The legacy league was created to pit teams drafted by fellow RR members against each other and allow the general RR populous to vote on who would win this winner take all, single elimination game if all players were at their peak performance.
Each team drafted an 8 man roster. Each team provided a gameplan justification as to why they believe they should get your vote. Each team is allowed 1 post for "in game adjustments." The role of RR community is simple, vote for who you believe should win. Post justification if you want (encouraged) and weigh the pros and cons for all to see, but ultimately, your vote decides who will win this tournament of legends.
Match-up #8 - AVATAR BET IS ON!!
Mack North Lineup
PG - Russell Westbrook 4x All-Star, 4x All-NBA 2nd Team, 1x Scoring Leader
('14-'15 - 28.1PPG,7.3Reb,8.6Ast,2.1Stl)29.1PER
SG - Jerry West 14x All-Star, 12x All-NBA Selection (10x 1st Team), 4x All-Defensive 1st Team, 1x Champion
('65-'66 - 31.3PPG,7.1Reb,6.1Ast)24.6PER
Bench - Josh Smith All-Defensive 2nd Team, J-Smoooove The Stat Stuffer
('11-'12 - 18.8PPG,9.6RPG,3.9Ast,1.4Stl,1.7Blk)21.1PER
PF - Kevin Love 3x All-Star, 2x All-NBA 2nd Team
('13-'14 - 25.9PPG,12.5RPG,4.4 APG,190 3PMon38%)26.9PER
C - Moses Malone 3x MVP, 12x All-Star, 8x All-NBA Selection (4x 1st Team), All-Defensive 1st team, 1x Champion
('81-'82 - 31.1PPG, 14.7RPG,1Stl,1.5Blk)26.8PER
Bench - Bob Pettit 2x MVP, 11x All-Star, 10x All-NBA 1st Team
('60-'61 - 27.9PPG,20.3RPG,3.4Ast)25.2PER
Bench - Kevin Johnson 3x All-Star, 5x All-NBA (4x 2nd Team)
('90-'91 - 22.2PPG,3.3RPG,10.1Ast,2.1Stl,52%FG)23.7PER
Bench - Drazen Petrovic All-NBA 3rd Team, 2x Mr. Europa Award winner
('92-'93 - 22.3PPG,2.7RPG,3.5Ast, 2%FG,45%3PFG,1.3Stl)17.3PER
PG - Tony Parker 4x Champion, 6x All-Star, 4x All-NBA Selection (3x 2nd Team)
SG - Kobe Bryant MVP, 5x Champion, 17x All-Star, 15x All-NBA (11x 1st Team), 9x All-Defensive 1st Team, 2x Scoring Leader
SF - Elgin Baylor 11x All-Star, 10x All-NBA 1st Team
PF - Patrick Ewing 11x All-Star, 6x All-NBA 2nd team, 3x All-Defensive 2nd Team
C - Dikembe Mutumbo 8x All-Star, 4x Defensive Player of the Year, 6x All-NBA Selection (3x 1st Team)
Bench - Shawn Marion 4x All-Star, 2x All-NBA 2nd Team, Champion
Bench - Penny Hardaway 4x All-Star, 2x All-NBA 1st Team
Bench - Alex English 8x All-Star, 3x All-NBA 2nd Team, 1x Scoring Champ
Mack North's Gameplan
To get the ball rolling, my team is just much quicker than the Apollo's, but we can also dominate on the boards from all those missed shots from Kobe etc.. Westbrook and KJ would simply blow by any of the inferior(Penny, Parker) defenders as ball-handlers, leaving easy wide open looks for any one of The Logo, K Love, Draz P or even J Smoove. With Ewing stretched out to the 3-line to guard the lethal K Love, that will leave the lane susceptible to either quick entry passes to the cutting West/J Smoove, or easy rebounds for Moses Malone(17.6RPG) over Dikembe. Bob Petit comes in off the bench and dominates at over 20RPG and 27PPG in his prime, a C that was matched up vs the great Celtics of the 50's-60's, the like of which English or Marion have never seen. With all the great assist men and shooters the North side has, it's just not fathomable for them to get anything less than 125+ points on offense in this matchup.
On the other side of the ball, Penny was never a huge facilitator, so it's just going to be Kobe being Kobe all day - and we'll live with that. Josh Smith will be the primary defender on Kobe, giving Bryant many problems with his length, size, speed and shot-blocking abilities. Moses Malone effectively cancels any out positive that Ewing can do, with the two players primes nearly mirroring each other, with Malone scoring more and rebounding(+5), to Ewing's blocks being slightly higher. It pretty much goes without saying who would win the battle of Jerry West vs Elgin Baylor, one guy is the logo while the other is Elgin Baylor(fine player, just not Logo worthy). Westbrook's quickness/peskiness(like a puppy nibbling at your ankles) would give the much taller Penny fits, leading to turnovers and bone-headed plays. I don't have to worry about Love guarding Mutombo, as that's just not a spot anyone(especially Kobe) would be willing to pass to.
