Earlier this year
NBL Roster Battles: Past vs Present
In the Goorjian thread, two posters claimed United has the greatest roster of all time.
I don't know who has the greatest roster ever. It’s an interesting question.
That discussion got me reminiscing about days of old, so I made a couple of posts about a great roster that never quite worked: The 2004/05 Tigers.
"Roster" I take to mean collection of individuals. “Team” refers to how those individuals work together. Clearly United of 2018 is the better team, but do they have a better roster?
As a direct comparison between 2005 and 2018 United, in a time machine matchup if I was coaching the Tigers:
Starters: Bradtke/Hoare vs Boone/Barlow
Bench: Stiff/Mottram vs Pledger/Jois/Smith Milner
At Centre Pick your poison really. Bradtke has the mid range game that Boone lacks. Boone is a bit more limited overall, Bradtke a bigger bag of tricks on the offensive end. On the other hand Boone is more athletic and runs the lane better, and a better rim protector. Both very strong rebounders.
2005 Bradtke gets the nod over 2018 Boone for mine.
Barlow’s a better 3 point shooter and more versatile defender than Hoare, but Hoare’s a smarter cutter and a better passer. Barlow by a whisker.
Stiff was a crafty player at both ends, and his defense gives him a slight edge over Pledger- who’s a bit slower on his feet.
I’ll take the veteran smarts of Stiff with Mottram over Pledger and Jois (who admittedly I haven’t seen much of yet, and may yet change my mind when I do!).
Advantage: Tigers. Just.
Starters: Tucker/DT vs Kennedy/McCarron
Bench: Copes/Corletto vs Goulding/Moller
Tucker and Kennedy are similar. Tucker is more explosive, and a better creator off the dribble. Kennedy more controlled and efficient. Tucker gets the nod, just.
DT is longer than McCarron and has a better mid range game. McCarron the better playmaker and ball handler. Both can hit the 3 but it isn’t their specialty. McCarron is no slouch on the defensive end, but DT’s length made him elite on that end. Another close one but I’ll give this to DT.
Goulding and Copes similar in style. But obviously Goulding streets ahead of the 2005 version of Copes at both ends. Having said that, Copes could still light it up- he could’ve been an impact player off the bench if Lindsay had utilised him for 15-20 minutes a game off the bench. Instead, he was going up against starting 2’s and his shooting efficiency was heading south. Lindsay didn’t think of doing what Vickerman has done with Goulding this year. Moller gives the United group extra athleticism and D, Corletto was young at that stage, but provided scoring punch.
Advantage: United. The Tigers have no match for Goulding off the bench.
Starting: Gaze vs Ware
Bench: D-Mac vs Hooley (I’d go with D-Mac as 6th man because Gaze is a better compliment to Tucker and DT. D-Mac in the starting 5 would make outside shooting a major weakness).
Ware would torch Gaze. (If this was a real matchup, DT would be switched onto Ware). Gaze in 2005 was still a very good offensive player but his overall game was nowhere near MVP type level of Ware.
Off the bench, D-Mac dominates Hooley. Hooley is a good defender, but doesn’t bring too much offensively. D-Mac was one of the greatest playmakers and passers of all time. Had the ball on a string. 2004-05 was the least productive season of his entire career (he was reportedly struggling with Ostietis Pubis around that time) but his assist and steals numbers were still elite on a per minute basis.
Advantage: United. Except when Casper’s having a breather.
Overall United has the advantage.
4 of the 5 starting matchups were close, with Tigers winning 3 of those for mine, but Ware comfortably over Gaze means United has the better starting 5.
Goulding is the best player off the bench for either team, but Tigers have the edge overall- Stiff/Mottram/Copes/Corletto/D-Mac is exceptional depth across the board. Stiff and Mottram is a strong big man combination, D-Mac an elite level playmaker, with Copes and Corletto making it rain. I’d keep Tucker or DT on court at all times, to keep one athletic wing on the court and cover the main weakness of that bench group.
United is more athletic, and has better defenders. Tigers older and slower but have quality offensive players in every spot, with creators and shooters and then Bradtke in the middle- who could fill it up around the hoop or from mid range.
So, hop into the time machine and give us your hypothetical roster battle.
What IS/WAS the greatest roster of all time?