There is no doubt that these Celtics changed the league. Several NBA teams since have tried to find their three. Fellow Eastern Conference rivals the Miami Heat and New York Knicks copied the Celtics. But were they smart in doing so? Let’s see.
Last year they were defeated by a Dallas Mavericks team that had more than just superstars. They had two stars—Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki—but they also received significant contributions from Tyson Chandler, Jose Barea, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion and Caron Butler.
This year the Heat’s opponent once again has two superstars—Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook—who are complemented by a group of role players, including Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha, Nick Collison, James Harden and Derek Fisher.
If the Heat are defeated by the Oklahoma City Thunder, they might veer away from their initial strategy and break up the Big Three. It’d be hard for them not to realize that their lack of depth keeps them from winning it all.
So where do the Knicks fall? They have one real superstar—Carmelo Anthony—and two stars in Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire. But GM Glen Grunwald also tried adding depth to the team with players like Baron Davis, J.R. Smith, Steve Novak and Jeremy Lin.The problem was that Davis and Smith’s health and talent faded down the stretch. So would adding another former All-Star that is past his prime improve the Knicks? The Knicks Journal’s Keith Schlosser wrote in a post on The New York Times Off The Dribble Blog that a player like Ray Allen would help.
He writes, “If the mid-level exception is freed up, the Knicks should use it to sign someone who fills a void and/or represents a significant upgrade at one of their weaker positions. Allen certainly fits that bill.”
It would be nice to see a guy who set the trend for this new era join another Big Three, this time as a role player.