2010-11 NBA Predictions: 5 Reasons Durant-Westbrook Will Outclass LeBron-Wade
With the new trio being put together in Miami, many people are focusing mostly on LeBron James and Dwayne Wade as a legendary duo.
Many people are quick to assume that because they are two of the best players in the game, they will easily mesh and play great with one another. But there's a reason teams usually don't have more than one elite scorer on one team. There's only one basketball, after all.
Brandon Roy said he's still happy that Greg Oden was drafted by the Blazers because Kevin Durant and himself would not be able to co-exist on the same team for the fact that they are both scorers.
Ray Allen fits with the Celtics because he has the only role for scoring, not necessarily creating, which is obviously Rajon Rondo's job. Kevin Garnett is a defensive and emotional leader for a team. Boston's newest Celtic, Shaquille O'Neal, has the job of taking up space and falling out the ground every 10 seconds.
I do realize that LeBron is more than a scorer, but that's what he is great at. And maybe you didn't know, but Dwayne Wade can do a little scoring himself.
By the half way point of the season, Durant and Westbrook will be talked about being the better duo than LeBron and Wade.
Here's five reasons why.
1. No Egos
One ball? No problem. Westbrook doesn't care if he has 15 points or 15 assists, as long as he doesn't turn the ball over he's happy.
The duo in Miami both have to score, especially the man who took his talents to South Beach.
I can't really see LeBron being happy with 12 points a game. Sure, he'll probably score more than that but it will be interesting to see how either Wade or LeBron reacts when they don't get the numbers they're used to getting.
Durant clearly is a elite scorer and has never complained about his numbers after a win. He's even been more pumped for Westbrook when Westbrook has a big game in points and assists.
Duo with the lesser ego advantage? I'll take Duranbrook. Yes, I did just make up a combined name for them.
2. Two Different Styles Playing Together Rather Than Same
As I've said before, players will mesh better together if they have different attributes that they are able to bring together. Having two of the same skills rubs together and often conflicts.
Westbrook is a playmaker who is freakishly athletic and quick. Durant is a very long individual who scores. On the flip side, LeBron is a big physical specimen who scores 30 points a game. Dwayne Wade is a clutch player who also scores in the 25-30 point range.
Clearly they won't have that same production playing together and will have to sacrifice their numbers to try and play a different type of style than they are used to, which goes back to egos. And I don't think they will like playing different styles than they are used to.
3. Less Pressure To Succeed
As soon as LeBron announced his decision, they were instantly the "it" team and have had the spotlight on them ever since. They are expected to win every single game and win the championship for at least the next five years.
LBJ and D-Wade are expected to play great every night and make amazing plays together.
Durant and Westbrook are still the duo who is just fun to watch. No expectations of winning championships. No expectation of winning every night.
Less pressure equals being comfortable and playing like yourself, not thinking about what would happen if failure arrived.
4. They Compliment Each Other Better
Because Westbrook is a playmaker, he creates open space for Durant to shoot. Because Durant is an elite scorer, he creates one on one matchups for Westbrook against slower players, resulting in Westbrook flying by defenders.
It's pretty obvious that LeBron and Wade can't really compliment each other the same way. They both can blow by defenders will natural speed and quickness, but that goes more towards individual skill and not setting up their teammate.
This reason is in relationship with reason number two. Two different styles is a much better combination than having the same skills. It's easy to setting the other up in the better position knowing you don't have to do what the other is doing.
5. Westbrook-Durant Feed Off Each Other
This reason is set to possibly be removed. It's unclear whether or not LeBron and Wade will feed off each other, emotionally.
But with the examples we have from last year, Durant and Westbrook fed off each other when the other had a big play. They push each other every game and they are not afraid to get on to one another when the other person see's something going wrong.
That's great for a team, not just a duo. Knowing that off the court you're best friends, but on the court it's all business.
The most interesting thing for me to watch this season is how LeBron and Wade will react when the other person gets on to them. They've never had a teammate as good or better than them before throughout their career. Would that alone be an ego check?
How will they react when the other person has a great game? Will LeBron's ego get in the way and be upset over time or will he be happy all season as long as they win?
Even though those questions remained unanswered, my guess is that they just won't be able to fit together emotionally.