64 One-on-One NBA Legends vs. Current Stars March Madness Tourney, PG Edition
The NCAA Final Four is right around the corner, which means it's time for another epic one-on-one March Madness-style tournament, only this time it's limited to just the point guard position.
What we have here is a 64-player, one-on-one tournament that matches 32 NBA point guard legends against 32 NBA current point guard stars, with the style of the tournament mirroring the exact setup of the NCAA March Madness tournament
This classic tournament provides fans with matchups we've dreamed of seeing, like Isiah Thomas vs. Walt Frazier, Allen Iverson vs. Derrick Rose, Bob Cousy vs. Kyrie Irving, Rajon Rondo vs. Oscar Robertson and so many more.
The players are split up into regional brackets based on the individual players' rankings that you will find in the next slide.
Get ready for some more March Madness because things are about to heat up.
How Players Were Seeded
I put the NBA legends and NBA current stars into separate 32-player pools and ranked the players were ranked from No. 1 to 32.
Based on those rankings, I picked one legend, then one current star and the rest of the selection process followed that form.
32-Player NBA Legend Rankings
Nick Van Exel
32-Player Current NBA Stars Rankings
Mike Conley Jr.
How the Tournament Works
Here are the official game rules for the NBA legends vs. NBA current stars one-on-one tournament:
1. Game is to 25 points. A player must win by two points.
2. All shots are worth one point (like any true one-on-one game).
3. Fouls are called by the defender and result in a change of possession.
4. Shot clock is set at 24 seconds.
5. All defensive rebounds that aren't air balls must be taken back past the three-point line.
6. Game is "make-it take-it" rules.
Now that the official rules have been set, let's move on to the player seedings.
North Division Seeding and Matchups
North Division Seeding
(1) Magic Johnson
(2) Russell Westbrook
(3) Allen Iverson
(4) Deron Williams
(5) Tim Hardaway
(6) John Wall
(7) Alvin Robertson
(8) Kyle Lowry
(9) Mark Price
(10) Andre Miller
(11) Reggie Theus
(12) Baron Davis
(13) Maurice Cheeks
(14) Jameer Nelson
(15) Lenny Wilkins
(16) D.J. Augustin
First-Round North Division Matchups:
(1) Magic Johnson vs. (16) D.J. Augustin
(2) Russell Westbrook vs. (15) Lenny Wilkens
(3) Allen Iverson vs. (14) Jameer Nelson
(4) Deron Williams vs. (13) Maurice Cheeks
(5) Tim Hardaway vs. (12) Baron Davis
(6) John Wall vs. (11) Reggie Theus
(7) Alvin Robertson vs. (10) Andre Miller
(8) Kyle Lowry vs. (9) Mark Price
South Division Seeding and Matchups
South Division Seeding
(1) Chris Paul
(2) John Stockton
(3) Steve Nash
(4) Bob Cousy
(5) Kyrie Irving
(6) Gary Payton
(7) Tyreke Evans
(8) Stephon Marbury
(9) Rodney Stuckey
(10) Anfernee Hardaway
(11) Jarrett Jack
(12) Darren Collison
(13) Ricky Rubio
(14) Terrell Brandon
(15) Kemba Walker
(16) Kenny Smith
First-Round South Division Matchups
(1) Chris Paul vs. (16) Kenny Smith
(2) John Stockton vs. (15) Kemba Walker
(3) Steve Nash vs. (14) Terrell Brandon
(4) Bob Cousy vs. (13) Ricky Rubio
(5) Kyrie Irving vs. (12) Darren Collison
(6) Gary Payton vs. (11) Jarrett Jack
(7) Tyreke Evans vs. (10) Anfernee Hardaway
(8) Stephon Marbury vs. (9) Rodney Stuckey
East Division Seeding and Matchups
East Division Seeding
(1) Isiah Thomas
(2) Tony Parker
(3) Walt Frazier
(4) Brandon Jennings
(5) Kevin Johnson
(6) Jason Kidd
(7) Dave Bing
(8) Ty Lawson
(9) Mookie Blaylock
(10) Mike Conley Jr.
(11) Rod Strickland
(12) Ramon Sessions
(13) Ron Harper
(14) Devin Harris
(15) Mark Jackson
(16) Isaiah Thomas
First-Round East Division Matchups
(1) Isiah Thomas vs. (16) Isaiah Thomas
(2) Tony Parker vs. (15) Mark Jackson
(3) Walt Frazier vs. (14) Devin Harris
(4) Brandon Jennings vs. (13) Ron Harper
(5) Kevin Johnson vs. (12) Ramon Sessions
(6) Jason Kidd vs. (11) Rod Strickland
(7) Dave Bing vs. (10) Mike Conley Jr.
(8) Ty Lawson vs. (9) Mookie Blaylock
West Division Seeding and Matchups
West Division Seeding
(1) Derrick Rose
(2) Oscar Robertson
(3) Rajon Rondo
(4) Nate Archibald
(5) Stephen Curry
(6) Sidney Moncrief
(7) Jose Calderon
(8) Dennis Johnson
(9) Lou Williams
(10) Steve Francis
(11) Jeremy Lin
(12) Sam Cassell
(13) Mario Chalmers
(14) Nick Van Exel
(15) Brandon Knight
(16) Terry Porter
First-Round West Division Matchups
(1) Derrick Rose vs. (16) Terry Porter
(2) Oscar Robertson vs. (15) Brandon Knight
(3) Rajon Rondo vs. (14) Nick Van Exel
(4) Nate Archibald vs. (13) Mario Chalmers
(5) Stephen Curry vs. (12) Sam Cassell
(6) Sydney Moncreif vs. (11) Jeremy Lin
(7) Jose Calderon vs. (10) Steve Francis
(8) Dennis Johnson vs. (9) Lou Williams
North Division 1st Round: No. 1 Magic Johnson vs. No. 16 D.J. Augustin
The epic tournament starts off with an incredibly lopsided matchup between one of the greatest and most versatile players to ever play the game and a guy that hasn't really reached his potential yet.
Magic Johnson played every position from point guard to center in his NBA career, which is what made him so versatile back in the day. Johnson was able to bang in the paint with the best of the best and still run the point for the Lake Show back in the day.
D.J. Augustin, on the other hand, is "just another point guard," averaging only 11 points per game on 41 percent shooting over the span of his four-year NBA career. Johnson averaged an impressive 19.5 points per game with a 52 percent shooting percentage throughout his 13-year NBA career.
In this matchup, the much more efficient and complete player in Magic Johnson would overmatch, outgun and overpower Augustin in every facet of the game.
Getting to double digits against Magic Johnson would be an amazing feat for Augustin, but unfortunately, that won't happen. Johnson will dominate Augustin, earning the first win and first blowout of the tournament.
Magic Johnson (25) D.J. Augustin (9)
North Division 1st Round: No. 2 Russell Westbrook vs. No. 15 Lenny Wilkens
Here's a matchup of two players with similar ways of approaching and playing the game.
Russell Westbrook is a physical point guard who makes his money by overpowering defenders with strength and quickness, earning himself a career average of 18.9 points per game.
Lenny Wilkens was also a serious offensive threat in his day, averaging 16.5 points per game while ultimately being known for his impressive tenacity on the defensive side of the ball.
Westbrook vs. Wilkens will be a lot closer than most might think, as both point guards are equally sized and they both play with a gritty defensive focus.
The real difference-maker in this matchup will be the physicality of Westbrook's game, which will give him the advantage he needs on the offensive side to get past Wilkens in this tough first-round matchup. Lenny Wilkens will hang with Westbrook for the majority of the game until Westbrook decides he wants to take over the game and move on to the second round.
Russell Westbrook (25) Lenny Wilkens (20)
North Division 1st Round: No. 3 Allen Iverson vs. No. 14 Jameer Nelson
Allen Iverson is the kind of player that Jameer Nelson never will be. He's a fierce personality, a lethal scorer and a tenacious defender. All of that together makes Iverson the easy pick in this first-round matchup.
