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Big Three: The NBA's New Trend and Where It's Taking the League

2 of the Heat's Big 3
2 of the Heat's Big 3Marc Serota/Getty Images
Matt CoanCorrespondent IIMarch 15, 2011

The Celtics started it.

The Heat took it to new heights.

And now, the NBA may never be the same.

The NBA's new recipe for success has changed the landscape of the league, and changed many teams' philosophies on winning.

The new trend: Big 3s.

This new idea has swept across The Association, and has many GMs scrambling to find their three All-Stars to bundle together into an instant championship.

Boston acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in the summer of 2007 to form the original "Big 3", and won a title the very next season; thus turning the league on to this new way of building a roster.

Miami continued the trend this past summer, and now the Knicks seem to be building their way to a Big 3 of their own.

Will this new trend lead to Championships? That's what we will find out in the coming months and years.

This change has taken a league once built on team mentality, the importance of having role players, and a deep bench, to a league of teams that are top-heavyboth talent and salary wise.

Boston won a title with its Big 3, but they had a bench installedfinding solid players who decided to take a pay cut in order to chase a title. The Celtics also built their Big 3 of players who complement each other on the court.

Paul Peirce, a slasher who can create his own shot and get to the basket; Ray Allen, one of the best shooters ever who doesn't need the ball in his hands to operate offensively; and Kevin Garnett, a defensive minded big man who doesn't need the ball to make an impact.

The point is, Boston was a "Big 3", but they were also built like a classic NBA heavyweight and a great team. 

Boston won its title in 2008, and the Lakers have won the past two while built like a conventional NBA team. Another argument for why it's better to have a good team than a great "Big 3".

This year's new Big 3, the Miami Heat, have had an up and down regular season, but an overall good one. They are currently seeded second in the Eastern Conference, and have beaten the Lakers and Spurs in past week. They have a 2 time MVP in Lebron James, a Finals MVP in Dwyane Wade, and an inconsistent face up style "big man" in Chris Boshand that's pretty much it.

They don't have the good rebounder, shot blocker, or point guard that it seems every Championship team has had. And they have almost no bench, to boot; another necessity.

But that is just one of the flaws in the "Big 3" style of building a team.

Teams that choose this route when assembling their roster will have to sacrifice depth and role players because they simply won't be able to afford any of them after they pay three players close to the max.

The Heat also have problems with having two perimeter players who demand the ball, and players who don't exactly fit together as well as the Boston "Big 3".

The Heat have holes to fill, and unless they do, they will not dominate the NBA like Lebron predicted earlier this year; we will continue to see better overall teams win championships.

This season, teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, and even the Boston Celtics are all built like classic NBA title contenders.

Until a "Big 3" actually wins a championship (whether it's Miami, New York, or the next team to get caught up in the hype), well-rounded teams should be the favorites, and will prevail come playoff time. 

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