View Full Version : Taking The Long View

05-08-2011, 12:57 PM
There seems to be a plethora of fans calling for teams like the Spurs and the Lakers to "blow up" their teams and rebuild, but to be frank, all this talk seems like immature, reactionary responces. If we look at what teams have done historically, most great teams have seen great disapointment in the playoffs.

The Spurs won in 99, and then went on to see the Suns knock them out of the playoffs in four games. Then they were swept by the Lakers the next season, and then again in 5 games to the Lakers the following season. But the Spurs management knew enough to stick to their guns, and as a result went on to win three more titles after having been knocked out for three straight years in 5 games or less.

Likewise the Lakers saw bitter defeat in the playoffs with Magic on their team. After winning the title in 1980, they were knocked out of the first round with an aging Kareem starting at center (33 years old), only to win it all the next year. The following year, with a 35 year old Kareem, they were swept by a young Moses Malone, and the year after were saw a 36 year old Kareem match-up with a much young Robert Parish and saw the Celtics beat them, but they stuck with their winning formula and went on to win again the next year. Then Hakeem tore it up against them and handed the Lakers a 4-1 series lost, while some may have questioned the aged play of Kareem, the team went on to win two more titles and make 4 more finals appearances, despite Kareem's aging body and Magic's post 30 year old play.

The Celtics also saw defeat. After winning 8 straight titles with Russell, a Boston team with the oldest average age 4-1 to Philly, but stuck with it and went on to win 2 more with the same core.

And in the 80s, lost to Philly one year, and were then SWEPT by the Bucks the following year. But went on to win it the next season with little change in their roster. The next season they lost again, but came back to win it, and didnt feel the need to "blow it up".

Likewise the Houston Rockets saw several playoff failures with Hakeem as the center piece, and even considered trading him, but even after MISSING the playoffs, they stuck with their core and won 2 titles.

Every year there are a handful of teams that are good enough to win it all. But only one team wins it. sometimes a team does have issues they need to get past. The Cavs for example desperately needed a defensive shooter guard with range. Iverson's 76ers were obviously lacking something.

But often times there are teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Dallas, yes even the Cavs, teams like the Pistons through the middle of the 00's, the Spurs, who see playoff failure, and keep their core and go onto win it all.

Obviously great teams stay afloat with an aging core due to great drafting (like the Lakers in the 80s), while other teams draft well and see tragedy take players away from them (the Celtics would have remained dominant through to the late 90s had Reggie Lewis and Len Bias not met with tragically early deaths). Not to mention that the season after their 08 title, the overwhelming majority of PSD fasn were claiming that Boston was too old, yet they went on to win the conference title last year, and are remain in contention this season.

But the bottom line is when you have special players like the Spurs do, like the Lakers do, and like other teams in the NBA's history have, it is important to take the long view of things. These teams do not lose because they cant win, it is just hard to win every year. It is hard to 4 straight conference titles, no matter who you are. And teams as good as Dallas are going to have good years. Teams like Chi-town will come up, or Memphis, or Atlanta, and they will see success. But that doesnt mean the teams that have lost cant win, it just means the league is competative.

So like all calm down for a second and take the long view on things. The spurs got 60+ wins for a reason this year. They have a graet team with a great combination of young, old and prime players. The Lakers still have one of the best teams in the league, EVEN IF THEY GET SWEPT!! Gasol, Kobe, Bynum, Odom, Artest...and guys like Barnes, Brown, Blake coming off the bench. Lets face it. This is a great team. They will be contending next season even if they fail to make a single change.

And yes, wen it comes to Howard, EVERY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE SHOULD BE CALLING ORLANDO TO PRY HIM AWAY!!!! HE IS THE BEST CENTER IN THE LEAGUE!!! That doesnt mean that LA has to blow up their team as HYPOTHETICAL Magic team that knows they are HYPOTHETICALLY losing Howard to free agency- this is not a fact right now- may be very eager to take Bynum and some draft picks, or offer him to a team willing to take on Arenas's contract as well. They could simply move one center and an expiring Walton contract to get Howard and Turk, or Howard and Arenas. But Howard would be an option for any team. Every team should be making call to Orlando.

So lets all take the long view and recognize that great teams have lost by lrage margins and have still gone on to win multiple titles afterward with the same core.