Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Ultimate 1-on-1 Basketball Tournament

Have you ever thought to yourself, who would win one-on-one between this guy and that guy? Well if so, you've come to the right place! Through my blog, I will be holding a 16-player one-on-one tournament between the NBA's finest to decide, once and for all, who is the most dominant individual force in the league. Now, for the seedings...

#1 - Kobe Bryant - The league's best player has to get the top seed, right? He may not be the favorite in most people's one-on-one tournament (check my #2 seed for the popular choice), but based on his body of NBA work I think he has to get the top seed. The league's best late-game closer will get a chance to prove that he doesn't need his All-Star teammates to be the greatest.

#2 - LeBron James - The biggest, strongest and possibly the fastest player in the league, or at least the most impressive combination of those three traits. James is probably (actually, definitely) the most freakish athlete to ever grace an NBA court. He will get the opportunity to show off that athleticism against the best the NBA has to offer.

#3 - Dwayne Wade - Everybody saw what D-Wade could do in the All-Star Game, when he wasn't facing constant double and triple-teams because of Miami's lack of talent around him. Now he doesn't have to worry about a supporting cast in taking on the league's best.

#4 - Kevin Durant - Everybody's new favorite MVP candidate has the Thunder storming up the Western Conference standings, as they've won 20 of their last 28 games and Durant has scored at least 25 points in all of them. Some would argue he could be higher than #4 on this list, but for now this is where he sits.

#5 - Carmelo Anthony - Anthony has finally taken the next step many expected a few years ago this season and is averaging a career-high 29.2 points per game. His inside-outside game is a nightmare for any fellow NBA player to defend.

#6 - Chris Paul - It's difficult to predict performances from point guards and big men in a one-on-one tournament, but Paul has the skills to compete with the league's best swingmen. His quickness will get him to the basket against almost anybody, but his lack of a dead-eye jump shot keeps him out of my top five.

#7 - Dirk Nowitzki - Nowitzki is the only player in this tournament over 6'10 who also has an outside game. He could sit back and shoot three-pointers over anybody and win, but once he misses and his opponent gets the ball, I'm not sure he could stop them on defense.

#8 - Chris Bosh - Bosh has a plethora of post moves and a deadly mid-range game, not to mention the length and athleticism to keep players in front of him and contest every shot. Definitely a sleeper as the #8 seed.

#9 - Dwight Howard - Bosh gets the advantage over Howard due to a better developed offensive repertoire, but Howard is by far the most intimidating defensive presence in this field. The first-round battle between him and Bosh will prove once and for all which is more important in one-on-one: Offense or defense.

#10 - Danny Granger - A lot of casual NBA fans don't know about Granger's talents since he's stuck in Indiana, but he has an all-around offensive game to die for. He's dead-eye shooter with the height and ability to post up and quick enough hands and feet to play solid defense against the league's best.

#11 - Brandon Roy - If Roy had a better body he would skyrocket into the top five here, but his slight frame will limit his ability to play great defense and get to the basket against stronger opponents. But he finishes well, can create his own shot with the best and will be a tough out for any opponent.

#12 - Amar'e Stoudemire - Stoudemire's improve mid-range game will help him compete, but he may find the going difficult without the league's best pick-and-roll point guard passing him the ball for easy dunks.

#13 - Steve Nash - Speaking of the league's best pick-and-roll point guard, how can you not include Nash in this field? Possibly the quickest player of the 16, he can create his own shot and doesn't need to be balanced when he shoots. That helps make up for his lack of height and his ability to finish on scoop shots with the ball far from his body will as well.

#14 - Deron Williams - One of the league's best scoring and passing point guards will get a chance to take his game to the one-on-one stage. Williams can take it to the hoop or pull up for a jumper, but his limited defensive ability could lead to a quick first-round exit against Dwayne Wade.

#15 - Paul Pierce - The Truth will try to prove that he's just that against LeBron. He'll need one of his better performances to even sniff the second round.

#16 - Joe Johnson - Mr. Irrelevant is far from it, as Johnson is one of the league's most complete swingmen. He does everything well but isn't spectacular in any one facet of the game. He will need to do something spectacular to take out Kobe in round one.

Key Rules:
Lowest seeded player gets ball first
Winners' ball
24-second shot clock

First round coming soon to a blog post near you...

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