Sunday, January 25, 2015

NBA 2K15 Teams by Birth Year

1994/5 - Had to combine the youngest teams
C - Nerlens Noel
PF - Jabari Parker
SF - Giannis Antetokounmpo
SG - Andrew Wiggins
PG - Elfrid Payton
6th - Marcus Smart
7th - Julius Randle
8th - Aaron Gordon
9th - Zach LeVine
10th - Jusuf Nurkic
Mascot: Bruno Caboclo
Alternates: None

Good God what a mess. This team is small, thin, and can't shoot. They can absolutely fly, but Noel would have to average 18 boards and 6 blocks for this team to succeed. They lack depth on the wing, and going to Wiggins in prime time won't cut it in this tournament. I have the feeling that, down the line in 2019, the sight of these names together would jolt you into a heart attack, but at the moment, I'm sleeping on them. Luckily, they'll have Nurkic to talk crazy amounts of shit to everyone.

C - Andre Drummond
PF - Anthony Davis
SF - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
SG - Bradley Beal
PG - Tony Wroten
6th - Anthony Bennett
7th - Steven Adams
8th - Ben McLemore
9th - Dennis Schroder
10th - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Mascot: Stauskas? Stauskas!
Alternates: Alex Len, KJ McDaniel

Drummond, David, and MKG in the front line. Good luck scoring on them!
Wait...that problem also sort of applies to their offense. There's no spacing and little shot creation. The've got the Brow to clean things up and drop 28, but starting Tony Wroten at point guard (Sixers numbers be damned) hurts, compared to the opposition. Bradley Beal would have to be a wrecking ball for any success deep in a theoretical tournament, and the combo of McLemore and Caldwell-Pope need to be lights out. I'd be afraid to play this team. but I'd also be afraid to play as this team. I'm not totally sold.

C - Jonas Valenciunas
PF - Tobias Harris
SF - Harrison Barnes
SG - Victor Oladipo
PG - Kyrie Irving
6th - Jared Sullinger
7th - Shabazz Muhammad (maybe)
8th - Trey Burke
9th - Tim Hardaway, Jr.
10th - Rudy Gobert
Mascot: Dougie McBuckets
Alternates: Enes Kanter, Terrance Jones, Austin Rivers (just kidding)

Here's a team with the opposite issue as the 1993 squad. You've got plenty of shooting and offensive prowess, especially if Shabazz was actually born in this year, but Oladipo's your only real defensive leader. Barnes is pretty solid, too, but really you'd want to combine this year's guards with 1993's bigs. That's why I had to keep Gobert on over Kanter, even though Kanter starts in real life over Gobert. We need the size! It's still a very fresh team, and the lack of experience will work against them. Plus, we've seen that a tam led by Kyrie can only go so far. I'd see a quick defeat for these.

C - Derrick Favors
PF - Tristan Thompson
SF - Kawhi Leonard
SG - Dion Waiters
PG - Michael Carter-Williams
6th - Brandon Knight
7th - Nikola Mirotic
8th - Terrance Ross
9th - Kelly Olynyk
10th - Alec Burks
Mascot: Royce White
Alternates: Kendall Marshall, Khris Middleton, Langston Galloway.

Small. Can't shoot. Won't defend too well. Outrageous turnovers. And speaking of Cavalier problems, how well can a team with Dion Waiters as the best shooting guard really play? It's a short team without a great shot creator; Brandon Knight off the bench is the best shot at scoring. Leonard is the obvious captain, but he's going to find himself short of help. Mirotic might end up starting at the four, depending on how Thompson plays. Throw this team in the trash.

C - DeMarcus Cousins
PF - Draymond Green
SF - Paul George
SG - Klay Thompson
PG - Damien Lillard
6th- John Wall
7th - Gordon Hayward
8th - Greg Monroe
9th - Nikola Vucevic
10th - Jrue Holiday
Mascot: Quincy Acy
Alternates: Kemba Walker, Donatas Motiejunas, Avery Bradley

Look at the 1991 team again, and look back to this team. What a difference a year makes! You could go so many different directions here; you've got size (Cousins, Monroe, Vucevic), you could go small with Hayward and George at the forward spots, the shooting off the bench is nutty, the defense is stout, there's really no going wrong here. Cousins, especially, makes a difference. Only the 1985 team could possibly hope to deal with his enormousness, as his post-up potential will destroy everyone else. Imagine Saint Boogie anointing the block with all those shooters spread around him. Or Vucevic doing the same, with the reserves. There won't be a single second off for post defenders. This team's the youngest of the real contenders, and with that level of balance, they're a serious problem.

