The NBA world is dominated by super teams consisting of three or more All-Stars such as the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. John Calipari, Kentucky Wildcats head coach, says he has a hypothetical and imaginary theory that would beat out both these teams for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Calipari himself said beating those two teams would not be overly difficult with a team full of Kentucky alumni, led by Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, and DeMarcus Cousins. Players such as Devin Booker, John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Julius Randle, Brandon Knight and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would also be on the squad. Although this is nearly impossible due to most of these players deserving maximum contracts, Calipari says “I mean, there’s really no wrong answer here. Any of those guys are players who could help contend for a title. To leave them off a super team would be absurd”.
Here at Fadeaway World, we decided to simulate what Calipari’s team would look like and how it would compete in the 2016-17 NBA season.
Kentucky Wildcats 2016-17
The Starting five is as follows:
Guard: John Wall
Guard: Devin Booker
Forward: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Forward: Anthony Davis
Forward: DeMarcus Cousins
In the first weeks of the regular season, team chemistry was no issue as the team started out 8-0 and finished the season with a 68-14 record; ranking first in the Eastern Conference. The Wildcats were second in offensive points per game (116.0 pts, Warriors 1st with 118.0 pts) and was a force to be reckoned with defensively, allowing the least amount of points per game and winning by an average margin of sixteen points. Rebounding was clearly not an issue for this team either, with three players averaging more than nine boards per contest. Scoring was well dispersed just how we had expected with seven players averaging double figure points. However, the team did lack three point shooting, ranking last in the league in three-point percentage and three-pointers made, despite Devin Booker having the green light.
Over the course of the regular season, they played against the Golden State Warriors 3 times. The record between the two teams was 2-1, in favor of the Wildcats.
Game 1: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Golden State Warriors 115-110 (DeMarcus Cousins 31 points, John Wall 26 points – Stephen Curry 37 points, Kevin Durant 30 points)
Game 2: Golden State Warriors vs. Kentucky Wildcats 113-108 (Klay Thompson 40 points, Stephen Curry 27 points – Devin Booker 25 points, Karl-Anthony Towns 20 points)
Game 3: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Golden State Warriors 127-125 (Anthony Davis 45 points, Devin Booker 20 points – Kevin Durant 40 points, Stephen Curry 35 points)
The post-season was a breeze for the team, not losing a game for the first two rounds.
They beat the Indiana Pacers 4-0, and perhaps that was the last series for Paul George in a Pacers uniform, because after the game he said he wanted to compete for an NBA Championship.
After the Pacers, Kentucky Wildcats faced and swept the Celtics 4-0.
Boston didn’t have big men to stop Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns and DeMarcus Cousins. Isaiah Thomas was great with 34 points per game against the Wildcats.
Then came Cleveland, the matchup we had all hoped for. In the regular season, the Wildcats won two of the three outings, but the playoffs had elevated the stakes.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 109-114
Game One had all the pressure in the world, the young Wildcats thought they were ready, undoubtedly, they were not. Kyrie Irving had put on a display for the fans dropping 43 points and 8 assists. Dropping this game was significant for the Wildcats who were on a sixteen game win streak hoping to get back on track in game Two.
Anthony Davis was great with 30 points, 11 rebounds, but Devin Booker scored only 11 points, 1/7 from downtown.
LeBron James lead the Cavs with 25 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists. Cavs lead 1-0 in the series.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 108-112
Game Two was not a whole lot better as the Cavaliers silenced the state of Kentucky in a four-point shocker. Despite Bledsoe’s 21 points off the bench, the Cavaliers teamwork and ball movement was too much for the Wildcats.
Kevin Love was unstoppable with 27 points (7-10 3PTS). On the other side, John Wall had a triple-double with 15 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds.
Another lost for Kentucky, and Cleveland Cavaliers now have a 2-0 lead.
Kentucky Wildcats @ Cleveland Cavaliers 113-106
Uncle Drew was once again unstoppable on route to dropping 38 points and seven assists, but that wasn’t enough for the Cavaliers. The Wildcats bench destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers. Eric Bledsoe was great with 20 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo was one of the most important players tonight with 2 clutch shots and 10 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
Now, the series is 2-1 for the Cavs.
Kentucky Wildcats @ Cleveland Cavaliers 127-102
Nobody expected another win for the Wildcats tonight. DeMarcus Cousins was great with 41 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, 6 fouls, 1 technical foul and 3 conversations with the referees.
