NBA: Which Team Had the Best Big 4 in the NBA in 2011?
In 2007-2008, the Boston Celtics started a modern-day NBA trend. Danny Ainge and the Boston front office made moves to bring Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to Boston so that Paul Pierce would finally have the help he needed to win a championship.
A championship is exactly what the Celtics won that year. The rest is history.
In short, Danny Ainge and the trendsetting Boston Celtics forced their competition (the NBA) to follow suit and create super teams of their own.
The headline story heading into the 2010-2011 season was Miami loading up on superstars, signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh to long-term deals. These moves were completed in hopes of bringing in the help that Dwyane Wade has needed to be able to win another title in Miami.
Upon uniting in Miami, Bosh, Wade and James were hoping they could overcome the Celtic's Big Three who had year-after-year put a hurting on their prior teams in the regular season and the playoffs.
The Heat's trio even went as far as copying the Celtics nickname. When they were brought together, LeBron James dubbed them "The Heatles," copying Kevin Garnett who had earlier named the Celtic's Big Three "The Ceatles" after the famous rock and roll group "The Beatles."
Right before the trade deadline, we saw the New York Knicks almost trade their whole team away to bring in Chauncey Billups and, more importantly, Carmelo Anthony. Already having Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks too would now have a "Big Three" of their own.
If you weren't before, you should now be aware of the fact that numerous NBA teams have created super teams consisting of three superstar players. But which teams have managed to comprise a team that has four superstar players or a Big Four and which of those teams has the best Big Four in the NBA today?
Read on to find out...
No. 1: Miami Heat
Everyone knows the Heat have a Big Three. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh's constant knack for penetrating the post has opened up the three-point line for Mike Bibby three-point attempts and makes.
Bibby's experience and great three-point shooting jolts him into the Big Four discussion for the Miami Heat.
No. 2: Boston Celtics
Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and last but certainly not least the Celtic's captain, Paul Pierce, round out Boston's Big Four. Rondo is the most recent addition to the Celtics All-Star Big-Four threat.
No. 3: Chicago Bulls
The Bulls were looking for a little extra punch down low and so they went out and signed Carlos Boozer this offseason. Boozer joined Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng who were already on the Bulls squad to make a Big Four that brought Chicago to the top of the Eastern Conference heading into the 2010-2011 NBA playoffs.
They were considered by many to be the favorites in the East to go to the NBA Finals this year but they were burned by the Miami Heat, losing four games to one in the Eastern Conference finals.
No. 4: Los Angeles Lakers
With that being said Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom made up the Lakers Big Four that was responsible for all the recent success in Lakerville. Kobe, Gasol and Odom are aging and Bynum's knee issues are of concern. Nevertheless, these four are no doubt a force to be reckoned with and compose the Los Angeles Lakers Big Bad Four.
No. 5: Portland Trail Blazers
Many wouldn't think of the Portland Trailblazers when they think of having a Big Three and/or a Big Four. However, the Blazers have all the above.
Brandon Roy, Gerald Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby are a tandem that cannot be ignored or taken lightly. They are a persistent and talented group who hope to see Greg Oden return to health next season to add even more strength to an already potent offense/defense and possibly generate a Big Five!
No. 6: New York Knicks
The Knicks were no doubt a top news story around the NBA trade deadline this year. They acquired Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to join Amar'e Stoudemire in battle against their Eastern Conference foes and in doing so, created a Big Three that could rival the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.
Adding Landry Fields as the fourth wheel in a Big Four discussion could be considered far-fetched based on how Fields finished off this season in slumping fashion. However, he is a talented young player who has a lot of talent and will greatly benefit from playing around the likes of Stoudemire, Anthony and Billups.
Look for these four to be a legitimate Big Four and great threat in the East next year.
No. 7: Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder's Big 4 (Courtesy of NBA.com)
The Kendrick Perkins deal was a highlight transaction of the 2010-2011 season, finally giving depth down low to a young Thunder squad who made it all the way to the Western Conference finals. Adding Perkins didn't only add depth to the Thunder squad; it created a Big Four to rival any other in the NBA.
Russell Westbrook blossomed into the great PG everyone knew he had the ability to become this year and Kevin Durant was, well...himself in 2010-2011. Serge Ibaka is the fourth player that comprises the Oklahoma City Thunder's Big Four. They are hoping that next year, after having all four players together for an entire season, they can win the NBA title.
No. 8: San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli make up the Spurs Big Four. They were key reasons that the aging San Antonio Spurs surprised many this year, surging through this season and entering the NBA playoffs as the Western Conference's top seed.
It looked as if they stood a chance of going all the way this year as they were clearly talented and focused.
Looks can be deceiving.
The Spurs saw themselves upset and removed from the first round of the playoffs by the fierce Memphis Grizzlies. Only time can tell if the Spurs have what it takes to repeat last year's regular-season success and build on it with a future title win.
No. 9: Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks Big 4 (Courtesy of NBA.com)
The Hawks are a good squad and a talented one. Despite winning their first-round series versus the Orlando Magic, they came up short against the horns of the Chicago Bulls. Their youth is an asset that can't be overlooked, as this is a team of the future that is already contending in the present. Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jamal Crawford make up Atlanta's Big Four and show great promise for the future of the Atlanta Hawks franchise.
These four stars may need some help to get over the hump of the second round of the NBA playoffs and win a championship, but they most definitely have a solid foundation and crucial pieces to doing just that.
No. 10: Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks were the third seed heading into the Western Conference playoffs. With Caron Butler's season-ending injury, the Mavericks were by no means favorites to do much in the playoffs. Yet here we are awaiting the beginning of the NBA Finals that have Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion (the Mavericks Big Four) ready to square off against the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat.
Yes, the Mavs are an older bunch, but they are hungry. Nowitzki, Marion, Kidd and Terry have storied careers but have never won an NBA title. The only way to make a name for yourself in the NBA is to win championships, and that is precisely what the Mavericks are hoping to do this year.
No. 11: Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic shook up the NBA world and their team this year, trading for Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson in one trade and for Gilbert Arenas in another. Their owner simply didn't feel their team had what it needed to make a run for the title. He may have been right.
Nevertheless, even after the deals, the likes of Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard (The Magic Big Four) were not enough to get the Magic past the first round of the 2010-2011 NBA playoffs.
Now, the Magic are concerned that they could lose their biggest star, Dwight Howard, to free agency in this year's offseason. Whatever happens this offseason, we can be sure we will see a roster shakeup one way or another and the new-look Magic will look even newer heading into the 2011-2012 season.