Doc's quote in the Herald the other day got me thinking about chemistry again.
“The other stuff going on was tough,” he said. “It was more directed from player to player, and that affects chemistry, and that has to be cleared up. Players have to pull for each other.”
Chemistry is one of the most important but underrated pieces to building a championship team. The Pistons team that recently won championships had great chemistry and because of that they were able to win without a superstar.
On the other hand, I think back to the Laker team that had 4 future Hall of Famers on it in Shaq, Kobe, Payton and Malone on it. They even had a future Hall of Fame coach and should have been able to win the championship that year. On paper, they were a lock to win it all. But, they didn't have any chemistry. There was in-fighting and bickering the entire year and I believe that is what kept that team from winning it all. They had the talent but didn't have any chemistry.
I believe that the reason that our USA teams have fallen from prominence is that they aren't together long enough to build any chemistry between the players. You throw together a group of players used to playing against each other and let them practice for a few weeks and expect them to develop chemistry. They can win against the weaker teams but when they face the top teams, they just don't have what it takes. I believe that they are taking a better approach to building the team but they still won't have the kind of chemistry that many of the international teams have built by playing together day in and out for years.
Last season, we knew that we had chemistry problems with Blount and Banks from the beginning. We thought that Ricky was a team player and never knew that there was a problem there. I guess we still don't know because it could be spin from the organization, but if he was undermining Paul's authority as captain and was causing problems, it is no wonder the team wasn't winning. Even after the trade, there were some problems. Twice, Raef complained to the press about Doc's rotations and about his playing time, but for the most part, the team seemed to get along very well.
This season we have a great group of players. All want to be here and all are hard workers and I just don't see any of them not working together for the good of the team. They get along on and off the court. Most of the team has been together for 2 or 3 years now and are learning each other's tendencies. One of the keys to winning will be whether our very young students can pass Chemistry this season.
Yeah, that's a terrific example of a team not having chemistry. That overloaded Lakers team with Shaq, Kobe, Malone, and Payton had no chemistry whatsoever. They were a bit dysfunctional--Payton did not want to play in the triangle offense and Malone wanted more shots.
But looking at the Pistons and the Spurs, they have excellent team chemistry. Players know their roles and relish in them.
I think we are definitely amassing a team full of players who are willing to play their roles and find success in their roles.
We have a head start when it comes to chemistry because all these young kids who comprise 90% of team, have been working out with one another and scrimmaging against one another all summer long. They are building relationships among one another and getting to know each other's tendencies. This is fantastic.