24.2.09

why do teams have to "rebuild"?


there are 30 teams in the nba today, how many of these are actually vying for a playoff spot? i count nine teams in the west. in the east, after the top four or five, every team has a chance to get to the playoffs except washington. but in reality, only three teams in the east are considered to be major contenders for the championship.

where are the rest? well, they are either hampered by injuries, rebuilding, or just plain crappy. while injuries could really hurt a team's chance to make a splash in the race for the championship, i don't think there should be any crappy team at all in the nba. therefore, there is no need for the so-called "rebuilding" program. no more waiting for two years just to have a chance to land a superstar.

why do teams stink in the first place?

is it because they are not talented enough? look at washington, i know you would agree that caron butler and antawn jamison are talented enough. i think even deshawn stevenson can ball, after all, he made it to the nba. how about mcgee? nick young? andray blatche? or even mike james? are these guys not talented? how come they are not yet replaced by any d-leaguer? because they are good basketball players. if they are not talented, then the team would have dropped them already.

ok, they are under contract. so what do you do with them? do you just wait until their contract is up? or do you find a way to make them play at their best to help your team? i would take the latter.

is the coach not the right fit for the team? could be. some coach are offensive-minded while others put a lot of emphasis on defense.

is the team playing a style not suited for the talents on the team? it could be another reason. some teams are loaded with guys who can run but are forced to play a halfcourt set. and there are also teams like the detroit pistons known for their defensive prowess but are forced to run with allen iverson on their midst.

why are there perennial bottom dwellers?

how come the grizzlies are still struggling even if they already have a great wingman in rudy gay, a solid low post player in marc gasol, and a high-scoring guard in o.j. mayo? is it because they lack leadership? probably. are they too lazy? i would prefer not to think that they are. players are not playing their best basketball because it is not a contract year?

what i'm trying to say is that there are a lot of things that could contribute as to why teams are struggling and would rather go on a "rebuilding" mode than to try to improve their team with what they have.

how about solutions?

is practice the answer? (pun intended) yes, i think so. all the players on a team should be on the same page. they do not have the luxury to talk about things like that when they are on the court. they do have a chance to bond together on practice sessions. coaches should also be with the team. can't they talk amongst themselves to see what kind of style they would be good playing at? i guess it can be done. i mean, these guys are professionals right? they are paid to work. so, they should do whatever it is they can to help the group.

here's another idea, make every player in a team role players. joe dumars did it with the 2003-04 pistons who went on to win the championship. each player has his own role to fill. ben wallace will be the enforcer in the paint, tay will be the flexible wingman, billups will be orchestrating plays after plays, rip will take care of most of the points, and rasheed will be his usual intimidating self.

under that system, if one complains that he is not getting a lot of touch thus not being able to showcase his scoring talent for a better paycheck, just point out ben wallace's case. did big ben score a lot of points while with the pistons? no. he did what he was supposed to do and he was good at it. that's the reason why he got that multi-million dollar contract from the bulls. teams are always looking for players who can provide what they need. who knows, the role you're really good at could also land you that fat paycheck?

it is said that offense wins games but defense wins championships. so, as a coach, why not instill in your players' mind that fact. playing defense is not boring. a steal or a block is rarer than a 3-point shot or a dunk so how come there are few players who choose to be active defensively than offensively? it must have something to do with showboating.

coaches then need to be true leaders. make your players understand the importance of team defense. if you can't learn to play good defense, you can play all your life in the nba and make millions upon millions but you will never get close to that chip. just as mike d'antoni.

is there a need to rebuild?

i don't think so. just like in life where you play the cards you are dealt, nba teams should also make do with what they have? sure, deshawn stevenson could not stop lebron james one on one. but if the wizards clamp down on the other four guys on the court, even a player as talented as lebron could not carry his team through a 7-game series.

look at the bucks. they have sessions, richard jefferson, charlie villanueva, andrew bogut, michael redd, luke ridnour, and mbah a moute. is that team loaded with talent or what? yet there are talks that the bucks should rebuild already.

in my humble opinion, if you find a role for each of these players they are happy to perform and they are equipped to handle that said role, you do not need a so-called "superstar" to make the playoffs and make a good run for that chip. detroit showed us that in 2004 right?