It’s amazing how in a matter of 10 years we still see some familiar faces within the league proceed to play at a high level. The 2012 All-NBA First Team featured a bunch that is still relevant today. 4 of the five players from that team are still playing within the NBA with the one exception being Kobe Bryant, who retired in 2016. The remaining of the team featured Chris Paul, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Dwight Howard. Within the last two years, three of those players have played within the NBA Finals, with James and Howard winning a title with the Lakers in 2020.
This past yr’s All-NBA First Team featured some prospects for the following faces of the league. Paul’s current teammate in Devin Booker played alongside him within the NBA Finals with the Suns in 2021. The 2 helped the Suns reached the highest of the league in wins last season. Jayson Tatum played within the Finals this season, while Luka Doncic played within the Western Conference Finals. Giannis Antetokonmpo is a Finals MVP from last season, while Nikola Jokic is the two-time reigning MVP winner.
There may be a variety of talent that may step on the ground with these two All-NBA First Teams. If this was a real superteam battle, who would win a best-of-seven series?
Chris Paul vs. Luka Doncic
On the time, Paul was the purpose guard for the Los Angeles Clippers. The making of “Lob City” was in its early stages. Paul placed third within the league in assists per game, losing out to Rajon Rondo and Steve Nash. With that said, he was one of the elite defenders in the sport. He led the league with 152 steals while winning the steals crown with 2.5 per game. With a surrounding solid of elite scoring talent, Paul would have loads of opportunities to set people up.
Doncic is a special form of point guard than Paul. While he has triple-double abilities, he has more deal with scoring the basketball. Doncic led the league in usage percentage by getting used 37.4% of the time on offense. That might not must occur with this star-studded group. Doncic was fiddling with Spencer Dinwiddie and Maxi Kleber. Regardless, Doncic’s 28.4 points per game, which was third within the league, continues to be something to maintain a watch out for.
Kobe Bryant vs. Devin Booker
Throughout the 2011-12 season, Bryant was runner-up within the scoring race by 0.1 points per game. His 27.9 points per game were second to a different member of his All-NBA First Team. Bryant would likely don’t have any problem shooting the ball. It may very well be used for the 2022 team’s advantage, on condition that Bryant was coming off of a season where he led the league in field-goal attempts and misses. Bryant led the league in usage percentage this season with 35.7% of the time, which makes for an interesting matchup with Doncic if the 2 were to have a shoot-off with one another.
Booker finished last season with 26.8 points per game, which was eighth within the league. When Paul missed time attributable to an injury, it was Booker that needed to be the leader of the team. The Suns didn’t skip an excessive amount of of a beat and ended up leading the league in wins. Booker has been referenced as a version of Bryant. On this scenario, we’d get to witness true old style against recent school.
LeBron James vs. Jayson Tatum
The MVP of the season enters because the team’s starting small forward. James averaged a line of 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game. He also led the league in total win shares. By the tip of the season, James led the Miami Heat to the NBA championship, where he was named Finals MVP. James was third within the league together with his scoring average, which included leading the league in two-point field goals. When it got here to advanced stats, he was truly the perfect player on the court. On top of win shares, James led the league in player efficiency (30.7), win shares per 48 minutes, box plus/minus, offensive box plus/minus, defensive box plus/minus, and value over a substitute player (7.6).
Tatum was not on that very same level from last season but we saw the tools he possesses to where he may very well be a league MVP down the road. Tatum embraced his inner 2012 Kobe Bryant, by leading the league in field goal attempts and field goal misses. With that said, Tatum contributed 26.9 points per game and helped a Celtics defense rank first in defensive efficiency. Tatum led the league in defensive win shares with 4.6. This might be an exciting matchup where the offense takes on the defense.
Kevin Durant vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Probably the most lethal scorer on the ground could be Durant, who led the league in points with 1,850. Durant barely beat out Bryant for the scoring title with 28.0 per game. On the time, this was the third straight season that Durant won a scoring title. Durant led the league in making field goals in addition to free throws. Durant was probably the most durable player on the ground leading the league in minutes. Durant was top-3 in win shares, offensive win shares, and value over a substitute player. By the tip of the season, Durant led the Thunder to the NBA Finals before losing to James and the Heat.
The second-best scorer from last season could be matched against the perfect scorer from 10 years ago on this scenario. Antetokounmpo was the runner-up within the scoring race last season after averaging 29.9 points per game. Joel Embiid, who was the MVP runner-up, led the league in scoring but didn’t make the All-NBA First Team since the team doesn’t take two centers. As for Antetokounmpo, he was the league’s best finisher across the basket and shot 55.3% from the sector. Combined together with his exceptional defense, it might be a matchup to see.
Dwight Howard vs. Nikola Jokic
Dwight Howard from 10 years ago was still at the highest of his game. He was a defensive nightmare that couldn’t be stopped off of the glass. Howard’s 14.5 rebounds per game led the league, while he also led the league with 585 defensive rebounds and 785 total rebounds. A drawback of getting Howard was that teams liked to foul him because he was not a superb free throw shooter. He led the league in attempts with 572 but shot 49.1% from the road. Still, Howard was the perfect defensive rebounder on the ground, collecting a defensive rebound 33.1% of the time.
As for Jokic, he’s coming off a season where he was the primary player to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a season. That led to him winning his second consecutive MVP Award. Jokic led the league in total win shares with 15.2, while having his name in other categories. Jokic wouldn’t be afraid of Howard’s rebounding because he was also a solid rebounder himself. Jokic led the league with 1,019 total rebounds and recorded 813 defensive rebounds. Jokic was the league leader in PER (32.8) and value over a substitute player (9.8). That included all of the stat categories James won during his MVP season.