C - Serge Ibaka
PF - Blake Griffin
SF - Jimmy Butler
SG - James Harden
PG - Eric Bledsoe
6th - DeMar DeRozan
7th - Isaiah Thomas
8th - Kenneth Faried
9th - Tyreke Evans
10th - Markieff Morris
Mascot: Kent Bazemore
Alternates: Brandon Jennings, Hassan Whiteside

This is a good, but not great side. Only a few all-stars. They're too weak at center and point guard, arguably the most important positions, to really contend. That Harden/Butler/Griffin combo looks awfully nice, though. Harden would be your go-to guy, but other than him, I don't see the shot creation. Actually, as I keep looking at this, with Evans and Thomas in the mix, this is definitely the most selfish bench crew in the tournament. If only we could move Dion Waiters birthday back to 89...
Also, they're broke and short compared to many of the other great teams. The defense will be superb in the starting five, but will drop off on the bench. There's just too much skill overlap for this to be a leading group.

C - DeAndre Jordan
PF - Kevin Love
SF - Kevin Durant
SG - Russell Westbrook
PG - Stephen Curry
6th - Derrick Rose
7th - Chandler Parsons
8th - Nicolas Batum
9th - Ryan Anderson
10th - Brook Lopez
Mascot: Greg Oden
Alternates: Jeff Teague, Thad Young, Robin Lopez

Holy smokes! Curry, Westbrook, AND Rose?!?! Their point guard situation is arguably the deepest of any year, at any position, with Jeff Teague having to be left off just to allow for better balance on the roster. And I haven't even gotten to Kevin Durant. Kevin fucking Durant is on the same team as Chef Curry! Without a doubt, this is the best shooting team, with lots of depth in every position. Kevin Love might be a cause for concern, the way he's failed to mesh in Cleveland, but you can always swing Ryan Anderson in for a lesser version. He's basically the Kevin Like to Kevin Love. The shot creation is incredible, absolutely best in the tournament. The weakness might be in the shooting guard slot, where Eric Gordon was somehow the best at the position for this year. He, obviously, did not make the team, so Westbrook, Rose and Parsons will have to cover. I'm also assuming Batum will revert to his old abilities; if not, Teague takes his spot. One of the best teams.

C - Amir Johnson
PF - Ersan Ilyasova
SF - Wilson Chandler
SG - Ty Lawson
PG - Mike Conley
6th - Danny Green
7th - OJ Mayo
8th - Josh McRoberts
9th - Trevor Booker
10th - Greivis Vasquez
Mascot: Andrew Bynum
Alternates: My left nut, my right nut

LOL. OJ Mayo leads this crew in ppg for a career at...14.5.
What a terrible team. I guess every year can't be great. Small without a go-to scorer, this team would have to employ a Phoenix style dual-point guard lineup to have any success. I feel awful for Mike Conley here, only gimmicky coaching could get them through a round.

C - Roy Hibbert
PF - Al Horford
SF - Rudy Gay
SG - Goran Dragic
PG - Rajon Rondo
6th - Kyle Lowry
7th - Jeff Green
8th - Omer Asik
9th - Wesley Matthews
10th - Nikola Pekovic
Mascot: Big Baby Davis
Alternates: Gerald Green, THE JAVALAVATOR

A nice, balanced, second-tier team. The point guard trio of Rondo, Dragic and Lowry is nice, as is having Hibbert and Horford up front. As wet as Wes Matthews is, there's not nearly enough shooting here. Also, Dragic can't compare with Durant, Harden, LeBron or Lilliard as a late game scorer, exceptional as he is. The defense should be sturdy, especially with Hibbert manning the middle and Asik off the bench. If they can slow the tempo, they could rumble with some of the better teams. Bring on Frank Vogel as a coach!

C - Marc Gasol
PF - LaMarcus Aldridge
SF - Luol Deng
SG - Aaron Afflalo
PG - Chris Paul
6th - Dwight Howard
7th - Joakim Noah
8th - Monta Ellis
9th - Al Jefferson
10th - Paul Millsap
Mascot: Darko Milicic
Alternates: Trevor Ariza, Taj Gibson, Swaggy P

THEY'RE SO FUCKING BIG!!! Imagine a lineup with LaMarcus at the 3, Marc Gasol at 4 and Dwight at the 5. Wait, their center hogging might haunt them late in a game when CP3 and Afflalo fatigue. Besides, that might be their best line up not because it's great to be huge in the NBA, but because their wings kind of suck. Ellis is small and non-traditional; he has to come off the bench due to his versatility. He can cover both Paul and Afflalo when needed, and he will certainly be needed. They might have to bring Swaggy P along to run the point a bit, in case of injury. They'll be insane defensively, but I'm not a believer in Chris Paul at the end of games. We'll see how well Ellis can maintain that bench role.

