Here’s a fun project. Go back through the rosters of the last few NBA Champions, take away two of their three best players and consider whether or not said team would’ve still won it all.
Could the San Antonio Spurs have won their recent titles without Tim Duncan and Tony Parker? What about the Miami Heat without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh? Or the Boston Celtics without Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett?
It’s tough to believe these or any other teams put in such a situation would’ve still ended up winning a championship. When you take a Finals-caliber team and remove two of their top guns, the odds of said club still winning are raised to near-insurmountable heights.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been put in this exact situation, losing Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving for the season midway through the playoffs. And, though their Finals series with the Golden State Warriors is only tied 1-1, you can’t help but be amazed at how well this team can continue to change its identity on the fly.