2012 All-NBA Team Benefits
Probably the most obvious advantage is having three of probably the most lethal scorers of all time. Since we’re considering the players from the 2011-12 season, it doesn’t even include what they did after those years. With that said, on the time, Durant was a three-time scoring champion, James and Bryant each won a scoring title of their very own, while Paul was the masterful point guard that currently ranks third in all-time assists. Paul is actually a main reason why Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan were All-Stars with the Clippers. Paul would have a field day organising the three-headed monster of Bryant, James, and Durant.
One other advantage the team has is the defensive talent. Many forget that 4 of those players are multiple winners of All-Defensive First Team honors. Paul has made the All-Defensive Team 11 times and has led the league in steals six times. Bryant owns probably the most All-Defensive First Team honors amongst any guard with 12, while Howard was a three-time Defensive Player of the Yr on the time. Don’t go sleeping on James, one other First-Team All-Defensive selection, in addition to Durant, who can play exceptional defense when he desires to do it.
2022 All-NBA Team Benefits
The 2022 team has the higher outside shooters and that could be a cold-hard fact. Doncic, Booker, and Tatum have a fearless range to them. If the sport got out of hand, the 2022 team has the potential to come back back after just a few made three-point shots. You’ll be able to’t ignore Jokic either, who owns two seasons of shooting 38% or higher from outside. Even Antetokounmpo has improved his outside shooting despite not being the perfect a part of his game.
The within advantage must be talked about as well. Jokic is potentially the perfect passing center we’ve got ever seen. That passing can be critical to helping the team find outside shots. With that said, there’s a “Twin Towers” feel to having Jokic and Antetokounmpo inside. Each are very effective across the basket. Each players would want to attract double teams and that may allow for the opposite to have an open shot.
Who Wins A Best-Of-7 Series?
The primary game would go to the legacy players. It might not be close. The concept of playing against Bryant and James could be an excessive amount of for the brand new faces. Each Bryant and James would rating 35 points, while Durant would add 29 points of his own. Howard would post a double-double of 10 points and 23 rebounds. Paul would finish the sport with 18 assists. It might help the 2022 team have a reality check, in order that they might be focused to compete after losing 130-89.
The 2022 team would respond. The team would want to achieve the respect of their opponents. Booker would take the Game 1 blowout personally and explode for 52 points. That might catch the attention of Bryant as Booker was attempting to prove that every one of the comparisons were somewhat true. Jokic and Antetokounmpo would lock down Howard within the paint and hold him to lower than 10 rebounds. Because of a game-high 32 points from Tatum, in addition to a near triple-double of 25 points, 9 rebounds, and eight assists from Doncic, the team would take the second game 107-99.
With the series tied, the 2022 team would take a surprising lead. The three-point barrage would help the team take the Game 3 victory by a rating of 115-102. Booker would hit five three-point shots, while Tatum and Doncic would mix for eight themselves. The 18 three-point shots could be enough to beat the monster game from Durant, who finished with 45 points. After losing two in a row, the 2012 team would make just a few adjustments to avoid that from happening again.
The fantastic thing about players like Bryant and James is that they take losing personally. Durant’s shots were successful, but he could be okay together with his 20 points since it was the Kobe and LeBron Show. Bryant would appear like his vintage self. Between fadeaways and transition dunks, Bryant would torch Booker and Doncic for 37 points. James would have his way with Tatum as well by adding 39 points. By getting by Tatum so over and over, it might force Antetokounmpo and Jokic to remain across the paint, which might open up three-point shots for Durant, who would finish the sport with five threes in a recent role.
To take the lead for the series, the 2022 team would employ a plan to pound the ball inside Antetokounmpo. Jokic would play more of a point-center role, which might allow Doncic to roam more and play more isolation basketball. He would attempt to tire out Paul on defense. While Doncic finished with 32 points and Jokic was one assist shy of a triple-double, the 2012 team would take a 3-2 series lead due to the defense of Paul. While Doncic would finish with an ideal scoring line, Paul’s six steals, including the game-tying steal and assist to James would arrange a last-chance basket. With six seconds left, a Tatum hand in his face, Durant would hit a spin-around jumper to send his teammates right into a frenzy.
The momentum is favoring the 2012 team to shut out the series. After three games in a row, the series has to finish, right? As a substitute, the 2022 team has just a few Cinderella moments. Jokic and James are having a real MVP battle forwards and backwards. That included trading the last 4 baskets. With the sport tied at 95-all and 30 seconds left, Jokic would find Doncic open for a three-point shot. The ball swishes in and it gives the 2012 team one probability to tie the sport with eight seconds left. Because the team sets up the play, Paul finds Bryant, who’s trying to take the last shot. Bryant sees a gap and drives to the basket but Antetokounmpo knows the team needs a three-pointer to tie and doesn’t take the bait. Bryant dishes out to James, but his shot is denied by Antetokounmpo, who’s guarding the baseline deeper towards three-point territory to send this to a Game 7.
The ultimate product is all the pieces fans are hoping to look at. It’s Hall of Fame talent with more implications than an everyday All-Star Game. Each teams battle to a fair rating of 100-all with two minutes left. By this point, it comes right down to the higher scoring players. Bryant hits a two-pointer over Booker with 1:31 to play. After a miss from Tatum, James drives to the basket and finishes in transition with 1:01 to play. Doncic tries to hit a clutch three-point shot with Paul’s hand in his face nevertheless it doesn’t fall. A Howard rebound turns right into a fastbreak with Paul and an Alley-Oop to James sends the group into chaos. With under 30-seconds to play and a six-point hole, the 2022 team is unable to drag themselves out and falls after a masterful effort.
Final Result: All-NBA 2012 First Team vs. All-NBA 2022 First Team 4-3
Finals MVP: LeBron James