While Nelson has a size advantage, weighing in at nearly 25 lbs more than Iverson, there's no doubt that Iverson's quickness and ability to get to the rim will be the real difference-maker in this matchup.
Iverson averages nearly 14 more points per game on his career than Nelson, and that's the kind of margin of victory that we'll see in this matchup.
Nelson won't be able to handle Iverson's crossover, or his tenacity on the defensive side of the ball, which will ultimately lead to a blowout win for "The Answer."
Allen Iverson (25) Jameer Nelson (12)
North Division 1st Round: No. 4 Deron Williams vs. No. 13 Maurice Cheeks
Deron Williams and Maurice Cheeks are very different players.
Williams is the kind of guy that will overpower you with his surprising strength and make you pay with his silky-smooth offensive skill set; that's helped him earn a career average of 17.6 points per game.
Cheeks, on the other hand, is the kind of player that earned his paycheck on the defensive side of the ball, earning NBA All-Defensive First Team honors four times in his NBA career.
This game will surely be close, but only because of Cheeks' impressive defensive abilities, which will ultimately not be enough to hold off D-Will's impressive jump shot and ability to get to the rim. Deron Williams moves onto the second round with a big win over Maurice Cheeks.
Deron Williams (25) Maurice Cheeks (17)
North Division 1st Round: No. 5 Tim Hardaway vs. No. 12 Baron Davis
This is a seriously tough matchup to call.
Baron Davis is a somewhat oversized point guard, weighing in at 6'3'' and 212 lbs with the skill set of a shooting guard and the offensive awareness of a point guard.
Tim Hardaway, on the other hand, is an adequately sized point guard, at 6'0'' and 175 lbs, with the skill set of a pure point guard.
Both Davis and Hardaway are tough-nosed players that have quite a bit of streetball skills in their game. The real difference-maker in this matchup won't be Davis' size advantage; it will be the efficiency with which both players score the ball.
Hardaway gets the nod in regards to that, with a career average of 43.1 percent shooting as compared to Davis' average of 41 percent.
Hardaway will pull away late in this matchup, with his crossover and his smooth jumper, ultimately outlasting the upset-minded Baron Davis.
Tim Hardaway (27) Baron Davis (25)
North Division 1st Round: No. 6 John Wall vs. No. 11 Reggie Theus
John Wall vs. Reggie Theus has the potential to be one of the most competitive matchups of the first round, as it pits two offensively-minded and explosive point guards against each other.
The one serious advantage Theus has over Wall is his 6'7'' frame, and that advantage is something that he will rely on to get him past this first-round matchup.
While Wall has explosive athleticism on his side, Theus has solid fundamentals, including an impressive ability to post up smaller defenders with ease. That's what he will focus on against the more athletic John Wall.
Theus will overpower Wall in the paint, and he will use his size advantage to lock him down on the defensive side of the ball, ultimately leading to the first legitimate upset of the tournament.
Reggie Theus (25) John Wall (22)
North Division 1st Round: No. 7 Alvin Robertson vs. No. 10 Andre Miller
Andre Miller is the definition of a Cinderella story. In his 13-year NBA career, he's played for five different teams, never truly getting the respect that he deserves. This has led him to play in a way that proves his detractors wrong.
Alvin Robertson, on the other hand, was a four-time NBA All-Star, the 1986 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and the 1986 Most Improved Player in the NBA. At first glance, Robertson should have the advantage in this matchup, but he doesn't.
Miller is a more physical player than Robertson, and while Robertson is a legitimate defender, Miller has a decent size advantage that will help him overpower Robertson on the offensive side of the ball.
Time and time again, Andre Miller has proved people wrong. That's exactly what he will do in this first-round matchup, with an upset win over one of the most consistent players in NBA history in Alvin Robertson.
Andre Miller (25) Alvin Robertson (20)
North Division 1st Round: No. 8 Kyle Lowry vs. No. 9 Mark Price
Here's a matchup between an upstart point guard in Kyle Lowry and an NBA veteran that lives and dies by the three-ball in Mark Price.
While Lowry has a significant size advantage, to the tune of 35 lbs, there's no doubt that Price's broader shot selection will even the playing field in this first-round matchup.
Lowry's physicality early on will keep Price off balance, but once Price hits a few outside shots, the momentum in the game will undoubtedly shift.
The fact that Mark Price shot 40.2 percent from beyond the arc over the span of his NBA career will be the real difference-maker in this game, ultimately helping Price get a highly competitive first-round upset.
Mark Price (25) Kyle Lowry (21)
South Division 1st Round: No. 1 Chris Paul vs. No. 16 Kenny Smith
Kenny "The Jet" Smith was a great NBA point guard, but the one thing he lacked during his NBA career was a knack for scoring the ball. That's what will ultimately be his downfall in this lopsided matchup.
Chris Paul, on the other hand, is a lethal scorer, with a certain physicality to this game that you don't often see in players at the point guard position.
Over the span of his seven-year NBA career, Paul has averaged 18.7 points per game, which is nearly six points higher than Smith's career average.
While Smith has a height advantage over Paul, there's no doubt that Paul is the more physical of the two players. He will use that to his advantage in this matchup that will turn into a blowout rather quickly.
Chris Paul (25) Kenny Smith (14)
South Division 1st Round: No. 2 John Stockton vs. No. 15 Kemba Walker
Warning: John Stockton on Upset Alert
Here's a first-round matchup that will turn into an instant classic. It pits an NBA Hall of Famer in John Stockton against a young, athletic and explosive offensive point guard in Kemba Walker, who is no stranger to winning tough games.
This matchup will be back and forth throughout the entire game, with the physicality of Kemba Walker balancing out the basketball I.Q. of John Stockton.
The player with more tenacity on offense and a stronger ability to get to the rim and score will win this battle, and that player is certainly Kemba Walker.
Walker will end up shocking the basketball world with his upset of Stockton because he's the more physical of the two players. Kemba Walker starts his Cinderella story by knocking off an all-time great in John Stockton.
Kemba Walker (27) John Stockton (25)
South Division 1st Round: No. 3 Steve Nash vs. No. 14 Terrell Brandon
Terrell Brandon played the majority of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and when he wasn't injured, he was a seriously productive point guard. The only problem for him was that he couldn't manage to stay healthy. Luckily for him, that doesn't matter in a fictional one-on-one tournament.
Steve Nash, on the other hand, has managed to have a very productive and lengthy career in the NBA. His averages of 14.5 points and 8.6 assists over the span of his 16-year NBA career are impressive to say the least.
While Brandon has a legitimate ability to score the basketball at will, Nash has a size advantage. His above-average basketball I.Q. will carry him in this first-round matchup with upset potential.
Nash will escape this matchup with Terrell Brandon with his ability to hit outside shots with ease. After a slow start, Nash will turn it on and overpower Brandon, earning a trip to the second round in this tournament.
Steve Nash (25) Terrell Brandon (17)
South Division 1st Round: No. 4 Bob Cousy vs. No. 13 Ricky Rubio
Bob Cousy vs. Ricky Rubio is an epic matchup between two point guards that truly know how to play the game and distribute the ball to their teammates.
The main difference between Cousy and Rubio, though, is that Cousy is a legitimate individual offensive threat, whereas Rubio is a better facilitator when he's playing with four other guys on the court with him.
In his first season in the NBA, Rubio averaged only 10.2 points per game as compared to Cousy's average of 18.4 points.
While Rubio has about a three-inch height advantage, without teammates to help get him open shots, he won't be able to score nearly enough points to stay in this matchup with an NBA Hall of Famer.
Bob Cousy will run away with this matchup, whether Rubio likes it or not.
