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If benches win championships...

...where does that leave the Storm?

I predicted the Celtics to win the championship at the beginning of this year...not that it was a risky pick or anything. I just figured the "Big 3" would complement each other nicely and make it happen...

So it was a pleasant surprise that such a seemingly inevitable outcome was made so suspenseful up until they decided to wake up about half-way through the Detroit series.

But it's also interesting to compare the way the Celtics built themselves for a championship to what the Storm have done.

The key: the Celtics had a balanced bench to complement the star power. And it was those bench players who stepped up for them at different times throughout the playoffs.

The Storm have gone a different route. They chose to load up the starting lineup and hope that their (aging) veterans could carry them to a title.

But if anything, we learned from the Celtics that you can't just rely on the starters. People will have off nights (Ray Allen), tough defensive assignments (Paul Pierce on Lebron and Kobe), or injuries (Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, and Paul Pierce at varying points in the finals). Mike Kahn writes:
Sure, we wouldn't even talking about the Celtics if not for Pierce, Garnett and Allen, in any order, since they've all had sensational moments throughout the regular season and playoffs. Still, considering the Lakers' athleticism and explosive offense, the Celtics' bench had to contribute — and they have responded in a variety of ways and from all five key contributors.

Comparatively, two of the stars the Storm brought in are older than the Celtics' stars. Really, the Storm need a bench MORE than the Celtics did...and it's difficult to imagine them winning without one.
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As a side note, more than KG or Pierce, I'm happy for Ray Allen. I've loved Ray Allen's game ever since he hit the NBA. He has the most perfect looking jump shot I've ever seen. Even when he was tossing up bricks early in the playoffs, it was hard not to believe the next one would go in. I was so excited that he had a chance to get a ring and I'll look forward to seeing if they can squeeze another one out next year.

In the meantime, go Ray.

Related Links:

Celtics know how to build for future
http://www.kansas.com/708/story/441797.html

Daily Links 6/22
http://www.celticsblog.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3461&Itemid=254