Author Topic: On How Long it Takes a Team to "Gel"  (Read 272 times)

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On How Long it Takes a Team to "Gel"
« on: September 19, 2017, 04:19:28 PM »

Offline Big333223

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Among everyone's concerns for the upcoming season, this is one seems pretty consistent. It takes a team a while to come together. Sure, the '08 Celtics won a title in their first year together but they're thought of as the outlier. But are they?

When Lebron and Bosh went to Miami, they didn't really figure out how to best use everybody until the second season, this is true. But in their first year, they still won 70% of their games and cruised to the Finals, never losing more than 1 game in any Eastern conference playoff series.

When Lebron went back to Cleveland, he had to integrate with a whole new roster which included bringing in Kevin Love. They struggled (kind of) but still finished with the 2nd best record in the East and lost only 2 games in the Eastern conference playoffs before losing in the Finals with 2 of their 3 best players injured.

Shaq's first season in Miami ('05) didn't see a Finals appearance. But the team won 59 games, best in the East, and took the Piston to 7 in the ECF (missing Dwyane Wade for a game). From '04, they lost 4 of their top 6 guys in terms of mpg and in '05, 5 of their top 8 in mpg were new to the team.

Charles Barkley's only Finals appearance came as a member of the '93 Suns. A team sometimes talked about as one of the best to never win a title. It was Barkley's first year in Phoenix but it was also the first year for 5 of the top 7 guys in mpg during the playoffs for the Suns.

Going way back, the 1980 Lakers won in Magic's rookie year. They returned 3 big pieces from 1979 but the other 5 of the 8 players in their playoff rotation were not part of the team the season before (although we can quibble about Michael Cooper).

We can also look at smaller additions like Pau Gasol (the '08 Lakers) and Rasheed Wallace (the '04 Pistons) being added to teams at the trade deadline, having very little time to be integrated into their new situation and making it to the finals and winning a championship, respectively.

There isn't a lot of precedent for a team as good as the Celtics overhauling its roster this drastically but I tried to find teams that had some kind of success after big roster changes. It's hard to win a championship with an almost completely new roster but it's hard to win a championship anytime.

If your attitude if "Championship or bust" then I didn't find anything, historically, to make you feel better about the prospects of this Celtics team "gelling" fast enough. But if a successful '18 season, for you, would be a Finals appearance, I do think there are signs that teams can come together and win a lot of games (including playoff games) even when there's a big roster turnover.

Re: On How Long it Takes a Team to "Gel"
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 04:39:45 PM »

Offline Green-18

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Among everyone's concerns for the upcoming season, this is one seems pretty consistent. It takes a team a while to come together. Sure, the '08 Celtics won a title in their first year together but they're thought of as the outlier. But are they?

When Lebron and Bosh went to Miami, they didn't really figure out how to best use everybody until the second season, this is true. But in their first year, they still won 70% of their games and cruised to the Finals, never losing more than 1 game in any Eastern conference playoff series.

When Lebron went back to Cleveland, he had to integrate with a whole new roster which included bringing in Kevin Love. They struggled (kind of) but still finished with the 2nd best record in the East and lost only 2 games in the Eastern conference playoffs before losing in the Finals with 2 of their 3 best players injured.

Shaq's first season in Miami ('05) didn't see a Finals appearance. But the team won 59 games, best in the East, and took the Piston to 7 in the ECF (missing Dwyane Wade for a game). From '04, they lost 4 of their top 6 guys in terms of mpg and in '05, 5 of their top 8 in mpg were new to the team.

Charles Barkley's only Finals appearance came as a member of the '93 Suns. A team sometimes talked about as one of the best to never win a title. It was Barkley's first year in Phoenix but it was also the first year for 5 of the top 7 guys in mpg during the playoffs for the Suns.

Going way back, the 1980 Lakers won in Magic's rookie year. They returned 3 big pieces from 1979 but the other 5 of the 8 players in their playoff rotation were not part of the team the season before (although we can quibble about Michael Cooper).

We can also look at smaller additions like Pau Gasol (the '08 Lakers) and Rasheed Wallace (the '04 Pistons) being added to teams at the trade deadline, having very little time to be integrated into their new situation and making it to the finals and winning a championship, respectively.

There isn't a lot of precedent for a team as good as the Celtics overhauling its roster this drastically but I tried to find teams that had some kind of success after big roster changes. It's hard to win a championship with an almost completely new roster but it's hard to win a championship anytime.