Bob Cousy (25) Ricky Rubio (14)
South Division 1st Round: No. 5 Kyrie Irving vs. No. 12 Darren Collison
While a fifth seed might seem a little high for rookie point guard Kyrie Irving, there's no doubt that he's playing at a ridiculous level for a player in his first year in the NBA.
Irving is averaging an impressive 19 points per game in addition to playing with a stellar PER of 21.92 and shooting 47.4 percent from the field.
Not only does Irving have three inches and 30 lbs on Darren Collison, he also is a purer scorer, and he plays the game at a much more efficient rate.
There's no doubt that this first-round matchup between Irving and Collison will end in a blowout, and it will be at the hands of Kyrie Irving, who's poised to make a very deep run in this tournament.
Keep your eyes on Kyrie Irving; he's got what it takes to be a very special player in this tournament and in the NBA in the years to come.
Kyrie Irving (25) Darren Collison (13)
South Division 1st Round: No. 6 Gary Payton vs. No. 11 Jarrett Jack
At first glance, this matchup might seem like it has the potential to be a blowout, but that's absolutely not the case.
Jarrett Jack is turning into quite an NBA point guard, averaging 15.3 points and 6.2 assists per game. He's proving that he has the offensive prowess it takes to truly make a difference at the point guard position.
Gary Payton isn't going to just lie down and die, though, as he's one of the toughest defensively minded point guards in the history of the NBA.
Payton didn't get the nickname of "The Glove" for no reason; he got it because opposing players had a difficult time scoring against him, and the same will go for Jarrett Jack in this matchup.
Ultimately, Payton's defense will prove too much for Jack to handle, and it will be the foundation for Payton's run in this tournament.
Gary Payton (25) Jarrett Jack (19)
South Division 1st Round: No. 7 Tyreke Evans vs. No. 10 Anfernee Hardaway
Tyreke Evans vs. Anfernee Hardaway is a matchup between two guys that played their college basketball in Tennessee, and both played the point guard position while being significantly oversized for the position itself.
Evans is 6'6'' and 220 lbs, whereas Hardaway is 6'7'' and 200 lbs. Both players' impressive size mixed with their ability to handle the ball like true point guards makes them both dangerous on the offensive side of the ball and a challenge on the defensive side of the ball.
Evans is the purer scorer, with a career average of 17.2 points per game as compared to Hardaway's average of 15.2 points.
The one advantage that Hardaway has is that he's a more mature player and he has a more established post-up game. This will ultimately be the reason why he moves on past this difficult first-round matchup.
Hardaway gets the first-round upset over Tyreke Evans in a very close game, sending the upstart point guard home early.
Anfernee Hardaway (28) Tyreke Evans (26)
South Division 1st Round: No. 8 Stephon Marbury vs. No. 9 Rodney Stuckey
Stephon Marbury makes his NBA return in this one-on-one matchup and faces off against an upstart point guard in Rodney Stuckey.
While Marbury has a tough position as the eighth seed in the South, there's no doubt that the way he plays the game of basketball is perfectly set up to play in a one-on-one tournament.
Rodney Stuckey is a solid point guard for the Detroit Pistons, and he's even somewhat oversized at 6'5''. He just doesn't have the "street abilities" that are at the foundation of Marbury's game, and that's ultimately what will be Stuckey's downfall.
Throughout his 13-year NBA career, Marbury averaged 19.3 points per game. If you go back to when he was in his prime in New Jersey, that average would be up around the 23.5-point mark.
The point is that Marbury has a ridiculous amount of offensive talent, and it will be the foundation of his success in this tournament, which begins with a beatdown of Rodney Stuckey.
Stephon Marbury (25) Rodney Stuckey (15)
East Division 1st Round: No. 1 Isiah Thomas vs. No. 16 Isaiah Thomas
This epic battle between the old-school Isiah Thomas and the new-school Isaiah Thomas will be the closest No. 16 seed vs. No. 1 seed matchup of the entire one-on-one tournament.
While my gut is telling me that the young Isaiah Thomas, who plays for the Sacramento Kings, can get the job done against his namesake, the realistic side of me is telling me that Isiah Thomas' defensive tenacity and pressure will be too much for the other Thomas to handle.
The Kings' Thomas has exploded onto the NBA scene this year, averaging 10.1 points per game. The weakest facet of his game is the pressure he brings on the defensive side of the ball, and that will ultimately be his downfall.
Thomas of the Detroit Pistons is considered one of the toughest and most physical point guards in the history of the NBA, and that trademark toughness will ultimately help him escape this near epic upset.
In a battle of the Thomases, the adage of "defense wins championships" will prove true, with Isiah Thomas ultimately prevailing because of his defensive focus.
Isiah Thomas (27) Isaiah Thomas (25)
East Division 1st Round: No. 2 Tony Parker vs. No. 15 Mark Jackson
2011-12 isn't going to get any easier for Mark Jackson as he faces off against Tony Parker, who is undoubtedly the more complete of the two point guards in this matchup.
Throughout his 17-year NBA career, Jackson averaged 9.6 points per game, as compared to Parker's career average of nearly 17 points.
While Jackson had a year or two in his career where his offensive production skyrocketed to around a 15 points per game, the strength of his game was always his impressive tenacity on the defensive side of the ball.
Unfortunately for Jackson, his defense will only take him so far against Parker, who knows how to get to the rim and score the basketball.
Tony Parker will pull away midway through this matchup in an easy first-round win over Jackson.
Tony Parker (25) Mark Jackson (13)
East Division 1st Round: No. 3 Walt Frazier vs. No. 14 Devin Harris
Walt Frazier vs. Devin Harris is certainly a lopsided first-round matchup. Frazier is one of the best point guards in the history of the NBA, and Harris is just another average point guard trying to find out his role in the NBA.
Aside from Frazier's impressive ability to score, with a career average of 18.9 points per game, he also is known for his ability to absolutely lock down opponents on the defensive side of the ball.
Harris won't just be a cakewalk either, as he has the ability to score in droves when he needs/wants to. His scoring ability will certainly catch Frazier off guard at first.
Once Frazier decides to take over the game, this first-round matchup will be completely over. That will happen before Devin Harris and his streaky shooting are allowed to get hot.
Walt Frazier (25) Devin Harris (15)
East Division 1st Round: No. 4 Brandon Jennings vs. No. 13 Ron Harper
Brandon Jennings is one of the last NBA players that I would want to meet in a one-on-one tournament, as he certainly has the individual skills that it takes to succeed.
Ron Harper, though, won't feel the same way, as he has the focus on the defensive side of the ball to slow Jennings' offensive production down significantly.
The main problem for Harper isn't going to be solely stopping Jennings on the defensive side of the ball; it will be his inability to score the amount of points that it will take to knock Jennings out of the first round of this tournament.
Ron Harper will stay in this matchup early on, but his inability to score and keep the ball in his possession will ultimately tire him out to the point where Jennings will be able to take over the game with his offensive skills.
Jennings will run away with this one after a few stops on the defensive side of the ball.
Brandon Jennings (25) Ron Harper (12)
East Division 1st Round: No. 5 Kevin Johnson vs. No. 12 Ramon Sessions
As an NBA player, Kevin Johnson established himself as one of the most consistent offensively explosive point guards in the history of the league. Ramon Sessions is going to have his hands full in this first-round matchup.
Ramon Sessions is a solid point guard with career averages of 11 points and 4.9 assists per game, but when compared to Johnson's averages of 17.9 points and 9.1 assists, his numbers pale in comparison.
While Johnson is a little bit smaller than Sessions, there's no doubt that Johnson has the advantage because of his ability to score seemingly at will.
Sessions just won't be able to hang with Johnson for the duration of this matchup, as Johnson also plays with more tenacity on the defensive side of the ball than Sessions.
