[Moderated by Matt Jones]
We’ve heard quite enough speculation about whether this past year’s 2011-12 Kentucky Wildcat Basketball team could beat the lowly Charlotte Bobcats. The general consensus is a no even though I believe it’d be a battle. I won’t go into that but another question popped into my mind as dreams of Olympic golds danced in my head. Could we assemble a cast of current Cats in the NBA that could hold their own as a team? Could they win a game, could they make the playoffs? That would be awesome to see and with so many Cats heading to the NBA these days it could quite possibly happen. Of course as of now the Cats are predominately split onto different rosters on pretty bad teams. Some guys such as Eric Bledsoe and Jodie Meeks got snubbed of playing time in the playoffs and didn’t get a chance to shine. Some guys like John Wall and Brandon Knight were on atrociously bad teams and just didn’t have the big game atmosphere surrounding them at any time. With, say, a roster of 10 current NBA Cats let’s see what would happen. Could they hold their own? I say yes. For a fair comparison I will compare them to a middle of the road team such as the Phoenix Suns, holders of a 33-33 regular season record. I have chosen what I believe to be the 10 best Cats and put them side to side with Phoenix’s top 10 minute getters. Now this post isn’t totally beyond imagination as, if you recall, the Kentucky “Pros” assembled at the YUM! Center and Rupp this past summer to play exhibition games.
UK’s starters would be the first five listed…I tried to make the starting line up so that all size needs would be filled and shooting was there. Because of this, John Wall is not a starter. What a luxury having him come off the bench.
UK Pros with 2011-12 Regular season stats included for starters
1. Rajon Rondo – 11.9 ppg, 11.7 apg, 4.8 rpg
2. Brandon Knight – 12.8 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.2 rpg
3. Tayshaun Prince – 12.9 ppg, 2.4 apg, 4.4 rpg
4. Patrick Patterson – 7.7 ppg, 0.8 apg, 4.5 rpg
5. Demarcus Cousins – 18.1 ppg, 1.6 apg 11.0 rpg
Reserves with ppg
John Wall – 16.3
Chuck Hayes – 7.9
Enes Kanter – 4.6
Jodie Meeks – 8.4
Josh Harrellson – 4.4
Phoenix Suns – No stats for them
1. Steve Nash
2. Shannon Brown
3. Jared Dudley
4. Channing Frye
5. Marcin Gortat
6. Grant Hill
7. Michael Redd
8. Markieff Morris
9. Sebastian Telfair
10. Hakim Warrick
First off, I did not realize the Suns had so much washed up talent. Grant Hill and Michael Redd used to be perennial all stars. I am surprised the Suns aren’t a little better. Nonetheless, let’s get into the match ups…
Rajon Rondo vs. Steve Nash is a no brainer in my eyes. Nash may have more fame but Rondo is quicker, taller, better and just better looking.
Brandon Knight vs. Shannon Brown is a wash to me. The two guys were both stars in college but Knight has a lot more potential in my eyes. Brown is certainly stronger but I can’t see any glaring advantage between the two.
Tayshaun Prince vs. Jared Dudley is another wash. These two players are consistently consistent. They don’t throw up big numbers but always contribute.
Patrick Patterson vs. Channing Frye is close but I’ll give the edge to Frye. Patterson is just undersized. Frye is an established NBA Power Forward and has lots of respect around the league. P-Pat is no pushover, though, so this is no mismatch.
Demarcus Cousins vs. Marcin Gortat. I’ll give this one to Boogie purely based on swag. Gortat is actually pretty good, averaging 15 and 10 a game, but Demarcus is better, stronger, and meaner.
The bench battle would have to go to the Suns. The bench could possibly field a starting line up with Telfair, Redd, and Hill making up a pretty solid backcourt. Don’t forget John Wall is on the Cats’ bench, however. Oh yeah, and that guy that dropped 54 in college, Mr. Meeks.
I’d take the Cats in this one, I’m not gonna lie. It could go either way without a doubt but I see Kentucky’s line up having a whole lot of team chemistry, obviously. The parts would be there for a great team with Rondo running the point, Knight making the shots, and Prince, Patterson, and Cousins making up a very tough front court. I, personally, would love to see these Cats ban up against another NBA team.
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