These guys are old! Age in the NBA
-The Lakers became immediate threats to dethrone the Heat as NBA champs when they acquired Dwight Howard.
-San Antonio may have lost four straight to OKC to end its season, but they’re gonna be back.
-Boston will be Miami’s biggest threat out of the East.
But the common thread among these perennial NBA contenders? These guys are old. Each team has the potential to finish well below the mass’s expectations.
Steve Nash is Canadian.
I am Canadian.
Therefore, I heart Steve Nash.
But the hype surrounding his signing with LA needs to be cooled. We know about his defensive deficiencies, and his age (39) aint making him any faster. With Westbrook and OKC being the West’s top dogs, the downgrade defensively could be fatal.
Moving up to SG – there’s no guarantee Kobe will stay healthy. Bryant miraculously led the league in minutes for most of last season, and he was great. But his offence comes from very difficult shots. Kobelives off of plodding post moves, fadeaways, and long-two-heatchecks. LAL’s offence was a half court grind all year, and the recent roster moves did not change the way they’ll have to score this year. Hard to keep that up, especially with those rickety joints doing the work.
LA has a chance only if Kobe, Pau, Nash and Howard all stay healthy. Odds are one of them is going down, and even if they don’t, their means of scoring are among the toughest in the league.
Two games into last year’s OKC series the talking heads were calling San Antonio perhaps the greatest team ever. The were annihilating the Thunder with Parker’s penetration, and thousands of extra passes leading to wide open baseline threes. But age and athleticism bit them, as they lost the next four to bow out.
The jumpers stopped falling, leading SA to rely on Ginobili and Duncan for secondary and tertiary contributions. The Spurs are still in great hands with Parker, but Manu and TD are getting old. It’s painful watching Duncan try to sprint back on D. And Ginobili’s injury frequency seems to be increasing by the season. That slashing ability, and his health, is fading,
San Antonio has the best coach in Popovich and the premier point guard. But not much else, except age among its core. They’re worse than OKC, LA and Memphis, so I’m not expecting another deep run from the Spurs.
Pierce – Age: 35. Experience: 14 years.
Garnett – Age: 36. Experience: 17 years.
Terry: 35. Age: 35. Experience: 13 years.
Boston may contend for the East title because there’s not much competition. But that doesn’t make them good. They’re likely going to follow a similar path as last year – coast through the regular season, dogging the occasional game to give everyone’s knees some rest. But will KG, Pierce and Terry make it through 82 games with enough gas left for the playoffs?
The answer is “probably”, since they have Rondo and a sick defender in Avery Bradley. But Boston will be no match for Miami’s youth, speed, and deadeye shooting.
Every team mentioned above will be fighting father time this season. One or two of them will have very disappointing seasons, and none of them will get past OKC or the Heat.
That’s if they get that far.