The SBNation 3 on 3 tournament is well under way and your Atlanta Hawks entry has made their first move. Check out the official rules, schedule and what happened.
Surprising to us, but our Atlanta Hawks entry into the 3 on 3 tournament, where we controversially selected John Jenkins, Al Horford and Josh Smith to lead the way, has already slayed their first victim. Viva ATL! Viva Hawks!
You can follow everything going on with the tournament on this handy StoryStream!
The 30 NBA 3 on 3 teams, as chosen by the SB Nation blog covering that team, are listed below.
Chicago Bulls -- Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah -- Blog a Bull
Miami Heat - Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh -- Hot Hot Hoops
Indiana Pacers -- Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Danny Granger -- Indy Cornrows
Boston Celtics -- Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett -- CelticsBlog
Atlanta -- John Jenkins, Josh Smith, Al Horford -- Peachtree Hoops
Orlando Magic - Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Gustavo Ayon -- Orlando Pinstriped Post
New York Knicks -- Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler -- Posting and Toasting
Philadelphia 76ers -- Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Andrew Bynum -- Liberty Ballers
Milwaukee Bucks -- Monta Ellis, Luc Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova -- Brew Hoop
Detroit Pistons -- Stuckey Stuckey, Jonas Jerebko, Greg Monroe -- Detroit Bad Boys
Toronto Raptors -- Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross, Andrea Bargnani -- Raptors HQ
Brooklyn Nets - Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez -- NetsDaily
Cleveland Cavaliers -- Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Anderson Varejao -- Fear the Sword
Washington Wizards -- John Wall, Trevor Ariza, Nene -- Bullets Forever
Charlotte - Ramon Sessions, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Byron Mullens -- Rufus on Fire
In addition the the 15 teams of the Eastern Conference, in order to avoid any byes in the tournament (because byes of just boring) and because there were some good players from deep rosters that got left off of 3 on 3 teams, we've chosen a team of other Eastern conference players to round out the field.
East Leftovers - Brandon Jennings, Gerald Wallace, Roy Hibbert
San Antonio Spurs -- Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan -- Pounding the Rock
Oklahoma City Thunder -- Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Nick Collison -- Welcome to Loud City
Los Angeles Lakers -- Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard -- Silver Screen and Roll
Memphis Grizzlies -- Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol -- Straight Outta Vancouver
Los Angeles Clippers -- Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Lamar Odom -- Clips Nation
Denver Nuggets -- Andre Iguodala, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari -- Denver Stiffs
Dallas Mavericks -- Delonte West, Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand -- Mavs Moneyball
Utah Jazz -- Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors -- SLC Dunk
Houston Rockets -- Jeremy Lin, Jeremy Lamb, Donatas Motiejunas -- The Dream Shake
Phoenix Suns -- Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, Marcin Gortat -- Bright Side of the Sun
Portland Trail Blazers -- Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge -- BlazersEdge
Minnesota Timberwolves -- Ricky Rubio, Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Love -- Canis Hoopus
Golden State Warriors -- Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut -- Golden State of Mind
Sacramento Kings -- Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins -- Sactown Royalty
New Orleans Hornets - Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis -- At the Hive
And just as in the East, there's one more West team to round out the field:
West Leftovers - James Harden, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol
Teams are composed not just of the best three players on a roster of course, but based on the blog's best guess as to who would be most successful in a 3 on 3 format. As you can see, different blogs used different strategies, with most choosing a more traditional point, wing, big lineup, while a few mixed it up with three wings or other variations.
The rules of the hypothetical tournament are straightforward:
- Half court,
- two and three point baskets,
- free throws on shooting fouls,
- bonus after seven fouls,
- losers outs,
- clear change of possession to the three point line,
- one ten minute period or first to 31,
- best two out of three.
Now, the schedule:
Now that the teams have been selected for our hypothetical 3 on 3 tournament pitting NBA teams against each other, it's time to seed them into brackets. We've added two teams comprised of players that were left off their original team selections, one per conference, to bring the tournament field to 32. The bracket has been built with the Western Conference on one half and the Eastern Conference on the other half, each seeded 1 to 16.
