The Team: Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Blake Griffin
Projected Offensive Rating: 122.1, Projected Defensive Rating: 105.9, Projected Net Rating: 16.2
Team Jordan is little brother. They were once on Team Nike but became so successful that they were able to launch their own team. However, they have yet to topple big brother. That doesn’t mean this team won’t make noise in the tournament and give Team Nike a run for their money.
The beauty of Team Jordan is that they have people to fill every role. Naturally, Russell Westbrook will be the primary ball-handler, but now he has a full set of teammates, unlike in Oklahoma City. No longer will he have have to hoist up all the jump shots, everybody else on the team will contribute to that. No longer will he have to be the only shot creator, Chris Paul can do that too. No longer will he have to take tough defensive assignments, Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard are there to help with that. Then, he won’t be as fatigued late in games, allowing to be as effective at the close as he is in the opening of games. No longer will he have to grab every rebound, Blake Griffin can do that.
This is a team with 17 All-Defensive team and 23 All-NBA team selections. That is all that really needs to be said.
Everybody on this team contributes something different to the squad. That is what will make them work. I imagine a relationship between Westbrook and Paul similar to Paul and Harden. Westbrook will allow Paul to rest and not have to fully stress himself all game. Butler and Leonard are great teammates who will contribute what is necessary for the offense while playing outstanding defense. Griffin will own the post for Team Jordan. Most of these players have had their stats impacted by needing to do too much with their current team. So, they will all see increased efficiencies with a complete roster.
If anybody is having an off day, which would often lead to losing a tournament, the rest of their team could pick them up. Team Jordan is built for this tournament. It is a complete roster that will put in a run for the championship. However, Team Jordan falls just short of the championship, solely because they will run into a team that is more extraordinary than they are.