    Others might wish to keep in mind though … this specific entry presumes that your 12-man team is being picked to play in a game governed by NBA Rules (not FIBA).

    If it’s going to be a FIBA-sanctioned game … then I’d pick a slightly different Dirty Dozen. 🙂

  32. khandor Says:


    Thanks for your comment.

    PS. FWIW, know that your name just happens to be one of all my all-time favourites … going back in the day to a certain wide-receiver who wore the #85 and played for the Cincinnati Bengals.

    +1 to the first person who can correctly provide his surname.

    [Hint: … and, be sure, it’s not Chad ‘Ocho Cinco’ Johnson. 8) ]

  33. khandor Says:


    Thanks for your comment …

    although methinks you might have been going for some humour there, as well. 🙂

    To each his own, bro.

    PS. FWIW … as a Raptors’ observer, this specific play is what Mike Ruffin will always be remembered for.

  34. khandor Says:


    The reigning MVP … as the last reserve SG/SF off the bench?

    Hmmm …

    That’s a most interesting choice you’re making. 🙂

    Thanks for your comment.

  35. khandor Says:

    Jack M,

    Good question.

    In my line-up …

    Kobe checks the opponent’s starting PG, not Lebron.
    D-Wade checks the OG; and, LBJ checks the SF … depending on the size of those individual checks. If need be … say, D-Wade is stuck with a 6-8 (or taller) shooter/scorer, then … that’s what T-Mac’s there for, with his size and length, and ability to board.

    It’s important to try and cover all the bases. 🙂

  36. khandor Says:


    As I mentioned above to Brandon …

    it’s presumed that this team is going to be playing under NBA Rules. 🙂

  37. khandor Says:


    IMO … CP3 is a great player.

    At the Point, however … my personal preference would be Lebron (6-8, 250 … ala Magic Johnson) … then, Deron Williams, because of his size and overall physicality … then, Steve Nash, as a purely Offensive Whirlwind, without peer, coming off the bench, as a 3rd stringer, in an emergency situation only.

    Regardless … thanks for your comment. 🙂

  38. khandor Says:

    Dan H,


    Nothing bad’s happened, thus far, has it? 🙂

    It’s all good … from my perspective.


    Lots of super interesting line-up choices to this point.

  39. khandor Says:


    Ahhhhh … Brandon Roy!!!

    One of my favourite up-and-comers … especially at the PG-spot for the Blazers, as the singular most important running mate with Greg Oden.

    IMO … Portland’s goto line-up this season should feature …

    PG – Roy
    OG – Webster
    SF – Outlaw [or Fernandez, if going ‘small’]
    PF – Aldridge [or Outlaw, if going ‘small’]
    C – Oden

    In as little as a year or two, that ^^^ group of 5 [or 6], right there, will be good enough to win the NBA title …

    in which case, B-Roy will most definitely be on my 12-man team … probably, as a replacement for Deron Williams who would then bump Steve Nash. At that point, I’d be willing to give up ‘Grandpa’s’ Offensive Force in that spot in exchange for what both Roy & D-Williams bring to the banquet table, each & every night, physically.

  40. Dan H Says:

    Re: Ouch – I just didn’t expect such violent opposition to my Battier pick; opposition, to be sure, but not so violent…

    The picks themselves so far by everyone have generally been quite good in my opinion.

    Anyway – a general question: shouldn’t your ‘positions’ for players be based on defense? On the offensive end, the opposition determines who guards who – as such LBJ would be guarded like a SF not a point guard. And (as an example) if you define an offensive point guard as the player that handles the ball the most, I say you can as easily draw up plays where the handler is your centre or forwards. Or your ‘point guard’ can post up – that makes him a centre right?

  41. khandor Says:

    Dan H,

    re: Anyway – a general question: shouldn’t your ‘positions’ for players be based on defense?

    Now, you’ve gone and done it, my [new] friend … 🙂

    [which I mean with complete sincerity]

    you’ve touched upon a specific subject which is near and dear to my heart … and, potentially, opened up an entirely new [and very different] can of Worm[s … not named ‘Dennis the Menace’].

