Could an NBA team win a game with only 4 players on the court...

CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 10,177 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 22, 2020 2:08AM in Sports Talk

...vs a five player team.

If they were the best four players in the league?

One game only, against a bit better than average opponent.

No substitutions for the four man team.

Comments

  • CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 10,177 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Must be the current top players of your choice.

    Can't go back and pick Magic and Larry and Jordan and Wilt.

  • countdouglascountdouglas Posts: 899 ✭✭✭✭

    I don't believe an NBA team of 4 could beat an NBA team of 5 over 48 minutes with no substitutions. They would wear out or foul out, for sure. If I were the GM/Head Coach of the 4 man team, though, my strategy would be to take the 4 best 3 point shooters on my team and instruct them to play minimal defense, expending as little energy as possible on that end, and try to trade as many 3s for 2s as they could. I think the 5 man team would trap and rotate and contest every shot, but that would be the most likely way for the 4 man team to even have a remote chance of winning.

  • keetskeets Posts: 22,253 ✭✭✭✭✭

    no.

    --- George Carlin RIP, he'd have a lot of fresh material if he was alive today!!
  • JRR300JRR300 Posts: 734 ✭✭✭

    no, there's no way to defend a better than average team with only 4 defenders.. With no subs, the fatigue would be a factor for both teams, but with the 3 point shooters the way they are today, there's no way to cover the perimeter and the rim with just 4.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 28,445 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes.

    Some of the worst teams in the history of the league, who won less than 10 games in a season, would have lost to the best teams in the league.

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  • erikthredderikthredd Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'd take a healthy Curry,Klay,KD & Green over some of the worst starting 5's in recent years.

    Eric

  • CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 10,177 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @erikthredd said:
    I'd take a healthy Curry,Klay,KD & Green over some of the worst starting 5's in recent years.

    The starting four would have no problem scoring, defense would be the challenge. I think the elite team would be a tossup to win the one game.

  • erikthredderikthredd Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 23, 2020 8:32AM

    @Coinstartled said:

    @erikthredd said:
    I'd take a healthy Curry,Klay,KD & Green over some of the worst starting 5's in recent years.

    The starting four would have no problem scoring, defense would be the challenge. I think the elite team would be a tossup to win the one game.

    defense wouldn't be an issue with those four. Green is a DPOY winner/numerous All Defense seasons,Klay is also an All Defense player & KD is a 7footer that plays like someone much smaller. I know this whole topic is all hypothetical but that foursome plays on both ends. Let's not underestimate how truly bad some starting lineups are each season going back years & years..
    I'd also feel the same about any of these othet groups:
    Bird,McHale,Parrish & Dennis Johnson
    Magic,Kareem,Worthy & Michael Cooper
    MJ,Pippen,Rodman & Kukoc
    Duncan,Parker,Ginobili & Kawhi
    Shaq,Kobe,Rick Fox & Derek Fisher
    Lebron,Wade,Bosh & Ray Allen

    Eric

  • CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 10,177 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We are in agreement while most here give the 4 little or no chance.

    You noted the "worst" starting 5. My starting five opponent are a bit better than average.

  • erikthredderikthredd Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 23, 2020 9:03AM

    We can go even farther back with a Wilt,West,Baylor & Goodrich or Russell,Cousy,Heinsohn & Bill Sharman groupings.
    How about a DrJ,Barkley,Moses Malone & Mo Cheeks lineup? Honestly I'd take some of the groups I listed above even against teams that weren't the worst.
    Someone here with NBA Live needs to set these lineups up and see what happens. ;)

    Eric

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 6,571 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Coinstartled said:
    We are in agreement while most here give the 4 little or no chance.

    You noted the "worst" starting 5. My starting five opponent are a bit better than average.

    I suppose if you took the worst current 5 NBA players and had them play the best 4, it might happen if the team of 4 got ridiculously hot in shooting threes and the other team missed most of their shots.

    There was a guy Eddie Feigner who would play fast pitch softball with a four man team (pitcher, catcher SS and 1B). He struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente consecutively. His fastball was once measured at 112 MPH.

    Of course a much different game than basketball.

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  • BrickBrick Posts: 4,036 ✭✭✭✭

    Same rules for both teams. No subs for either team. Answer is a most definite YES. Allow subs for other team answer is probably yes. There is a huge divide between the top NBA players and journeyman players.

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  • CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 10,177 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well said, Ralph. Jordan had to be double teamed. LeBron as well.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 3,616 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2020 6:52AM

    I certainly think it's possible for a four man line up to beat a five man lineup. This thread reminded me of that Alabama vs Minnesota game, when Alabama almost beat Minnesota. Alabama's players were dropping like flies, and it came down to a 3 on 5 matchup, and Alabama almost pulled it off. I do understand that was a college game and we're talking about the NBA, but you just never know what can or can't be done.

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  • JRR300JRR300 Posts: 734 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:

    @Coinstartled said:
    We are in agreement while most here give the 4 little or no chance.

    You noted the "worst" starting 5. My starting five opponent are a bit better than average.

    I suppose if you took the worst current 5 NBA players and had them play the best 4, it might happen if the team of 4 got ridiculously hot in shooting threes and the other team missed most of their shots.

    There was a guy Eddie Feigner who would play fast pitch softball with a four man team (pitcher, catcher SS and 1B). He struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente consecutively. His fastball was once measured at 112 MPH.

    Of course a much different game than basketball.

    They were know as The king and his Court. They would do exhibitions. I remember seeing him twice; I believe the put on a pre-game show before a baseball game I attended. He struck out every batter; they couldn't even make contact.

  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,800 ✭✭✭✭

    @JRR300 said:
    They were know as The king and his Court. They would do exhibitions. I remember seeing him twice; I believe the put on a pre-game show before a baseball game I attended. He struck out every batter; they couldn't even make contact.

    I don't know the circumstances, but my dad played softball on a very good team and they played a game against the King and his Court once (before I was born). They got slaughtered, of course, but my dad was always glad for the experience. My dad was the best softball pitcher I ever saw, but he was absolutely in awe of Feigner.

    dallasactuary

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  • ADGADG Posts: 340 ✭✭✭

    No way. It would be like a hockey game with one team always on a power play.

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  • 3stars3stars Posts: 1,002 ✭✭✭✭

    The 4 could beat the NY Knicks though.

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  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 6,571 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ADG said:
    No way. It would be like a hockey game with one team always on a power play.

    Ever hear of a shorthanded goal?

    @3stars said:

    The 4 could beat the NY Knicks though.

    Minnesota Timberwolves might lose to a three man team.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 21,661 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would think that the 5 man team could run a spread (really spread) offense and somebody would always be open.

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  • BrickBrick Posts: 4,036 ✭✭✭✭

    I think the four best NBA players would easily handle the five starters from any team. No subs for the NBA team. The only way the top four would have a problem is if the other team consisted of the 5th through 9th best players.

    Collecting 1960 Topps Baseball in PSA 8
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    Ralph

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