C - Chris Bosh
PF - Carmelo Anthony
SF - LeBron James
SG - JJ Redick
PG - Deron Williams
6th - Andre Iguodala
7th - Andrew Bogut
8th - Gary Neal
9th - Marcin Gortat
10th - Nate Robinson
Mascot: Adam Morrison
Alternates: Zaza, Chris Copeland, Ray Felton?

The oldest contender. Lots of big names here, but the guards are weak. RIP to Brandon Roy's knees, which could have thrust this into a sure championship. Here's a reimagining of this starting line up in a way that could win:
C - Bogut
PF - Bosh
SF - Anthony
SG - Iguodala
PG - James
Now there's a team that can seriously score AND lock down! There's a ton of firepower, there's LeBron, there's the incredibly underrated Bogut, but the team falls off at Nate Rob. This is a top team, but we'll see.

C -  Channing Frye
PF - David Lee
SF - Steve Novak
SG - Kevin Martin
PG - Jarrett Jack
6th - Devin Harris
7th - Danny Granger
8th - Jason Maxiell
9th - Will Bynum
10th - Chuck Hayes
Mascot: Delonte West
Alternates: Randy Foye, Ben Gordon, Carl Landry

YIKES. Aside from the general splashiness of this squad (Steve Novak, starting small forward!), there's almost nothing redeemable in this crew. Go-to option David Lee? Crunch time scorer Jarrett Jack? Defensive specialist Devin Harris? They're screwed. Unless Delonte brings LeBron's mom out to a game with him, then they might beat the 84 team.

C - Tyson Chandler
PF - Nene
SF - Tony Allen
SG - Dwyane Wade
PG - Tony Parker
6th - Anderson Varejao
7th - Mo Williams
8th - Boris Diaw
9th - Chris Kaman
10th - Leandro Barbosa
Mascots: Gilbert Arenas/Kwame Brown/Eddy Curry
Alternates: Jameer Nelson, Pero Antic, Amare Stoudemire

One of the few competent older teams, D-Wade and Tony Parker can still really ball. And they'll have to, as this bag of old bones won't be getting buckets from many places. This team is easily the most likely to get carted off, injured, broken, or pass out on the court. Tony Allen might have to kill some kids for them to stay alive for long.

C - Sam Dalembert
PF - Zach Randolph
SF - Joe Johnson
SG - Kyle Korver
PG - Jose Calderon
6th - Andrei Kirilenko
7th - Carlos Boozer
8th - Kirk Hinrich
9th - Luke Ridnour
10th - Drew Gooden
Mascot: Darius Miles/Smush Parker
Alternates: DeShawn Stevenson, Willie Green

A well-balanced team, aside from the Sammy D/Drew Gooden rotation at center. They're surrounded Z-Bo with shooters galore; he'll function excellently with that perimeter group. Unlike the majority of the teams in this exercise, they actually have interior-exterior balance, along with defined options. They'll also survive defensively, and that bench isn't half bad. Factoring in Joe Johnson's end of game escapades, you've got a team that might be shorter on talent than others, but is stronger on balance and matching parts.

C - Pau Gasol
PF - David West
SF - Matt Barnes
SG - Jamal Crawford
PG - Steve Blake
6th - Mike Dunleavy
7th - Nick Collison
8th - Luis Scola
9th - Mike Miller
10th - Caron Butler
Mascot: Vladimir Radmanovic
Alternates: Al Harrington, Udonis Haslem, Reggie Evans

Among the worst teams, but at least they have actual NBA starters in 4/5 starting slots (EDIT: 2/5). Undoubtedly the palest group of all, they're relying heavily on Jamal Crawford as not only their leading man offensively, but also as their back-up point guard. In fact, he and Steve Blake are really the only guards on the team, with the 6'9 Mike Dunleavy slotting into the two when Jamal runs the one. In fact, Jamal's going to play 48 minutes per game.
On the flip side, they're big on the wings, and could present some difficult matchups by running Mike Miller or Dunleavy at the four. Actually, what am I saying, that'll never work. At least they have Pau and David West!

C - Tim Duncan
PF - Dirk Nowitzki
SF - Paul Pierce
SG - Kobe Bryant
PG - Steve Nash
6th - Manu Ginobili
7th - Kevin Garnett
8th - Vince Carter
9th - Shawn Marion
10th - Andre Miller
Mascot: Tracy McGrady
Alternate: Ray Allen, Rasual Butler

The 1970s years were too sparse to give individual teams to, so I've mashed all these old dogs together like a bad DJ at a cougar wedding. Far and away the squad with the biggest names, and likely the most Hall of Famers, this team will have a LOT of trouble stopping anyone. Duncan's the lone remaining great defender here, so they'll have to outscore and outshoot the competition. There's plenty of shot creation, but you'd have to assume the majority of them will be injured by the end of any tournament they enter. They'll survive on the glass, and have depth at every position, but they'll get killed by quick guards.

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