Kevin Johnson (25) Ramon Sessions (15)
East Division 1st Round: No. 6 Jason Kidd vs. No. 11 Rod Strickland
Rod Strickland played for nine different NBA teams over the span of his 17-year NBA career, which definitely hurt his ability to play consistently at the point guard position.
While Strickland's NBA career was inconsistent, there were years when he would average around 18 points per game, which shows his offensive potential.
Jason Kidd, on the other hand, had a year or two where his offensive production was near 17 points per game, but he undoubtedly was the kind of player that was more a facilitator of the game rather than a pure offensive threat.
Strickland, who is near the same height but 35 lbs lighter than Kidd, will use his athleticism and quickness to get out to an early lead. Kidd will have to fight back to even stay in the game.
Ultimately, Rod Strickland's ability to get to the rim with more ease than Kidd will be the difference-maker in this big-time first-round upset.
Rod Strickland (25) Jason Kidd (19)
East Division 1st Round: No. 7 Dave Bing vs. No. 10 Mike Conley Jr.
Say hello to Dave Bing, one of the most underappreciated point guards in the history of the NBA.
In his years with the Detroit Pistons, Bing averaged 20.3 points per game and earned an impressive seven NBA All-Star selections.
Bing was known for his lean athleticism that caught a lot of other point guards in the league off guard and allowed him to create mismatches in his favor.
Mike Conley Jr., on the other hand, is an up-and-coming point guard in the NBA that just hasn't quite found his consistent groove yet.
Conley will be able to keep the game competitive throughout with his ability to slash to the basket and get easy scoring opportunities around the rim, but ultimately, Bing's athleticism will take over the game, earning him a somewhat easy first-round win.
Dave Bing (25) Mike Conley Jr. (19)
East Division 1st Round: No. 8 Ty Lawson vs. No. 9 Mookie Blaylock
The key to this first-round matchup between Ty Lawson and Mookie Blaylock will be the defensive pressure that each player is able to bring to the court.
Both Lawson and Blaylock aren't the most explosive offensive point guards in the history of the NBA, with career averages of 11.3 points per game and 13.5 points respectively. They are, however, known for the defensive prowess they bring to the game.
In his 13-year career, Blaylock earned two NBA All-Defensive First Team honors and four NBA All-Defensive Second Team honors. He also led the NBA in steals in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Lawson, on the other hand, hasn't earned any honors like Blaylock, but he's still a solid defender in his own right. Blaylock gets the nod in this matchup, as he's the more complete offensive player. He's also more proficient on the defensive side of the ball.
This game will be close, and tough defense will make it a lengthy matchup. Ultimately, Blaylock's defense will prevail.
Mookie Blaylock (25) Ty Lawson (21)
West Division 1st Round: No. 1 Derrick Rose vs. No. 16 Terry Porter
Here's a lopsided matchup to say the least.
One one side, we have one of the most athletic, strong and explosive point guards in the history of the NBA in Derrick Rose. On the other side, we have a point guard that fit well into his team's system, but didn't do much more in Terry Porter.
Sure, Porter is known more for his defense than his offensive production, but that won't help him against Rose, who's arguably more explosive and more complete than any point guard Porter ever saw in his years in the NBA.
Both Porter and Rose are similar in size, but Rose has a level of athletic versatility that most other point guards don't have.
Derrick Rose will run away with this one, holding Porter to single digits in this first-round matchup that will show everyone just how great of a player D-Rose is.
Derrick Rose (25) Terry Porter (9)
West Division 1st Round: No. 2 Oscar Robertson vs. No. 15 Brandon Knight
If you thought you couldn't get a more lopsided matchup than Rose vs. Porter, you're wrong. This matchup between Oscar Robertson and Brandon Knight is just as lopsided, if not more.
Robertson is a seriously oversized point guard, at 6'5'' and 220 lbs, with career averages of 25.7 points and 9.5 assists per game. Knight, on the other hand, is only 6'3'' and 190 lbs, which puts him at a serious disadvantage against the much more versatile Robertson.
There's no doubt that Knight is a talented point guard, with a rookie average of 12.5 points per game, but he just doesn't have the talent he needs to even hang with a guy like Robertson at this point in his young career.
Robertson will dominate this matchup in nearly ever facet of the game, earning an easy first-round win over Knight.
Oscar Robertson (25) Brandon Knight (10)
West Division 1st Round: No. 3 Rajon Rondo vs. No. 14 Nick Van Exel
While Rajon Rondo is certainly inconsistent, the one aspect of his game that he seriously excels at is the individual/one-on-one style of play that he brings to the court.
With a career average of only 10.9 points per game, his ability to produce offensively at a consistent level is certainly in question. If you watch him play, you'll understand that he has the tools he needs to be a dangerous offensive player, especially in isolation/one-on-one situations.
Nick Van Exel, on the other hand is a more offensively explosive point guard, averaging 16-plus points per game in five of his 13 seasons in the NBA. The only problem with Van Exel's game is the lack of focus on the defensive side of the ball.
Rondo's offensive ability and his "street" style of play on both sides of the ball will ultimately prove too much for Van Exel to handle.
Rondo will be able to run away with this game, as he has a certain grit and tenacity to the way he plays the game that most players don't.
Rajon Rondo (25) Nick Van Exel (15)
West Division 1st Round: No. 4 Nate Archibald vs. No. 13 Mario Chalmers
Picking Mario Chalmers in the upset over Nate Archibald might seem absolutely absurd, but just hear me out.
Back in the day, Archibald came in at 6'1'' and 150 lbs, which is pretty undersized for the point guard position. Chalmers, on the other hand, weighs in at 6'2'' and 190 lbs, which gives him a legitimate advantage over the undersized Archibald.
While Archibald averaged 18.8 points per game over the span of his 14-year NBA career and Chalmers only averages 8.9 points, Chalmers has the advantage with his physical style of play that he will need to pull off this absolutely epic upset.
Chalmers plays with tenacity and physicality on the defensive side of the ball, and he also has a nice outside point shot that will give him an advantage over Archibald.
This matchup will come down to the wire, but ultimately, Chalmers will come out on top with his ability to hit clutch shots when it matters. Archibald gets an early boot thanks to the talents of Super Mario himself.
Mario Chalmers (29) Nate Archibald (27)
West Division 1st Round: No. 5 Stephen Curry vs. No. 12 Sam Cassell
See, you're not alone. Even Sam Cassell is surprised that I picked him to upset Stephen Curry in the first round of this tournament.
At the foundation of this upset is the defensive toughness that Cassell, which Curry doesn't yet have in his game.
Sure, Curry can score with the best of them, as evidenced by his career average of 17.5 points per game thus far. His defensive focus, or lack thereof, will ultimately be his own downfall.
Cassell is no slouch either on the offensive side of the ball, with a career average of 15.7 points per game and averaging more than 19 points in five of his many years in the NBA.
This matchup will be extremely close, as Curry's long-range ability will keep him close for the majority of the game. Ultimately, though, Cassell will get the defensive stop he needs to put Curry away and get a big first-round upset.
Sam Cassell (25) Stephen Curry (22)
West Division 1st Round: No. 6 Sidney Moncrief vs. No. 11 Jeremy Lin
Sidney Moncrief vs. Jeremy Lin would be a classic one-on-one battle to witness.
Sure, the hype around Linsanity was pretty crazy, but there's no doubting the fact that Lin is a legitimately talented point guard in the NBA, with a season average of 14.5 points per game.
Moncrief, who played most of his years with the Milwaukee Bucks, was no slouch either, earning himself two NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and five NBA All-Star honors.
It's evident that the foundation of Moncrief's game is his focus on the defensive side of the ball, and that's where he will try to take advantage of the turnover-prone Lin. Lin, however, is a somewhat more versatile player than Moncrief, with his ability to stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting.
The game will be back and forth throughout, with the real difference-maker being the fact that Lin will use his 20-lb size advantage to will his way into the paint and get easier scoring opportunities.
