Whether it is good or bad for us C's fans, the Dwightmare is finally over. That also put an end to my dream of DH12 going green. I know he has his flaws, but that doesn't change the fact that he is still the most dominant Big Man in the NBA right noe. On my part, the trade is an insult to injury, because he was traded "lopsidedly" to the C's longtime rivals, the LA Lakers. After their recent addition of an MVP (but old, nonetheless, still an MVP) in Steve Nash, now they got Dwight. I think I already said all the bad words in the world when I saw the headline this morning, and my reaction was like the Ray Allen signing with the Heat news, but multiplied by a million. Another superstar going to Lakers? WTF?(excuse for the word) Why are all the players going to LA? Then I calmed down, gradually calmed down, then I reflected and a question came to my mind, they are an all-star team on paper, but do they have what t takes to win it all?
There is no doubt on the Laker roster, they have the most talented team in the NBA right now...... on paper. They shipped out Bynum + picks, and got a Howard + fillers (Duhon and Clark to add to bench depth), a totally lopsided trade in my opinion. At first I saw the first news of including Gasol in the trade, and although I want DH12 I was happy because the Lakers are the losers there. But in the final trade Gasol was not included, and its doomsday time for the teams not named Lakers. My feeling at that moment is that I'm totally frustrated. I just thought that why is my team not doing any blockbuster moves like that? The C's is one of the best teams in the NBA but why aren't they bolstering their team with superstars like let say the Heat, Lakers, or even the Nets? Considering Ainge is the pioneer of creating super teams, it's a bit frustrating as a fan watching other teams go stronger and the C's remain passive. We have a strong team, but is it enough to contend with other emerging teams as we are seeing right now?
Going back to the trade, well I know what you are thinking right now, WTH the Lakers are so strong right now? Better think again, they are just strong on paper AS OF NOW. They have many things to prove before concluding that they will tie are team with number of championships. I will give my personal perspective with the trade and it is up to you if you'll agree to me or not.
Chemistry, the art of finding your role with the team
They got Nash, they got Howard, and if you don't know what chemistry means you better go to Prof. KG to give you some baking analogy for better understanding. It is hard, especially for players with egos, to have chemistry with other players especially if those players are superstars. They cannot easily swallow their egos for Kobe Bryant that immediate, it takes time. Even the Heat, having the best player in the planet in Lebron James, took a year before finally finding his role with the Heat and eventually become champions. Nash is the PG, no doubt, but can you expect him not to shoot and always pass the ball to Kobe, Gasol, and Howard? I mean he still has the credentials to be a go-to guy and it's still always at the back of his mind. Yes, Howard is the Center, and don't expect him to be selfless, if you don't give him the ball he'll crash you using his right bicep alone. He is a superman, he needs the limelight to exist. Just think over this, if the Lakers had Gasol whining for not giving him the ball in the post during playoffs last season (and even in the season in their losing streaks), how much more that he'll be a 3rd or even 4th option on offense now? Having a Howard, an Artest, a Bryant, in your locker room, unless you have a strong veteran leadership like the C's, that team will turn into chaos. There is not such thing as roles, only a play exclusive to Kobe.
There is no question around here, the talent of their first five is the total opposite of their bench. As of now their bench is comprised of Duhon, Blake, Clark, Jamison and I don't know. Well if their first five can play the whole 48min then fine, this issue is closed. But Kobe is 33, Nash is 38, Gasol is 33, and Artest is 31, unless they are that lucky that even injuries cooperates with them with all that wear and tear then fine, I won't watch NBA anymore.
NBA right now is an era of run-and-gun
Lakers has the most dominant frontcourt in the NBA right now, again, no doubt about that. But in an era where Centers, I mean true Centers, has been scarce, teams have been converted to run-and-guns also known as small ball line-ups. Just seeing Dwight and Pau covering the interior will make you run, literally. Teams can overpower LA's frontcourt by running, until their five let there tongues out. With all the power that Dwight has, still, he cannot win against are Wilcox in running. As you can see no one in the Lakers 5 can or loves to run, not even Kobe. Have you seen how the Nuggets pushed them to Game 7 because of running? BUT you can only do that if you can win rebounding against those two, and that's another issue. You cannot run if you cannot secure the rebound, that is evidenced by the performance of the C's last season. They make stops because of their great defense, but they cannot secure the rebound so as a result, they cannot also run and worst, the opponent gets the offensive rebound and puts a point. But the point here is, if a team with great defense can make stops and run, that would be the kryptonite of the Lakers.
