Originally posted on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 8/27/12

As we head into the challenge round of our All Time NBA Mock Draft we have learned a couple of things about people’s views on the history of the NBA.

A great big man will always influence the game more than a great guard, defense may win championships, but some offensive forces just can’t be stopped, and most of all never count out what type of scheme someone is playing in, because as little as coaching matters, with all this hypothetical talent together, putting those players in the best position to win is more important than just collecting talent.

In today’s match up, we see to old foes facing off one more time, in the All Time NBA Mock Draft- Wilt Chamberlain v Bill Russell.

Game thread.

PG- Kidd (36mins)
SG- Thompson (36mins)
SF- Worthy (36mins)
PF- Rodman (36mins)
C- Wilt (42mins)


PG- Tiny (12mins)
Jamaal Wilkes- 24mins (12 @ SG, 12 @ SF)
PF- Jerry Lucas- 12mins
C- Arvydas Sabonis (6mins)

Payton- Kidd gets the call here, and we want to try and fight Payton off the block. The only scoring options that Nugs has in the starting lineup are really mid range and low post scorers, so I don’t know how he plans on distributing the minutes and getting people in positions to be most effective.

Payton was an iso, create, post type player, and Kidd could handle him fairly well in size and was quicker than Payton.
Push Payton towards the baseline where Wilt can get to help if need be.

McHale- Worm gets the call here, fights him tooth and nail in the post, follows him everyewhere, and doesn’t give an inch.

Russell- Wilt of course. Keep him off the offensive boards, play a step off of him in order to leave to help if needed.

Hondo- David Thompson will have to work his damndest to keep the great Hondo out of the paint and to kill his mid range game.
One thing Hondo was not was an outside shooting threat, and really other than Pistol they don’t have anyone that can shoot that scares us.

Dave D/McGrady- Worthy gets the nod here either way, we aren’t going to try and sneak attack Nugs with a different line up and hopefully he won’t either.

Dave D was a catch, square up, check his feet, feel for a breeze, then shoot type of guy, so we want to show off of him when he is away from the ball, but not so much that Worthy can’t recover.
Worthy’s long arms should give him a chance to bother Dave while he is getting into his shooting stroke.

If it is TMac, well we switch things up a little bit. We will need to play off a step as TMac was quick out on the perimeter and look to force to the help of Wilt. Cut off interior penetration and make him take long contested jumpers.  We want to start out going under screens around the 3pt line, but if he is hot fight through the screens.


Pistol is the only player off the bench that concerns us, as we have Wilkes/Rodman to throw at Chambers Lucas can handle Dave D, Wilkes can hang w/ TMac and Sabonis can bang with Bellamy.

The issue with Pistol is he can’t be taken for granted in this game.  Kidd can see any extra time not on Payton, but realistically Tiny is going to have to do as much as he can to stop the offensive onslaught, and get as many as he can back.

With both defenders we will simply hound Pistol as soon as he crosses half court. Try and force the ball out of his hands and make other players beat us.

Don’t give him a step, as he can pull up from anywhere and try and keep him in front as much as possible.

We want to funnel everything to the Dipper, and that should take some of his effectiveness away.

Rest of the bench, play straight up, don’t leave open, and that’s it really.

Slight Chambers note, he wasn’t a great outside shooter, he was a great mid range guy though, so when we are covering him we can concede a small step on the 3 pt line, but body up and get physical as he is driving.

Running and gunning into a 3-2 offense.

We want to push the ball initially as the game is starting on all misses and makes, try and get the tempo of the game up, as Nugs has some plodder/iso players in Payton/McGrady.

Get the game uptempo early will allow us to take advantage of the open court players we have, yes even Rodman, and get everyone involved.

Typical fast break rub here: Outlet to Kidd and attack the wings crashing to the basket w/ Thompson/Worthy, and look for Wilt/Rodman coming down the lane trailing.

If the open bucket isn’t there we want to reset and get the ball down to Wilt.

The 3-2 will look like, Wilt working block to block, with Worm playing extended block on the other side of wherever Wilt set up.

The simple reason we are running this is to keep Worm close to the basket in order to get some cheapies/easy putbacks.

Look to establish Wilt, but we will be moving along the perimeter the entire time, cutting, looking to get to the high post, and running wing/wing screens, flashing to the open spots that the likely double teams will open up.

We want to be constantly moving, with purpose, when Wilt gets the ball in the post.