Linsanity lives on in a close win over Moncrief.
Jeremy Lin (25) Sidney Moncrief (20)
West Division 1st Round: No. 7 Jose Calderon vs. No. 10 Steve Francis
Steve Francis is a similar player to guys like Stephon Marbury, Allen Iverson and Rajon Rondo, who have that streetball aspect to their game which gives them an advantage in this one-on-one tournament.
Francis was a dominant offensive player, averaging 18.1 points per game over the span of his somewhat short NBA career. What made Francis such a dangerous offensive threat was his ability to not only get to the rim, but also hit jumpers like he was a shooting guard.
Jose Calderon, on the other hand, isn't nearly as explosive of an offensive player, with a career average of only 9.8 points per game.
The staple of Calderon's game is his ability to facilitate the game, but that won't matter in a one-on-one tournament.
While Calderon has the size advantage over Francis, there's no doubting that Francis' quickness and athleticism will overwhelm Calderon on his way to a dominant first-round upset, sending a message to the rest of the players in the tournament that he's the real deal.
Steve Francis (25) Jose Calderon (14)
West Division 1st Round: No. 8 Dennis Johnson vs. No. 9 Lou Williams
Dennis Johnson vs. Lou Williams was a difficult matchup to pick, as both players are very similar in the way they approach the game.
Johnson is the more productive offensive player of the two, averaging 14.2 points per game for his career as compared to Williams' average of only 11.3 points. Johnson's seen the court more than Williams, and there's no doubt that Johnson is also the more versatile player.
The main difference between Johnson and Williams, and the reason why Johnson gets the nod, is that he's the more efficient offensive player of the two.
Johnson's career field-goal percentage is 44.5 percent, as compared to Williams' average of only 42.1 percent.
The fact that Johnson is slightly more efficient than Williams gives him the advantage in this matchup, and it ultimately is the main reason why he will move out of the first round as Williams heads home.
Dennis Johnson (25) Lou Williams (21)
North Division 2nd Round: No. 1 Magic Johnson vs. No. 9 Mark Price
Mark Price made it out of the first round in a matchup against Kyle Lowry because of his ability to hit shots from all over the court, but that won't save him when he faces off against Magic Johnson.
At only 6'0'', Price is seriously undersized against the bigger and stronger Johnson, who weighs in at 6'9'' and 255 lbs.
Johnson's size alone should give him all the advantage he needs in this matchup, but he also has a serious advantage when it comes to the versatility of his offensive talent
Johnson will use his ability to post up Price and hit hook shots over him to help him get an easy second-round victory.
While Price will leave everything on the court—just like he did in his years with the Cleveland Cavaliers—it won't be enough to stop Magic Johnson, who will be way too much for Price to handle.
Magic Johnson (25) Mark Price (12)
North Division 2nd Round: No. 5 Tim Hardaway vs. No. 4 Deron Williams
Tim Hardaway vs. Deron Williams will be a tough-nosed and physical matchup that will come down to the wire between two players who know how to score and play strong defense.
While Williams has a three-inch and nearly 35-lb advantage over Hardaway, that won't mean he will walk all over him. Hardaway proved in his years in the NBA that he can hang, both defensively and offensively, against players much bigger than him.
Hardaway will use his quickness and his "killer crossover" to level the playing field against Williams. His ability to get to the rim and finish with finesse will ultimately be the foundation for his second-round upset win over Williams.
This will be a physical matchup that will be back and forth, as both players have a certain tenacity to their game that will make it a close game throughout.
Ultimately, Williams will have a hard time keeping up with Hardaway's quickness. Just when he thinks he has it under control, Hardaway will start stepping out and hitting jumpers to earn him this semi-upset in the second round.
Tim Hardaway (25) Deron Williams (20)
North Division 2nd Round: No. 11 Reggie Theus vs. No. 3 Allen Iverson
Reggie Theus earned the first-round upset over John Wall with his ability to post up smaller players and overpower them in the paint.
While that worked against Wall, it be enough against Allen Iverson, who's a much more explosive offensive player than Wall. He's also much more focused on the defensive side of the ball.
Iverson will use the fact that he's undersized, compared to the 6'7'' Theus, to create a serious advantage on the perimeter, forcing Theus to defend Iverson's jumper.
Once Iverson starts hitting a few jump shots, Theus will have to defend him on the perimeter; when he does that, Iverson will start to use his quickness to get to the rim and finish with ease.
Theus will keep this game close throughout, as when he gets the ball on offensive, he will use his size to put points on the board. Ultimately, that won't be enough. Iverson will be the first to 25 points, earning himself a trip to the Sweet 16 and sending Reggie Theus packing.
Allen Iverson (25) Reggie Theus (19)
North Division 2nd Round: No. 10 Andre Miller vs. No. 2 Russell Westbrook
Andre Miller and Russell Westbrook have matched up multiple times throughout the past few seasons. Time and time again, Westbrook gets the best of Miller, mainly because he's the more versatile of the two players.
In their most recent matchups, Westbrook's averaged 31.5 points per game against Miller, as compared to Miller's average of 19 points.
Miller isn't going to just lie down and die, though; he will put up a fight early on. Ultimately, Westbrook's youth and explosive athleticism will take over and help him move on to the Sweet 16 with a win over Miller.
This matchup will be close early, but Westbrook will ultimately overpower Miller, proving that he's one of the most versatile and athletic point guards in the NBA.
Russell Westbrook (25) Andre Miller (16)
South Division 2nd Round: No. 1 Chris Paul vs. No. 8 Stephon Marbury
Here's a matchup that pits two similar players against each other. It will ultimately turn into a close and highly contested second-round matchup.
While Stephon Marbury is the more explosive offensive player, with a career average of 19.3 points per game, Chris Paul has the one facet of the game that Marbury doesn't, and that is a legitimate focus on the defensive side of the ball.
In his seven-year NBA career, Paul has earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors once, NBA All-Defensive Second Team honors twice and he's led the league in steals three times (2008, 2009, 2011).
Paul will use the fact that he's a more complete player to ultimately outlast Marbury in what will be a classic, physical matchup.
Marbury will get out to a big, early lead, but once Paul decides to step up his defensive pressure, he will take over the game and ultimately survive a second-round scare against Marbury.
Chris Paul (25) Stephon Marbury (21)
South Division 2nd Round: No. 5 Kyrie Irving vs. No. 4 Bob Cousy
Bob Cousy got an easy first-round win over Ricky Rubio based on the fact that Rubio isn't a lethal offensive threat.
Against Kyrie Irving, Cousy is going to have a completely different matchup, as Irving is not only a offensively minded point guard, he's also a staunch defender.
Irving not only has a two-inch and 25-lb size advantage over Cousy, he also has a serious athletic advantage over Cousy. That will be the foundation for this semi-upset.
Cousy has the fundamentals needed to hang with Irving throughout the longevity of this match, but Irving's athleticism and ability to slash to the rim with ease will be too much for Cousy to handle.
Irving will continue his Cinderella story with a big win over a Hall of Fame point guard and one of the best to ever play the game at the point.
Kyrie Irving (25) Bob Cousy (18)
South Division 2nd Round: No. 6 Gary Payton vs. No. 3 Steve Nash
Gary Payton excelled at the defensive end, while Steve Nash made his name with offensive creativity. They both know how to score the ball when their teams need them to.
Payton earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors nine times in his NBA career, and he also won the 1996 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, which gives him the serious advantage on the defensive side of the ball.
Payton also has the slight advantage offensively speaking, with a higher career average of 16.3 points per game as compared to Nash's average of 14.5 points.
The one advantage Nash has over Payton is efficiency on the offensive side of the ball, with a slightly better career shooting percentage. That won't be enough to overcome Payton's stellar defense.
