The NBA is currently going through an unprecedented suspension and we don’t have a clue as to when we’ll get a glimpse of competitive basketball again.
At this point, we’re currently on the 257th page of YouTube videos watching footage of our favorite players, but it’s just not enough. We need some basketball right now!
Som just for the sake of the argument, let’s try and debate which superstar-plagued team could’ve beat the other as the most dominant lineup in modern basketball. Obviously, each team would be led by one of the two best players in the league – when healthy: LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Are you up for it? Let’s go!
Team LeBron is, by all means, an offensive juggernaut. It features the league’s leading scorer in James Harden, the best two-way big man in the world in Anthony Davis, a freakish athlete with the size of a power forward and the skills of a guard in Giannis Antetokounmpo, a point guard with unlimited range in Damian Lillard, and LeBron James as their playmaking anchor.
This is the kind of team that could play at a high pace thanks to the threats Lillard and Harden are in the perimeter, plus the athleticism, hops, and strength of their forwards, which all happen to be able to bring the ball up the court, set strong picks, and drive through the lane at full steam.
Also, Team LeBron features some strong defense in the paint with all players (except Lillard) being extremely good defenders in the posts, plus Giannis and Davis as their rim protectors.
I don’t see any defense in the world being able to stop Team LeBron in the pick and roll with Davis, LeBron, or Giannis as the roll man. Also, they could easily throw the ball to the top of the key with their shooters ready to knock down shots.
They could struggle to get some stops in the backcourt, though. They have enough size, speed, strength, and athleticism to switch at all times and throw opposing scorers tons of different looks, but neither Harden or Lillard are solid backcourt defenders and LeBron isn’t as laterally quick as he used to be back in the day.
Also, other than LeBron James, his team doesn’t exactly favor’s a high basketball IQ, and most of them tend to struggle in the clutch. Damian Lillard may be the exception to that rule, even though Paul George may argue that he doesn’t take good shots.
Moreover, Team Durant also features three playmakers that thrive making their teammates better. Stephen Curry, Westbrook, and Durant can all run the point at times, with Embiid going to work in the post, and Leonard mastering the art of the midrange.
This team could also match up with Team LeBron’s size thanks to Durant’s length, and could also keep up with their pace-and-space kind of offense as they feature three great perimeter shooters, plus Westbrook and Embiid that could also occasionally knock down a three-pointer. If we talk about shooting, Team Durant features the greatest shooter in the history of the game, who also happens to have unlimited range.
When it comes to defense, they have a clear edge over Team LeBron, as they feature four pesky, savvy defenders with active hands that can turn it up by picking your pocket and then throwing a poster dunk in the other end to get people off their feet.
They could struggle vs. stronger opposition in the post and pick-and-roll sets but would make up for it with a great ability to switch and make the most of their length. Either if it’s collapsing the paint or in isolation, they got great stoppers.
However, Team Durant’s combination of size, defense, and shooting makes them a virtually perfect starting line up. The biggest threat could be the volatility of Westbrook’s, Durant’s, and Embiis’ characters; but they’re all winners that could bury the hatchet to try and get the job done.