LeBron James was the only player who played on the highest level for the Cavs. He had 33 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. On the other side, Devin Booker hits 9 three-pointers (35 points).
It’s now 2-2. This is one of the best series in the last 20 years.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 116-112
This was the 3rd win in a row against LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a tough game, but Anthony Davis had the stats of the night. He was unstoppable with 37 points and 20 rebounds.
The next game is in Cleveland, and the Wildcats must win if they want to survive through to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Kentucky Wildcats @ Cleveland Cavaliers 97-126
Despite John Wall’s triple-double, the Cavaliers had not taken their foot off the gas for Game Six. The Wildcats were unable to get anything going, only shooting 25% from three-point range. Their interior presence was nearly negligible having allowed 36 points in the paint while only scoring 16 themselves.
It was an easy game for the Cavs. Irving, Love and James combined for 97 points, and now the series was tied at 3-3.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 101-97
In a slow-paced game, one of the best defenses in the league stopped the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James.
Nobody had more than 20 points for the Kentucky Wildcats (Davis 17 points, Wall 16 points, Cousins 13 points), but they had 57 rebounds (15 more than the Cavs).
After six NBA finals in a row, LeBron James wasn’t enough for theCavs to overcome Kentucky. He was great with 43 points, but he probably needs one more superstar to go up against the Wildcats again.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 4-3.
NBA Finals 2017
Golden State Warriors vs. Kentucky Wildcats
Everything is ready for the 71st NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors are again here, after they blew a 3-1 lead against the Cavs last season. In their first NBA season, the Kentucky Wildcats will play in the NBA Finals, and John Calipari can win his first NBA ring.
Golden State Warriors vs. Kentucky Wildcats 140-101
Kentucky had the worst game of their season. Only Davis was playing well, with 25 points. John Wall was 3/11 from the field, same as DeMarcus Cousins, who went 7/25.
Golden State Warriors vs. Kentucky Wildcats 115-113
113-113, 7 seconds left, and Kevin Durant hit a buzzer beater for the 2nd win against the Wildcats. That was tough, and now the Warriors have a 2-0 lead against the Kentucky Wildcats.
John Wall was great with 27 points and 7 steals, but that wasn’t enough the overcome the best offense in the league.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Golden State Warriors 107-97
The best defense against the best offense. Nerlens Noel and Julius Randle stunned the Warriors tonight. Noel had 15 points, 17 rebounds, and Randle was great with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Cousins and Davis scored 40 points combined, but the bench seal the win with a 47-20 points difference.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Golden State Warriors 117-109
Another win for Kentucky! Nobody expected them to win two games in a row against the Warriors. John Wall scored 15 points with 17 assists, and Eric Bledsoe was great with 17 points in the 4th quarter alone (25 points).
Stephen Curry hit 7 three-pointers, and finished the game with 37 points, but that wasn’t enough for the Warriors.
Now, the series is at 2-2, and this has turned into one of the most interesting Finals in NBA history.
Golden State Warriors vs. Kentucky Wildcats 121-103
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were great tonight. Durant had 44 points with 17 rebounds, but Klay Thompson was even better with 11 three-pointers. He finished the game with 37 points, and now the Warriors have a 3-2 lead.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 32 points with 20 rebounds in the loss.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Golden State Warriors 127-136
It’s all over. Game Six had all the pressure in the world for the Wildcats. They were really great tonight, but Golden State Warriors deserved to win the NBA Championship.
Stephen Curry was unstoppable with 39 points. Kevin Durant scored 37 points and 13 rebounds, and they had a 20 point lead in the 4th quarter.
Anthony Davis had 32 points, DeMarcus Cousins 27 and John Wall 22 points.
It was a great NBA Finals series, and the Kentucky Wildcats played great basketball.
The season was over for the Wildcats, losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Perhaps a team full of Kentucky alumni would be the key to bringing coach John Calipari to the NBA after many years. Through thick and thin, Calipari was correct about one thing. The Wildcats were definitely ready to compete and would unquestionably be fun to watch.
A roster like this would be beyond a super team, having at least nine players deserving max contracts. If you told me an NBA squad with KAT, Boogie and Wall leading the charge was a real and legitimate thing, I would have a hard time betting against the Wildcats.