therealdeal wrote:I still expect a Championship if we are healthy heading into the playoffs. Too much talent not to win.
We should at least be able to get to the finals and compete for the title with this talent on the team. I have a few reasons for my optimistic (actually realistic) view.
It's true that we shouldn't be 12-14 with this team, but think about the problems we had to deal with. First it was Brown. We got rid of him but D'antoni didn't have any time to prepare himself and the team to the season. Then, the injuries. Injuries to Nash and Blake left us without a PG, which is the most important position in D'antoni's game plan. When D'antoni and his game plan is comprehended better by the team with time and when we got our all-star PG back, many things will improve. Heat also didn't start very good two seasons ago. I know they got it together sooner than us, but they didn't have the problems we do. And many were predicting they wouldn't win it all that first year. (It turned out true but stay with me) They didn't enter the playoffs with that impression either. But with the talent they have they easily got to the finals, they crushed Chicago and if lebron didn't suck that bad they would win the title that year. All I'm trying to say is that they, too, didn't look very very good that season and didn't have a great great game plan or a coach either. But just with the talent they have they almost won the championship. We have 4 all-stars on our team, all-stars that play much better in the post season and just with their motivation and star power we will do great things this season, at least I believe we will. And I believe Nash would be the main factor that will transform this team into a championship caliber team.
Right now, we're playing without a true system under D'antoni, but it will change. I think when Nash comes back, he will implement D'antoni's system better and even maybe customize it a little bit so that the system will fit the personnel. We know he is smart and is capable of transforming this team into a much better one. Considering we're playing without a true PG right now and D'antoni's system depends on Nash coming back, I think it will change many things.
And then there is Gasol issue. I accept the fact that he won't be as good as he used to be. However, again when Nash comes back and distributes the ball more evenly and find the guys, including Gasol, on the right spots Gasol's overall play will improve together with his motivation.
We also will have a better Howard by the end of the season, both physically and mentally. He will have a better conditioning and will have better looks with PnRs with Nash and that will bring that extra motivation to him on the defensive end too.
Although Kobe is playing efficient right now, we know he could do better when he don't have to carry all the load. I accept that he will shoot more than he needs to sometimes. But he won us 5 chips playing that way. His job is to score and he will do whatever he can to score. Sometimes, I get mad at him because of shooting too much but then I think we shouldn't complain that much about the shot selection of one of the best maybe the best scorer in NBA history. So, when he no longer have to play PG in this team. He will have a bigger impact on the offensive end and will play definitely much much better in the playoffs. I can't say anything about his D though :D
Afterall, I cannot understand how you can be that pessimistic about this team. There is no other team in the leauge right now that had to deal with all the problems we have. We don't have many key players and we have some problems about the game plan and chemistry. But we have maybe the best guy who can help build chemistry and give the team an identity with his great pg skills.
We have the best scorer, the best center and the best pg of the last decade on this team and this team WILL SUCCEED. I know many things depends on Nash but he is the playmaker and we will see what this team is capable of when he comes back %100 or close to %100 and when the post season comes our guys be ready. I'm not saying we will definitely win the chip, no one can say that. But I'm saying that we will definitely compete on a very high level with Kobe leading the way..
Oh, and my prediction is 51-31