It’s said that you can never have too much talent. But what happens when does chemistry taking a back seat to talent turn out to be a bad thing?
For several weeks, it was believed that current free agent Jermaine O’Neal was the Mavs’ big target. But now, with the weeks winding down and New York’s Amar’e Stoudamire suddenly available, Dallas has changed plans. Stoudamire joining the Mavs is reportedly all but a done deal, needing only to wait until the forward officially clears waivers at 4 pm CT on Wednesday.
Any boost to the Mavs frontcourt to take pressure off Tyson Chandler has to be viewed by many as a welcome addition. But is it too late in the year to be making such a move, and will this just prove to be even more of a challenge for Rick Carlisle to get this roster to mesh?
The big thing to remember here is that basketball is a lot more different than baseball or any other sport where late-season additions are more common. With only five players on the court at a time, chemistry and cohesion are as important as anywhere else, and disrupting that chemistry with more and moor new players can backfire greatly.
I keep looking back to 2010, when the Mavs shook up their roster at the trade deadline, trading Josh Howard and Drew Gooden to Washington for Caron Butler, Brendan Heywood and DeShawn Stevenson. While they still cruised their way to the Southwest Division championship, the lack of chemistry had to play a part in them getting embarrassingly bounced from the playoffs in the first round by San Antonio.
This was why I was glad that The Mavs grabbed Rajon Rondo earlier in the season – to give more time for such a needed adjustment process. Granted, that process has now been delayed greatly by Rondo’s broken orbital bone still keeping him out of action with the team still hoping surgery is not the needed option, since that could likely mean Rondo would be done for the year by now, and then you can pretty much kiss this season goodbye.
These worries are not set in stone, especially since there have been exceptions. After all, the Rockets shook things up 20 years ago when they grabbed Clyde Drexler from Portland and his combination with former Phi Slamma Jamma teammate Hakeem Olajuwon drove Houston to a second straight championship.
And at least the Mavs are adding just one player instead of changing up so many other components like they did five years ago.
Hopefully won’t result in a similar end, because a presence like Stoudamire can greatly benefit the Mavs – if they can get everything to work in time.
EDIT: Since this article’s posting it has been reported that Rajon Rondo is expected to start on Thursday against Oklahoma City.