OKC Thunder and Miami Heat Play Dominate Without ‘Chemistry’

August 7th, 2012 by Ethan Sherwood Strauss Leave a reply »
Obviously, whatever the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder did last season, they did pretty well. Or at least, they did it better than the competition. 

Currently, these are basketball's two best teams. They also have plenty of years to spare, especially the Thunder. So if these are the two teams that may define the current era of basketball, then I wonder: Is this an era in which talent outweighs chemistry?

To specify, by "talent" I mean the finished, on-court product—I do not mean "potential." When I say that LeBron James is "talented," I mean that he's really good at basketball and not that he can jump high or run fast. When I say that Oklahoma City and Miami have the most talent, I mean that they have the best players. 

As for "chemistry," this is another term that requires some specificity. By "chemistry," I do not mean that a team gets along or responds to veteran leadership. I mean on-court chemistry—better understood as having a well-defined division of labor between players who can fill all necessary roles.

My best example of this on-court chemistry would be the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics. They played elite ...

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