This game will be a seriously physical matchup, with both players battling it out for the longevity of the game. Ultimately, Payton will wear down Nash with his defensive pressure, which will make it easier for Payton to score against the slightly smaller Nash.
Gary Payton (25) Steve Nash (21)
South Division 2nd Round: No. 10 Anfernee Hardaway vs. No. 15 Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker is legitimately undersized when compared to the 6'7'' Anfernee Hardaway, but that doesn't mean that Walker will just give away this second-round matchup.
What Walker lacks in size, he all but makes up for with his explosive offensive talent and his ability to get to the rim against much larger defenders.
Anfernee Hardaway will surely use his six-inch advantage over Walker to get out to an early lead by posting Walker up and overpowering him in the paint. Walker will slow down Hardaway in the post-up game, forcing Hardaway to beat him on the perimeter, which will be a bigger challenge for Penny.
Walker will focus on his athletic quickness to get to the rim and force Hardaway to defend him on the perimeter.
The same toughness that helped Walker lead the UConn Huskies to the 2011 NCAA title will lead him to another huge upset, sending Walker to an epic Sweet 16 matchup against none other than Gary Payton.
Kemba Walker (25) Anfernee Hardaway (22)
East Division 2nd Round: No. 1 Isiah Thomas vs. No. 9 Mookie Blaylock
After winning the battle of the two Thomases, Isiah Thomas finds himself in a second-round matchup with Mookie Blaylock.
In nearly every facet of the game, Thomas has the advantage over Blaylock.
He's the more complete offensive player, with a career average of 19.3 points per game as compared to Blaylock's average of just 13.5 points.
Thomas is also the more physical of the two players on the defensive side of the ball, which gives him an even bigger advantage in this matchup.
Thomas will earn an easy second-round victory here over the outmatched and overpowered Blaylock.
Isiah Thomas (25) Mookie Blaylock (14)
East Division 2nd Round: No. 5 Kevin Johnson vs. No. 4 Brandon Jennings
Kevin Johnson vs. Brandon Jennings will turn out to be an absolutely classic matchup between two very similar players.
Both Johnson and Jennings are the kind of points guards that can do much more than just facilitate the offense; they both have the potential to take over games with their offensive talents.
Johnson has the advantage on the offensive side of the ball, with career averages of 17.9 points per game with a 49.3 percent career shooting percentage, as compared to Jennings' averages of 16.8 points on 38.7 percent shooting.
The advantages that Jennings has over Johnson are his quickness off the dribble and his impressive ability to handle the ball. Jennings' athleticism will keep Johnson on his toes and will ultimately be the reason why Jennings survives this potential upset.
Brandon Jennings makes a bold statement with an impressive, close win against the mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson.
Brandon Jennings (25) Kevin Johnson (21)
East Division 2nd Round: No. 11 Rod Strickland vs. No. 3 Walt Frazier
While Rod Strickland earned an impressive first-round upset over Jason Kidd, he won't have near the offensive production it will take to get past Walt Frazier in this second-round meeting.
Both Strickland and Frazier are around 6'4'', but Frazier has a nearly 25-lb advantage over Strickland.
Frazier will not only dominate Strickland on the offensive side of the ball with his size, he will also put him on lockdown on the defensive side of the ball.
From the moment this matchup gets underway, Frazier will outmatch Strickland in every facet of the game, earning Frazier a spot in the Sweet 16.
Walt Frazier (25) Rod Strickland (14)
East Division 2nd Round: No. 7 Dave Bing vs. No. 2 Tony Parker
Dave Bing and Tony Parker are extremely similar players. Their abilities to get to the rim and finish with serious finesse shape their offensive styles.
This second-round matchup will be an instant classic. It will certainly come down to the wire, as both players have the basketball I.Q. it will take to compete with one another.
While both players average around 17 points for their careers, the one difference-maker will be the shooting efficiency.
Parker has averaged an impressive 49.2 percent shooting from the field throughout his career, as compared to Bing's average of only 44.1 percent.
That efficiency will be the ultimate difference-maker between two players that are so equally skilled. Parker and Bing will go back and forth throughout, but ultimately, Parker will be able to hit more consecutive shots than Bing.
Tony Parker (25) Dave Bing (20)
West Division 2nd Round: No. 1 Derrick Rose vs. No. 8 Dennis Johnson
Derrick Rose will continue his dominance in this tournament with a big win against the outmatched Dennis Johnson.
Johnson just doesn't have the physicality or the toughness he will need to stay competitive with one of the best point guards in the game today.
There's no doubt that Rose has the offensive advantage in this matchup, with a career average of 21.1 points per game, as compared to Johnson's average of just 14.2 points.
Rose is also a much more efficient player offensively speaking and a much more complete player on the defensive side of the ball.
No matter how you look at it, Rose will absolutely dominate this matchup from the moment it starts.
Derrick Rose (25) Dennis Johnson (13)
West Division 2nd Round: No. 12 Sam Cassell vs. No. 13 Mario Chalmers
Sam Cassell vs. Mario Chalmers features two players that aren't the most talented offensive talents, but they are two guys that surely know how to pay some tenacious defense.
Of the two players, Cassell is slightly more efficient offensively speaking, with a career shooting percentage of 45.4 percent compared to Chalmers' average of 42 percent.
Chalmers has the advantage on the perimeter, with a career three-point percentage of 36.3 percent as compared to Cassell's average of 33.1 percent. However, he won't be able to rely on his deep shot as he did in the first round because Cassell is a much more physical defender.
This game will be back and forth, as both players will rely on their defensive ability to be the difference-maker in the matchup. Sam Cassell will ultimately win a close defensive battle with Chalmers, as he also has a slight size advantage over Chalmers.
Cassell ends Chalmers' Cinderella story in the second round while carrying his own to the Sweet 16.
Sam Cassell (25) Mario Chalmers (23)
West Division 2nd Round: No. 11 Jeremy Lin vs. No. 3 Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo vs. Jeremy Lin will be an absolutely epic matchup, pitting a a truly street-style player in Rondo against a seriously fundamental player in Lin.
In Lin and Rondo's only matchup when they both played legitimate time, Rondo went off for 18 points, 20 assists and 17 rebounds, while Lin accounted 14 points, five assists and four rebounds.
In that matchup, both players shot below 40 percent from the field, which shows how tough a game this will be for both players when it comes to scoring the ball.
While both players have the possibility to explode offensively, the real difference-maker in this matchup will be Lin's propensity to turn the ball over. This year with the Knicks, Lin's averaged 3.5 turnovers per game as compared to Rondo's 2.6 average.
In one of the most competitive matchups of the tournament, Rondo will outlast Lin, putting an end to Linsanity before it has time to truly get going.
Rajon Rondo (27) Jeremy Lin (25)
West Division 2nd Round: No. 10 Steve Francis vs. No. 2 Oscar Robertson
Knocking off Oscar Robertson in this tournament is going to be a seriously difficult task. While Steve Francis won't be the man to do it, he will sure give him a run for his money.
Robertson is the larger of the two, at 6'5'' and 220 lbs compared to Steve Francis at 6'3'' and 195 lbs. He also certainly has the athletic advantage, which is what makes him such a dangerous player in this tournament.
Steve Francis' ability to hit outside shots will keep him in the game early on, but ultimately, Robertson will pull away, as he uses his size to get into the paint and hit high-percentage shots.
Robertson will be too much for Francis on the defensive side of the ball too, with Robertson's athleticism and strength on display once again.
Oscar Robertson (25) Steve Francis (18)
Sweet 16: No. 1 Magic Johnson vs. No. 5 Tim Hardaway
At first glance, Magic Johnson vs. Tim Hardaway might seem like a serious mismatch, with Johnson having an eight-inch and nearly 40-lb advantage over Hardaway.
While that size difference will certainly help Johnson, it will also be to his disadvantage, as Hardaway will use his quickness and small frame to get past Johnson off the dribble.
