Wizards

Wizards

In his latest column, NBC Sports' NBA insider Tom Haberstroh detailed the 1-on-1 matchup that got away between Shaquille O'Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon. 

The heavyweight bought was supposed to be broadcast on pay per view in the 1990s, pitting two of the most dominant big men ever against each other. Unfortunately, injuries caused the event to get canceled and we never got to see Shaq and Hakeem go back and forth in the low post. 

So that got us thinking, which 1-on-1 matchups would be the most exciting for Wizards players to participate in?

John Wall vs. Russell Westbrook

Who wouldn't want to see two of the most explosive guards in NBA history square off without any help defenders to ruin the fun at the rim? 

This 1-on-1 would need at least 50 different camera angles to capture the absurdity of each player's moves and trainers would have to be on hand with multiple extra pairs of shoes. 

The winner of this matchup might be whoever can find their jump shot faster. 

Bradley Beal vs. Devin Booker

Beal and Booker are considered two of the best shooting guards in the NBA and both put up impressive counting stats as high-usage weapons on their respective teams. 

This has the potential to be an exciting bout since both players had public issues with the All-Star selection process this season. Both were left off the rosters, though Booker was eventually added as an injury replacement for Damian Lillard. 

 

Each player has something to prove, each player is insanely good, and each player plays the same position. Sign me up. 

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Davis Bertans vs. Kristaps Porzingis

Bertans isn't quite the scorer Porzingis is, but it'd be hard not to watch two Latvian-born, sharpshooting big men go head-to-head. 

I mean, let's be real. This would basically be a contest of who can hit the deepest three imaginable. And Porzingis has a significant height advantage on Bertans, which means the 'Latvian Laser' would have to stretch his range out even more. Just how Bertans likes it.

Bradley Beal vs. Jayson Tatum

In this matchup, Beal and Tatum could take their Drew Hanlen workouts public in a battle between St. Louis' finest hoopers. 

The footwork, the tight ball-handling, the shotmaking; All of it would be a treat to watch for any basketball fan.

John Wall vs. Ja Morant

The Grizzlies' rookie phenom is the closest thing we've seen to John Wall since John Wall, so it'd be pretty fun to watch the two go back-and-forth and a 1v1. Similar to the Westbrook matchup, we'd definitely need a bunch of different camera angles and extra shoes ready for these elite athletes. 

Could Morant beat the original supreme speed threat in the NBA? Maybe, but Wall would have the strength advantage here given Morant is still just 20 years old.

If I'm Wall, I take Morant down to the block and show him how a big guard goes to work.

Honorable mention: Rui Hachimura vs. Tobias Harris

Hachimura drew some unfortunate comparisons to Kawhi Leonard after the Wizards drafted him, but Harris' game is more similar to the rookie's development trajectory. Harris came into the league as a bigger wing without much of a three-point stroke. 

Hachimura is probably farther along as a shooter at this stage, so it'd be interesting to see if Hachiumra picks up a thing or two from a veteran who's turned into a legit scorer and shooter on a contender.

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