When the back up bigs are in we will go back to our very efficient and effective 1-3-1, and yes I am copy and pasting the same thing from last game.

When Wilt is out we are going to keep our 1-3-1 running, but put Sabonis in the high post and let Tiny and Thompson be our main guys, so yes when Wilt is out for his 6 total minutes Thompson is not.

Attack with Tiny/Thompson, get them looks through high screens with Sabonis, or off of cuts using Sabonis’ excellent passing abilities.
Lucas and Wilkes will always look to get open if their men double on drives or help as they are dangerous set shooters.

Overall: Nugs is honestly one of the worst match ups for us on the perimeter, but his team build doesn’t fit into maximizing the talent of all the individuals, and with us having Kidd to cut off the head of the offensive snake as you will, as well as us dictating the tempo of the game, I like us to be able to run out, and hide so to speak with Wilt.

Good luck senor Nugs, look forward to seeing you again in the Championship.

Team Nugs, Hugs and Rugs

C: Bill F. Russell 40min
PF: Tom Chambers 24min
SF: Tracy McGrady 32min (24min-SF, 8min-SG)
SG: John Havlicek 40min
PG: Pete Maravich 24min

BE: Walt Bellamy 8min-C
BE: Kevin McHale 24min-PF
BE: Dave DeBusschere 24min-SF
BE: Gary Payton 24min-PG

DNP: Cedric Maxwell
DNP: Mark Eaton
DNP: Fat Lever

Team Offense

The truth is that Russell was an excellent team offensive player. He just happened to know his limitations. He was an excellent passer and pick-setter, and he was very dangerous on the offensive boards. He had a decent little hook shot. He was the original alley-oop finisher. If ignored, he would hurt people. He was capable of doing what had to be done. Witness a 30-point eruption in Game 7 of the 1962 Finals against L.A.  Hondo was in constant motion, wearing down his opponents with his endurance.  In his prime Tmac was an unstoppable force, could kill you from outside or take it to you inside.  Pistol Pete shot most of his jumpers from deep, would have been deadly if the 3pt line was around in his prime.  Chambers can debacle McHale, well then, he’s ok vs Rodman then.  McHale was a 6thMOTY, he’s fine in that spot.

Offensive Set for Starters: Triangle

Why?  Think about what you need for the triangle.  1. Passing= Everyone in the starting lineup was both great at handling the ball and passing the ball along.  2. Shooting=My 1-4 all have the capability to hit the 3, a long range 2, or a midrange jumper.  3. Movement=  All five starters are both good moving through the offensive sets without the ball and have the endurance to keep the defense in a constant shift.  Really in the triangle players are never set in specific spots, so I won’t have a generic listing.  The initial setup is Russell at one side Elbow with Hondo behind him starting on the low block, with Tmac at the other elbow with Chambers behind him on the other low block, keeping Russell and Hondo together most of the times on that side because of their familiarity of each other.  Pistol brings the ball up the court and can do 1 of 4 things to get the triangles set up.

1. Have Russell set a down pick for Hondo to get him open on the wing to get the pass from Pistol, setup becomes WS-Wing: Tmac, WS-High Post: Chambers, SS-Wing: Hondo, SS-Corner: Pistol, SS-Low Post: Russell.

2. Have Pistol dribble to wing, as Hondo V-cuts down to corner, and Russell moves to high post, setup becomes WS-Wing: Tmac, WS-Low Post: Chambers, SS-High Post: Russell, SS-Corner: Hondo, SS-Wing: Pistol.

3. Reverse side, as Chambers sets a down pick for Tmac to get him open on the wing, gets pass, setup then is WS-Wing: Hondo, WS-High Post Russell, SS-Wing: Tmac, SS-Corner: Pistol, SS-Low Post: Chambers.

4. Have Pistol dribble to opposite wing, as Tmac V-cuts down to corner, and Chambers moves to high post, setup then becomes WS-Wing: Hondo, WS-Low Post: Russell, SS-High Post: Chambers, SS-Corner: Tmac, SS-Wing: Pistol.

Everyone knows the triangle has an endless amount of plays.  Run plays both in the triangles and in the 2-man games opposite.  As per usual, what we will look for is a good matchup that will create a problem for Seth to defend.   When Wilt has to defend post player at Elbow.  Rodman will either be on Chambers or Russell, can’t be on both, which ever player Wilt has to defend can start at the high post and run a PnR in the 2-man side of the triangle.  Chambers can also hit a high-PnP with his range. Run a PnR with Chambers/Tmac on Worthy.  Last thing Worthy could do is defend a dynamic scorer rolling to the basket.  Either one is also a good enough passer if the plays is not there, and just find Pistol on the wing for an outside shot, or Hondo back up to reset.

