Consistency On Top of Talent

by

The three best teams in the NBA are the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio.  So far.  Injury can always change things, and all three teams are prone to injury because of their age and history of injury.  However, it has become clear that when these teams have their stars at full health (or close enough if your name is Kobe Bean Bryant), they are impervious to other ballers.  It is team consistency on top of talent and skill that makes these teams so good.

Someone get Rondo a time machine.

The Boston Celtics have had their core of Garnett, Pierce, Allen, and Rondo together since the 2007-2008 season, wherein they won a championship.  Since then, they’ve made it to the back to the Finals, barely losing last year, pretty much due to their starting center getting unpredictably hurt halfway through the game.  This year, they are 10-4 with a 7 point differential.  Rondo’s high assist count is indicative of the consistency they have after four years together.  Watch them play and you can see the offense is crisp (100 ppg). The defense will pick up after Kendrick Perkins returns.  But they’re already currently everything most teams can handle.  With Pierce, Garnett, Rondo all shooting %50 or better, Shaq at 60%, and Allen at 48%, they are chucking with major success.  It seems that boredom or hubris are the only things keeping them from a perfect record.  Doc Rivers has been at the helm since 2007-2008 as well.  Keeping the same coach and system obviously bares fruit as well.

No, no! A Rusty Venture is when you . . .

The core of the Los Angeles Lakers has been around almost as long as Boston’s.  In 2007-08, the Lakers traded a pack of cigarettes and a stack of old porno mags for Pau Gasol.  With Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Lamar Odom already in position and familiar with each other, the addition of Gasol helped get them to the Finals, where they were crushed by the Celtics.  Since then, the Lakers and GCOAT Phil Jackson have won consecutive championships.  The Laker’s dominance this year has come at the cost of inferior teams.  But there’s a lot of those when you’re the two-time champs.  Still, they are 12-2 with an 11 point differential.  For examples of how they benefit from consistency, look at Matt Barnes and Pau Gasol.  Both had perfect shooting nights (at least 20 points) within a 4 day span.  The vast majority of those makes came on assists.  With Ron Artest, who basically won game 7 of the Finals, fully integrated and good additions like Barnes and Blake, the Lakers are sitting pretty for another championship run.  It would be a three-peat.  It would be Kobe’s second.  It would be Phil’s 4th.  There’s a lot of momentum.  There’s a lot of symmetry.  There’s Jordania and NBA history at stake.  Sounds like Kobe time to me.

Maaaan, she won't EVA find out about it neither. Get it? EVA find out?

Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker have been playing professional basketball, and I do mean professional basketball, since the 2002-2003 season.  I used to root against those Spurs because they were so dominant, and . . . professional.  But now that I am older and wiser, like the Spurs, I love it.  I love to see them dominate the league based on consistency and togetherness.  The Spurs are currently on an 11 game winning streak.  They are shooting excellently as a team (47%) and especially from three (44%).  And while those 2000’s Spurs were known for defensive stands, this group is more known for offense, and lots of it.  The Spurs currently average 108 ppgs, only the Lakers score more.  With Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker at the helm, they are looking extremely hard to beat.

It’s no surprise that these teams are dominant early in the season.  It’s usually not until February that less consistent teams start to shore up, and injuries start hitting older player.  But however the standing shake out, these three teams will still be in the playoffs.  And with health and consistency on top of talent, the three teams will be the favorites.

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2 Responses to “Consistency On Top of Talent”

  1. jpalumbo Says:

    If we had any Orlando Magic fan readers the steam coming out of their ears would burn right through their Mickey Mouse hats.

    And I completely agree with everything you wrote up there. Also it’s not your fault you hated watching the Spurs in the grind it out mid-’00s. Did you watch them sweep the Cavs in 2007? I suffer temporary blindness every time I try to remember those awful, awful games.

  2. High Above Courtside Says:

    Glad to see San Antone getting some copy. They deserve it for the way they’ve started the season.

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