If your attitude if "Championship or bust" then I didn't find anything, historically, to make you feel better about the prospects of this Celtics team "gelling" fast enough. But if a successful '18 season, for you, would be a Finals appearance, I do think there are signs that teams can come together and win a lot of games (including playoff games) even when there's a big roster turnover.

Nice post!  This team could certainly take a while to gel given the complete reconstruction.  On the flip side I wouldn't be surprised to see a sense of urgency and excitement surrounding the new group.  Kyrie, Smart, Hayward, Jaylen and Tatum all have something to prove for different reasons.  Stevens and Horford will be the stabilizing presence that keeps the team focused on our ultimate goal of winning a title.   

Even though there might be some rough patches, I fully expect this group to play with a sense of purpose for the entire season.   

Re: On How Long it Takes a Team to "Gel"
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2017, 04:48:28 PM »

Offline Csfan1984

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System and player fit/defined role is all it takes. Get people who play within themselves and the system to get winning results. It's not gelling so much as it's sacrifice and stepping up when needed.

Get that above and elite talent and a team can go far. BS has a system and the team is building talent. With just the right attitude they should get to the ECF.
My Top 5
Trade targets.      Draft.                     FAs
1. Davis              1.Fultz              1. Griffin*
2. Cousins          2. Tatum          2. Hayward
3. Butler              3. Jackson       3. Millsap
4. George            4. Ball               4. Lowry
5. Favors             5. Isaac            5. Gali

Re: On How Long it Takes a Team to "Gel"
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 05:05:38 PM »

Offline Green-18

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System and player fit/defined role is all it takes. Get people who play within themselves and the system to get winning results. It's not gelling so much as it's sacrifice and stepping up when needed.

Get that above and elite talent and a team can go far. BS has a system and the team is building talent. With just the right attitude they should get to the ECF.

I agree 100%.  I think a lot of doubters are undervaluing the impact of Stevens.  A lot of the drama and underachievement in the NBA is precipitated by poor organizational leadership and lack of a clear vision.  The Kyrie trade is great drama for the league but I expect the off-court drama to be a non-story once the season rolls around.   

Examples of recent teams that failed:

Lakers with Howard and Nash - This situation was a nightmare from the beginning.  Howard and Kobe clashed right away.  Mike D'Antoni was a terrible fit.  D'Antoni can only coach one style and he needs the talent to be catered to his system. 

Rockets with Howard - Once again Howard is the problem.  Harden deserves blame too but look what happened when the team committed to putting a roster together that centered around D'Antoni's strengths.

Nuggets with Melo and Iverson - These two were paired with complete disregard to how they would gel together.  They were a good regular season team but got bounced in the first round.  As soon as Iverson got traded for Billups they made a Western Conference Finals run.  The Pistons then fell apart with Iverson.

Knicks with Melo and Amare -  Not much to say here.  The Knicks are always a mess.

I'm sure there are plenty more but these were at the top of my head.



« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 05:10:41 PM by Green-18 »

Re: On How Long it Takes a Team to "Gel"
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 05:15:02 PM »

Offline Celtics4ever

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How did the Big three do their first year?   They gelled,  I don't think we have their talent level but guys who know how to play generally can pick up each other's games pretty quickly.

It won't be a problem for Al, Hayward and Marcus for instance.  I think those guys are all bright enough to adapt to their team mates.   I do not know Kyrie well.   I watched a lot of Butler games so I watched Hayward a decent amount.  I know Marcus picks this stuff up fast.

These guys are all pros so I would not worry about it.

Re: On How Long it Takes a Team to "Gel"
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2017, 05:32:15 PM »

Online hwangjini_1

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i guess that depends on whether they get creamed or pasted.

 ;D
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Re: On How Long it Takes a Team to "Gel"
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2017, 06:39:35 PM »

Offline colincb

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Doc used to say 20 games. That being said, others have said that teams try to avoid having more than 3 NBA newbies on a team. As currently constitued, Cs will have 5-6 NBA newbies as well as 5 acquired vets. IOW, expect it will take Stevens longer to figure out this essentially rebuilt roster.

Re: On How Long it Takes a Team to "Gel"
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 06:43:47 PM »

Offline green_bballers13

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For this team, with this many changes, and this many young players that will be relied upon, I think this project will take over a year and maybe as many as 3 years before they seriously contend for a championship.

This is Boston- we're not impressed by playoff appearances. My focus is on the ring.