Doctor MJ wrote:Colbinii wrote:The-Power wrote:I wholeheartedly agree. I truly believe limiting roster turnover and developing internally is one of the most under-appreciated aspects building successful teams. I am so happy that the Warriors value players that are familiar with the system and understand their roles. It has paid off big time in the past and present.
I understand that a bad team tries to change things up and find its core for the future, and I also believe that teams that are good for a long time need some fresh blood every now and then. But if you are a team with a solid core, I believe keeping that growing together as a team and improving considerably as a result is not only possible but often a superior strategy. Of course, this is not to say that keeping all 15 players is the way to go – but having a foundation of core and role players in place is invaluable in my opinion.
Of course I'll add that this only applies to teams in which coaches and star players actually try to develop a team identity beyond a single season – which is what I want from my team, but it's not a given around the league.
This works when you have a coach, GM and player all on the same page but ita difficult.
The Cavaliers didn't develop anything around LeBron James during his first tenure there and its clear LeBron realized he has had to take matters into his own hands. He held out for false hope already and instead assumes no franchise is miraculously as good as Utah, Golden State or San Antonio at cultivating a winning culture organically.
Damian Lillard has attempted this and his team has had little to no playoff success, in part because they haven't been able to add a Draymond Green or even Klay Thompson level of player around Lillard. The one player the did have, LaMarcus Aldridge, couldn't stand Lillard having the perceived spot light and left.
The Oklahoma City Thunder had this going, lost Harden due to a cheap-o owner and still attempted to cultivate within but those players rarely developed (and the one that did, Reggie Jackson) quickly left for greener pastures and a greener bank account.
Its easy to be a Warriors fan and say "Hey, look how easy it is". Frankly, they are in the minority, and teams have attempted the same around their stars but have not had nearly as much luck as the Warriors.
It is indeed difficult and we should be careful in praising the Warriors' core too much about it given that they pulled in KD.
With that said, while I don't fault LeBron for what happened in his first Cavs tenure, the reality is that the Cavs DID build up a good role player infrastructure around him. What they lacked was a second superstar talent, and the thing there is: I don't think you can really blame the Cavaliers organization for lacking that talent. A lot went into that, including Cleveland's less than enticing location for NBA elites, and LeBron's own reluctance to commit to staying there.
Well LeBron did commit to staying there for 7 years. He lost to a "superteam" in 2008 and 2010 where he is staring down Pierce surrounded by Garnett and Allen while he has nobody of that caliber.
Clearly we can't expect anyone to not be upset about losing to teams with more talent--and that happened in Cleveland in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
In hindsight it easy to criticize LeBrons decision.
What isn't easy is understanding the logical thinking behind his decisions.
I think the shame is that LeBron seems like he may have learned the lesson from his times in Cleveland that in the end it's only superstar talent that matters. Yes, when you're contending you want your role players to be as settled into your system as possible, but you aren't winning a title without fellow superstars.
Thats what happens when you should have won in 2015 but injuries cause you to lose, you then win in 2016 and are set up to win again in 2017 only for your "rival" to add one of the best basketball players in the NBA to your team. It makes sense logically for anyone in LeBrons should to say "We need more top end talent to compete" because they did need more top end talent to compete.
If you look at that and say "I kinda think that's true though, so is LeBron really wrong?" There I'd say it's not so much that LeBron's wrong to want other superstar talents with him, but that he may not be recognizing that even with superstar talents, fit matters.
The truth is that the Heatles were not the massive upgrade over the '08-09 Cavs that the chips would seem to indicate, and the only reason they were better in the end is because the 3rd alpha on the team (Bosh) stopped playing like an alpha, and turned into something more like a super-role player. People criticize Bosh for that, but it was HUGE for the Heat that he did that, and did it well.
I agree, and Bosh was a better role player than any other role player LeBron has played with. Star players tend to figure things out and figure out how to win.
I've been hot and cold on LeBron's big picture team strategy since he left Miami. I didn't think the move back to Cleveland was particularly basketball-smart but it basically worked out. I didn't think the move to the Lakers made sense based on the roster they had, but when LeBron brought AD in I was very high on what was done. I took the focus on AD, and the rapid development of a defense-focused philosophy under Vogel as a sign that LeBron really was thinking this stuff through in a way he didn't when he was younger.
I think LeBron clearly saw LA as a place where people as good as Kyrie wouldn't want to leave. He knew he could get a 2nd banana there in order to compete for championships because all LeBron wants to do is win Championships. LA have LeBron the best title odds.
But the moves this off-season disturb me, and I'm going to be watching LeBron closely over the rest of his Laker tenure to try to get a sense of what LeBron thinks is actually happening.
Couldn't agree more. But we can't let one off-season cloud the decisions of the past 2 decades.
The clear counter to the heliocentrism LeBron-ball from '14-15 on has been the motion offense (Kerr-ball, joy-ball, Curry-ball) of the Warriors, and I think in the end, what the Warriors end up achieving will likely shape how we see LeBron-ball to some degree.
Is this really a counter? LeBron was able to beat the team you are referencing in Finals when the teams were equal.
If, in the end, LeBron ends up winning more championships than any of his contemporaries, we'll see things one way.
If, in the end, the Warriors end up winning more championships than LeBron, we'll see things another way.
(If it ends up a tie, which is a distinct possibility, much will depend on other details.)
Say it with me. Kevin D-U-R-A-N-T