After a disappointing showing in the FIBA World Cup, where both star players and role players on every team gladly declined their invitation to join team USA, there is one question every basketball fan should be asking. Will star players take this loss personally and show up for the Olympics? Is it time to go back to a team of college players or maybe an under 24 team? Has the rest of the world actually caught up to us? NOPE, the real question here is how would the crunchtime 5 lineup of the World Cup Team match-up with my projected Clippers crunchtime lineup for the 2019-2020 season. Pick-up style game, no substitutions, call your own fouls, game is to 21 1s and 2s, win by two.
G: Kemba Walker
hypothetical, but intriguing game.
- Star Power: The Clippers will have the 2 best players on the court, and the best pick up player in Lou Will, when playing pick up you need that one guy to throw the ball to that can just get you a bucket. Louis “I have 2 girlfriends” Williams is a walking bucket. The FIBA squad has a nice collection of players and Kemba would be fun to watch, but nobody that strikes fear in your heart. Advantage: Clippers
- Continuity- The FIBA team has only been playing together for a couple of months, which is just about a couple of months longer than this Clipper team has played together. Even though Lou, Trez, and Beverly have played together, the new additions of PG and Kawhi might take some time to gel. In pickup, a team that knows how to play together can usually put up a fight even against a more talented team. If you’ve played against a team of old guys a the YMCA who screen back cut you to death you’ll know what I’m talking about. Advantage: FIBA Team.
- Call you own fouls: I want to start this off by saying I am in no way calling the FIBA team soft, I am 5’10 and while I don’t call fouls when I play pickup there is nothing wrong with people who do (most of the time). But a team with Pat Bev and Montrezl Harrell are not letting any “soft” calls stand, and there’s no fouling out so they’re coming at you hard on every play. The Clippers have three lockdown defenders the FIBA team has none, although Turner is a good rim protector. Advantage: Clippers
If you’re keeping track at home that The Clippers with a 2-1 advantage in the important factors category. Truth be told I think whether this is pick up style or NBA rules the Clippers crunchtime five locks down the FIBA Crunch-time 5 and wins pretty easily.