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Owning Up

I still believe the Celtics will have some very serious issues to work out in about 3 years. Too much age and too big of contracts. It will create problems in Beantown.

That said, I watch the beginning of this season and it is time to own up to the ways in which I ignore my own beliefs, and twist my own perceptions when it comes to my favorite team and the league as a whole.

There are a few basic tenants in the league. Things that are practically accepted as fact and which probably could be statistically proven by fans even nerdier than me. In this thread lets try to list them out and talk about how they have influenced the (very) early season.

I'll start with this one: Veterans win games

It is easy to dismiss both Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis as guys with major weaknesses in their games, and there is nothing wrong with hoping that Kevin Durant and Jeff Green mature into players with even more star power. That said I fell into the trap that fans of team after team do year after year, I forgot that rookies, no mater how talented lose games. In 2003 the Cleveland Cavaliers debuted LeBron James alongside second year player Carlos Boozer with an 0-5 start, performing dreadfully with a 4 and 15 record in their first 19 games. Despite being only 14 and 27 at the halfway point the Cavs were 19 and 22in the second half to pull to a moderately respectable 35 win season. With Rookies this is just about the best we could hope for.

Each year I cry for the type of acquisitions that veteran teams make, guys who are not stars but have been in the league for a long time. Each year I try to rationalize that someone like Mike Gelabale will make a bigger influence that a Matt Barnes or that Johan Petro will lead to more wins than Brian Skinner. It's just not the case. Be it stars or role players it helps to have veterans who have been in the league long enough to learn their role. Some take longer than others to reach that point, others never do, but if you want wins a significant part of your roster needs to be composed of veterans.

#2, Filling The Bench is Easy:

Back to the Celtics again.

My primary reason for criticizing there roster this season was the fact that they had absolutely no depth behind the big 3, particularly on defense. My attitude shifted pretty dramatically when they managed to acquire James Posey who is a solid defender and role player. He, along with Eddie House and other players on that team play better when they are firmly behind star players.

The same holds true in Orlando. While I can fault them for their great overpayment of Rashard Lewis there is a simple fact that, if given the chance to get 2 stars they are going to be able to fill in the gaps around them. Dwight Howard is perhaps the most underrated player in the league. He has the potential to have a monstrous career and if you put him next to Rashard Lewis suddenly guys like Keith Bogans and Adonyal Foyle look more than competent to fill in around the edges.

Perhaps Seattle holds to strongly to the Nick Collisons and Luke Ridnours of the world. They should be willing to recycle a number of guys in to fill that role while focusing their energy on acquiring true star talent. If they did so they, like Boston and Orlando would find it much easier than expected to fill in around the edges.

I still think the Sonics are better than their record indicates and more competitive than most pundits would recognize. This is exhibited by their close games and exciting play. It does not however mean that I should not be more critical going into the season, nor should I be less willing to to overlook the basic facts of team building for my own team than I am for others around the league. The Sonics are young, inexperienced, and lack established stars. That should tell us all we need to know going into the season.

What are some other "basic tenants" of the game and how should we use them to evaluate our own home team?