The list of superstars sidelined during the 2013 NBA playoffs makes for an impressive roster. How impressive? We asked a Western Conference scout to assess the walking wounded's chances if they were a healthy squad competing in the postseason:
"That's the highest scoring team in the league. Rondo has to start; he's the only real playmaker on the roster. But I'd play Westbrook and Rose with him. That's a matchup nightmare, and Westbrook is strong enough to defend some small forwards. Or you could play a matchup zone and use their speed on the perimeter. They could score 110 to 115 points per game just by pushing the ball and playing like the Nuggets. The bigs are built for it too. Stoudemire is great in the open floor and a perfect rolling big. Lee is a great rebounder who is used to playing with volume shooting guards. I'd be a little worried about the lack of size behind Amar'e. But this group can send waves of athletic, versatile scorers at you. It would run any team out of the building."
Bottom line: Second seed overall—behind the Heat, ahead of the Thunder.
Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Kobe Bryant
David Lee, Amar'e Stoudemire
Derrick Rose, Danny Granger, Danilo Gallinari
GREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (WESTBROOK)
GARRETT W. ELLWOOD/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (LEE)
ELSA/GETTY IMAGES (STOUDEMIRE)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (BRYANT)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (RONDO)