The Cycle Continues

Posted by By at 2 March, at 15 : 26 PM Print

The Celtics have Garnett, Pierce, and Allen. The Heat have LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. The Lakers have Kobe, Gasol, and..uum..Ron Artest. The Spurs have Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili. The Knicks have Amar’e, Melo, and look set to sign a free agent guard next season, if there is a season. It seems the league is getting back to it’s roots of teams dominated by multiple superstars.

The Lakers teams of the 80′s had Kareem, Worthy, and Magic and did pretty well, winning championships in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988. The Celtics teams of the early-mid 60′s had Cousy, Russell, and Havlicek. They won consecutive titles from 1960 – 1966 and again in 1968 & 1969.  The 80′s edition Celtics had the group that coined the phrase the “Big 3″ in Bird, McHale, and Parish and rode them to trophies in 1981, 1984, and 1986.

The 90′s were dominated largely by Jordan’s Bulls, with the Rockets’ back-to-back titles in ’94 & ’95 mixed in lead by Olajuwon & Drexler. Shaq & Kobe teamed up to lead the Lakers to consecutive titles from 2000-2002 with a solid supporting cast. Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili lead the way to the Spurs titles in 2003, 2005, and 2007. The anomaly of the decade came in 2006 when Wade put the team on his back to lead the Heat to the championship. The Celtics brought together their “Big 3″ part III together in 2008 to win the title their first year together.

So what’s coming for 2011 onward? It looks like more of the same. The days of a team with one superstar and a very solid supporting cast or two superstars and a solid cast appear to be history. Now the model seems to be lets get the three best players our salary cap will allow and fill in the pieces at the best value or find players willing to take a pay cut for the chance of winning a title. The Heat are putting that experiment to the test this season and have largely been successful with it so far.

The Knicks appear to be the next team to follow suit and Donnie Walsh is the mastermind behind this building process. In already securing Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony his eyes are surely set on bringing in one of the soon-to-be free agent point guards Deron Williams or Chris Paul to run the show. Whether or not they can play enough defense to win remains yet to be seen, but the plan appears to be in the works.

Is there another team on the horizon of building a deadly threesome? In looking around the league it’s tough to say. The Thunder lead by Durant & Westbrook appear close. The acquisition of Kendrick Perkins wouldn’t rate as a third superstar, but it is exactly what they needed. The Bulls have Rose, Deng, and Noah, but the later two don’t quite rate up to Rose’s level yet. The Magic have been constantly looking for pieces to surround Dwight Howard with, but have unsuccessfully come up with the right formula to this point. The Mavericks trifecta of Dirk, Kidd, and Butler is decent and with the depth they have to support them could prove to be a winning formula once all are healthy.

The makeup of the 3 doesn’t appear to be concrete right now. When the Celtics formed their latest group Rondo wasn’t considered good enough to lead a team to a title, but blossomed. While the Heat’s Big 3 don’t contain a point guard per say, LeBron handles the ball handling duties more often than not and in crunch time. The Spurs have been lead by Tony Parker. So the conventional wisdom would be that one of the positions needs to be a point guard and with there being as many good-to-great point guards in the league right now as we’ve seen in years I would co-sign that theory. But then again, I’m writing about this not actually putting a team together so I’ll just sit back and watch the professionals do their job and write about it.

The Low Post

Related Posts

One Comment

  1. Edwin, 8 years ago Reply

    Good stuff G. The NBA is becoming a fantasy league. This is what the NBA needed. It is struggling financially with a lot of empty seats in many arenas until one of these start studded teams comes through like the Heat. I still think that – in the long run – 4-5 teams need to be contracted. At the point the Heat’s model and what NY is attempting to do can be replicated in many more cities.

Post Your Comment