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How Would the NBA's Best Fare Against the NFL's Worst?

5/11/12 in NBA   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

DEFENSE

So we’re going to run an extremely aggressive defense that takes a lot of risks.  We’re suiting up the league’s all-time tallest front-four and trying to get as many hands on the ball as we can.  Our secondary will also be going for big turnovers over being safe and conventional.  In result, we’ll be very susceptible to the big play, but I’m open to taking my chances against Curtis Painter (remember: last year’s team, no Luck).

May 7, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) dunks to score a basket against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of game four of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Defensive Ends: KENNETH FARRIED and BLAKE GRIFFIN

These are without a doubt two guys you never want to see running at you, no matter what sport.  Farried is a beast of an athlete.  He’s got a motor that never stops and I think his relentless nature will lead to at least a couple sack opportunities.  Griffin on the other hand, will be the king of deflections.  His unbelievable combination of height and leaping ability are really a defensive end’s dream and if he can develop the necessary moves to get him around the Colts O-Line, then he’ll be Painter’s nightmare.

Mar 1, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) attempts a hook shot over Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the third quarter at Amway Center. Oklahoma City defeated Orlando 105-102. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Defensive Tackles: DWIGHT HOWARD and SERGE IBAKA

Height over weight once again – mostly because we have no other option, but I still like our chances here.  Both players are strong enough to wrap up anyone you send their way and should be able to use their height advantages to knock down any pass within their vicinity.  Probably the two best shot-blockers in the NBA, we’re hoping that defensive instincts of all kinds are just part of their nature.

April 19, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Hornets power forward Carl Landry (24) and Houston Rockets point guard Kyle Lowry (7) fall to the floor as they chase a loose ball during the second half at the New Orleans Arena. The Hornets defeated the Rockets 105-99.   Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

LBs: DERON WILLIAMS, ANDRE MILLER (MLB), and KYLE LOWRY

Without a doubt, our biggest weakness.  I don’t think there’s a single player in the NBA that could even come close to capably performing the routine jobs of an NFL linebacker, or vice versa for that matter.  You need a combination of strength, agility, and a great knowledge for the game to make it at one of the toughest positions in all sports, and the threesome we’ve put together undoubtedly all have the second attribute as well as a great knowledge of their own game, but is it enough?

May 6, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Andre Miller (left) and Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Blake (5) go after a loose ball during the second half of game four in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center.  The Lakers won 92-88.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Lowry’s a feisty defender that never backs down from a fight and his great instincts on the court lead to a lot of steals and assists.  And these instincts, I believe, would transfer nicely to the football field where Lowry would have a good knowledge of where the football is going to come.  Williams loves taking advantage of smaller guards down in the post.  He’s not afraid of being a physical player on the court, but it’s a different story on the football field.  He’s the biggest question mark here.  Miller is the slowest player in the group, but his veteran savvy makes him the perfect leader of the crew.  He’s been the unheralded star of just about every team he’s ever played on and whether he’s asked to distribute the ball or take the scoring load himself, he always seems to be up to the task.  A big load on his shoulders here, but we like the durable 13-year NBA veteran who has only missed 3 games in his career right in the middle.

Dec 26, 2011; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) is defended by Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) during the first half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE

CBs: TONY PARKER and MIKE CONLEY

Here’s some lock-down defense for you.  Although both players are a bit taller than the average cornerback (6’1” for Conley; 6’2” Parker), we like their quickness and awareness to make up for it.  Plus, they’ll be able to reach more balls than shorter corners.  Conley is a master at anticipating passes in the NBA while Parker has the quickest moves you may ever see on the court.  We’ll have to get them working on their backpedaling techniques, but I’d be surprised if either player struggled to get it down with their diverse skill-sets.

May 3, 2011; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) drives to the basket as Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) defends the play during the second half of game two of the second round of the 2011 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Arena. The won 102-91. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Safety: DWYANE WADE and RAJON RONDO

Two of the most pesky off-ball defenders in the NBA, Wade and Rondo are constantly frustrating opponents in the passing lanes and I have little doubt they’d be able to transfer this skill over to the NFL.  Both players rely greatly on their instincts.  Watching them on defense, it sometimes looks like they know where the ball is going to go even before the offense really does.  We’re going to play an aggressive sort of defense where Conley and Parker are taking their chances on creating turnovers, so this unit will have a lot of pressure to make plays, but I think they’re up to the task.

THE VERDICT

Last year’s Colts teams had one of the league’s worst offenses and defenses.  I think the monstrous defensive line can really intimidate Painter at times and make it tough for him to see short options and anything up the middle, really.  On the other side of the ball, I think Lawson, Irving, and Bledsoe help move the chains enough to get Nash at least a couple field goal attempts and I think either Rose or LeBron comes down with a big play for us.  In a bizarre football game that challenges everything you know about one of the best sports in the world, the final score would be:
COLTS 34
NBA 20


Dec. 18, 2011; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon (85) tries to get some crowd noise during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

In the end, our defense struggles to get the key stops, thanks to poor tackling and Painter finds Garcon over the top more often than our safeties are able to help out.  We put together some solid drives, a couple highlights on both sides of the ball, but we’re back to shooting hoops when it’s all said and done.
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