    Ahhhhhhh … the dreaded TOTAL mis-conception that has somehow proliferated throughout the hoops’ blogosphere and says that it somehow makes sense to assign specific player positions based solely on just ONE aspect of the game, i.e. Defensive positional responsibility.

    I’m not sure exactly where this WIVES’ TALE first got started but … at least, when I’m around you can count on it just not receiving a simple ‘PASS GO & Collect $200’ card. 🙂


    Others should know full well, in advance, that I am already aware of the fact that … I MAY BE THE ONLY NBA/BASKETBALL OBSERVER IN THE KNOWN GALAXY WHO DOES NOT ACCEPT THIS CONCEPT AS GOSPEL …

    but it just makes no sense, whatsoever, from a basic basketball fundamental perspective.

    In a nutshell:

    Basketball is a game with three [and only three] main phases, which are:

    * Offense
    * Defense
    * Rebounding

    As such, when assigning ‘positions’ to players on the court, during any given game …

    all three phases of the game must be taken into consideration.

    PERIOD. FULL-STOP. There is no going on from there.

    [and, much like the current siuation between Stephon Marbury & the Knicks … there is going to be NO NEGOTIATION on this point!]

    Despite what you may have heard from other sources about this … it is simply not the case that neither Offense nor Rebounding should be factored into a sound discussion of what specific position a certain player should be assigned to, on a basketball court/team … since on any given possession, while on Offense, Defense or when Rebounding, a specific player might be required to perform any one of these tasks at any of the 5 designated positions on the court.

    When an elite level NBA coach makes out his line-up he does not say to himself:

    “Player A is the #1 … because of who he will be covering on Defense, exclusively.
    Player B is the #2 … etc.
    Player C is the #3 … etc.
    Player D is the #4 … etc.
    Player E is the #5 … etc.”

    What this coach says to himself is:

    “Player A is the #1 … because of who he will be covering on Defense, AND the Offensive skill set he has to be utilized best at this position, at which he can best execute his Rebounding duties, in a specific order determined by that coach, based on his Basketball Philosophy & priorities for that season, series or individual game.
    Player B is the #2 … etc.
    Player C is the #3 … etc.
    Player D is the #4 … etc.
    Player E is the #5 … etc.”

    An elitel level NBA coach is thinking about each of these three phases of the game, not just Defense … and most frequently this process actually begins with Offense first.

    Specifically … what the best NBA coaches do is establish with their players the need for versatility; in that, a specific player might well be a #3, in general, but in this specific game, for this specific possession [or set of possessions], play #2 on offense, while he is playing #4 on defense, with the responsibilities of #3 when rebounding offensively & defensively.

    Then … when that coach gives out his pre-game instructions to his team he may well say something else along the following lines:

    PG – Chauncey … you are checking Ray Allen [#2]
    OG – Rip … you are checking Rondo [#1]
    SF – Tayshaun … you are checking Paul Pierce [#3]
    PF – Dice … you are checking Perkins [#5]
    C – Sheed … you are checking KG [#4]

    in which case … if there’s anyone who would like to show me upon what basis that coach is BASING his specific player positional designations on the DEFENSIVE assignments each player has been given ONLY … I’d say quite simply,

    “Please, go ahead and show me exactly how that works, in this specific instance”

    … cause I’m eager to learn that which I don’t know already … 🙂 … and, I am listening with both ears open.


    PS. Dan H … IMO, the entire subject requires an independent thread, all on it’s own. Terrific question for you to ask!

    PPS. No harm intended … and, therefore, no foul called. 8)

  42. Dan H Says:

    Thanks Khandor. In depth explanation much appreciated.

    Given your above points, especially the basis that the position a player assumes is based on offense, defense AND rebounding responsibilities and abilities…

    It does not seem clear to me that Lebron James is a) a point guard type player defensively; or b) a point guard type player in terms of rebounding.

    I can see the argument that he is a good penetrator, ball handler and passer, and as such could be considered a point guard in that ONE aspect of the game (offense).

    Would you choose LBJ to guard a ‘prototypical’ quick, small point guard such as CP3, or to guard a strong, shooting and driving small forward?

