There are many ways to build a successful roster. You can build through the draft (Spurs), sign a group of free agent superstars (Heat) or get a group of veterans who are together for one final run (Celtics Big 3 & Ben Wallace Pistons). But a few qualities are shared by all of these teams that made successful title runs:
1) A complete belief by all the players, in a team first concept.
2) Superstars who are the hardest workers on the team and the coach that is able to ride the players further down on the bench.
3) Role players that not only embrace, but excel in their roles.
The 2012 Knicks have some of these characteristics already in place and need to go through the season to prove and strengthen the other characteristics that may lead them on the path to the promise land.
With the likes of Kidd, Wallace, Novak etc, the Knicks have the players that are ready to do the little things that don’t get them on Sportscenter. Such as, the dirty work underneath the boards on both ends of the court, hit the open 3 point shot, or lock down the opposing team’s offensive weapon. By focusing on these things, this will allow Carmelo to play hard on D, but still conserve his energy for crunch time situations.
In the past, Carmelo was given the label of dogging it on the defensive end. Throughout his collegiate and NBA career’s Carmelo has shown he was a top level talent, but he had to shoulder the offensive load and this left him vulnerable on the defensive end. With the presence of Novak, Kidd and others to help with the offensive production, he has been able to focus on the defensive end; stopping both the other teams small and power forwards. By seeing the team’s best player being held accountable and busting his hump on both ends, other teammates are forced to match the intensity of Carmelo on both ends.
All of the players on the team need to see that all the players are being held to the same standard. The support players need to be able to check their egos at the door when they join the team. This results in everyone being involved in the game and less being required during the regular season of Carmelo. This also shows the players on the bench that their sacrifices of taking less money or playing time are worthwhile and will lead to achieving the goal shared by all NBA players of hugging the Larry O’Brien trophy.
When all of these qualities come together, it can result in a beautiful and amazing thing. It can result in a team being returned to glory (Celtics & Pistons), entering the elite stratosphere (Spurs) or proving a daring venture can come to fruition (last year’s Heat). A recent example of this was shown during the “Rest-gate” incident last week. You had a team that was missing its top four players and almost upset the defending NBA champions.
Paramjit Mahal @denver3334 – Knickswag Contributor