Hardaway has the tools to stay competitive in the game with Johnson. Unfortunately, Johnson's ability to score from nearly anywhere on the court, mixed with his oversized frame, will be too much for Hardaway to handle.
With an impressive career shooting percentage of 52 percent, Johnson will be hard to beat, as he will take advantage of nearly every open shot he gets.
If Hardaway was a more legitimate scoring threat, he might be able to win this game, but he lacks the polish on his outside shot that it would take to knock off Johnson here.
Hardaway had a solid run in this tournament, but the magic in his game will die out, as Magic Johnson earns the first spot in this tournament's Elite Eight with relative ease.
Magic Johnson (25) Tim Hardaway (16)
Sweet 16: No. 3 Allen Iverson vs. No. 2 Russell Westbrook
Allen Iverson vs. Russell Westbrook is a match made in heaven. It features two players that play like the world's against them and like they're playing to prove people wrong.
While neither of those will be true in this matchup, both Iverson and Westbrook will still play with the kind of toughness, physicality and tenacity that makes them such special players.
It's undeniable that Iverson is the better scorer between the two players, with a ridiculous average of 26.7 points per game as compared to Westbrook's average of only 18.7 points. That's the main reason why he'll be able to upset Westbrook in this matchup.
Iverson is one of the most lethal scorers to ever have played the game. While Westbrook is three inches taller, Iverson will have no problem hitting jumper after jumper off his patented crossover dribble at the top of the key.
Westbrook will keep this game close throughout, as he will be able to get to the rim and finish with authority over the smaller Iverson. In the end, though, Iverson will get a stop on defense and score a few straight baskets to get the upset win.
Iverson moves on to an Elite Eight matchup for the ages against Magic Johnson.
Allen Iverson (25) Russell Westbrook (23)
Sweet 16: No. 1 Chris Paul vs. No. 5 Kyrie Irving
Here's a matchup that I would absolutely love to see, as I think it would showcase both Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving's talents perfectly.
Both Paul and Irving play the point guard position while possessing the pure ability to score that makes them such dangerous players in the NBA.
While they've yet to actually play a game against each other, there's no doubt that a matchup between Irving and Paul would be highly competitive, physical and exciting to watch.
Both players are equally athletic, but the advantage goes to Irving because he has three inches and 18 lbs on Paul; he will use his increased frame to his advantage. Surprisingly enough, both players have career shooting averages of 47.2 percent, but Irving has a slight advantage over Paul when it comes to three-point shooting.
The real advantage that Irving has is his ability to truly get to the rim and finish with authority. Paul doesn't have the verticality to his game that Irving does, and that's ultimately going to be what holds him back in this matchup.
Paul's defense will make the upset win difficult for Irving, but ultimately, Irving will be the first player to send a No. 1 seed home in this tournament.
Kyrie Irving (28) Chris Paul (26)
Sweet 16: No. 6 Gary Payton vs. No. 15 Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker vs. Gary Payton is a matchup between players that are different on a lot of levels, which is good and bad for both players.
A one-on-one tournament is a perfect setup for the playing style of Kemba Walker, who has the physicality and toughness of a player that thrives in the isolation offense. Payton, on the other hand, is more set up to show off his talents and skills in a game where there are four other guys on his team on the court.
While Payton is a little bit bigger than Walker, there's no doubt that Walker's toughness will help make up for that.
Walker will be able to get into the paint and dominate, and that's the main reason why Walker will record this major Sweet 16 upset over Payton.
Walker's Cinderella story survives one more round, as he moves on to the Elite Eight.
Kemba Walker (25) Gary Payton (19)
Sweet 16: No. 1 Isiah Thomas vs. No. 4 Brandon Jennings
Here's a matchup that will be a lot closer than many might think, with Brandon Jennings almost pulling off the upset.
Unfortunately for Jennings, he just doesn't have the efficiency in his game to pull off beating a Hall of Famer player like Isiah Thomas.
Not only is Thomas a monster on the defensive side of the ball, he also is an efficient offensive player, with a career shooting percentage of 45.2 percent as compared to Jennings' inefficient 38.7 percent average.
While Jennings has the ability to be an explosive offensive player, his inefficiency will ultimately be his downfall in this matchup, especially when faced with the tenacious defense of Thomas.
Jennings will last longer in this matchup than many would expect, but Thomas will ultimately be too polished and too complete of a player to handle.
Isiah Thomas (25) Brandon Jennings (20)
Sweet 16: No. 3 Walt Frazier vs. No. 2 Tony Parker
Walt Frazier will continue his dominance in this tournament in his Sweet 16 matchup with Tony Parker.
While Parker is a solid point guard and an efficient offensive player, Frazier is the more athletic player. He also happens to be two inches and 20 pounds heavier.
Frazier's athletic advantage will be the real difference-maker in the game, as both players are efficient shooting the ball with career averages of right around 49.3 percent shooting from the field.
Parker's broad shot selection will keep him in the game early on, but once Frazier gets a few stops on the defensive side of the ball, he will use his physicality to get into the paint and take the game over.
There's no doubt that Parker is a talented point guard, but Frazier is just that much better.
Walt Frazier (25) Tony Parker (17)
Sweet 16: No. 1 Derrick Rose vs. No. 12 Sam Cassell
Sam Cassell's impressive run in this one-on-one tournament unfortunately is going to come to an end, but it's going to end at the hands of one of the best point guards in the game in Derrick Rose.
Rose hasn't let his opponents in this tournament score more than 13 points in a single game, and while he won't hold Cassell to that kind of production, he will dominate this game.
The offensive advantage clearly goes to Rose here. He's not only more efficient than Cassell, but he's also more explosive than Cassell, averaging an impressive 21.1 points per game.
Rose also has the edge on the defensive side of the ball. He has the physicality of a forward but the quickness of a guard.
Cassell won't be able to keep up with Rose on the defensive side of the ball, as Rose will be able to hit jump shots with ease while also getting to the rim and finishing with some serious strength.
Rose earns a spot in the Elite Eight with another convincing and dominant win.
Derrick Rose (25) Sam Cassell (15)
Sweet 16: No. 3 Rajon Rondo vs. No. 2 Oscar Robertson
Oscar Robertson vs. Rajon Rondo is a matchup that will undoubtedly be one of the most competitive of the tournament.
While Rondo is four inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter than Robertson, he will undoubtedly stay in the game with his impressive tenacity on the defensive side of the ball.
In his six-year career, Rondo has earned two NBA All-Defensive First Team honors and one NBA All-Defensive Second Team honor. His defensive abilities will keep him in this game until the very end.
Robertson will struggle to score early on against Rondo, as Rondo will not only frustrate him defensively and create turnovers.
While Rondo will be able to hang around, he won't be able to score against the larger Robertson, which will be his ultimate downfall. Once Robertson understands the way that Rondo plays on the defensive side of the ball, he will be able to get into the paint and hit his patented one-handed floater.
Robertson gets the final spot in the Elite Eight with a close and big-time win against Rondo.
Oscar Robertson (25) Rajon Rondo (22)
Elite Eight: No. 1 Magic Johnson vs. No. 3 Allen Iverson
That look on Iverson's face says it all. He's just as shocked as you are that I picked him to knock off the one and only Magic Johnson, but just hear me out.
The Elite Eight starts off with a matchup that at first glance might appear to be extremely lopsided, as 6'8'' and 255-lb Magic Johnson faces off against the 6'0'' and 165-lb Allen Iverson.
Iverson is certainly undersized in this matchup with Johnson, but don't discount his ability to come out on top.
Iverson has as an advantage over Johnson in his absolutely pure ability to score the basketball. Iverson ranks sixth all-time in scoring in the NBA with a career average of 26.7 points per game.
