Portland's stellar play of late has me wondering again: Can an NBA team win with more than a few frontline players? What is the number of frontline players a team can have and win titles?
By frontline players, I mean guys that would start on a possible majority of teams in the NBA. Portland has at least the following frontline guys in my opinion: Roy, LMA, Miller, Bayless, Rudy, Batum, Oden, Joel, & maybe Webster.
That seemed like the root of the problem earlier in the year (and from Nate's comments last night). Now, Roy is willing to yield shots and stats to Oden and LMA and Bayless and Rudy; and Roy is apparently willing to yield some of the ball-handling in crunch time to Miller and Bayless based on recent games. But I still wonder if that is the right thing to do and, if it is, how much should Roy yield?
I mean would the Lakers be as good if Kobe yielded more responsibility to others? Would Miami have won a title if Wade had done that? Would the Spurs have won as many if Duncan was more deferential (although he is the closest "team-first" guy I can think of to Roy)?
In any event, a lot of blame is being put on Nate for not getting all these frontline guys to perform perfectly together earlier this season. But I ask how much are Rudy, Bayless, Miller et al going to be able to yield minutes and responsibility and still be completely happy and completely effective/efficient? Is it too much to ask? Could any coach make that work? Some guys are just more effective playing 30 minutes per game and starting every night. I mean look at Joel. He was waaaaay better starting than coming off the pine. Totally different guy.
The reason Portland is still winning is because they still are immensely talented even with all the injuries and because Roy is just simply that good and has that good of a feel for when to assert himself and when to defer to others. Roy's bball IQ is off the charts in my opinion.
But what is everyone's thoughts on my take that some of this talent may have to be dealt in order for this team to win titles? Am I crazy? Am I wrong? Roy, LMA, and Oden are the foundation. Joel has to be kept in my opinion as insurance.
Who else goes? Who stays? Everyone stays? Trade some? I'm glad I'm not KP or Nate!