    Would you suggest LBJ is better suited to the (presumably) tertiary rebounding role (behind the centre and power forward), utilizing his height and jumping ability? Or the (again presumably) long rebounds more commonly collected by the ‘point guard’ player.

    I ask, as someone wise once said: “… cause I’m eager to learn that which I don’t know already … and, I am listening with both ears open.”

    😉 Thanks

  43. Dan H Says:

    Oh, and I do agree that this is certainly a subject due a full thread.

    Unfortunately for all, I am rather stubborn and am trying to tie in your choices for your team and their respective listed positions…

  44. khandor Says:

    Dan H,

    No problem. 🙂

    For me …

    LBJ is most definitely a PG … in all three phases of the game.

    On Offense … his best instincts are to facilitate for others. When you throw in his own ability to finish what he creates himself AND what others create for him, that’s Deadly Force, right there.

    On Defense … if the opposition comes with a PG with good size, as almost all legit contending teams do, then checking this spot is no problem for Lebron. On the other hand, if the opponent decides to go small at this position … which is almost every elite team’s 2nd choice … shifting Kobe onto this player is going to completely smother him with an exceptionally quick Guard who is simply too big and strong and explosive for this smaller player to handle effectively, from an offensive perspective. We punish you both ways.

    On Rebounding … just because the AVERAGE … a descriptive word which I detest, when used in basketball … Point Guard in the NBA is generally not a high efficiency Rebounder does not mean that CREATING a SUBSTANTIAL mis-match on the boards, at this specific position – ala Magic Johnson – is a less-than valuable situation. More a case of the exact opposite. There is nothing more effective in hoops than having a mobile Big Player with terrific handles and the ability to see over smaller defenders and the creativity to see the Pass and then deliver the Pass on target, take the ball off the glass and go coast-to-coas. NOTHING.

    When an elite level team has THIS type of PG it is on its way towards being a truly DOMINANT force, i.e. offensively, defensively and in terms of rebounding the ball.

    Do these these consistently … from the PG position … and your team is Winning Big.

  45. Dan H Says:

    Re: Rebounding

    I am going to make a very general assumption here for the sake of making this analysis generic. Feel free to call me on it if you feel it is unrealistic.

    Assumption: Rebounding responsibilities for C > PF > SF > SG > PG.

    In other words the PG will garner the least number of rebounds that require the typical rebounding skills (jumping especially). This does not include ‘long rebounds’ which are typically gathered based on speed to get to them rather than out jumping the opponent.

    So: my follow up question. In your starting lineup, do you consider Kobe and Wade to be better rebounders than LBJ? Is creating a positive mismatch at a low impact position worth possibly creating a negative mismatch at a higher impact position (SF, etc)?

    Also, since the rebounds a point guard tends to collect are long rebounds, which rely on speed instead of size and jumping ability, would you not be creating a negative mismatch in certain situations if pairing LBJ with a smaller, quicker player?

    Re: Defense

    Your statement that you would expect a large point guard on a contending team… 4 names: Parker. Nash. Paul. Williams. Tallest of them? 6-3.

    So, when against any of these elite point guards, you admit that LBJ is NOT the defensive matchup, but Kobe is.

    I personally would expect most contending teams to have a more prototypical point guard (of the above ilk).

    I guess this is more of a rebuttal than a question on defense… Oh, well.

    Sorry for dragging this on. I guess I just enjoy in depth conversation.

    Either that or I’ve reached maximum basketball desperation three days before training camp starts.

  46. Top Posts « WordPress.com Says:

    […] Taking on all comers Reading this specific blog entry … precipitated the following thought: If you could construct your ideal 12-man […] […]

  47. khandor Says:

    A lot of interesting material in these comments. 🙂

  48. khandor Says:

    Milton, Mr. T & 03trioka,

    Thanks for your comments.

  49. khandor Says:

    Dan H.,

    Rebounding, at any and every position, is dependent on QUICKNES …relative to specific opponent, at the position played.

    As I said before, try your best to never forget that single, crucial mantra. 🙂

    In general … Yes, I do subscribe to the philosophy of:


    when it comes to PRIORITIZING the importance of rebounding BY Position for a basketball team.

