Ranking the Best 12-Man Team from Each NBA Division
In this article, I won't be taking a look at the best divisions in the NBA, but rather the division that holds the most talent in it. Team records won't hold any significance here. All that matters is the level of talent that each division has.
Hypothetically, we're going to have six teams (one from each division) and I'll comprise a 12-man roster for each team, taking the 12 best players from the five teams in that division. Then, I'll have them go head-to-head with other divisions and see which division will come out on top.
Sounds simple right? Well, even if it doesn't, you'll get the hang of it.
Let's get started.
Note: The player is the best in each division is represented in bold.
PG - Deron Williams
SG - Ray Allen
SF - Carmelo Anthony
PF - Amar'e Stoudemire
C - Brook Lopez
Bench: Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, Andre Iguodala, Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan.
A solid group to say the least. They're loaded at the point guard and small forward positions with Williams and Rondo, as well as Melo and Iggy. They'll have no problem scoring the ball, however the lack of defense could hurt this group.
There are no solid defenders on this team outside of an old Kevin Garnett. Rebounding might also be a problem as Amar'e Stoudemire and Brook Lopez are far from the best rebounders in the league.
Overall Grade: 8/10
PG - Derrick Rose
SG - Stephen Jackson
SF - Danny Granger
PF - Carlos Boozer
C - Joakim Noah
Bench: Luol Deng, Roy Hibbert, Darren Collison, Brandon Jennings, Andrew Bogut, Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey.
The Chicago Bulls easily dominate the worst division in basketball. They've got three starters as well as a fourth on the bench. Danny Granger does add a nice scoring punch at the three positions but the fact that there isn't a better power forward in this division other than Carlos Boozer is sad.
The bench is solid at best. Jennings and Bogut are two very good, but not great players. Gordon and Stuckey are undersized tweener guards and Collison is a decent backup to Rose. Also, you might have noticed how the Cavs don't even have one player on this team. Yup, they're that bad.
Overall Grade: 6/10
PG - John Wall
SG - Dwyane Wade
SF - Lebron James
PF - Chris Bosh
C - Dwight Howard
Bench: Joe Johnson, JaVale McGee, Josh Smith, Al Horford, Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu, Nick Young.
Wow. Talk about a stacked starting five. From Wade to Howard, they are absolutely loaded. They have the best SG, SF and Center in the game right now. That itself is enough. Added to that, you have a up-and-coming young point guard in John Wall and an All-Star PF in Chris Bosh. This starting five is second to none.
The bench is a bit of a downgrade but they still have All-Stars Joe Johnson and Al Horford. Jameer Nelson is a decent backup PG for Wall but this team could do without Turkoglu and Nick Young. They're essentially bench warmers.
Overall Grade: 10/10
PG - Russell Westbrook
SG - Arron Afflalo
SF - Kevin Durant
PF - Lamarcus Aldridge
C - Nene
Bench: Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Devin Harris, Brandon Roy, Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap.
A decent group at best. They have the best scorer in the game in Kevin Durant, as well as one of the most underrated PFs in Lamarcus Aldridge. Westbrook is also an All-Star point guard, and Devin Harris a solid backup. They're really weak at the shooting position as they have Arron Afflalo as their starter and an injured Brandon Roy as the backup.
The center position is also a bit weak with Nene and Al Jefferson manning the middle. But, Kevin Love is a beast off the bench and he should help shore up that frontline. Post defense seems to be a problem for this group as they really don't have any shotblockers outside of Ibaka and Perkins. Overall, a good but certainly not great group.
Overall Grade: 7/10
PG - Steve Nash
SG - Kobe Bryant
SF - Lamar Odom
PF - Pau Gasol
C - Chris Kaman
Bench: Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Andrew Bynum, Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Tyreke Evans, David Lee.
The pacific division is dominated by old veterans such as Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. They're still a very solid PG-SG combo. The frontline isn't great, but it's pretty decent with All-Stars Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman. The small forward position is their main weakness as Odom is the best that they have.
The bench is where they have the advantage over many other divisions as they have ROY and All-Star Blake Griffin, who is absolutely electric. Eric Gordon, Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans are emerging youngsters who are sure to be All-Stars in the future. David Lee, Andrew Bynum and Monta Ellis round out an excellent bench.
Overall Grade: 8/10
PG - Chris Paul
SG - Manu Ginobili
SF - Rudy Gay
PF - Dirk Nowitkzi
C - Marc Gasol
Bench: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Jason Kidd, Zach Randolph, David West, Kevin Martin, Caron Butler.
The Southwest division has been known as the NBA's toughest division for quite some time. In terms of star power, they just don't match up with the other divisions. They're elite at the PG and PF spot with Chris Paul and Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, but they are weak at the center and small forward positions. Rudy Gay is an adequate three but he isn't anywhere near the best. Marc Gasol at center is the weakest position; they need a better center.
The bench is a lot better with All-Stars Z-Bo, David West and Tony Parker. Jason Kidd is old but still solid point guard. Kevin Martin provides a nice scoring punch off the bench. David West and Caron Butler round out the rest of the bench.
Overall Grade: 7/10
Conclusion: No One Can Match the Star Power of Southeast Division
Atlantic vs. Central Division: Winner - Atlantic
Southeast Division: First round BYE
Northwest vs. Southwest Division: Winner - Southwest
Pacific Division: First round BYE
Atlantic Vs. Southeast Division: Winner - Southeast
Pacific vs. Southwest: Winner - Pacific
Finals: Pacific Vs. Southeast: Winner - Southeast
In the end, Lebron, Wade, Howard & Co. are just too much to handle for Kobe, Nash and the rest of the Pacific. The Southeast division holds the best individual talent in the entire league, even if they don't have the best teams combined. They have three of the five best players in the world and a combined two MVPs, four All-Star game MVPs, three Defensive Player of the Year Awards, a title and numerous All-Star and first-team selections.