When the Pistons won the Title in 2004, it was the first time in forever that a complete team, without a dominant supermegastar, had won the title since... since... what, Seattle in the 70's? Something crazy like that, right?
At the time, I was hopeful that it was a sign of things to come. I don't know why I wanted that. I mean, the NBA has been a supermegastar league for years and years, and Stern wants it that way, so why shouldn't I want what he wants? Still... that Iverson team that made it to the Finals really turned me off. Allen Iverson and a bunch of marginal players - let's play defense and rebound, and give the ball to ONE GUY on offense and hope for the best. Yuck. I mean, I know why GM's do it - it's easier to get one guy than to get 5. But still, I like teams that run offenses. Maybe that's just me.
Well, guess what? The 2007 Cavaliers are the 2001 Sixers redux. LeBron James is great. Is anyone else on that team even really good? Daniel Gibson is a fluke. He's not going to have another game like that in his career. Larry Hughes? Maybe he's OK, I guess. I do NOT like watching that team, LeBron's individual virtuosity notwithstanding.
San Antonio is of course the semi-exception to the rule. They have a supermegastar (and two other superstars) AND they play well as a team. Is it really any wonder that they're in the Finals again? And I'm looking for the Spurs to dominate the same way the Lakers dominated AI's Sixers 6 years ago. AI stole one game - I don't expect LeBron to even get that much.
By the way, how much money did Chauncey Billups cost himself during the Cleveland series? At 30 years old, after 10 years in the NBA (in which he wasn't even a starter most of the time), it's hard to imagine that anyone's going to be lining up to offer him a max contract. Especially since his reputation was as a big game performer. Well, in 2006 against the Heat and in 2007 against the Cavs, he looked exceedingly ordinary in big games. Don't be surprised if Joe Dumars lets him go in the event that another team does offer him big money.