Point guards are like quarterbacks. They run the offense, make sure everyone is in the correct position, and have to know the entire playbook. But in a sport like basketball, where if you have two big-time players, point guards are not the most valuable players on a team. Now you might argue, “Derrick Rose was MVP last season, what are you talking about?” Yes, I know Rose was MVP last season, but what did he do against the Miami Heat in the playoffs? He averaged 23 points, 6.6 assists and 4 rebounds per game, but he shot 35% from the field, 23% from three and 81% from the line. He also lost the series 4-1. My point being, you can’t expect to win championships without having another star or a dominant big man.
The Heat has LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, so why didn’t they win the title last season? Besides the fact that James disappeared, the Heat lacked an inside presence. Joel Anthony, Erick Dampier, and Jamaal Magloire are not viable solutions to winning a championship. Also, Bosh was over-hyped and completely over-matched by the more crafty and skilled Dirk Nowitzki. When you break it down, James disappeared, Bosh was soft, so Wade and Mario Chalmers were the only ones ballin’ when it came down to winning a championship. End result, Heat loses the series 4-2.
When was the last time you saw a team with a great guard/forward win a championship without a dominant big man. Let’s rewind through the last 13 NBA champions:
2011: Dallas Mavericks – Dirk Nowitzki was an absolute baller in the Finals, but I think most of us will agree that the reason Dallas won was because it was a total “TEAM” effort.
2009: Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol
2008: Boston Celtics – Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen
2006: Miami Heat – Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal
2005: San Antonio Spurs – Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili
2004: Detroit Pistons – Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace. This was another defensive and “TEAM” effort.
2003: San Antonio Spurs – David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker
2002: Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal
2001: Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal
2000: Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal
1999: San Antonio Spurs – David Robinson, Tim Duncan
1998: Chicago Bulls – Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were the last team to win a championship without a dominant big man. Last time I checked, Jordan was the “greatest” player to ever play. While I might not go that far, personally, I will say that Jordan was the most competitive player to ever play basketball and probably the most clutch of any player, ever.
Now to my point:
If the Los Angeles Lakers are serious about winning a championship, they should go after Dwight Howard, not Chris Paul. Yes, they will probably have to give up Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and, maybe, another piece, but look at what they are receiving! Howard is a better defender than Bynum and Odom combined. Howard is a best low-post threat than Bynum. Howard is more durable than Bynum. Howard is a better fit to play with Kobe Bryant than Bynum. Acquiring Howard makes up for the loss of Bynum and Odom, and then some. Imagine the Lakers having a starting lineup of Bryant, Howard, Pau Gasol, with a point guard and a small forward that are serviceable. They drafted Darius Morris out of Michigan and I would like to see the Lakers use him. Make Derek Fisher a backup point guard that comes off the bench, plays tough D, and knocks down three-point shots. I wouldn’t mind if the Lakers keep Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) if the Lakers get Howard.
Paul is a great player, but he is not going to be throwing alley-oops to Bryant anymore because Bryant is not that type of player anymore. Also, I think that Howard and Bryant playing together would make them better players than if Paul and Bryant were to play together. If the Lakers are serious, they would be going for D12, not CP3.