Could the Big 3 work in OKC?

Look. This post got stuck in my drafts well before the preseason… I still want to post it. So… here we goooo

This offseason has been the most exciting free agency I have ever witnessed. The arms race to match the Warriors has been unbelievable at times… and head scratching. One of those such moves was the creation of Big 3 in OKC – Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. When I heard that those three would play together I shook my head in disbelief. There is no way it can work, right?

It can’t work

Here is why it can’t work:

  1. OK-ME! They all were THE star on their team and one of them seem very selfish (Carmelo). That just seems like a recipe for disaster.
    • Melo in Denver. Melo in New York. He caused a rift everywhere.
    • Westbrook could have been part of the reason why Durant left, but one thing is for sure, he didn’t mind being THE dude for OKC last year. Granted his teammates weren’t the greatest.
    • Paul George is a bit of an unknown to me… doesn’t help that he is in Indiana and it hasn’t been an exciting basketball town in a long time.  Sorry Hoosiers.
  2. Westbrook and Melo need the ball in their hands, A LOT. It’s how they play.
  3. Who is going to sacrifice and step up?
    • Reality is that there are only so many shots to be had in a game. This past year each one of them shot 18+ a game. Westbrook = 24, Carmelo =~19, George = 18. If they all hold true to what they did last year they will shoot 71 shots between the three of them. More on that in the next bullet point..
    • Let’s get a little loosie goosie. All of them came from teams that averaged over 105 pts a game, which translates to roughly 87 shots per game. That would mean between the three of them they would be taking 81% of the team’s shots. That leaves 16 shots for the rest of the crew…. slim pickings scrubs.
    • I just see a battle for who is going to be the hero and the leader. Who is going to take the last shot.
  4. Are they really bought in?
    • It seems that it is Westbrook’s team. Melo is an old dog now. Is he going to settle in? I have a hard time seeing that. PG is a star and is young… is he going to take a back seat? A lot of questions that I can’t possibly answer.

It will work

Here is why it is going to work:

  1. OK3! This isn’t the first Big 3 or the last. Past ones have worked and most notable recent ones in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett as well as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh.
  2. They all can start the break and get out in transition. They are going to be more athletic than the other team and score buckets in transition.
  3. Westbrook and PG are great defenders. Melo can be when he needs to be.
  4. They are matchup nightmares. Who will you stop?
  5. Their styles actually compliment each other.
    • Despite that all of them like 1-on-1 ball (and who doesn’t really in the NBA?), they all go about it in different ways.
      • Melo likes to start a lot of his 1-on-1 in the post or elbow with his back to the basket. He is a great passer to slashers as well as guys who stretch the floor. But also lost in the fray is his ability to knock down open shots. He is a legitimate threat from deep.
      • Russell first step is one of the fastest in the league and is great finisher at the hoop. His one on one move starts with his speed and ends with his emphatic dunks. No one can keep up with him in the open court. His offensive decisions are quick. He isn’t going to hold the ball long before either scoring or dishing it.
      • PG game is similar to Westbrook as he wants to get into the lane as a slasher or driving. He is a much better shooter from three than Westbrook and slightly better than Melo.


Leave a Reply