In the 2011 NBA Playoffs we saw the possible end of three dynasties that have won or played multiple championships. The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics all saw their seasons end early and all three teams have aging rosters. While the dynasties of these three franchises may not be dead and gone just yet, they are a lot closer to dying.
The oldest group of players with the most time together is the San Antonio Spurs, and once the team hit the playoffs, you could easily see the age being a factor. And that age was easily exploited by the youthfulness and quickness of the Memphis Grizzlies. But there were more than just the age issues with this team. The core group had trouble staying healthy through out the season. But I will not read the Spurs their last rights just yet. They could possibly be a team to be dealt with next season and they have an age and experience that will help them.
The next dynasty that really looked to hit a wall this playoff season had to be the Boston Celtics, while they did run into a tough Miami Heat team that would eventually play in the NBA Finals. But they just seemed to lose a lot of their steam and showed some age. Am I going to say that the Celtics won’t bounce back next year? Not at all, I just think that their window has reached the end and they will probably start showing decline. But they could have one more strong run in them to make that final statement.
The Los Angeles Lakers were the most surprising team to fall off this playoff run. They were picked to have a strong shot to repeat and everyone thought that when they met the Mavericks, they would ultimately win the series with ease. But they ran into the eventual champion Dallas Mavericks and got swept without so much as a whimper in game four. While the Lakers aren’t really an “old” team, they are a team that has been at the top of the mountain the longest and with a coach retiring and now a new coach coming in. It would look like there may be some question as to whether Kobe can keep this team focused enough to pick themselves off the carpet and try to get back to the top of the mountain.
I am not saying that these teams will be bad next season, but they showed their age this playoffs and they are going to have a harder time getting back to the top. It will be fun to see how these teams bounce back, because there will be added criticism on them starting next year.