1. San Antonio - Duncan, Ginobili, Parker
1. Chicago - Rose, Noah, Deng
2. OKC - Durant, Westbrook, Collison
2. Miami - James, Wade, Bosh
3. Lakers - Nash, Bryant, Howard
3. Indiana - Granger, George, Stephenson
4. Memphis - Allen, Gay, M. Gasol
4. Boston - Garnett, Rondo, Pierce
5. Clippers - Paul, Griffin, Odom
5. Atlanta - Horford, Smith, Jenkins
6. Denver - Iguodala, W. Chandler, Gallinari
6. Orlando - Nelson, Afflalo, Ayon
7. Dallas - Nowitzki, Brand, West
7. New York - Chandler, Anthony, Shumpert
8. Utah - Burks, Favors, Hayward
8. Philadelphia - Holiday, Turner, Bynum
9. West Leftovers - P. Gasol, Harden, Randolph
9. East Leftovers - Jennings, Wallace, Hibbert
10. Houston - Motiejunas, Lamb, Lin
10. Milwaukee - Ellis, Mbah a Moute, Ilyasova
11. Phoenix - Gortat, Dragic, Dudley
11. Detroit - Monroe, Stuckey, Jerebko
12. Portland - Aldridge, Batum, Lillard
12. Toronto - Bargnani, Ross, Lowry
13. Minnesota - Rubio, Kirilenko, Love
13. Brooklyn - Williams, Johnson, Lopez
14. Golden State - Curry, Thompson, Bogut
14. Cleveland - Irving, Varejao, Waiters
15. Sacramento - Thomas, Evans, Cousins
15. Washington - Wall, Ariza, Nene
16. New Orleans - Gordon, Davis, Anderson
16. Charlotte - Sessions, Kidd-Gilchrist, Mullens
Seeds were based on regular season records from last season, with the extra teams slotted in to the ninth seed to give them a fighting chance (much to the chagrin of the eight seeds, since these leftover teams are pretty loaded).
The winner of each match up will be determined as follows:
A panel of experts from around SB Nation will be asked to predict how many times each team would win out of 20 meetings between the two teams. Five experts will be assigned to each matchup. Each team's total number of victories will be calculated from the predictions, yielding a percentage likelihood that the team would win a single meeting.
Armed with those percentages and percentile dice (finally joining the worlds of Dungeons and Dragons and sports blogs -- nerds unit!) we'll roll the dice to see who wins, introducing a random element into the proceedings. So even if a team is a 20 to 1 underdog, they still have a 5 percent chance of winning. We'll play best two out of three. Upsets will definitely happen in individual games, and some underdogs will advance as well, just as we would expect in anything as unpredictable as a game of 3 on 3 where one player could get hot and carry his team to victory over a heavy favorite.
Now, as to what happened in the first round against the entry for Toronto -- the experts reviewed things first and saw it as close to even as it can get. Said J.A. Sherman:
Both the Hawks and Raptors include rookies on their squads with Jenkins and Ross, respectively. It is difficult to predict how a perimeter-playing rookie will perform under such circumstances, since it usually takes time for shooters to adapt from college to the pro game with enough understanding on how to get open looks. So if we conclude that the rookies cancel each other out, I think this series comes down to Josh Smith's shot selection and consistency. He runs hot or cold, so I could easily see him heating up and dominating for stretches. However, if he's running cold, he undermines just about everything. I like Bargnani's ability to play from the perimeter to stretch the defense and Lowry's physical presence in running the offense. They should be able to create more scoring opportunities and then benefit when Smith's shot goes cold. -- Sherman
Then it came time for the actual game - annnnnnnnnnnnnd:
Out East, in a showdown that our panel of judges thought was almost too close to call (49-51), the Atlanta Hawks' trio of John Jenkins, Josh Smith and Al Horford swept past Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross and Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors. Needing dice rolls of 49 or lower, Atlanta won handily with back-to-back rolls of 3 and 16, and now advances to the second round where they'll face the winner of tomorrow's contest between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets.
The Celtics won their match against the Nets, setting up a classic Hawks//Celtics showdown in Round 2 -- would we want it any other way?