In this week's Hornets edition of around the NBA commentary on SBNation, we take a look at who would represent New Orleans in a 3-on-3 competition (as FIBA has proposed doing in the 2016 Rio Olympics) against the rest of the NBA. Though the selections themselves may not be surprising, I'll keep the suspense for after the jump...Austin Rivers' potential as a Monta Ellis-type scorer is intriguing, Robin Lopez's (aka Fro Lo) flowing locks and fiery personality would add an intimidation factor, and Jason Smith's hustle and mid-range game would be fun to watch, but unfortunately they all came up short in the selection process. We're going with the best three players on the Hornets roster right now: Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and yes, Anthony Davis.
Unlike the point guard heavy Kings (Tyreke, Jimmer, Aaron Brooks, Isiah Thomas), the front-court tilted Knicks (Melo, Amare, and Tyson as their 3 best players but not a great 3-on-3 squad) or the who-else-do you pick Cavs (Kyrie, Varajeo and....Tristan Thompson?), the Hornets trio is not only a truly solid top 3, but their games complement each other very, very well. Yes, there are a good deal of teams with better top 3's talent-wise (which we will look at later), but each Hornet brings something unique to the table. Anderson - rebounding and 3-point shooting; Davis - protecting the rim and more rebounding; Gordon - ball-handling/versatile scoring.
Before we go any further, lets take a look at the rules of this mother of all pickup-game tournaments, courtesy of CipsNation's Steve Perrin.
- Twos and threes (even though FIBA apparently wants to make their tournament ones and twos)
- 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 (FIBA rules state 21, but that with 1 and 2 pointers)
- 7 fouls results in the bonus situation
- You can't foul out (since we didn't allow subs)
- 12 second shot clock