3-on-3 basketball is coming to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Give us your choices for rosters.
Three-on-three basketball is coming to the Tokyo Olympics next year. It is still unknown if current NBA players will get involved, but for the sake of discussion, what players from past Celtics teams, playing at peak level, would make up the optimum 3-on-3 team. The teams will have one substitute, so we need four players. Because of the nature of the game, and limited participants, versatility is key – ball handling, shooting, rebounding, passing and defense. Here’s my All-Time Celtics 3-on-3 crew:
Kevin Garnett, Larry Bird, John Havlicek and Dennis Johnson. Where’s Bill Russell you ask. He lacks outside shooting. Why Dennis Johnson? Because with his Celtics stint, he was under-rated – by a lot. He could do it all. And we needed more ball-handling and passing.
How about choosing four guys from the present Celts roster. Think versatility here, not just All-Star appearances, shooting expertise or defensive intensity. Here are my choices:
Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum. Yes, this is small ball taken to an extreme, but I don’t see any of Boston’s bigs making the roster here. Daniel Theis? Maybe, but both Tatum and Hayward are the same height as Daniel (6’8″). And before you bring up Smart’s long-range accuracy, I’ll remind you that he hit 36.4% of his 3-pointers last season. That’s better than Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hayward.
Okay, here we go with the four 3-on-3 players chosen from the current NBA rosters. This is a tough call. I’ll do the best I can:
Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Anthony Davis and James Harden. Giannis Antetokounmpo is out for the same reason as Bill Russell – lack of outside shooting. Steph Curry was a tough ommision. Readers may have their own choices.
Be aware there is a 12-second shot clock and the game is half-court. Action is fast. Shots beyond the arc count for two points, double the one point for shots taken inside the arc. In the NBA, the 3-pointer counts only 50% more than the 2-point shots. Thus, long range shots have more value as compared to the NBA.
Visit the comment section to give your additions, subtractions and critiques.