In the NBA, stars win. More often than not, the team with the best player in a series comes out on top. With only 10 players on the court at any time, basketball can often be just that simple. Team building, however, is not always as simple as “go get three stars and out-star the other team.”
(See: The Los Angeles Lakers, 2021-’22)
Think back to “Big Three” type teams and, honestly, the track record might not hold up as well as one might think. The Miami Heat promised upwards of, what, seven titles? It’s weird to say they “only” got two, but it fell short of everyone’s expectations at the time.
Boston’s vaunted Big Three walked away with a single championship, and while they have milked it more than any other single-championship team in the history of sports, the fact remains that the Lakers’ two-star approach outperformed them in that very era.
Historically speaking, duos with a consistent supporting cast is, frankly, the way to go. Michael and Scottie. Shaq and Kobe. Magic and Kareem. Damian Jones and Alex Caruso. The examples are plentiful.
So, this week on “The Hook,” Aaron Larsuel and I went through that history, and I made the case that the Lakers should, in fact, ditch the efforts to make a three-star team work. The margin for error gets way too thin, way too quickly, as we saw this year.
Before that discussion, Aaron and I also discussed the NBA Play-In Games so far and how wildly successful they’ve been even while they have presented some somewhat unfair situations. A debate over the way the NBA is presented also broke out because I simply cannot help myself.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.