When is a team too good for their league?


Harrison Linden

There is a benefit to having an talented team. However, there is a limit to how much an all-star team can go.

In the world of sports, the ability to work as a team is one of the most important parts of a successful season. In every championship team, no matter the sport, they usually have one of the best offenses or one of the best defenses in the league. A good coaching staff is another important aspect. They are the ones who select what play should run and who should be on the court or field.

Although it is every coach’s dream to have an All-Star team, when does a team have too much talent? To be great is to have players on any given team that can play together at such high caliber that they are favored to win most, if not all of the games, by a large margin. The 1996 Chicago Bulls, led by Jordan and Pippen, were an example of a great team. The Bulls placed number one in both of the offense and defense rating categories. The talent of the team was spread evenly, Dennis Rodman and Luc Longley controlled the paint while Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen covered the rest of the court.

Before Tom Brady left, the New England Patriots were able to form a dynasty. As a team, they won six championships since 2000 and went to the Super Bowl nine times. Their historic defense is what capped them off as a dominant team. Their defense in 2019 set a franchise record and allowed an average of 14.0 points per game during the season.

There can also be seasons where there is not a clear championship team. During this year’s NCAA’s men’s basketball season, there was no one team that everyone thought was going to win it all. The Kansas Jayhawks and the Baylor Bears were among the favorites but picking just one team was too difficult. It was like that for most of the season too. Blue-blooded schools like Duke and Kentucky were the first set of teams to suffer bad losses. These first couple of losses put the whole league into a “fight for your life” mode because of how unexpected they were.

The NBA season was similar but without a large number of upsets. Lebron James and the Lakers were thought to be this season’s championship team. After a loss to the in-town rivals, those thoughts were quickly shut down. The Lakers is still a great team and has been placed as the second best team behind the Milwaukee Bucks. Even Milwaukee is not considered to be too hard to beat despite their number one placement. Those two teams allow anyone to see that to have a great team, the team needs to be well balanced.

The Lakers and Bucks lack the bench power that any team without a strong enough starting group needs. The bench is like the backbone of any team, it is crucial to the success of any team. If the starters are tired and not performing well then you have your backup options on the bench. 

The 2016 Golden State Warriors are the only team to have a better record than the 72-10 Chicago Bulls. The Warriors cascaded their way through the regular season and the playoffs up until game five of the NBA Finals. During that game, the players of the Warriors were not playing up to their usual caliber and that carried on for the rest of the series. Without a good enough bench, they could not rest their main players enough and that showed. The last thing that is vital to a great team is the chemistry among the coaches and players. A team with good chemistry will not play selfishly and the morale of the players will grow. 

The Utah Jazz can make the Conference Finals next year. The one thing that will probably cause them to not make it is the chemistry among their top players. Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are the two best players on the team but their relationship has eroded heavily in the past couple of weeks. 

The news that Gobert potentially gave COVID-19 to Mitchell hurt the trust that they once had. The distrust that they have will more than likely hurt the team as a whole because they could start playing more selfishly.