I don’t mean the title query in a smug, rhetorical sense; I’m asking sincerely – did we learn anything? Post-Melo, all we heard were the merits of ‘team-ball’, with the Nuggets getting it done in impressive fashion upon the departure of their celebrated star. ”They’re better now! A 5-man team is beautiful ball!” rang the chorus. Maybe the Thunder still beat Denver even with Melo. Perhaps so. But the fact remains that Durant and Westbrook outclassed a hapless Nuggets team without star-power. Is correlation a basis for causation? I’ve always been steadfast in my belief of stars as requisite for success. But is this further proof? (On the other hand, some might point to New York’s failure as the counter-argument; however, I never said stars were sufficient for success. You need role-players too, which the Knicks did not have.)
Sadly, I feel there is too much evidence that this Rockets team will not rise from irrelevance until their luck turns and an elite component falls to their laps.