COMMENTARY | Some NBA "Big Threes" are formed organically, with players who have been drafted and developed by the franchise.
The Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng combination for the Chicago Bulls is one such example. As is the San Antonio Spurs' -- even if declining -- Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
However, since LeBron James made the decision to accompany Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, the idea of superstars joining forces and creating a Big Three seems to have become especially popular. Although the experiment fails on occasion (see the Los Angeles Lakers' attempt at a Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash threesome) this is actually a formula that has proven successful -- regardless of how the triad comes to be.
Anyone looking for proof of such success need look no further than the past few NBA Finals. Both the aforementioned Spurs and Miami Heat boast three superstars surrounded by role players. In the season prior, the Heat faced an Oklahoma City Thunder team with a Big Three of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Furthermore, the Dallas Mavericks had Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd/Shawn Marion the lone year Wade, James and Bosh were defeated for the championship.
The formula works. Even Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman for title-winning stretches. Not even the greatest player of all time could do it alone.
Suffice it to say, the Bulls are on the right track with three All-Stars currently on the roster. Deng, Rose and Noah are easily top 10 at their respective positions, if not top 5. But now that almost every team has or is attempting to build a three-headed monster, it has become a question of whether or not what the Bulls have is collectively better than most.
James puts the Miami Big Three on a whole other level, making comparisons difficult. Also, Noah is not really a scorer for the Bulls. This could be an area where other trios, in which every member requires defensive attention, have an advantage.
Chicago's Big Three is probably most comparable to that of the Mavericks' championship team. Chandler was not a scorer, but defended the basket so well that opponents could not score with ease either. Noah fills this role. Although he is a completely different type of player than Nowitzki, Rose qualifies as the group's double-team commanding superstar. And, naturally, as a good rebounder and the Bulls' best perimeter defender, Deng would be an offensively better version of Marion.
The similarities between that particular Mavs squad and this current Bulls team should be encouraging to fans. Because while Miami is obviously a better team now than it was upon initial construction, Rose, Deng and Noah have consistently improved as well. It remains to be seen how Rose will return from injury, but the pieces are in place for a dethroning of the champs.
There are other notable Big Three's in the league. The New York Knicks have Carmelo Anthony, Amaré Stoudemire and Chandler. Paul George, Roy Hibbert and David West shine for the Indiana Pacers. And the Brooklyn Nets are now loaded after adding Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to its Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez combination.
Yet, Chicago's Big Three rivals them all. They possess not only the talent but also the chemistry after having played together several seasons already. Not to mention that they are extremely well-coached and have Carlos Boozer for support, in addition to the emergence of Jimmy Butler.
Now that the OKC Big Three is no longer and San Antonio's is nearing its end, the Rose/Deng/Noah collective may be second only to Wade/James/Bosh -- and second only due to the individual greatness of James. Don't believe it? Just watch.Acamea Deadwiler is a Chicago-area native with several years experience covering the NBA, including the Chicago Bulls, for Examiner.com. She has also been featured in Bounce magazine, SLAM Online, and various other publications. Follow Acamea on Twitter @AcameaLD.
More from this contributor:
- Sports & Recreation
- Chicago Bulls
- Joakim Noah
- Derrick Rose
- Luol Deng
- Dwyane Wade
- LeBron James
- San Antonio Spurs
- Chris Bosh