When Iverson has the ball, there's no doubt that he's capable of scoring 10 straight points, even against one of the greatest players to ever play the game. The biggest challenge for Iverson will be stopping Johnson when he has the ball. If Iverson can do that just a few times, he undoubtedly has the potential to beat Johnson.
While Iverson might not be the better point guard of the two, he's certainly the better scorer. Combine that with his tenacity on the defensive side of the ball, and he has what it takes to win this matchup.
Iverson makes it to the Final Four with the biggest upset of the tournament so far by taking down the overall No. 1 seed, Magic Johnson.
Allen Iverson (25) Magic Johnson (21)
Elite Eight: No. 5 Kyrie Irving vs. No. 15 Kemba Walker
Here's an Elite Eight matchup that pits two rookies in Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving against one another.
On one hand, you have Irving, who's the clear front-runner for the 2012 Rookie of the Year trophy. He faces Walker, who wowed the world last year by putting his UConn Huskies team on his back and leading them to the 2011 NCAA title.
Irving has the size advantage in this matchup, as he weighs in at 6'3'' and 191 lbs, as compared to Walker's 6'1'' and 181-lb frame. That size advantage with Irving's impressive combination of athleticism and strength make Irving a difficult player to beat.
Irving also is a much more efficient player on the offensive side of the ball with an average of 18.9 points per game on 47.2 percent shooting, as compared to Walker's average of 12.2 points on only 37.1 percent shooting.
In their meeting, in which both players played 35 minutes or more, Irving accounted for 25 points on 56.2 percent shooting, while Walker accounted for only 14 points on a percentage of 28.5.
While Walker has the ability he needs to win this matchup, Irving's athleticism will ultimately take over and end Walker's Cinderella run.
Kyrie Irving (25) Kemba Walker (19)
Elite Eight: No. 4 Isiah Thomas vs. No. 3 Walt Frazier
Isiah Thomas' dominant run to the Elite Eight is unfortunately going to end when he meets up with NBA Hall of Famer Walt Frazier.
Frazier's intense focus on the defensive side of the ball will be too much for Thomas to handle, as will the fact that Frazier has three inches and nearly 30 lbs on him.
Although Thomas is an explosive offensive player at times, he won't have the consistency to eliminate a legend like Frazier, who plays efficiently on both offense and defense.
Frazier will be able to get into the paint against Thomas with ease, which will make it that much more difficult of a matchup for Thomas.
Over the span of his NBA career, Frazier shot the ball with a solid 49 percent shooting percentage. That kind of efficiency will ultimately be the reason why Thomas can't overcome him in this Elite Eight matchup.
If Thomas was a bit more explosive on offense, he would have a more legitimate chance at knocking off Frazier, but Frazier will move on to the Final Four after putting an end to Thomas' impressive tournament run.
Walt Frazier (25) Isiah Thomas (19)
Elite Eight: No. 1 Derrick Rose vs. No. 2 Oscar Robertson
You can't get much more epic than a matchup between Derrick Rose and Oscar Robertson in both of their primes.
Robertson and Rose are very similar players, as both players are known for their rare combination of size and strength at the point guard position.
Rose weighs in at 6'3'' and 190 pounds, and Robertson weighs in at 6'5'' and 220 pounds. While that gives Robertson the size advantage, Rose undoubtedly levels the playing field with explosive athleticism that is hard to come by for players at the point.
Throughout his career, Robertson averaged 25.7 points on 48.5 percent shooting, while Rose averages 21.1 points on 46.6 percent from the field.
The only difference between Rose and Robertson's scoring abilities is that while Rose's scoring production is lower, he has the ability to score explosively at the rim, which is something that Robertson doesn't necessarily do.
While Robertson might be the better "pure" point guard, Rose will win this matchup based on his athleticism and freakish ability to get to the rim.
This matchup will go well past the 25-point limit, but it will end up with Rose moving on to the Final Four to face off against another all-time great in Walt Frazier.
Derrick Rose (31) Oscar Robertson (29)
Final Four: No. 3 Allen Iverson vs. No. 5 Kyrie Irving
An Allen Iverson vs. Kyrie Irving Final Four matchup is certainly one that is unexpected, as both players had to knock off some serious talent to get to this point.
Both players have certainly proved themselves in this tournament, but they each have a competent competitor standing in their way of a trip to the tournament finals.
The real question in this matchup is whether or not Irving is going to have the defensive talent needed to stop Iverson from scoring and keep the ball out of his hands.
Unfortunately for Irving, if Magic Johnson wasn't able to do it, he won't either. He just doesn't have the quickness or athleticism he will need to stop Iverson from reaching 25 points before he does.
Irving will certainly be able to score against Iverson, but his inability to keep the ball out of Iverson's hands will be the difference-maker in this game.
Once Iverson gets the ball, he will show Irving just how deadly of an offensive threat he is by hitting long-range jumpers, then beating Irving to the rim once he tries to defend his jump shot.
While Iverson certainly isn't an "underdog," he certainly had to take out some serious talent to get to this point. He won't let Irving stand in his way of an appearance in the finals.
Allen Iverson (25) Kyrie Irving (19)
Final Four: No. 3 Walt Frazier vs. No. 1 Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose vs. Walt Frazier is a match made in basketball heaven.
It features two point guards known for their athleticism and strength in addition to their ability to lock down opponents.
Both Rose and Frazier are prolific scorers, with Rose averaging 21.1 points per game over the span of his career and Frazier averaging 18.9 points for his NBA career.
While Frazier is the more efficient scorer, with a career shooting percentage of 49 percent as compared to Rose's average of 46.6 percent, there's no doubt that Rose will level the playing field with his explosive ability to get to the rim and finish with some serious ferocity.
Frazier does have a slight size advantage over Rose, but he will still struggle to stop Rose and his rim-rattling dunks and acrobatic layups.
This matchup will certainly be competitive throughout, but Rose will take over the game late with his strength and athletic ability on the defensive side of the ball.
Frazier's dominant run in this tournament will end in a loss to Rose, but that's a little easier to take knowing that Rose just knocked off Oscar Robertson in the previous round.
With this win, Rose earns a spot in the tournament finals to face off against the most prolific scoring point guard in NBA history in Allen Iverson.
Derrick Rose (25) Walt Frazier (21)
Tournament Finals: No. 3 Allen Iverson vs. No. 1 Derrick Rose
Here it is—the grandaddy of them all: the tournament finals matchup between Allen Iverson and Derrick Rose.
In Iverson's past matchups, the difference-maker had been his ability to use his quickness against larger defenders to create space and do what he does best, which is score the ball in impressive fashion.
Rose earned his spot in the tournament finals by playing consistent and intense defense while also using his rare combination athleticism and strength to overwhelm defenders at the hoop with rim-rattling dunks and acrobatic layups.
The same will be true for both players in this matchup, but ultimately, Rose will be able to shut down Iverson. While he is a little bigger than Iverson, he still has the athleticism and quickness he needs to stick with Iverson on the perimeter.
While Iverson is the more prolific scorer, there's no doubt that Rose is the more efficient scorer; this is in large part due to the fact that Rose is able to get to the rim with ease.
Iverson will certainly stay in the game, using his perimeter offense to open up his dribble-drive game, but Rose is the perfect size to shut Iverson down.
Iverson's magical run in this tournament will come to an end at the hands of Derrick Rose, which just goes to show how impressive of a player Rose truly is.
Derrick Rose (25) Allen Iverson (22)
PG One-on-One Tournament Champion: No. 1 Derrick Rose
So there you have it.
The champion of the 64-player one-one-one tournament between NBA point guards is none other than Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.
Rose proved to be the perfect mix of size, speed, athleticism, strength and efficiency on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
Check out the original 64-player NBA Legends vs. NBA All-Stars one-on-one tournament that included players from all positions right here.
Stay tuned here at Bleacher Report for more one-on-one tournaments throughout the coming weeks, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @peteremerick.
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