Said Thunder coach Scotty Brooks, “They have a bunch of good players. They have players that can come off the bench and have 20 (points). Players that come off the bench and impact the game with their hustle and 3-point shooting. They have a very good team. They compete year in and year out.”
So, about that NBA title? Karl is right. The 2004 Pistons did win without a superstar, though the likes of Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton and Ben Wallace received elevated status after that championship.
But that’s it. There’s really not another example of an NBA champion who won without a superstar.
“It’s hard to win,” Brooks said of the title. “Follow the history … there’s a lot of great teams and a lot of great coaches that have never won a championship. Utah, Jerry Sloan, 25 years of being at a really high level.
“It’s hard to win a championship. You have to have good fortune, you have to have good players, you have to have some luck. They have the opportunity to have that this year. They have good players, they’re going to need some luck and some good fortune, just like we do.”
It’s wrong to compare the Thunder’s and the Nuggets’ chances as anything close to equal. The Thunder has superstars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. That’s almost always the ticket to NBA glory, despite the Denver experiment.