LA is not assured that Dwight will be back to his old self prior the surgery
I don't actually have great support with this fact but I only thought of what Deron Williams said about Howard upon knowing that he'll end his season due to a surgery from an herniated disk (yes, that's the same injury that's why Sullinger was removed from lottery and fell to us), he said something like the injury is serious and usually players don't get back to their original form even after surgery and rehabilitation. He even gave Deshawn Stevenson as an example who is a very athletic player but upon having back injuries, but was converted to a player who just shoots 3pters in the corner and annoy Lebron (DWill did not say the latter part). But the point here is, whatever injury Dwight had it is not an assurance that he'll be as productive as he was prior the surgery, especially his kind of player who depends his play on athleticism ALONE
P.S. Deron said in the end of his statement that Howard is a different specimen so we'll never know. He is really a friend, isn't he?
The game of who will hold the ball the longest
Just having Kobe on your roster will make you think of who will hold the ball the longest. Well, primarily because he is arguably one of the best players currently in the NBA right now. Basically, he has the say to act like that. But how about the 8M dollar Nash, the 19M dollar Gasol, and now the 19M Howard? They will be paid as such just to rebound, defend, complete the first five, and pass to Kobe? As I've said, Gasol's diminishing performance has nothing to do with his talent. It's about the plays that Mike Brown is executing, forcing him to stay in the perimeter and let Bynum play in the post. He is not KG who has a deadly jumper, he is Gasol the occasional jump shooter. Now that Howard is in Laker land, expect Gasol to cry more, together with Dwight, until Kobe let them feel the ball, even for once every 12min.
Coach Mike Brown
Let us put it this way, having an allstar team also means to have an allstar coach. Because if not? those players will just spit on your face and will not listen to whatever you coach. And the worst part, if your team wins credit is on the players, and if they lose burden is to the coach. Just looked what happened to Erik Spoelstra and the Heat, if they didn't became the eventual Champions I doubt he still has his job now. Can you still remember Wade bumping his coach during one of the timeouts in the Indiana series because they are losing at that time? That's the point, players, especially those with egos needs to have a well-respected coach in order for them to listen. Don't get me wrong, Brown is a good coach, but not a Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers type of coach, absolutely not. If he was not able to control Lebron when they were in Cleveland, how much more now that he has a Kobe and a Superman? If they lose, Brown will be crashed by Howard's right bicep alone.
Kobe Bryant, Alpha Male but not a leader
Lastly, Kobe Bryant. With all the talent he showcased in the NBA world, still, he is not a player who can make his team to fight together. He is a great closer, but not a leader. He wins games because of ability, not because he fires the heart of his teammates to hang on and tell them that never say die. Watch him, when they are trailing on a lead, he just keeps making 3pters, if it shoots well good for them, that usually starts a rally and then they win the game. But if the shots is not going in, they lose. Is that a leader? He decides a game for himself, he thinks that he can win a game alone. Fisher is a leader, Battier is a leader, KG is a leader, you can see them motivate their teammates. A leader awakens your adrenaline informing you that you have teammates to back you up. For me, that's the secret formula of the C's. Despite their lack of talent compared to other contenders, they have a Doc, a KG, and sometimes even Pierce and Rondo, to boost their teammates confidence to bring their all to every game. Kobe should be that leader, he is an Alpha Male, but definitely not a leader. Can you just imagine how Kobe and Howard will clash when one of them commit a mistake to play that could have won them a game and you see Coach Brown, Gasol, and Nash just watching over them? Who will stop them? Steve Blake? I doubt, he doesn't want any of those death threats again. The point is, in a team especially filled with superstars, you should have atleast one leader. If not the coach, then atleast one of the players. If not, well, it's up to you to judge what will happen.
Again, these are just points to ponder upon. This is not necessarily accurate but speculations that the Lakers can face on creating such super team. I don't even know if this is the right blog site to share these things, but of course we benefit from our opponent's downfall. Whatever happens, the Lakers will remain a strong team. Same goes with the Celtics. Whatever happens there is still half of the season to evaluate what this team lacks and the trade deadline for Ainge to execute the necessary moves to fill those gaps and eventually construct a team that will contend for a championship. And take not that the C's are great players in the trade deadline, they have young assets with good contracts appropriate to level of talent (Bradley, Bass, Green, Lee), a very flexible contract (Paul Pierce, only if the price is right, Team Option next year), rookies with great potentials (Sullinger, Melo, Joseph - their value will depend on their performance), picks, and the Bi-Annual Exception. The C's are still under the Luxury tax, but they already have depth, talent, and flexibility to improve more if needed and to compete for a championship. They have a really great position, if you will compare to other teams like Rockets or the Nets who invested for a team who won't even be competitive enough to fight for a Conference Finals. As for the Lakers, Don't worry about Dwight, we have the second coming of Perk in Jason Collins AKA "The Dwight Howard Stopper", let KG man Gasol, let Pierce make it hard for Artest to defend him, let Bradley, Lee and Terry pest Kobe and his old legs, and let Rondo show Nash whom to be his successor.
Always remember.. all too much, is bad.
Good Day C's Fans.