Carmelo Anthony is one of the game’s greatest scorers, considering his ability to take over games in a variety of ways during his prime. A strong shooter with a host of post-moves and mid-range skills, Melo won a scoring title in 2013 and currently has a career scoring average of 22.5 PPG. Even though Anthony was a special individual talent, he is well-versed in NBA history and recently came up with his all-time starting lineup that (rather unsurprisingly) consisted of him at small forward.
Anthony selected Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant in the backcourt, himself at the small forward spot, and legends Kevin Garnett and Hakeem Olajuwon at the remaining frontcourt spots. Anthony briefly mentioned Michael Jordan, but he just assumed MJ would be excluded from the list since he is almost always selected in any lineup. But even without MJ in the lineup, it is obvious that Anthony’s all-time team would be tough to beat in a series.
There might be a team that could take on Carmelo’s squad in a 7-game-series and it will also consist of 5 Hall of Fame talents that could do it on both ends of the floor.
Fadeaway World's All-Time Squad: Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal
Carmelo Anthony's All-Time Squad: Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, Hakeem Olajuwon
Without further ado, here is the FW Team that would take on Carmelo’s squad in an all-time great series matchup.
Stephen Curry vs. Magic Johnson
Steph Curry is a shooter, and he will make sure to use that skill to his team’s benefit. The iconic point guard will try to wreak havoc on Magic throughout the series, coming off screens and opting to find space to get free for his patented long-range jumper.
Meanwhile, Magic will try to slow the game down on Steph and force him to defend in the post. Thanks to his elite size at 6’9”, Johnson will have no problems backing down Curry and feeding inside. But mainly, Magic will run the show and try to get guys like Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony good looks on the floor.
Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant
The premier matchup, Michael Jordan, will take his game to 100% against legendary Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Jordan always has his best moments against other top stars and will relish the challenge of defending Kobe and also leading his own side in scoring. Even when playing with 4 other stars, MJ knows this is his team.
Kobe Bryant will not be willing to take a backseat in this series, because he knows MJ will be coming after him. Rather, Bryant will take the game from the scruff of the neck and attack as soon as he receives the ball. His battles with MJ will certainly be exciting over this series.
LeBron James vs. Carmelo Anthony
LeBron James is a greater all-around player than Carmelo Anthony, and there isn’t any dispute about that. The King is a better playmaker and will use his IQ and also his physical gifts to control the pace of the game. Knowing Magic Johnson is the primary ball-handler across from him, James must be the point guard of his team.
Carmelo Anthony’s job is to score and put pressure on LeBron James, things he will do throughout the series. The presence of Magic Johnson will greatly benefit Anthony’s game because he will find space to shoot and find himself in a position to score in the post. A strong scorer, Anthony will have a very solid series.
Tim Duncan vs. Kevin Garnett
After the MJ-Kobe matchup, the most exciting battle will come down to Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. The Big Fundamental is much more soft-spoken than KG, but that does not mean his impact won’t be felt. Duncan will lead his team in RPG while also acting as a decoy and defensive anchor for the dominant Shaquille O’Neal.
KG is more slender than Duncan, but his impact will come in his aggression and two-way play. Garnett relishes challenges against big-name players and will take the battle to the greatest power forward ever. KG will also have some critical clutch plays throughout the series.
Shaquille O’Neal vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
Shaquille O’Neal does not make the game look pretty like Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan does, but that is not his job. Shaq will opt to feast down low, using force and explosiveness to punish his defender and cause havoc in the paint. His battles with Olajuwon and KG in the paint will be painfully memorable, to say the least.
Even though Olajuwon is quicker and more skilled in the post than Shaq, he will exhaust himself trying to fortify the paint against a dominant opposing big man. Hakeem will utilize his post moves throughout the series, aiming to stun Shaq at times through fadeaway jumpers and hook shots.
