Let's talk about paper.
If you're looking at the Celtics "on paper" then this is how our team breaks down.
#1 We have last year's 29th most productive player in the game in Rondo (5th amongst point guards)
#2 We have two aging veteran future hall of famers who both contemplated retirement before this season. To be fair, KG was the 21st most productive player in the league last year. Paul was the 32nd most productive player.
#3 We have a guy coming off heart surgery who is probably a starting caliber small forward, but he's coming off the bench.
#4 Everyone else on our team are role players. None of which should be starters. Bass, for instance, was never supposed to be our starting PF. He got thrown into that role by default because we traded Perk, Shaq retired, Krstik never returned from Europe and our David West deal fell through. He was only intended to be a replacement for that head case Glen Davis... not our starting PF.
Fact: Our team never looks good on paper. Last year, we snuck by Atlanta and Philly in the playoffs in spite of how we looked on paper (half our team was injured, Rondo was playing twice as good as he was in the regular season... and Kevin Garnett was defying the laws of aging)
Now let's take a look at the Lakers "on paper"
#1 - They have the last year's 33rd most productive player in Steve Nash (6th amongst point guards). More importantly, he's the best shooter in the world and one of the 4 best "distributors" in the world.
#2 - They have either the 1st or 2nd best SG in the world in Kobe (it's either him or Wade). Even at his age, he's a dominant player. Last year he was the 14th most productive player in the league.
#3 - They have who I believe in probably the 3rd most talented big man in the game in Pau Gasol. He's probably right behind Dwight and Kevin Love. If we ignore age and just look at talent.. I honestly believe Pau Gasol is a better big man than Andrew Bynum. For the record, he was the 8th most productive player in the league last year despite sharing the court with Kobe and Bynum.
#4 - They have unquestionably the best big man in the game in Dwight Howard. In a league where you NEED an elite big man to win a title, the Lakers have the best one of them all. He was the 4th most productive player in the league last year behind Bron, Love and Durant and just ahead of Chris Paul. In this league, you traditionally NEED a top 5 player to win a championship. The Lakers have that.
#5 - Beyond that they have at least two more "starter-caliber" players in Peace and Jamison. Neither of those guys are "great" anymore, but they are both legitimate basketball players. Jamison averaged 17 and 6 last year for the Cavs.
FACT: On paper, the Lakers are unstoppable. The only thing you can really do is blame Mike Brown... a proven hack of a coach. Frankly, on paper they should be on their way to a 70 win season.
One last note: Our 4th best player from last year (Ray Allen) is now coming off Miami's bench. We've replaced him with a handful of undersized guards who didn't crack the NBA's top 100 most productive players last year.