Offensive Set for Backups: 1-3-1 Motion Offense.  

Basically have 3 lineups in this set for around 8 minutes each, have good spacing and keep things moving to find a good mismatch:

A: C-Bellamy-Low Post, PF-McHale FT-Line, SF-DD/SG-Hondo FT-Line extended, Payton up top

B: PF-McHale-Low Post, C-Russell FT-Line, SF-DD/SG-Tmac FT-Line extended, Payton up top

C: PF-McHale-Low Post, C-Russell FT-Line, SF-DD/SG-Hondo FT-Line extended, Payton up top

Obviously Mchale in the Low post vs any non-Rodman defender will be a surefire basket.  Main reason why we have him on the bench.  Don’t need much, just dump it down and watch him juke and jive away.  Bellamny will be the same if Sabonis is on him, the guy doesn’t pass, but who cares, don’t.  Just overpower Sabonis to the basket, done.   Another key will be getting Payton room down low to post up either Tiny or Paul, as neither stand chance to slow one of the best at it in his prime.  Just have Low Post player pull weakside baseline, and Payton starts up top and works down low, money.  DeBusschere can hit his midrange jumper or if someone else shoots, he will be the one to crash the boards.  Great role player who knows what it takes to win.

Wilt Defense

This team revolves around Wilt scoring, and who better than his arch nemesis to defend him.  There is no doubt that Russell affected Chamberlain on the floor. Despite his overwhelming size advantage and despite his great offensive confidence, Chamberlain could never outplay Russell for any significant period of time. “He changes a lot with Russell,” Frank Ramsey once observed. “When he wants to take his banker against anyone else, he squats, jumps and shoots. Against Russell, he squats, fakes, shoots, fakes and then shoots. He’s thinking Russell is going to block the shot. He knows the other centers can’t, but Russell can, and it bothers him.” –nba.com  We don’t have to double Wilt, Russell has that assignment.

Overall Defense

Kidd is the catalyst to get this team going, and who better to disrupt the second most important offensive player than Hondo.  He has some size on Kidd, and does not have to worry about any outside jumpshots because we all know that “that Kidd” was old and slow.  So, play off of him to make his field of vision more difficult on those passes.   Get in between him and his outlets, shadow his movements back and forth.  Anytime he’s close to the basket, play physical.

Rodman is the key here, why?  Because anytime he’s not directly under the basket we will play off of him, like a few steps away.  He is the one player that a Kidd pass won’t hurt us.  In fact, with us playing off of him, that will allow a quick trap on which ever player is with the  ball and closest to him.  Played by Pistol, who’s the perfect quick player to get a flash double.  We understand that if they both crash Pistol stands little chance, but if that’s the case then Chambers will pull off to help as the shot goes up. Chambers plays Worthy, has the size to keep with him on post ups, and the speed to not get burned on fast breaks.  Play in between him and Kidd, play deny defense.  Tmac gets the last starter.  Thompson gives up some size, as Tmac can play him tight, keep close with his speed.  Wilkes likes that corner shot in the halfcourt, never give him any clean looks, without the ball, again, play deny defense.

Backups should just play across their position.  McHale as a backup spells doom for either Lucas or Sabonis.  Neither can get a clean look with a physical defender like McHale playing up close and personal the time he’s in.  McHale’s overlap Rodman minutes he will not follow Rodman away from the basket at all, just double on Wilt, frustrate him even more.  Bellamy is fine on Sabonis, keep on him around the perimeter, and body him up inside.  DeBusschere is great to neutralize the backup 3, probably Wilkes.  But then on his overlap Worthy minutes he can play him tight and physical, no room for you from DD Worthy.  The best is the Glove himself completely stifling the backup PG, either will get zero room as from the time they are in, Payton presses them down the entire court.  Very physical defense from most of the backups.

vs PNRs: Plays between the two guards we can easily just switch defenders.  Between Kidd and Worthy/Thompson go under screen as Kidd doesn’t hurt us, and both are more than likely Rolling.  Paul / Tiny PnX’s we will have Payton fight through the screen.


Lose and we play Blood

Win and we more than likely play BNW

You decide which one I gameplanned to do.

That is all.

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