Posted February 22, 2013 - 01:35 AM
The league is different...starting to really come down on high-payroll teams. We put all of our eggs in the basket for Kobe, Shaq, Gasol, and others who brought home hefty checks...whether they deserved them or not.
That's the sacrifice to win championships.
When you do this, when you focus on your core and filling it with superstars and all-stars, you can't put together a team like the Thunder, who can roll into the draft and select the next big thing at his position...or a team like Denver, who has a lot of talented role players, yet no superstar to put them over the elites.
Consequently, for those teams, they have to go through processes that us, as fans, wouldn't be able to handle. One (the Thunder) were the Sonics, a team sold because of many factors, some relating to their lack of winning...and the other (the Nuggets) who had to ditch their superstar scorer and, previously, go through a total of nine losing seasons (out of eleven) to land Melo in the draft.
What did that mean for Denver? Since drafting Melo, they have lost in the first round eight times...in nine completed seasons.
My point was, these players that we supposedly missed out on...well, some of them are still sitting at home, so 29 other franchises must have missed out as well.
Others? Gerald Green hasn't amounted to anything, and he would likely be the same player he is in Indiana. I could write basically the same thing I did earlier, but you get the picture.
No team in NBA history has been an excellent, top-of-the-notch team relating to superstar free agency, role player free agency, the draft, AND trades all at once. None, not even the Spurs, who drafted their core and never rake in a big-name superstar free agent OR come up with a major trade that shakes the league.
Lakers fans are spoiled. While Toronto fans are hoping that Rudy Gay turns them into a bottom four seed in the playoffs next season, we're trying to figure out how our next dynasty will be put together BEFORE Kobe retires. A lot of us are already done thinking about this season or a possible playoff run, given that most don't believe we can beat the Thunder or Heat (let alone a few other squads)...doesn't really matter to us where we finish if it's not on top.
We did bring in Jamison for the Princeton, and that's where he would have fit in best. We brought in Meeks for that offense and for Nash to run the floor with (spotting up for three, like almost all of Nash's teammates have done over the years). We constructed a team for a particular coach, and a particular offense...and since then, we've had two coaching changes, two major injuries to starters (Nash, Gasol), a major injury to Jordan Hill, we lost Steve Blake for quite some time, and Dwight Howard is slowly returning to form.
The front office can't go out and shuffle players like it's NBA 2K13. Our coach, and our players, must find a way to play this game that utilizes our strengths, somewhat hides our weaknesses, and keeps players happy and wanting to produce each night. It was D'Antoni's job to see what Earl Clark was, as a player, during practices and live game play...not Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill's jobs to get hurt and have Clark replace them in the lineup. It's Dwight and Nash's job to execute the P&R better...and more often. It's Kobe's job to shoot as efficiently as he did in the first half of the season. It's Gasol's job to be more aggressive closer to the rim, even if his intentions are to facilitate. It's Ron's job to limit the threes and locate the defensive help on the court, to lead his man into that help as a high-IQ defender.
We can add CDR, West, or K-Mart...but it does no good, just like we realized when we added Dwight and Nash, if we aren't executing on both ends of the court in the best way possible.