With the 2004 - 2005 season behind us, and a newly crowned championship hanging out with Larry O'Brien - a champion that doesn't wear Green and White, my thoughts turned to where the C's matchup with the league's elite and what it will take to get them over the hump.
On a broader scale than a player by player analysis, I got to thinking of what it takes to really build a championship NBA team. Looking at the prior champs since 1986, its pretty apparent what the formula is.
Every NBA championship in the last 19 years, with one exception has had 1 lock Hall of Fame player, 1 solid all-star, and a mix of glue/hustle guys. Here's the list:
1986 - Bird, McHale, Parish, etc....
1987 - Magic, Worthy, Kareem, Scott,
1988 & 1989 - Isiah, Dumars, Rodman, Satan (Laimbeer)
1990 through 1993 - Mike & Scottie
1994 - Dream, Cassel, Horry, Jet
1995 - Dream, Drexler, Horry, etc
1996 through 1998 - Mike & Scottie again
1999 - Duncan, Robinson, Elliot
2000 through 2002 - Shaq, Kobe, Horry
2003 - Duncan, Robinson, Parker, Ginobli
2004 - The only outlier in 19 years
2005 - Duncan, Robinson, Parker, Ginobli
NBA Champ = HallofFamePlayer + 1AllStar + (1-2)GlueGuys
As you can see, every team has at least one all-time player, save for the recently unseated Pistons team. One can make three good cases on the 2004 Pistons team, (a) they are a group of five B level stars that over came the odds, (b) off court issues crushed the dysfunctional Lakers, (c)without Fisher's ridiculous 0.4 shot, it would have been the Spurs in the finals and we just saw how that plays out.
I also think of Jordan's Bulls as a bit of an outlier. Realistically, I think it takes a dominant bigman to really get to the NBA promiseland. Jordan didn't really have it, but he did have a Top 50 all-time player in Pippen and lets face, Jordan is unlike anyone else ever in pro sports.
Now looking at this list and comparing the formula to the current Celtics roster, I let you draw your own conclusions. My personal opinion is that our biggest star, Pierce is not a lock hall of famer, however he fits perfectly as the 2nd all-star in this formula. Can Al become that mortal lock HOF guy? G-Money certainly has the potential to be a great player, however I'm not sure if his upside is worlds away from where Pierce is now. Gomes has glue guy written all over him, which is exactly what the team needs now. Time will tell with all the kids. Other than Al though the Celts don't have a ton of upside in their bigs. Maybe DA can swing a blockbuster for a KG type guy, but bottom line, this team is still missing a big piece of the championship formula.
Here's the data: