The Atlantic Division as NBA Jam Teams

Mar 18, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) dribbles past Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) in the second quarter at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) dribbles past Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) in the second quarter at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports /

A look at what players would be in NBA Jam today

Everyone can remember the game NBA Jam. We all remember the catch phrases “He’s heating up!”, “He’s on fire!” , and “Boom Shaka Laka!” NBA Jam was one of my favorite games growing up, and I always think about which three players NBA Jam would pick if they had to pick from teams today. Some of them would be very obvious like the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James, Kyrie  Irving and Tristan Thompson. The Celtics play in a division where the teams would not be so obvious.

All of the teams in the Atlantic are primarily young teams besides the New York Knicks. The Knicks are the only team with an established superstar in Carmelo Anthony. Sometimes in NBA Jam though, you needed to strategize and that means not always choosing the best players. It was crucial to get a shot blocker, and also a three-point shooter. I’m here to build the best team from each of the Atlantic Division teams.

Boston Celtics: Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford would be guaranteed picks. Thomas would be a 10 in quickness and could shoot from the outside. Al Horford would be a good inside presence, and someone to guard athletic big men. The third player could be a toss-up, but for the purpose of playing with Thomas and Horford, Jaylen Brown gets the nod. He would be a big dunker in the game, and could possibly block some shots if it’s him and Thomas.

Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan would be the first two players picked. DeRozan would be a 10 in dunking. The Raptors would lose a lot of shot blocking and rebounding with these two. To makes up for the shot blocking loss, the third player on the Raptors would be Jonas Valanciunas. He would a 10 in power, so he could very easily knock other players down.

New York Knicks: The Knicks would have been an unstoppable NBA Jam team back in 2011. Derrick Rose would have been a 10 in quickness and Carmelo Anthony would have been a 10 in shooting. These would still be the top-two players to play with, it would just be with a slower Rose, and his low physical rating would allow him to be knocked down very easily. Kristaps Porzingis would be the x-factor for the Knicks. His shot blocking would be rated high, while he could still shoot. Porzingis would push the Knicks to the top of the NBA Jam Tournament.

Brooklyn Nets: The Nets would be the team that you picked when you were playing against your little brother or when you were bragging about your skills and say “I could beat you with the Nets.” You could at least camp out at the rim with Brook Lopez and try to keep the score down, while hoping for some lucky shots by Jeremy Lin and Thomas Robinson. Robinson is just a hopeful physical pick that could knock down the other players if Brook Lopez doesn’t block them. Hopefully you can keep knocking down and blocking shots, until your friend gets tired of playing and quits.

Philadelphia 76ers: Even though the 76ers were the worst team in the division, I believe they will have a much better NBA Jam team. They have supreme shot blocking and dunking ability with Nerlens Noel, and they have a physical dunker in Ben Simmons. In a surprise, I’m leaving the other two centers off of the roster, filling the last spot would be Jerryd Bayless. He would be able to hit runner three-pointers and could just depend on Noel to rebound the misses.

As far as winning the Atlantic NBA Jam pretend league goes, this one would come down to the Celtics vs. the Knicks. The Sixers would not have enough scoring, and the Raptors would not have enough rim protection. The Nets are should be the worst team in the NBA this year, so they would not have a chance.

Next: Hardwood Houdini Roundtable: Comparing the Celtics

The Knicks would have the best shooter of both teams and Porzingis would be able to protect the rim just as much as Horford. The game would come down to who could score more between Anthony and Thomas. Melo takes that home, and the Knicks are the kings of the pretend NBA Jam league.