The opponent is greatly undersized, sporting an eight man rotation featuring three PG (6’3”- 187lb Westbrook, 6’2” - 175lb Jerry West and 6’1” – 180 Kevin Johnson) and two undersized centers in Moses Malone and Bob Pettit.
They cannot beat us down low in the post with Mutombo, Ewing, Baylor and Marion all guarding the paint as big, strong defenders and this proves a problem as both Malone and Pettit feature an old school big man skillset that will not fair well against the stronger, bigger, lock down defenders. Love will get his at times, we just contain that as best we can knowing he's going to give up as much on the other end.
The opponent will more than likely attempt to breakdown our defense initiated by the ball dominate work of Russell Westbrook but between Tony, Penny, Kobe and Elgin we have enough athletic guards and wings to make his life more difficult than he's accustomed to.
Drazen is a problem on the perimeter and so we will smother him out there with the goal of only providing him contested shots.
They do not have a strong option at the three and so they’re either going undersized which limits them against the bigger and very fast footed Baylor/Bryant or they stick Josh Smith in there who is very limited on offense and so in any regard this is their weakest point on offense.
Transition, transition, transition: Dike, Ewing and Baylor are all strong on the glass and as soon as they come down with it we push it fast down court with Tony/Kobe/Penny leading the way and our wings/guards looking to get into the paint before their big men can get back there to setup.
If it’s not there we will hold and run traditional set plays utilizing both screens and drive/kicks with Tony, Penny and Kobe quarterbacking the offense.
We can utilize Ewing’s baseline jumper to pull a man out of the paint to give our plethora of strong finishers and passers more room to drive it in for the finish and the bonus, or to then kick it back out into the hands of one of our many strong shooters.
The Baylor matchup is also going to be of focus as he’s strong, big and skilled in the post to dominate Mack’s guards and fast/athletic enough to create separation from any of the forwards they can put on him.
Mutombo will be hard on the offensive glass, along with our wings looking for second chance opportunities; here Baylor and Marion will be money due to his elite level rebounding skills.
In Game Adjustments
I correctly guessed Mack’s game plan. If Westbrook is too much for Tony Parker we will bring in 6’7” Penny Hardaway to cover Drazen as Kobe switches off onto Westbrook. Kobe’s elite defense and athleticism will allow him the best chance to limit Westbrook to contested jumpers or offensive resets.
If successful nothing else changes on defense as Mack underestimates the defensive dominance of Mutombo and the size disadvantage that Mack surrenders at C and both F spots.
If unsuccessful we check in the highly athletic and versatile Marion for Mutombo and also as a last measure, with this long, athletic team we will opt to switch to zone if need be to help contain Westbrook.
On offense, Mack states he’s focused on shutting down Kobe and he can try. Now that Penny is in the game we will utilize his athleticism, his length and his burst to penetrate into the paint. We’ll also set Elgin Baylor in the paint so that he can operate his polished low post game on the greatly undersized Jerry West(surrendering 50lbs). Ewing will move out a little and utilize his sweet baseline jumper to draw a big man out of the paint as to avoid clogging the lanes. Meanwhile Marion will be looking for offensive rebounds, put backs, high flying moves to the bucket and also an occasional open three point jumper. Mack won’t have an answer for this long, athletic squad and will soon have to put Josh Smith on Elgin Baylor or else continue to be brutalized in the paint. Once that happens we move back to getting Kobe more involved from long range and cuts to the basket as no one else can hang with him.
Mack North's Adjustments
As stated previously, Josh Smith is my starting SF, but on D he switches off to Kobe, leaving Jerry West to guard Baylor. Jerry West's final season(73-74)(All-Star in all 14 seasons he played btw)saw him finish with 81 steals... in 31 games! Do not let the unknown stats fool you, they did not keep stats for steals and blocks etc. prior to the '73-'74 season, so my team may appear to have a disadvantage, but this would not be the case. West would give Baylor OR Kobe fits when they have the ball in their hands. With Josh(excellent help defender and block artist) and Moses protecting the rim with his grittiness, those two would be left outside with Mutombo and Ewing having terrible spacing on the inside, clogging the lane. Baylor is not an outside shooter, nor was he a good facilitator, leaving him stuck on the outside watching Kobe. He's just so ball dominant that his teammates would lose patience from working so hard inside that they wouldn't fight for rebounds, leaving my superior boarders to gobble up the missed shots and send to anyone of my terrific PG's/SG for break opportunities.
I believe those Jerry West measurements are extremely skewed as Bob Loblaw mentioned, there's no way he played at 6'2" 175lbs, so that notion that he's too undersized to handle Penny, Kobe, Baylor goes out the window. I would even match him up with Matrix when he checks in.
While most of my team is undersized, let's remember who and what won the championship this year, and what teams are looking to do going forward - speed and shooting. I have some lightning bolts out there that would just run his bigger team into the ground. Excellent ball movement on the perimeter to the interior for good looks inside by Love, Malone or Petit(26PPG, 31, 31 respectively) or outside shooting by West, Drazen, KJ(44+% in their primes from 3 point range) and Love(38% from 3).
Team North has the inside and outside game down pat... you be the judge!
So RR faithful, who wins this game?