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Playground Pick ‘Em…

Yesterday during his weekly appearance on Tony Kornheiser’s radio program, Mike Wilbon said that if the Bulls and Atlanta were splitting up their rosters to play pickup ball on a playground, the Hawks would have five of the first six players picked… what?!?

Wilbon said that after Derek Rose was chosen, five straight Hawks would be selected before a Bull, which, frankly, is Bull… Maybe Wilbon was speaking without thinking carefully about what he’s saying, or perhaps he was making excuses for his team getting beat in advance of them (possibly) losing to the Hawks, I don’t really know.  Whatever the logic behind the statement, it’s just straight up wack.

Lets take a quick look at their rosters:

Chicago Bulls:

No. Player Pos Ht Wt Birth Date Exp College
3 Omer Asik C 7-0 255 July 4, 1986 R
6 Keith Bogans G-F 6-5 215 May 12, 1980 7 University of Kentucky
5 Carlos Boozer F-C 6-9 258 November 20, 1981 8 Duke University
11 Ronnie Brewer G-F 6-7 220 March 20, 1985 4 University of Arkansas
45 Rasual Butler G-F 6-7 205 May 23, 1979 8 La Salle University
9 Luol Deng F 6-8 220 April 16, 1985 6 Duke University
22 Taj Gibson F 6-9 225 June 24, 1985 1 University of Southern California
26 Kyle Korver F 6-7 210 March 17, 1981 7 Creighton University
15 John Lucas G 5-11 165 November 21, 1982 2 Oklahoma State University
13 Joakim Noah C 6-11 232 February 25, 1985 3 University of Florida
1 Derrick Rose G 6-3 190 October 4, 1988 2 University of Memphis
24 Brian Scalabrine F 6-9 241 March 18, 1978 9 University of Southern California
40 Kurt Thomas F 6-9 230 October 4, 1972 15 Texas Christian University
32 C.J. Watson G 6-2 180 April 17, 1984 3 University of Tennessee

Atlanta Hawks:

No. Player Pos Ht Wt Birth Date Exp College
31 Hilton Armstrong F-C 6-11 235 November 11, 1984 4 University of Connecticut
34 Jason Collins C 7-0 255 December 2, 1978 9 Stanford University
11 Jamal Crawford G 6-6 185 March 20, 1980 10 University of Michigan
6 Kirk Hinrich G 6-3 190 January 2, 1981 7 University of Kansas
15 Al Horford C 6-10 245 June 3, 1986 3 University of Florida
2 Joe Johnson G 6-8 225 June 29, 1981 9 University of Arkansas
27 Zaza Pachulia C 6-11 240 February 10, 1984 7
12 Josh Powell F 6-9 225 January 25, 1983 5 North Carolina State University
5 Josh Smith F 6-9 225 December 5, 1985 6
19 Pape Sy F 6-7 225 April 4, 1988 R
0 Jeff Teague G 6-2 180 June 10, 1988 1 Wake Forest University
36 Etan Thomas F 6-9 256 April 1, 1978 8 Syracuse University
3 Damien Wilkins F 6-6 225 January 11, 1980 6 University of Georgia
24 Marvin Williams F 6-9 230 June 19, 1986 5 University of North Carolina

How would you draft them? Obviously Rose gets picked first. After that? Probably Horford, right? But it’s about here that Wilbon’s five straight theory gets blowed right up. If you think the next player picked is Joe Johnson, well you’re wrong. Johnson, in the first season of a 97 year 125 trillion dollar deal, is certainly the big name, but he’s barely above a league average shooting guard.

Johnson’s PER this year was 16.46, he shot 44% from the field and 29.7% from three.  Sure, he averaged 18 points a game, but Raptors fans will tell you that you can average 20 points a game without it being meaningful (cough-Bargnani-cough).  Johnson’s good, but the pick here is between Josh Smith and Joakim Noah.  Personally, I’d take Noah, because I think he’s a little smarter, but Smith might be more talented.

Two Bulls, two Hawks. After that probably comes Johnson, but if you took Luol Deng first, I certainly wouldn’t blink. Three-three and I have yet to mention Carlos Boozer. So the Bulls go up 4-3, then I’d take Taj Gibson 5-3, Omer Asik 6-3, before I’d take Jamal Crawford. Those two Bulls are yougn, energetic and fierce defenders.

6 Bulls, 4 Hawks. Hardly the “pick Rose first and then take five straight Hawks” scenario presented by Wilbon.

Obviously Wilbon’s a legend of sports writing and he’s forgotten more about basketball than I’ll ever know, but… he’s tossed up an air ball on this one.

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