Thursday, November 21, 2013

Building A Championship....

  NBA fans across the board, year after year, season after season, hope and believe that their front office is building a championship team or contender. What does it take to get there? I wanted to look at this scenario from a position to position basis.  Looking at the importance of each position and adding a hypothetical value to each position.  I also wanted to look at intangibles and the importance of those.  So let's take a look....

  • Point Guard- Since the 06-07 season the point guards on the NBA championship winning teams have been, Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs 06-07, Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics 07-08, Derrick Fisher,Los Angles Lakers 08-09, Derrick Fisher, Los Angles Lakers 09-10, Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks 10-11, Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat 11-12, Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat 12-13.  So looking at this list we can see other than Tony Parker or Rajon Rondo, the point guard for a championship team has been a solid point guard, nothing special.  Jason Kidd was in the twilight of his career and was solid but not great.  I find this very interesting considering the number of unbelievable point guards in the league currently.  I personally believe the point guard is the most important position on the floor.  But this information makes me believe that the point guard has higher value in the regular season and piling up wins than in the playoffs and making a deep run.
  • Shooting Guard- This is one of two positions that I feel are the most valuable when building a championship team.  Since 06 the players at this position have been, Manu Ginobli, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant twice, Jason Terry, Dwayne Wade twice.  The names on this list show the importance of the wing.  Ray Allen was the best pure shooter in the game when the Celtics won.  Kobe Bryant for his 2, was the best player in the league at the time, hands down.  Dwayne Wade did have the help of Lebron James, but Wade was an integral part of the Miami Heats success.  In my opinion, this may be the most important position on the floor for a playoff championship run.  This player is generally responsible for guarding the other teams best player.  This position is also a main cog in any offense.  With the names on this list there is not one average or mediocre player.  
  • Small Forward- While this position is not always relied upon offensively as much as the Shooting Guard maybe, there is still a lot of explosive offense that must be provided from this position.  I feel this position is a defensive anchor.  06-07 Spurs had Bruce Bowen.  Boston Celtics had arguably the best player throughout the playoffs in Paul Pierce. The Lakers had Trevor Ariza, another strong defender.  Dallas had Shawn Marion.  The Miami Heat had the best player in the game in Lebron.  Again if you look at the names on this list barring Paul Pierce, all the others are arguably their teams best one on one defender.  I think this position is really under valued.
  • Power Forward- If this shooting guard is the most valuable piece on a championship team, #2 looks to be the power forward.  Take a look at these names, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh.  The last two years down the stretch Miami actually played Lebron at the power forward position,  This player is a glass cleaner, defensive stalwart and offensively savvy.  These players anchor an offense and grind out points when the team maybe struggling.  The names on this list are all likely hall of famers.  Not much has to be said about the players at this position.  They speak for themselves.
  • Center- There was a time when this would have been the most valuable position on the floor.  That time has come and gone.  Since 06 the names on this list include Francisco Elson/Matt Bonner, Kendrick Perkins, Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, Joel Anthony. Clearly the names on this list were responsible for one thing only.....Defense.  Not much else is or was expected out of this position.  So how should it be valued?  If defense wins championships then this has to be a top 2 valued position right?  In my opinion of today's game I can not put it that high.  While still a necessary and valuable piece this position may be at the bottom of the ladder.  Now if Indiana wins the championship this year I may have to rethink this a bit....Roy Hibbert....
   So lets rank them, in my opinion of value and building a championship team the break down looks like this...
  1. Shooting Guard
  2. Power Forward
  3. Point Guard
  4. Small Forward
  5. Center
  This is just the break down of positions and perception of value.  But what about the intangibles?  I think you have to look at a couple key pieces.  Each team has had these 2 piece, a good to great 6th man and a "hustle guy".  Here are some examples, Chris Anderson, Jason Terry, JJ Barea, Joel Anthony, Lamar Odom.  These players are good players, rotation players.  But contribute more that just statistics.  Its their effort, their energy, how their teammates feed off the spark that they provide.  Unfortunately you can not equate a value to the intangibles, but if your team is going to compete for an NBA championship you have to have them.  This is really just a basic "eye test" but I think we can look at this as a good baseline for building a contender.  I am going to put together another piece to coincide with this, discussing the number of great players at each position and the difficulty of getting those types of players.  So STAY TUNED!!!!

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