Team Fadeaway World Advantages
Team FW has the greatest player in Michael Jordan, the greatest shooter in Steph Curry, and the two most physically dominant players in the series in Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James. That mix lends itself to a big boost on both ends of the floor because physicality is a major factor over a 7-game-series.
Team FW will be very versatile on the court because they can run their offense through multiple avenues, including a LeBron James-led offense or isolation plays through MJ or Curry. Of course, there is always the option to feed Shaq. Overall, it will be hard to game plan for Team FW because of their versatility.
Team Carmelo Advantages
Team Carmelo will be very effective on the break because they have the greatest point guard ever in Magic Johnson. Magic will opt to run with the likes of Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony by his side, while KG and Hakeem are slightly more mobile than Duncan and Shaq.
With Magic running the point and Kobe hounding for steals, Carmelo’s team will do very well in the transition to get Team FW out of position. Of course, Hakeem’s skill in the post will cause some headaches for Shaquille O’Neal throughout the series.
Who Wins A Best-Of-7 Series?
Game 1 goes to Team Carmelo, who finds their offense through Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony. Kobe finishes with a game-high 35 points on 11-23 shooting, while Anthony chips in 28 points including 4-7 from deep. The duo get hot in the second quarter, and hardly slow down, as they lead their team to a comfortable 107-100 victory. With MJ struggling to find his rhythm by shooting 44%, he responds in Game 2.
Michael owns Game 2, dropping 40 points on 51% shooting and also adding in 10 assists. Despite the presence of LeBron James, MJ controls the offense in an effort to not fall into a 0-2 hole. Team Carmelo once again finds their range through Carmelo and Bryant, but MJ takes over in the second half by finishing with 25 points on 9-15 shooting. This game ends in a similar result, 108-99 for Team FW.
Game 3 is all about the bigs, as Hakeem and Shaq go toe-to-toe. Shaq finishes with 32 points and 12 rebounds, while Hakeem drops 30 and 13 of his own. With the game tied at 100 with a minute remaining in the 4th quarter, Michael Jordan dribbles out of a double-team to find a scrambling Steph Curry for a three-pointer. Team Carmelo tries to answer, but a KG tip-in comes at the buzzer resulting in a 103-102 loss.
Magic Johnson and Hakeem Olajuwon take over Game 4, with the point guard finding it useful to feed his big. Shaq struggles on defense, fouling Olajuwon multiple times and also falling victim to the infamous “Dream Shake”. Hakeem goes ballistic in the fourth, going 6-6 from the field and also coming up with a game-saving block on Steph Curry in a 105-102 victory.
The scorers go at it again, as MJ and Bryant go toe-to-toe in the second half. Jordan finishes with 40 points against Kobe’s 37, but it takes a wild fadeaway jumper from Bryant over LeBron James with 33 seconds remaining to give his side a 4-point margin. LeBron finds Curry for a three with 15 seconds remaining, and MJ manages to strip KG on the inbound before calling a timeout. With less than 10 seconds, LeBron inbounds to a cutting Jordan who ends the game with a late jumper.
Team Carmelo tries to force a Game 7, and they do it courtesy of a balanced offense. The team shoots 49% as a whole, including 37% from three and 83% from the free-throw line. Magic is the star of the game, finishing with 29 points and 17 assists. Not even a 39-point effort from LeBron James would be enough because Team Carmelo finds their efficiency throughout the game thanks to their superstar floor general. Game 7, here we come.
The first half starts slowly, with both sides ending the second quarter knotted at 55. Shaq and LeBron take over in the third, combining for 20 points and 10 rebounds in the quarter alone. Entering the 4th, the game seems out of reach for Team Carmelo, as the score is 90-80. Team Carmelo tries to respond, but only Kobe Bryant manages to find his range as he scores 8 points in the 4th. But it is too late, as MJ and Tim Duncan cap off the series with a combined 23-point 4th quarter to blow out Team Carmelo 120-106 in convincing fashion.
Final Result: Team FW vs. Team Carmelo 4-3
Finals MVP: Michael Jordan