Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dream Team-Up, Pt.2

(Part 2 of our continuing series of proposed team-ups for a hypothetical, winner takes all, All-Star Weekend 2-on-2 tournament)

Pairing #2

Team Name: The Men of Steel or Supermen
Team Members: Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard

Remember when comic books decided to do alternate universes and multiple comics about- what to the layman or non-nerd or guy with a girlfriend would appear to be- the same character? That's what's been happening with Shaq and Dwight Howard. Both have made claims to the title- one with a tattoo (and, let's face it, actual titles) and the other with a cape and some Slam Dunk Contest Shenanigans.

Teaming up for the 2-on-2 tournament allows these guys to do a few things:

- Fuse their Supermanhood. That sounded bad. Really bad. But the point is that the power of two Supermen is undeniable.
- Be a matchup nightmare. There is almost no one in the league that can, 1-on-1, guard either of these guys. Now try to find TWO guys who can. (And, yes, the committee recognizes that being a matchup nightmare also makes them a matchup liability, but if they can get a lead...) In a halfcourt game especially- where taking it down the court is nullified- these guys check the ball and throw it inside. Who wants to face that?
- Allow Shaq to finally indulge in his dream to be a point guard. We've seen Shaq light up like Fleet Foxes at a beard growers convention whenever he gets a chance to bring the ball up the floor. Big Magic will finally get his shot. Like I said in the previous bullet point, he'll be pg'ing, but not fullcourt.
- Showcase the dominance of Orlando Magic centers, past and present. Sorry, Michael Doleac, Marcin Gortat, and Andrew Declerq. You didn't quite make the cut.
- Have an official Pass The Torch moment. The Most Dominant Center torch isn't going to Yao. And it's not going to Amare. It's going to Howard. This is the surest way to avoid any confusion, any "but Amare is my teammate" loyalties getting in the way. All the greats want to have a definitive moment where they passed the torch, and passed it to the heir they chose. This is it.
- Have an unofficial Pass The Torch moment. Shaq is about as likable as they come- good with the media, unbelievably good natured for a guy who gets mugged every time he touches the ball, likes to play around, fun, etc. Howard is next in line for this, more unofficial, title too. If these guys get a lead, you can count on some kind of Harlem Globetrotters routine breaking out.

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