I've been thinking a lot about what it takes to win championships... does having 5 guys who play the prototypical positions (PG-SG-SF-PF-C) really matter? There's all this talk about.... Russell Westbrook isn't a pure PG, etc. but is that really important?
I don't think so. I think it's much more important to have a wide range of skill sets on one team.... So I thought I'd try and break these skill sets down as best as I could.
Closer: A closer can get a GREAT, high % shot when the clock is winding down because for every defense you throw at him, he has a counter... whether it's passing out of the double-team, attacking the basket if you take away the jumper, or being a a good enough shooter to bury the J if given too much room. (When I think about the past champions.... I think Kobe, The Truth, Manu, DWade, Chauncey)
Post Presence: the ability to get the ball down on the block and convert when your team's shots aren't falling and you need to stop the bleeding. When you think about it, it's ridiculous that there are so many jumpers taken when getting the ball on the block as the ball like 5-10 ft from the basket, which would seem to make the chance of the ball going in sky-rocket (Pau/Kobe, Truth, and I also thought Perkins was very effective in the post when they won, Duncan, Shaq, Chauncey, yes even though he's a PG)
~and an aside, i think this is LeBron's greatest weakness, how does he not have a post game?
Scrappy/Tenacious Defender: A guy who can really get under the opposing team's best player's skin... You're never going to completely shut down NBA stars, but if you can make them shoot a low % and have to work HARD for every shot, you give yourself a lot better chance of winning. (Ariza, Posey, Bowen, Posey again in Miami, Tayshaun)
Outside Shooting: 3 pointers are worth 50% more than 2's, which I think is the biggest reason that there is less posting up, and more outside shooting. I'm in favor of taking 3s, but not at all in favor of long 2's, unless you can hit em at a very high %. This opens up the floor for everyone and makes running any offense easier. Spacing is key in the NBA where these athletes cover the court like Defensive backs in football. (Ariza/Fisher, Allen/House/Posey, Bowen/Manu, Posey/JWill/Kapono, Tayshaun/Sheed/Chauncey)
Instant Offense/Energy off the Bench: NBA games go in runs... they are often won or lost in 10 minutes, even though the game goes 48... If you can play another teams starters to stand-still but are able to really build a lead when 2nd units come in for 5-10 minutes every half, you're going to have a significant advantage. The INSTANT, is even more important in the playoffs because of shorter bench rotations, and more minutes for starters. You have to come and do your damage RIGHT AWAY.... there's no time for heating up.... (Odom/Shannon Brown, House/Posey, Manu, Posey again, Detroit... didn't really have that Okur, I guess? they played their starters an ungodly amount, that's for sure.)
and finally, while it's not necessarily a skill, SIZE/LENGTH: you can't teach size, but size/wingspan... that all makes a difference. I think this is most important for TEAM DEFENSE. you shrink the court with big guys and long arms and that makes it infinitely more difficult for the other team to win.
The biggest reason to me the Magic didn't win the Lakers series? they weren't able to supply a tenacious defender to pester Kobe... (Pietrus got the job done against LeBron, but he wasn't at the same level against Kobe. Lee... was a far cry) and also, that instant offense/energy off the bench was lacking.... was that anthony johnson's minutes disappearing? lol, that might be a stretch, but i guess we'll never know.
whew, lemme know what you think. that was lengthy.
Also wanted to add someone with the ability to get to the FT line... Just as scoring in the post should be easier than just shooting jumpers, shooting 15 ft set shots from straight-away, WIDE OPEN is also easier. (Kobe, Pierce, Manu, Wade, Billups)
Great post, I think you covered about everything.
it's kind of crazy to think that Kobe can legitimately do all those things... besides the fact that he doesn't come off the bench. I'd be willing to bet though that in 5 years once his athletic gifts are deteriorating, he'll be willing to come off the bench and he will be that spark off the bench... I hate Kobe, but IMO he's the best in the game cuz he can do all that...
LeBron is still not good enough in the post, and his perimeter shooting is still suspect.
My question about the magic is, who's their closer now that Hedo is gone? Do they think that VC is that guy? IDK what I think about that.
who, besides the lakers, has all these parts? I think that Artest can replace Ariza as that pesky defender, the real question is if his 3pt shooting can match Ariza's playoff numbers... or if Vujacic can find his shot again, or if Fisher can keep it going for another year... the lakers also badly need to resign Odom IMO. He was the key off the bench.
I think that the Spurs have the best shot. I think they need Bowen back once he's released, but we'll see if RJ can be that defensive stopper. I like Roger Mason's outside shooting. I like the addition of Blair~ he gives them another legitimate post presence.
No one else has any other parts that make up championship teams... damn, i thought i was going to get some new knowledge