    But, NO … this does NOT mean that a team should ever give up an Advantage at a lower spot on this specific totem pole in order to insure against the dribble penetration ability of a smallish PG on the opposition … especially, when it has a player like Kobe who can adequately smother this petite player AND two other guards like D-Wade & Lebron who can hold their man in check and dominate him, respectively, on the glass. There is NO Disadvantage in any of those 3 individual match-ups for my team.

    re: Size of PG’s on legit contenda teams in the NBA

    Parker, Nash & Williams are all 6-3.

    6-3 is a solid height for an elite level PG in the NBA.

    NBA history says that it is almost impossible for a team to win the League Championship with a smalish PG.

    I consider anyone under 6-3, 175 to be a small PG, in the NBA.

    I consider Chris Paul to be a small PG, in the NBA.

    I will never chose a small PG … over a bigger PG with a similar quality/calibre of overall game, a significant part of which includes an under-rated element like Rebounding (and defensive switching, double-teaming assignments). Never.

    Come with a small PG … in the NBA, playing under NBA Rules … and your team is in all likelihood NOT winning the NBA Championship … unless, of course, you can also claim a starting Center like Shaq and an explosive Wing like Kobe.

    In which case … then, all bets are off. 🙂

  50. evan Says:


    PG: Chris Paul
    SG: Kobe Bryant
    G/F: LeBron James
    PF: Kevin Garnett
    C: Dwight Howard

    Key Reserves:

    G: Tracy McGrady
    F/C: Tim Duncan
    G/F: Dwayne Wade


    C: Greg Oden
    PG: Steve Nash
    G/F: Michael Redd
    F/C: Pau Gasol

  51. Aaron Candee Says:

    In response to your curiosity over my putting kobe bryant at the bottom of my reserves list:
    Its not meant to be “at the bottom”. Just in with the reserves.
    And why is he not even on the key reserves even though he is reigning MVP?
    My feeling is he always needs the ball to be good when he is on a team of great players. Whether that be passing, shooting, dribbling. But he isn’t the best at those talents. He’s just really really good at all of them. On a regular team he excels and makes everyone better. He has no glaring weaknesses but he has no amazing strengths (other than scoring 81 points if he has the ball all the time). With a team this good, with a starting lineup with 5 of the best people at their position, none of them really have any glaring weaknesses, and yet each person needs to have a huge strength. Chris Paul is the best decision-maker with the ball, Ray Allen is the best shooter with little weakness in other areas, Lebron is the most athletic talented player in the league and is the best on the break, Tim Duncan is currently the best big man down low on both defense and offense, and Yao Ming (when healthy) has the best combination of offense and defense consistently (plus that FT% is astounding). Another reason in picking Duncan/Ming is because I like tall teams.

    When I have a team this good, I don’t need someone who makes his teammates better. Most of the time, thats what my PG is for, and with decisions made by Chris Paul, I highly doubt Kobe will fill the niches in this team better than the people I have in it.

  52. khandor Says:


    To each his own.


    IMO, Kobe Bean Bryant is actually the very best, in the game today, at what he actually does.

    There’s a reason the Redeem Team was never ever not going to win the Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympics, regardless how close the final game was going to be.

    When you’ve got a player like Black Mamba … whom the best players in the world today want to have on their team, with the ball in his hands, in the 4th quarter of a championship game, making the most important decisions … i.e. when to drive, when to shoot, when to pass, when to go for a steal, when to attack the glass, etc., with his tenacity & competitiveness … and you put him on the floor with other supreme talents, e.g. Lebron & D-Wade … and then simply get out of the way … you are going home with the W.

    The only other player in the history of the game who brings the array of special gifts that Kobe brings … has the initials MJ, and there’s no way anyone in their right mind would ever leave his name off a 12-man team, at any point in time. 🙂

    My two cents worth.

  53. Scrappy Coco Says:

    PG – Chris Paul
    SG – Kobe Bryant
    SF – LeBron James
    PF – Kevin Garnett
    C – Dwight Howard

    6th – Deron Williams
    7th – Dwyane Wade
    8th – Shawn Marion
    9th – Amare Stoudemire
    10th – Tim Duncan
    11th – Carmelo Anthony
    12th – Yao Ming

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