Regional NBA Birthplace Teams: Who Wins?

As a professional athlete, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could play for your hometown team? Some players have been able to live this dream, such as LeBron James (twice). It is  a pretty sweet gig to be in professional sports, but playing for your hometown squad would be a special feeling. For this blog, I will see where some of the biggest names in the NBA are from and draft them to their regional teams. From there they will be analyzed and a winning region will emerge victorious. While some would find it to be more fun to do All-City or All-State teams, there are a large percentage of states in the U.S. (33%) that don’t have an active player to represent them.

I split the country into four regions: the West (WA, OR, CA, ID, MT, WY, CO, UT, NV, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AK, HI); the Midwest: (ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA, MO, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH); the Northeast (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, PA, NJ); and the Southeast (DE, MD, VA, WV, KY, TN, NC, SC, AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, FL). Each region will be composed of a traditional starting five (PG, SG, SF, PF and C) along with a bench unit that is comprised of two guards, one forward, one center and a guard/forward hybrid along with some honorable mention players. I selected the best players from each region that fit their position with a few exceptions (injured players who have missed more than half of the 2017-2018 season so far were not included, they will be selected as honorable mentions).

Here are your regional rosters:

Team West

Starters

Head Coach: Quin Synder (WA)
PG: Russell Westbrook (CA)
SG: James Harden (CA)
SF: Paul George (CA)
PF: Blake Griffin (OK)
C: LaMarcus Aldridge (TX)

As one of the most star-studded squads in this blog, the West is extremely impressive. The combination of Harden and Westbrook would be amazing to watch (cough Sam Presti cough) and they have a great frontcourt to boot. Aldridge is having a career year after having a rough 2017 postseason and has shown he is still among the top big men in the game. George and Griffin as your forwards are also a good combination and will bring lots of skills to this lineup.

Bench Unit

G: Damian Lillard (CA)
G: Klay Thompson (CA)
G/F: DeMar DeRozan (CA)
F: Aaron Gordon (CA)
C: DeAndre Jordan (TX)

With a near sweep of Californians, the West bench is almost as solid as their starters. The three 2018 All-Stars on this unit make for a solid group and Jordan is still solid himself.  Gordon had a great start to 2017-2018 but has cooled off over the course of the season. He still has some flashes of potential but is still not quite there yet.

Honorable Mentions

G/F Kawhi Leonard (CA) *Injured
G/F Jimmy Butler (TX) *Injured
F/C Kevin Love *Injured

Both Leonard and Butler would be on the team if it wasn’t for their recent/season long injuries. Both players are stars in the NBA and would certainly be recognized if they were available. Love also belongs in this discussion as a player who is a star and would be on this team if healthy. The West has set the table as the front runner of this competition.

Team Midwest:

Starters

Head Coach: Gregg Popovich (IN)
PG: Stephen Curry (OH)
SG: Bradley Beal (MO)
SF: LeBron James (OH)
PF: Draymond Green (MI)
C: Anthony Davis (IL)

The Midwest is also a squad of stars. Curry falls on this team due to being born in Akron, OH (in the same hospital as LeBron no less). He along with Beal make up a dynamic backcourt that would be fairly similar to what Curry gets when he plays with his Splash Bro in Golden State. James, Green and Davis shape out the rest of this team and make this starting unit another tough one to top.

Bench Unit

G: Devin Booker (MI)
G: Gary Harris (IN)
G/F: C.J. McCollum (OH)
F: Kyle Kuzma (MI)
C: Willie Cauley-Stein (KS)

This is where the Midwest team takes a step back. Their bench is not quite as impressive but is still pretty good. The three guard unit of Booker, Harris and McCollum is good and make for a talented unit, they just lack the big men. Cauley-Stein is an above average center in the league who has great athleticism, but he isn’t quite as talented as other NBA big men. Kuzma has flashed a lot in 2017-2018 and shows some potential to be a great NBA player, but that is yet to be seen.

Honorable Mentions

Gordon Hayward (IN) *Injured
Jayson Tatum (MO)
Otto Porter (MO)

Hayward is another star player that would be starting on his team if not for injury. Tatum and Porter are both good young players in the league but are also just not quite on a level to make the roster yet. The Midwest is a top heavy team but they have some of the brightest stars in the NBA and can’t be counted out.

