Boris Diaw. George Hill. Joe Johnson. We all know the talent we added this off season, and are so excited to see them get to work. We are hoping for them to be the differences makers for us this season. I also hope, however, that we have reasonable expectations for them out of the gate.
That’s not to say these guys can’t or won’t step in and help this team make a #PlayoffPush right from the start. We just shouldn’t expect them to be world-beaters from the first tip-off. I came up with some recent teams that added significant contributors, and determined how long it took for these teams to find their rhythm to help me set my expectations. I picked out both good and bad examples to compare both ends of the spectrum.
I’m confident all of you could have come up with better examples than I did, but my point with this is to remind everyone (myself very much included) to be patient with the new guys.
2013-2014 Golden State Warriors
- Andre Iguodala 32.4 mpg
- Steve Blake 21.7 mpg
- Jermaine O’Neal 20.1 mpg
This is where it really began for the Warriors (thanks in large part to our trade- at least we got Rodney Hood out of it right?). But early that season these guys were only 14-13. After that they rolled off a 10 game winning streak and went on to win 51 games that year, good for 6th in the west. It took this team 27 games to really get in a rhythm.
2013-14 Houston Rockets
- Dwight Howard 33.7 mpg
- Omri Casspi 18.1 mpg
This team, unlike the Warriors, got off to a quick start and were 13-5 after 18 games. They continued that success throughout the season and ended up 4th in the West at 54-28.
2014-2015 Cleveland Cavaliers
- LeBron James 36.1 mpg
- Kevin Love 33.8 mpg
- J.R. Smith 31.8 mpg
Wow this team (obviously) had some major changes. As a result it took some time to get things going. After nearly half the season they had a losing record of 19-20. Then they finally got on a roll and finished 53-29, which put them in 2nd place in the Leastern Conference. It wasn’t until mid-January that these guys finally started gelling.
2014-2015 Washington Wizards
- Paul Pierce 26.2 mpg
- Kris Humphries 21.0 mpg
- Rasual Butler 20.1 mpg
The core of this team was in place, and then they added a few guys that they were hoping could fill some holes. They started off nicely winning 9 of their first 12. Overall they ended up 5th in the East with a record of 46-36.
2015-2016 Portland Trail Blazers
- Al-Farouq Aminu 28.5 mpg
- Mason Plumlee 25.4 mpg
- Ed Davis 20.8 mpg
I am still surprised how successful this team was last year, especially with how their season started. About halfway through the season, 39 games to be exact, they had only won 15 games. Then things started to click and they blazed (lame pun intended) to a 44-38 finish, placing 5th in the Western Conference.
2015-2016 Toronto Raptors
- DeMarre Carroll* 30.2 mpg
- Cory Joseph 25.6 mpg
- Bismack Biyombo 22.0 mpg
Last season the Raptors wasted no time getting their winning ways started. They won 5 games to begin their season en route to a 56-26 record, the most wins in Raptors history. This gave them the 2nd seed in the East.
(*Only played in 26 games, but was healthy at the beginning, which is the focus of my article.)
2016-2017 Utah Jazz
- George Hill 34.1 mpg last year
- Joe Johnson 33.4 mpg last year
- Boris Diaw 18.2 mpg last year
(Side note question: How many minutes do you project these 3 playing this year?)
I would love for the Jazz to see the early success that the Raptors, Wizards, and Rockets did. Because our main players are already in place and these guys are mostly complimentary pieces, it shouldn’t take quite as long to adjust. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. It may work well from the first whistle, but it may also take 10, 20, even 30 games before they round into form. Because of this, I will try and remain patient as the chemistry builds and our guys get used to their new roles.
What I have little patience for anymore, however, is the start of the season! No matter what happens, (in my best Hot Rod Hundley voice) you gotta love it baby!