Monday, May 9, 2011
Over the past decade, only a handful of NBA teams have made it to the proverbial mountaintop known as a world championship. And slowly, but surely, those teams are falling by the wayside. Yesterday's victim was the LA Lakers, who found themselves swept at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.
The Lakers follow the San Antonio Spurs' first round ouster. Both teams have aging cores and very little in the way of foundational pieces for their inevitable rebuilds. Unless Boston can oust the Heat, there's a good chance all three of these former championship squads will have to do a bunch of retooling this summer to remain relevant.
Personally, I think the Spurs have the longer road back to respectability. Tim Duncan is toast, and Manu and Tony P have contracts that will be difficult to move. But hey, after 4 titles, I think San Antonio should be happy.
The Lakers probably just need to trim some fat (aka: Ron Artest, who really needs to stay on his meds) and add another impact player on the wing. I'm gonna excuse Pau Gasol's godawful playoff performance as an aberration. But ultimately, they were simply out coached by the Mavs and never made the necessary defensive adjustments. Plug in Brian Shaw for Phil Jackson, retool the bench, and keep it movin'. No need to overreact.
As for Boston, sorry, I don't have them beating the Heat. Not with Rondo ailing, Shaq pushing 400 pounds (!) and their Big Three suddenly looking their age. If there's any team that needs to be detonated, it would be Boston. Sell off Garnett and Allen while there's some return on investment to still be had.
I'm personally not the type to bet on the NBA, but if I had to, I'd put money on Dallas winning it all right now. Chicago and Miami aren't playoff tested enough as a full unit, and the OKC/Memphis winner will find their Cinderella story ending soon. What do you think?
Question: What do you think these three former dynasties need to do to retool? of the remaining teams, who has the best chance of winning it all?
Tags Popped: NBA = Nuthin' But Africans