Team Northeast:

Starters

Head Coach: Tom Thibodeau (CT)
PG: Kyle Lowry (PA)
SG: Donavan Mitchell (NY)
SF: Kyle Anderson (NY)
PF: Tobias Harris (NY)
C: Karl Anthony-Towns (NJ)

The Northeast team is lead by a pair of young stars in Anthony-Towns and Mitchell. Both players represent the future of the NBA and have star potential. Lowry is still a good point guard in the league and is a start worthy player in this format. The Northeast starters have some flaws at the forward position however. Harris and Anderson are good young players who have done well in their time in the NBA but just don’t quite stack up to the talent of the wings on the other region teams.

Bench Unit

G: Kemba Walker (NY)
G: Tyreke Evans (PA)
G/F: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (PA)
F: Carmelo Anthony (NY)
C: Andre Drummond (NY)

There are some big names on the Northeastern bench unit. Anthony is a player who would have easily been a starter just a few seasons ago but has dropped off in recent years. Maybe on name recognition he could be considered for the starting SF spot but compared to Anderson and even Hollis-Jefferson, he just doesn’t stack up. The Northeast has a surplus of star centers and point guards but is lacking in wing players, putting them behind the West and Midwest.

Honorable Mentions

G Dion Waiters (PA) * Injured
G Kris Dunn (CT)

The honorable mentions for the Northeast are slimmer than the other regions. Waiters, when healthy, would deserve some recognition. Dunn has done well in 2017-2018 and looks like a player who has resurrected his career.

Team Southeast:

Starters

Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni (WV)
PG: Chris Paul (NC)
SG: Victor Oladipo (MD)
SF: Kevin Durant (D.C.)
PF: Derrick Favors (GA)
C: Hassan Whiteside (NC)

With another star studded lineup, the Southeast has some of the best players at their prospective positions. Durant and Paul need no explanation to describe their greatness as they are two of the top 20 players in the NBA. Oladipo is having a renaissance year in Indiana after looking like a castaway in Oklahoma City and Orlando. Oladipo has elevated himself to All-Star status and it will be interesting to see how he can maintain this success for years to come. Whiteside is another player who erupted from being a benchwarmer to a multi-million dollar man, though his jump came in 2015. The only drawback for the Southeast is their PF position. There aren’t many good power forwards from this region and Favors, for all his faults, seems like the best available candidate. But, that being said, he is still a solid player and is on a squad with some other very talented players.

Bench Unit

G: Eric Bledsoe (LA)
G: Lou Williams (TN)
G/F: Brandon Ingram (NC)
F: Bobby Portis (AR)
C: Dwight Howard (GA)

Bledsoe leads the Southeast bench unit as one that has some solid players but is missing out. Williams is having a career year in Los Angeles and would be a find addition to this team. Ingram is an up-and-coming player who has a high ceiling potential for the Lakers. Howard, like Anthony, is a big name who would have been a headline guy a few years ago but is no longer a mainstay in the NBA. Portis is among the poor power forward core of the Southeast but can still be an asset to this unit with his stretch four abilities and toughness.

Honorable Mentions

C DeMarcus Cousins (AL) *Injured
G Mike Conley (AR) *Injured
G John Wall (NC) *Injured

Cousins is a big loss for this team. He would elevate the starting unit to a place where they could compete with the West and Midwest, but his injury has cost them this opportunity. Conley is another great player who would help this team if he were healthy. He and Wall would be the star point guards this team needs to set itself up for the next level. The Southeast team is the one most affected by injury and currently doesn’t stand much of a chance against the other regions without some of their key guys.

Top Two Teams:

West vs. Midwest

Both the West and Midwest stand out above the other two regions based on the talent that represents them. They are both excellent teams that I personally would go pay to see battle it out on the court. The starters for both teams have big names but I see one matchup being the deciding factor. The Davis-Aldridge pairing would be interesting. Both big men are good players but have different skill sets and strengths. Davis has an advantage at the defensive end and the combination of he and Green would likely give the West some fits. Where the game would begin to separate is when the bench unit players came in. The West has a significant advantage over the Midwest in this aspect and is something that will lead them in this hypothetical competition.

Though both teams are solid, one team must emerge victorious:

Winner: THE WEST

The West takes home the Basketbloggers Cup! Their stacked roster would take down any of the other teams over the course of a seven game series, with the Midwest being able to contend them most with them. Even without some key contributors like Leonard and Butler, the West is still deep enough to defeat the other teams in this competition.  Congratulations to the West!

 

 

Didn’t see your favorite hometown player on this list? Leave a comment sticking up for your guy!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s