Dear Basketball Gods: Please don’t let Denver be a What-If
Building a roster that gives you a legitimate chance at winning an NBA championship is so incredibly difficult.
Before anything else, you need to find that one guy who can function as the best player on a championship team, and there might be fewer than 10 of those across the entire NBA at the moment.
Then you need a co-star to the superstar and ideally maybe even a 3rd running mate. Fill out the rest of the starting lineup. A bench that doesn’t crater the second they enter the game would be nice as well. Maybe some end-of-the-bench veterans to help lead the way in the locker room.
So, yeah, you need players who are talented in their own right, and the boxes they have to check in this day and age continue to grow. Guys who can score from both inside and out. Who can make plays for themselves and others. Defend their man and properly function within an overall defensive scheme.
But more than individual abilities in a vacuum, those talents also have to compliment those they share the court with. NBA basketball isn’t 2K. The pieces have to fit with one another. The top guy has to make everyone better. The №2 has to fill in the gaps left by the superstar. The role players have to make sense around the engine (or engines) that makes everything go.
The on-court chemistry has to be there to make the whole larger than the sum of its parts. Egos have to be thrown aside to ensure that whole runs smoothly with as few bumps as possible.
If not, there’s no amount of talent in the world that can overcome those deficiencies.
And don’t forget that whatever slumps, struggles, and inconsistencies a player might have must be held to a minimum so as not to rock the boat too hard or too often. Some players can easily break out of their cold streaks. Others might need a little more time, and that could be the difference between a make-or-break win/loss.