Not so for the 2007 Celtics, who have dreams of an NBA title dancing in their heads.
Can the new-look Celts really go from being one of the worst teams in the league to one of the best?
I think not.
If nothing else, Celtics GM Danny Ainge secured his job this offseason—trading for Ray Allen on Draft Day before mortgaging the future of the franchise to land Kevin Garnett.
But the new faces won't be enough.
Yes, Allen and KG drastically improve the Boston offense—but they do little to address the team's biggest flaw:
The Celtics gave up almost 100 points per game last year. Last time I checked, the most recent NBA Finals winners all had a top-10 defenses.
That isn't what Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen bring to the table.
And as for successful playoff experience?
Going once, going twice...not sold to the Celtics.
Long recognized as one of the most successful franchises in professional sports, the Celtics have only made the playoffs four times in the last 12 years.
Garnett did make the playoffs eight times while in Minnesota—but only got out of the first round one time.
Allen has six playoffs trips on his resume, but again only one run beyond the first round. In that case, he and the Bucks made the Conference Finals but lost.
For the record, I'm not saying that KG and Allen can't lead these Celtics to the playoffs. They'll be able to quite easily.
Remember, this is the Eastern Conference.
However, the Celts will have to tangle with the Pistons, Heat, Cavs, and Bulls come springtime. And those teams have one thing Boston doesn't:
It's hard to believe that Garnett, Allen, and Paul Pierce will be able to share a basketball with one another. Pierce in particular plays best when the ball is exclusively in his hands.
Will he be willing to pass up shots for low-post feeds to KG and three's from Allen?
Good luck to Doc Rivers in finding the answer to that one.
On the bright side, history does show that it's possible for multiple stars to coexist on a successful team. The 2003-2004 Lakers rode Kobe, Shaq, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone to the finals before only losing in five games to Detroit.
Still, I don't see the Celtics getting past the Pistons or the Bulls in the postseason. Those teams don't have Boston's star power, but they know how to share the ball to win games.
As one famous saying goes: "Skills are cheap; chemistry is expensive".
Then again, the Celtics do play in the Eastern Conference, where anything's possible.