Doctor MJ wrote:
Finding this discussion very interesting, but I'm going to harp on the skeptical point you mention:
Low talent pool.
Safe to say that the reason Kevin Durant isn't in this event, is probably not because he tried and failed.
I'm a bit frustrated at the existence of the 3x3 event because I just think specifically the best 3x3 talents in the world are 100% not in the event. I frankly think the Olympics shouldn't be approving new events like this.
Of course, I'm also someone who gets frustrated at the gaudy swimming medal totals drastically inflated by having duplicate events with purposefully inferior strokes. Basically, take any Olympic medal that doesn't say "freestyle" next to it, and to my mind, it shouldn't exist. Track & Field doesn't have separate events for skipping, hopping, and galloping, neither should Swimming.
All this to say, I'm perhaps overly opiniated.
Back to what I'd expect in 3x3 if the best players were truly playing:
1. The existence of a 3-point line, along with the profoundly skilled state of modern shooting, likely pushes the game hard in a particular direction. I can't emphasize enough that in an era without confidence in outside shooting, 3x3 might actually lead to the entire game being as brutal and physical as what interior bigs deal with as the refs look the other way. But that's not the era of basketball we're in.
2. So yeah, you'd really, really only be playing players who were serious shooting threats. Really not hard to find 3 guys in a country who are strong 3-point shooters on top of a star's game, so that's what you'd do, and it would mean that you wouldn't be able to have a big just camp in the interior. So I do think we'd expect 3x3 players to be more perimeter-oriented.
3. One thing I think is interesting is that I think it makes forcing switches much harder. It's easier for the defender to move and navigate, and so one kind of dream team would be supe'd up 3 & D guys. I'm imagining 3 wing-sized guys who can all shoot, all play D, and are able to handle the rock and take it to the hole. Say LeBron/AD/Kawhi? Pretty terrifying to think about.
4. Pick & roll could still be used for a variety of reasons, including just as a wedge to give the man with the ball an opening. I'm imagining Steph Curry out there right now. You couldn't double him. You can provide him momentary separation at any time from his man. That means you can get a good Curry 3-point opportunity basically every possession if you want. It's possible that's actually unbeatable.
Yea, I think it's very well possible that Curry is the GOAT 3x3 talent by a margin.
Haha, I'd pay to see that. Just pure mastery.