We all know that talent is one of the keys to having a successful team in any professional sport. But one of those overlooked keys is what is driving the four teams remaining in the NBA Playoffs.
Take a look at each of the four remaining teams: the Celtics, Magic, Suns, and Lakers. Obviously, all four have great talent. But they also have chemistry, which can sometimes be an equally important factor in success.
Back in 2007, when the Boston Celtics landed Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, the move seemed great on the outside. But it was also risky. Who knew if those two along with incumbent Paul Pierce could mesh? Apparently, the Celtics brass did.
The Celtics won the NBA Championship that year thanks to those three stars and complimentary players like Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins. Without the "Big Three" stars, Rondo and Perkins wouldn't have done squat.
And this year, the Celtics are at it again, even if they are two years older and creakier.
In the Eastern Conference Finals, they are facing off against another star studded team-the Orlando Magic.
Last season, the Magic made it to the NBA Finals. But during the offseason, Hedo Turkoglu left for the Raptors. So the Magic went out and traded for Vince Carter. People wondered if that was a mistake.
Keeping chemistry in mind, adding stars does not always equal success.
But here the Magic are once again, coming on strong in the post season. Carter has been shaky throughout the season, but he has managed to work well with Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Co. The Magic, like the Celtics, have been able to find a balance with talent and chemistry.
And now we go out West to Phoenix, where Amaré Stoudemire and Steve Nash have been lighting it up for quite some time now. Yes, there have been missteps, but the Suns have found a way to meet the Lakers in the conference finals. They have lost their stars (Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Shaq) and actually gotten better.
But who knows if the Suns can top the defending champs, the Los Angeles Lakers, who have Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum.
The Lakers also have their fair share of talent and chemistry, not to mention Kobe Bryant, the best player left in these playoffs, if not in the entire NBA (though that's a whole different argument).
With that being said, any one of these teams could win it all. But I'm thinking things will go down like they did last year. The Magic and Lakers will find their way back to the Finals. And the Lakers will probably win it. But I'm not counting any of these teams out just yet.
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