I can't help but feel a sense of satisfaction by watching the Spurs dismantle the dream team. As good as the Heat have been, they really should only have one title. The spurs were the better team last year, and save for one fortunate rebound and three point heave, THEY would be the defending champs.
Hopefully a new age of ball and player movement will grow from this display. Yes, the spurs have a couple of all-Stars, but the aging vets and willing role players is what stirs the drink. Diaw showing the importance of of a PF ability to pass, attack off of the dribble, and score enough in both the post and perimeter to keep teams honest. Mills just comes off the bench to knock down threes and provide energy. Leonard attacks the rim, and has a pull-up and perimeter game that gets better each year. Ginobli, crazy at times, creates points in many ways...mostly by passing and attacking. Green, Splitter, etc fil their roles perfectly. Of course Parker and Duncan are the glue, and naturally Pop leads with an iron fist...but draws upon his veteran leadership from players as well. Lost sometimes is the ability to keep players for multiple years, as playing with the same group of good players in the same system makes them that much better. Everyone moves, everyone passes and everyone attacks. Pace, not random fast breaks, both provides scoring chances, but wears down opponents, who can't just stand and watch one guy dribble for six seconds.
I have said many times that the style and pace of the Spurs should be the blueprint for success. No matter what player joins them, they seem to look and play better. Everyone contributes... And no one gets a reprieve from being benched for someone who is playing better. The rare qualities of Parker and Duncan accepting criticism without demanding star treatment defines who the Spurs are. You do what the coach says, or you don't play. I love it. You think Pop cares how much someone makes when he is subbing players in games?
As far as what the Celtics should take from this... Is that we have a few pieces that can follow the blueprint detailed above. Rondo (like Parker) and KO (like Diaw) have unique skills that translate nicely into this type of play, but we just don't have enough playmaking ability, especially from our wings. We need guys who can attack off of the dribble and pass effectively. Green, Bradley, Bayless, Wallace, just don't have the court awareness or playmaking skills needed to accent a movement-based offense. Folks sometimes criticize a guy like Hayward by looking at particular stats (on a team with no offensive direction) and try to compare him to Bradley, or others? What you can't measure is the EFFECT of Hayward's passing and attack skills in a motion offense. Players that can create for themselves and others are what we should be looking for in trade and the draft. One dimensional offensive players can be of some use ( Korver for example), but they need to be ELITE shooters to justify their spot in the rotation. We have too many one dimensional players who lack the ability to attack the rim (watch how many times any Spur gets a pass and then uses the defender's close out movement to drive around him ... And then pass to another open man when help comes). The Celtics get very little of this, and thus rely on spot up jumpers created by Rondo... A predictable ( and losing) strategy.
Hopefully we can pick up players who fit my ideal mold, because I still feel that ten good players with the skills and attitude I listed above can regularly beat a few stars with one on one skill. Yes, it's nice to have that one all - world guy, but if he is not available, a collection of willing movers, attackers and passers is at least very fun to watch.
And in the case of the Spurs, very very successful.