6 NBA Teams Hurt by Rushed Training Camps
Team chemistry is one of the most important characteristics for a team.
A squad can have a star-studded lineup with elite players, but without any connection they can flounder easily.
The shortened training camp had an impact on almost every team. Less time for practice means that it's more difficult to iron out kinks and edges for the regular season, especially if a team has a bunch of new players.
Probably the two teams least affected by the shortened training camps are the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat. They pretty much have the same teams going into this season, and are both hungry and ready to play after disappointing playoff exits.
The next six teams, on the other hand, would've loved to have a few extra weeks to sharpen their skills.
Los Angeles Clippers
Although the Clippers won their first game in Oakland against the Warriors, they didn't look pretty doing it. Their following match against the Spurs wasn't even competitive, as the Clips looked more like the team they've been for the last 20 years.
They haven't even been close in resembling the "Lob City" team people expected to see.
The shortened training camp has everything to do with this. The team consists of a bunch of new players who have barely played together.
Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, and Blake Griffin need some chemistry playing with each other.
They also have a new head coach in Vinny Del Negro who is still probably trying to get his players to get used to his coaching.
It takes time.
Last year with a full training camp, the Miami Heat started off the season struggling. Like the Clippers, they had a makeshift team with several new faces. They started off 9-8, and it wasn't until the middle of the season that the players started to gel.
As we all know, they ended up making the Finals.
This Clippers team is talented. They're going to be fine. Just give them some time.
There are no secrets here.
The Celtics are now 0-3. To be fair, they've played New York and Miami both on the road. Then on a second night of a back-to-back, they played against an emotional Hornets team on the road.
That being said, it seems like the players are making excuses. Garnett and Allen admitted to not having any chemistry, and maybe the first step to start winning again should be to stop making excuses.
The rest of the league is going through the same ordeal.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers would've loved to have a longer training camp.
In fact, they would've loved a longer offseason so that they could've had more attempts in acquiring Dwight Howard.
The worst part of not being able to obtain Howard was that the Lakers had to quickly assemble a team together, and have them get ready in about a week.
The Lakers signed Jason Kapono, Josh McRoberts, and Troy Murphy. They have been rapidly forced to develop chemistry with the rest of the Lakers' team.
The Lakers have also incorporated plenty of young players like Devin Ebanks and Andrew Goudelock in the system. These guys would've probably appreciated more time during the training camp to get ready.
That said McRoberts and Murphy have been two of the most efficient Lakers. They're doing a great job in rebounding, and are fitting in nicely with the team.
Despite the Lakers 1-2 record, the team is holding opponents to just 39 percent from the field.
It seems like Mike Brown's message is getting absorbed by his team.
The Dallas Mavericks look nothing like the team that swept the Lakers and outlasted the Heat in the NBA Finals last season.
Part of this might be the championship hangover. Another part might be the loss of Tyson Chandler.
But another real reason why the Mavs look so out of sync, is the fact that they have several new additions like Lamar Odom, who was an emotional wreck when he found out the Lakers tried trading him for Chris Paul.
Odom and the rest of the team haven't really played together and developed chemistry.
It also doesn't help when Dirk Nowitzki's coach says that the German superstar was out of shape a month before the season started. Nowitzki, himself, came out and called the team "old and out of shape."
There's no doubt that a longer training camp would've helped this team put last year behind them and focus on the marathon ahead of them.
New Orleans Hornets
Like the Clippers, the New Orleans Hornets have a new look team coming into the season. Although it seems like that the shortened training camp hasn't affected them at all because of their fast 2-0 start, it'll come back to hurt them later on.
First of all, it's only been two games. It's a small sample size. With that many new players, it's going to be harder to face adversity.
Although some of them are bench guys and the continuity and flow of the starting five has not been altered drastically (which may explain why the team is 2-0), in the long run they wouldn't have minded to have a few extra weeks of practice prior to the season.
Wouldn't it be nice to just trade Dwight Howard and move on already? The team and their fans know that he's not going to be on the team for much longer.
A longer training camp and offseason would've allowed the Magic to shop around to a greater extent, and perhaps strike a deal for the big man.
Getting rid of him and focusing on a new team during training camp would've allowed the Magic to build a new path without Howard, and get a head start on the rebuilding process.
Now, Howard seems like a lame duck center. Everyone knows he's going to leave. The delay only hurts the Magic and simultaneously brings down his trade value.
The closer it gets to the deadline, the less the Magic will get because teams know that if the Magic don't trade him by the deadline, they'll have a shot to sign him without giving up anything during free agency.