We began this quest yesterday by determining who the teams in the Eastern Conference would be in NBA Jam if it existed today. Here is part 2 of our discussion: The Western Conference.
Golden State Warriors: Jackson and Ellis
This team is garbage. Both are fast, but neither is a great 3 point shooter and neither defends for shit.
LA Clippers: Davis and Camby
Baron knocking down the 3s and explosive speed next to Camby's dominant defensive ability. Scotty claims he could take anyone with this team.
LA Lakers: Bryant and Gasol
This team is excellent. Obviously Kobe would be one of the better players in this game. Pau can block shots and is a decent shooter as well. Not the best team, but definitely one of the elite.
Phoenix Suns: Nash and Stoudemire
This team would be dominant. Nash could hit any 3s and Stoudemire can dunk and defend with decent shooting ability. This team is similar to the Utah Jazz of the original game (mostly because Nash is white). Like Stockton from that game, Nash would be easily pushed around. This would still be a very good team.
Sacramento Kings: Martin and Miller
This team would not be great. Although on paper they seem to have the big man/small man combo, unfortunately for the Kings both those players suck.
Dallas Mavericks: Kidd and Nowitzki
Kidd is a terrible NBA Jam player. He can't shoot 3s, not a good dunker, not great speed, and average defense. Dirk would make up for this with his 3 point shooting ability a little, but overall this team is not that good. If this were NBA Jam 2005, this team would be a decent squad. Too bad.
Houston Rockets: McGrady and Yao
These two complement each other very well. McGrady can shoot the 3 and make some spectacular dunks, while Yao would be a good rebounding defensive player that can dunk pretty well. How many goaltendings a game do you think you could get with Yao if it was all you were trying to do? A lot I bet.
Memphis Grizzlies: Gay and Mayo
This team would be fun to play with. Both are fast and Mayo can shoot very well. Gay would dunk everything. That being said, they would be pushed around and not be able to stop anyone. This is a mediocre team just because of their speed and dunking ability.
New Orleans Hornets: Paul and West
Perhaps Chandler would be a better fit with Paul, but West was an all-star and would probably be the one in the game. Paul might be the fastest player in the game. He would rack up the steals. He's a good enough shooter and can dunk. He is just too small so he would be pushed around a bit. West would be average across the board. This team is another mediocre squad.
San Antonio Spurs: Parker and Duncan
Parker would be fast and can shoot decently. Duncan would be a defensive presence and a good dunker. What's missing? 3 pointers. Still a pretty good team with Duncan though.
Denver Nuggets: Billups and Anthony
This team can shoot. This is like the Golden State Warriors in the original game. Also, Billups defense might be just good enough to overcome the lack of size on this team. They are not a top tier team, but would be a force to be reckoned with.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Jefferson and Foye
All you need to know about this team is that we had to decide between Mike Miller, Randy Foye and Rashard McCants for who to put next to Jefferson. Gross.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Durant and Green
This team might be worse than the Wolves, but at least Durant would be fun to play with. I guess.
Portland Trailblazers: Roy and Oden
Even though Aldridge is playing better than Oden right now, Oden is the #1 pick. This team would be an average team. Roy is an average 3 point shooter, both have average speed, both are average dunkers. Oden would be a good defender but that is about it.
Utah Jazz: Williams and Boozer
This would be a good team. Boozer would be a good dunker and shooter. Deron can shoot the 3 and defend. The advantage he would have over other guards is his strength, which would keep him from being pushed around.
So who plays in our NBA Jam Championship? My pick would be the Lakers vs. Magic. Magic would win unless the Lakers made some kind of last second full court shot that only exists in the world of NBA Jam.
Here's a little video to remind you of a sick assist from Scott Skiles to Nick Anderson that ends in a backboard-shattering slam: